January 16, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
What did Facebook’s January 15th media event unveil? Graph Search. It’s exactly what it sounds like, even that whispered allusion to Google Search that you’re considering. After all, couldn’t they have chosen another word that didn’t start with a ‘G’? In any case, search for your own Facebook content, and the Facebook content of others that you have permission to see, is now operable. However, if you’re not one of the “thousands” chosen to try out the feature starting today, you may have to wait a few weeks to use it with your account. If impatience gets the best of you, you can always request placement in the Graph Search waitlist by visiting www.facebook.com/graphsearch.
Search capability on Facebook was a long time coming. With the new tool, users will be able to organize and locate stuff with greater precision and efficiency — there’s a lot of data to mine! Keep in mind that the product out is only the initial version; progressively, more components will be added. Also, you still can’t access it through mobile.
For now, if you’ve got it, you can search for People, Photos, Places, and Interests. Graph Search makes it easier for everyone on Facebook to find information, so remember to update your account’s privacy settings as needed.
December 6, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Most people have a keen appreciation for the metrics-driven nature of social media platforms like Facebook. Folks like Benjamin Grosser, an MFA candidate studying New Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are no different, they just prefer putting a different spin on the whole matter.
Grosser, who studied music and composition before turning to New Media, created software that polishes away the starkness of Facebook profile numbers. His interest in the behavioral changes that Facebook’s numbers provoke in users has given way to the Facebook Demetricator. If you download his software, instead of seeing the precise number of people that liked a picture a Facebook buddy of yours uploaded, you’ll see a more ambiguous statement like “You and other people like this.”
The New Media artist gave an interview to Mathew Fuller and explained a bit more about his project saying: “I suspect that Facebook enumerates everything. If it resides within their databases then the counts are easily obtained. However, not all of these counts are shown to the user. So the question then becomes which metrics does Facebook reveal to its users and which does it keep to itself? What is the difference between them? Further, what drives those decisions?”
Got to http://bengrosser.com/projects/facebook-demetricator/install/ to download the Facebook Demetricator. It’s free.
November 6, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
In California, like everywhere else, the constant election coverage of the past few months has reached the long-awaited peak of its frenzy: it’s Election Day! Today, as in the run-up, the social Web has been present through it all. Over at Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg’s acolytes put out a nifty U.S. map showing, in real-time, as people on Facebook share with the world that they voted. The map breaks down Facebookers’ responses by state, by age group, and by time. Keep in mind that this is Facebook sharing, and not an official vote count.
To celebrate the call of citizenship, Facebook sent its users a prompt asking if they voted. So far, more than 7.5 million people have answered in the affirmative and put on what might be called a Facebook “I Voted” sticker. The most striking thing about the map is that women have been outnumbering men, almost two-to-one, throughout the day.
Still, as the end of the workday nears, many more Americans will be rushing out to the nearest polling booth line to cast their vote for the next president of the United States. Will President Obama be re-elected? Will former Governor Mitt Romney come out ahead? Some folks are already bracing for a split decision. Check out the Facebook map, while you wait for those coming out after 8 p.m., by going here: http://www.facebookstories.com/vote.
October 4, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
As this summer was winding down, Facebook took precise note of the moment its network reached 1 billion users (Sept. 14, 2012 at 12:45pm PST), but didn’t share news of the event until today. Accompanying that big announcement is a “brand video” directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu. The fact that González Iñárritu hails from Mexico, or that he made his name with gritty dramas like Amores Perros, 21Grams, and, most recently, Biutiful, should not go unnoticed.
The choice of director is no doubt a nod to González Iñárritu’s prowess for mise en scène, but it also seems very much like an acknowledgement of where Facebook’s biggest growth is coming from: the “developing worlds” of Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, and India. For now, the clip is only appearing on Facebook, though many in the industry expect it to hit television soon enough.
The video, titled “The Things That Connect Us,” is a minute-and-a-half long. The “things” of the title include “chairs, doorbells, airplanes, bridges,” and “games,” a list which according to the video, we must now also add Facebook to. Mark Zuckerberg (or his current personal writer) released these words:
“This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month. If you’re reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you. Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.”
See the video here: http://newsroom.fb.com/News/The-Things-That-Connect-Us-1c7.aspx
September 28, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Did you hear about Facebook Gifts? The beleaguered — at least within the stock market — champion social network is now going to give its not quite one billion users the opportunity to send and receive real presents — we’re talking non-virtual items here. It’s kind of a big deal.
If you can’t get enough goodies from Magnolia Bakery, feel free to freely rejoice, the bakery has partnered with Facebook and will make it baked goods available through Facebook’s new gift service. Through it, you’ll also be able to shower your friends, relatives, and, let’s face it, frenemies, with Starbucks coffee and its other assorted drinks, impeccable arrangements from 1-800-Flowers, and other sundry items.
Given Facebook’s modus operandi, you’ll very soon find the number of participating retailers expand dramatically. If you’re a chronic late-birthday-gift-giver, you can thank your lucky stars if you’d like, but it’d probably be more honest to just thank Facebook’s May purchase of Karma, the mobile application for social gifting. Facebook Gifts will nicely complement with the network’s nifty birthday reminders. Sure, many people will be feeling like they’re off the hook when it’s the birthday date, but some might still find the whole thing a bit impersonal.
