Christine Rosen tackles social networking (especially Facebook), asking “[d]oes this technology, with its constant demands to collect (friends and status), and perform (by marketing ourselves), in some ways undermine our ability to attain what it promises—a surer sense of who we are and where we belong?”
He advises holders of MSFT stock to sell.
Cars as wireless nodes in a mesh network? Ride sharing via Facebook app (GoLoco)? Interesting ideas.
Ryan: “my friend quit Facebook and the rest of us sat dazed and confused musing about why her profile could have gone away. It was nerve wracking. We browsed around the site looking for answers, but Facebook didn't mention a thing. Apparently bad news is not worth telling anyone about. When the story unfolded it was something miraculously dull. The same old excuses we all use when we dump a technology: "it's getting boring, I want to do something else."”
I'm Tired of Facebook Thinking That I'm Tired of Being Single, Especially When It Knows I'm Not Single!
Facebook, as many people know, is a social networking site for keeping in touch with the people you know, and for sharing things with those people. I've found that it strengthens the weak bonds I've had with people I've met a few times and gotten to know, and has re-united me with people from my past whom I regretted not keeping in touch with. There are still people who haven't joined—I should just send them an email—but for those that have I've found things out about some of them that I really should have known anyway (including a pregnancy) and some I don't want to know much about (relationship details).
The above ad sometimes appears in my Facebook News Feed. It's fairly clearly marked as a sponsored ad, and while a little too close to looking like information about my friends for comfort (and why on Earth would I want to share an ad I didn't seek out?), the site has to make a dollar, and they do that through advertising. I see a problem with this, however: why can't the above ad have at least something to do what it knows about me? Facebook seems not to be aware of the fact that I'm in a relationship, something I explicitly told the site! It's a little shocking that here are in 2007 with contextual ads being all the rage and the website that has the most personal in both qualitative and quantitative can't figure out my status. I'm tired of Facebook thinking that I'm tired of being single, especially when it knows I'm not single!
iPhone, Co-Housing (With Wife-Swapping Jokes), Next Bus Info on Facebook, and Spying on Your Readers at DemoCamp Vancouver
After some initial confusion about the location of tonight's DemoCamp Vancouver, we all made it to the Irish Heather to hear about the iPhone, co-housing, a Facebook application for bus schedules, and tracking the movements of people while they visit a site. And then networking ensued, at least presumably, since I left after the demonstrations.
First a demonstration by a self-described fan-boy of Apple's iPhone, the latest status symbol among geeks and affiliated. I happen to think the iPhone is pretty awesome, so after someone said "it's just a phone!" I yelled towards the presenter, "what else can it do?", knowing full well it's a better looking but smaller (in disk space terms) version of the iPod than the current non-nano non-Shuffle versions. It was cool, and dude answered all the questions reasonably without going into hype overdrive.
Next up was a "presentation" about co-housing, which I think left people wondering why we should care about it. He started off with a joke about how people hear it's about wife-swapping and that yes, it's about wife-swapping. Stupidly thinking that this was a bombed joke that needed resuscitating, I blurted out something like "so tell us about wife-swapping". Yeah, real smooth, seeing as how my girlfriend was sitting across the table from me, among other women in the audience (though they were a distinct minority in the crowd). I know what my girlfriend thinks already, but Megan and Ariane, you were there, what did you think? Was it just an attempt to get a cheap laugh that failed, or is it negatively indicative of the type of events that have the word "Camp" in their title?
The co-housing presentation itself seemed to lead to more questions than answers. Usually, if I don't come out with more questions than answers, I give the presenter a lot of credit for raising them in my brain. In this case, however, I knew there would be a presenter on the subject, and came for that reason, but came away with two questions that a lot of audience members might have also come away with. I for one would have started right away attempting to answer 1) what is an intentional community and what are some examples and 2) how is co-housing really different than a strata, or is it? I came in with those questions, and left without an answer.
I'm no doubt getting the order wrong, but John Boxall presented on MyBus Vancouver, a Facebook application that shows you (and only you) bus schedules on your Facebook profile. I'm more interested in next bus information via SMS, since I'm not bringing my Facebook profile with me to the bus stop, but we were assured that the developers are making progress in re-igniting the service that does that. If TransLink would only open their data to an API...well, that's an argument that deserves its own series of blog posts.
Finally, Andre Charland got up to demonstrate RobotReplay, which tracks the movements of person visiting a website and records them for playback later by the website administrator. The goal is to figure out what people are clicking on and what they are typing in in order to make the experience better for current and future users. Or, it's a tool to spy on your readers, but I don't see how different that is than what Google Analytics or the various statistics packages many people unproblematically (and rightly so) use already. The demonstration itself could have had better examples or people navigating a site for a period longer than 10 seconds, but it's cool, lightweight tech and Andre knew his shit and addressed the concerns people had about privacy and future features.
This was a very well-documented event (with multiple video and still photographers), so I don't regret not bringing my camera.
The second link in her post is to an article in The Tyee she wrote about the wishlist.
danah boyd on "News Feeds". I don't have a Facebook so I only know of the story from reporting by bloggers.