Can’t really add much to Danah Boyd’s logical argument:

Rather than trying to protect teens from all fears and risks that we can imagine, let’s instead imagine ways of integrating them constructively into public life. The key to doing so is not to create technologies that reinforce limitations but to provide teens and parents with the mechanisms and information needed to make healthy decisions.



I enjoyed reading Doc Searls on the Facebook IPO and the upcoming challenges that the valuation will have on people who made such a huge bet.

He has some great references which challenge the idea that targeted advertising will be some great silver bullet to help pull your “brand” above the noise. And some interesting points about going back to building relationships with your customers:

The amazing thing here is that business keeps trying to improve advertising — and always by making it more personal…

By its nature advertising — especially “brand” advertising — is not personal…

making advertising personal changes it into something else that is often less welcome..

start believing in free customers…and to form relationships that are worthy of the word.

Is ‘Anything but Facebook’ the Open Web?

I’d just been invited to an event via Facebook, When open web evangelist, Molly Holzschlag tweeted:

Despite having used Facebook to publicise events previously I firmly believe people and organisations shouldn’t solely use it to advertise their events “just because everyone is on there”.

So I immediately responded to Molly:

Disappointingly, Molly confirmed my entry was too short. She did kindly favourite and retweet it. And, because Twitter and WordPress aren’t Facebook, I’m able to share this post and said tweets without first forcing you to login.

Tonight I noted Molly had followed up with the following gem:

It was a tweet which prompted some interesting responses. Many pointed out that “access” can mean many things. And it led to an interesting discussion on the topic.

I’m using her update to bulwark my response to the initial tweet. If I need to have an “account” or “login” to see content on the web, it’s not open. It’s clear some content requires restricted access for privacy and other reasons – but Public Events or status updates you otherwise share to 4 gazillion “friends”? No. They are restricted because Facebook needs to pay for Instagram and get a bajillion dollars in an IPO.

It’s possible that one day Facebook will no longer be the default location on the internet for a substantial percentage of the population. It’s even possible they’ll no longer try to corral everything within their “platform”. But until that day comes, I’ll continue to limit my use of Facebook to an ‘as needed” basis.

And when I invite you to an event, I’ll probably tweet, sms or email you a link to a file on my dropbox.

What impact will Wordads have on Google and Adsense?

Today WordPress announced Wordads, because in their own words

You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense

My initial reaction to this was great, I might finally get to control the ads which appear at the bottom of these posts. But my curious nature took hold and made me wonder if the few products Google rely on for most of their revenue are slowly becoming commoditised.

First we had the worlds biggest Social Network creating it’s own ad network. I know Facebook’s social ads revenue is still reasonably small, but the revenue from it appears to be doubling year on year. Considering the size of Facebook and the engaged temperament of its users, will it become an ever more attractive place to advertise online – especially with its ability to make those ads highly targeted to viewers?

Then the worlds most used smartphone platform introduced an intelligent personal assistant including voice search. Yes Siri still uses Google Search, but in many cases it does so only as a last resort or if you specifically ask for a web search.

It seems that many are translating a greater proportion of their web use to smartphones and the iPad. (And it wouldn’t be a wild assumption that Siri will appear on the next or even current iPads.) At what point of Siri’s maturity could it start make a serious dent into Google’s search dominance? And what then would be the roll on effect to Google’s advertising revenues from search?

And now we have the world’s biggest blogging platform – a social network in itself – introducing an advertising platform. Is it logical to assume it is going to start to eat into the 28% of revenue currently sourced by Google through Adsense?

While all of the above is personal speculation, I bet the real speculators are focusing on the 32% revenue growth Google delivered Quarter on Quarter this year. And will continue to reward the share price with their heads in the sand.

Perhaps they are right, it isn’t logical to assume that Google are sitting pretty on the past surely. And with the recent culling of superfluous projects there, it’s logical they are focusing their resources on improving their search and advertising functionality and especially as that search integrates with Android.

But can they innovate fast enough and will their next big thing be good enough to head off the Online Search and Advertising disruptors before they are eating more of their pie than the investor market would like?

Wordads is hitherto just an announcement from Automattic. But with almost 70 million blogs and 2.5 billion page views per month, even if only a small proportion use Wordads, it’s bound to be more than a tiny thorn in the established players behind.


Geoff Livingston’s Blog claims Google Plus had lots of hype, but that hype has recently lost its mojo.

Sure, getting to fifty million users within 3 months is a pretty impressive stat.

via Leon Håland

But isn’t it fairly easy to get to any arbitary number of users if you already have a set of well used products with a large user base like GMail and Reader. Especially when Google are directly integrating Plus into them via the new toolbar.