August 28, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
One would think that with the sluggish U.S. economy, Americans would be happy that a national retailer was pulling people in for heavy-duty shopping, even from across the border, but that is not the case in Bellingham, Washington. The town, whose population is close to 81,000, has caused an international stir because some of its residents put up an anti-Canadian Facebook page.
The Facebook page, called “Bellingham Costco needs a special time just for Americans,” was airing some dirty laundry about America’s long struggle with intolerance and xenophobia. Supporters of the page complained that Canadian shoppers were making it difficult for Americans to get through Costco’s notoriously long lines and that the neighbors to the north were rude and couldn’t park. Others complained that Canadians were buying too much of everything, and members of the group had begun referring to Canadians as “milk piranhas.” Costco, of course, made its name by selling too much stuff to folks with a penchant for buying in large quantities. The xenophobic Facebook page’s description read as follows:
“You all been there. its [sic] hard to find a parking spot. Them Canadians can be rude. The lines are crazy. We aren’t on a vacation and have an RV to hang out in like those Canadians. We just want to go shopping, not go on an adventure. Costco used to have special opening hours for preferred customers. Why cant [sic] they do that for us loyal American customers?”
The page, which acquired thousands of Likes, was taken down this month. Many Americans across the country breathe a sigh of relief.
August 24, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Nasdaq may wish that its clients had a more conciliatory nature, but for better or worse, they are of a stripe that is highly unlikely to let bygones be bygones. In May, the American stock exchange that until recently was the most favored by tech companies of good repute did the unthinkable: it royally messed up the biggest and most eagerly anticipated IPO, Facebook’s.
The suited-up folks who had to ride the waters in the wake of Nasdaq’s baffling mistakes are now hankering to be recompensed for what they believe is their rightful due — and it turns out to they want an amount much larger than the $62 million in cash that Nasdaq is offering.
Nasdaq volunteered the stack of millions to settle the loses it was at fault for, but stipulates in its offer documents that that those taking it waive certain rights to sue for more damages later on. Nasdaq sent its settlement offer to the SEC in July seeking the regulatory agency’s approval.
The SEC has not reached a decision and at least two Nasdaq members, Citigroup and USB, the Swiss bank, have sent letters to the SEC voicing their indignation at what they’re calling a paltry offer, and urging SEC to reject Nasdaq’s proposed settlement.
July 3, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Katherine Losse’s The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network came out June 26th. For those wanting a quick fix before delving into the 256-page tome, The Huffington Post assembled a slideshow of thirteen juicy bits, or, as their editorial department put it: “Thirteen Uncomfortable Revelations About Facebook’s Early Days,” courtesy of Losse’s new book.
Some of the revelations presented are surprising, others — Facebook had management problems before Sheryl Sandberg stepped into the COO role? — less so. Reviewers have been impressed by the blatant sexism that, according to Losse, went on unabated for years. Losse, who was the fifty-first hire at Facebook, but only the company’s second female employee, makes it clear that an equitable working environment across genders was not something Facebook’s leaders cared about until Sheryl Sandberg entered the scene. In Losse’s assessment: “Mark was too busy programming to get to the part of a liberal arts education where you study social inequality.” Ouch.
Other interesting tidbits include the fact that early on, Facebook administrators had access to a “master password” that allowed them to log in as any Facebook user. Also, “dark profiles” were once created for those who were not yet part of the network, but whose friends had uploaded and tagged their pictures. Visit the complete slideshow to read about Judgebook, an app reserved for Facebook employees that permitted all Facebook female users to be “judged” on their looks. Too darling.
May 25, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Not a week went by after Facebook’s supremely hyped, but ultimately lackluster, initial public offering (May 18th) when the company, its IPO underwriters, and even Nasdaq itself had all been sued in court by aggrieved investors. Moreover, three regulating bodies had also begun informal investigations into its entire IPO process: the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Senate Banking Committee, and the House Financial Services Committee. What went wrong?
Facebook’s IPO was messy; and it just so happened that everyone in the U.S. and around the globe were paying very close attention, even if not investing. But among those who did, many ended felt they had been duped into buying stock that seemed like a sure thing after Facebook’s stock failed to pop and, worse, continued to fall as the week progressed.
The aching splinter was that in the IPO’s eleventh hour, the investment firms underwriting the IPO (Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs among them) contacted their biggest investors to share new data suggesting that Facebook would have lower earnings than the initial forecast indicated. Smaller investors were not given the same benefit. Consequently, the biggest investors sold fast. There was also litigious grumbling about unacceptable incompetency over at Nasdaq that left investors in the dark about how many stocks they actually had at a given moment.
May 21, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Facebook’s first two days as a publicly traded company have been ones for the record books, for sure, but they have also been marred by ungainly “technical glitches,” underperformance, and even the reek of what some (John Cassidy) are calling an inside job. Friday, May 18th turned out to be the day tech investors had been waiting for: Facebook’s initial public offering on Nasdaq. But early on, those trying to buy or sell were having problems getting their orders through; the system seemed to be overloaded. The day continued with heavy trading and Facebook shares, when the market closed, were valued at $38.23, just 23 cents above their initial asking price.
Today, on its second day of trading, the markets closed with Facebook stock down at $34.03. It may be only the second day, but after the I.P.O. had been hyped for years, investors and even just casual market observers were understandably disheartened.
The glitches of the first trading day are already being investigated by the S.E.C. On the bright side, the current underperformance has time on its side since things have only just begun. As for the concern about an inside job? Well, it seems to have been an “inside job” that was perfectly legal under the established market system.