This week on the EIC Squared podcast, ZDNet's Larry Dignan and I discuss Yahoo's latest move to get Microsoft to cough up more cash for the company. We also talk about Facebook's new privacy options and chat service, which puts the social-networking upstart on a trajectory to collide with Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and others who offer complete communications services.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--When up-and-comer Facebook opened up its developer platform last May, it had a trickle-down effect for the Web's largest auction house.
"Thanks to Facebook, everybody wants to develop applications for platforms," Max Mancini, eBay's senior director of platform and disruptive innovation, said here Tuesday at the Dow Jones Web Ventures conference.
Mancini said although eBay has offered developers a platform for creating specialized eBay applications for the last six-plus years, Facebook popularized the concept in the Web community. In fact, five or six other developers beat eBay to the punch by building a … Read more
CNET News.com's Dan Farber co-wrote this report.
Social network Facebook will roll out more extensive privacy controls Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, as well as an instant-messaging service soon after, representatives from the company announced during a press briefing at the company's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.
Most notable about the new privacy controls is the fact that Facebook members will now be able to choose how much of their profiles is visible to those on their friends list.
Naomi Gleit, Facebook's product manager for privacy and internationalization, previewed the updated options, which include a new &… Read more
On Friday, a rumor surfaced that Facebook would be launching an internal instant-messaging service . Then, on Saturday, gossip blog Valleywag suggested that launching the IM service would involve acquiring Social.IM, a Facebook application that enables instant message chat between services like AIM, Yahoo, and Windows Live Messenger. A Social.IM exec coyly told Valleywag, "If we're being bought, I haven't gotten the call yet."
Social.IM is supported by venture backing from Valley icon Peter Thiel, who also has invested in Facebook.
One thing Valleywag didn't note is that in response to the rumor … Read more
Details are sketchy, but it appears that this will be a Web-based IM service that would allow Facebook users to chat with other people on their friends lists without needing to go through a third-party program. Additionally, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington detailed, the service would likely be based on the Jabber open-source platform, which would mean that third-party "universal IM" clients like Pidgin, Trillian, and Adium would be able to implement it.
Facebook representatives were not … Read more
Correction: This post was updated to correct the time line of John Lilly's meeting with Jerry Yang.
I spent an hour Thursday with John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla, and Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's vice president of Engineering, and learned a few things. For one thing, I once argued that Mozilla should hire more "capitalist pigs." John's riposte Thursday was, "We have more capitalist pigs than you think."
John didn't mean that Mozilla is just another commercial open-source company. It's not. Clarifying that comment, John went on to point out that four out of its five executives are entrepreneurs. In other words, though Mozilla is tiny compared to its proprietary competition (and big by open-source project standards), Mozilla's team and community are well-architected to compete. It's not going to fall over at Microsoft's feet anytime soon.
But while competing, Mozilla is heavily focused on its customers first and its competitors second. As John indicated to me:Our question is always, how do we grow in a way that is leveraged? We always lead with the user experience and think about the money secondarily.
That user experience is starting to evolve beyond today's browsing experience. The most interesting topic discussed in our meeting was just how compelling Mozilla's Firefox will increasingly be as the platform for much that happens on the Web. Forget Facebook, MySpace, the iPhone, and other so-called platforms. Firefox could well prove to be the most disruptive Web platform on the market. Here's why.… Read more
It's easy to get caught up in the mania but as a new O'Reilly report reminds readers, only a handful of Facebook applications ever become smash hits.
Anyone who has encountered the new oddball Facebook app du jour can attest that the novelty gets old rather fast. That's because many of the ideas are insipid time sucks. At that point, you're more likely to tune out (if you haven't already hit the delete button.) Indeed, O'Reilly notes the "tendency for individual applications to grow very quickly within the first few weeks, and then … Read more
Google's OpenSocial APIs may be gaining a major new adherent this week. According to the New York Times, Yahoo is expected to join the group that includes MySpace, Plaxo, Bebo, Hi5, Orkut, LinkedIn, Six Apart, Oracle, salesforce.com and Ning, among others. In fact, Facebook is the only major social networking platform that has not joined the OpenSocial club.
OpenSocial allows applications to tap into the social graph, the network of friends and their feeds, of multiple social networks without code rewrites.
Chelsea Holden Baker, of frog design, says better planning and a different design choice could have changed the outcome during the now-infamous 2008 SXSW keynote discussion between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and reporter Sarah Lacy.
If you have any interest in South by Southwest and/or the blogosphere, then you've probably seen something on the infamous train-wreck-of-an-interview, aka the SXSW keynote discussion with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and journalist Sarah Lacy. (In this metaphor Zuckerberg is the Little Engine That Could and Lacy is the conductor that derailed the … Read more
Did Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have his "Oscar Robertson" moment this week?
Bear with me on this one for a moment.
In case you missed it, Sunday's New York Times sports section carried a wonderful first-person retrospective piece by Robertson, one of the greatest basketball guards in the history of the game. But when he played at the University of Cincinnati in the late 1950s, Robertson was anything but a household name.
That changed after he lit up Madison Square Garden for 56 points in front of the New York media. Unfortunately, the post-game news conference was … Read more