A better measure might be how many incremental customers Google have gained thanks to Plus, and then how many of them are using the service daily.

The biggest challenge to Google plus’ growth is the number of social networks which their target audience are already engaged with. While Linked In and others appear to have attempted to directly mimic Facebook, those services at least have enough different use cases from Facebook for people to use both. Perhaps Google need to focus more on their key differentiators, such as “hangouts” in a bid to attract new users away from Facebook.

Maybe then that will attract users from the outside in and Google Plus will get its mojo back?


Data Commissioner to begin Facebook audit – RTÉ News

Who knew that, just with so many other international Software companies, Facebook’s European HQ in Dublin is responsible for data exchanged by all locales EXCEPT the USA and Canada?

I’m sure if the Irish Data Commissioner hands down an adverse notice, and it is a revenue impact to the company, they’ll soon be on their way to pastures new.

All your Facebook’s belong to us

The whole world wants to tell us on Twitter and even on Facebook itself why they are leaving facebook and why the changes they made this week suck even worse than the last changes. But there are better reasons for leaving any service than that surely?

When I first used facebook, I kinda liked it. It was a handy way to keep in touch with people I knew back ‘home’ in Ireland or people I used to work with but didn’t see too often anymore. But when I discovered Twitter came along and the Zuck and his minions started to turn Facebook into a Westfield for “Social”.

I’ve previously written about Facebook’s Customer Experience failures  and the sentiments people express in criticisms of Facebook’s changes to its site or its permissions. I suppose by now I shouldn’t be surprised that every time they make changes, that there’ll be impassioned memories of why they should just return to when it was “better”.

These days I look on Facebook’s design changes and Privacy woes with the tired eyes of someone who neither cares about the changes nor worries about their privacy – that much.

I agree with Paul Ducklin’s criticism of the post which sparks the latest “privacy scare”, But I also caution him to remember WHY so many distrust Facebook’s care for their privacy.

So while the SMEG’s have been looking for ways to get a store in Zuck’s Online Mall and the Facebooker’s were clamouring to spend their personality like the currency Lowy’s tenants are after, I was locking down my account and moving elsewhere. I had realised that I didn’t want to be a tiny percentage of the overall Facebook product.

Thinking now, I could’ve written this post as a tweet. Oh I did:

But first I have to remind them they can get me somewhere else and there is still an online and real world where we can communicate which doesn’t involve selling yourself to a company like Facebook first.

Facebook is not your Village Green

The internet is afire with conspiracy theories again because Facebook has shut down a large number of Anti-Cuts groups in Britain on the day of the Royal Wedding. To be frank, I find the whinging even more entitled than that of Royalty. It’s based on the assumption that just because we are “here” we own it. And we can set our own rules.

Let’s remind ourselves about services provided by private companies. They create products which people are interested in using. In order to use said products, people need to agree to some terms of service. Often those terms include having to pay for it, other times they are mutual e.g. we give you access to this space for free as long as we can sell you and the rest of our companies to advertisers. In the 21st century they are often a mixture of the two.

When I visit shopping malls owned by corporations like Westfield or Lend Lease I often have to double take when I see Oxfam shops or similar. I understand groups like this need to go where the people are in order to evangelise their activism. They’ve made a trade off in order to talk to a greater population – business does that all the time.

Activist groups with pages on Facebook are doing the same thing. They see that Facebook has a captive audience just like in the shopping mall. But then they behave as if they have a stall in Camden Lock or Glebe Markets and they get shut down. Because they’ve forgotten that Facebook is not a Village Green.

Facebook is more like your local Westfield. And just like in Westfield, they’ll tolerate your activism as long as you pay the rent and keep it under the radar. Otherwise they will, like most other cloud based, software as a service applications

…remove any content or information you post..if (they) believe that it violates (their terms)

Protests aren’t welcome in private spaces like Facebook. Find your online Village Green instead. I call it the internet.

A #SMEG wouldn’t recognise @theashes if it bit him on the nose

Sometimes you read things which make you smile, and then you stumble upon so much rubbish it just make you want to smack someone in the mouth.

The fact that these things happen within 2 minutes of each other is often a vagary of being a twitter addict. Why should tonight be any different. Amidst the bathos of #twitdef, and the Social Media Club Sydney twitter stream a new Social Media star called @theashes was Continue reading

Compare the Facebook Apps for iPhone and Google

Here’s the Official Facebook for Android Stats
Facebook for Android
Welcome to the home of the official “Facebook for Android” application. Available pre-installed and the Android Market. Please visit the Android OS page for information on phones using Android.
5,199,788 monthly active users

And for the iPhone Application:


58,586,934 monthly active users

4 of 1,134,701 fans

Which platform is ‘for everyone’ again?