MANCHESTER, N.H.--It sounded like a good idea at first: let Internet users be part of, virtually speaking, the Democratic and Republican presidential debates on Saturday evening by posting comments on a special Facebook message board.
But it turned out to be one of those ideas that may be better in theory than in practice. During the East coast broadcast of the debates, Facebook users posted around 35,000 "Soundboard" messages, meaning that at perhaps 50 characters each, that's some 1.75 million characters to read during an approximately three-hour period. All of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, by contrast, is only 700,000 characters.
To read all those messages, at 20 per page, you'd have to refresh your browser's screen 1,750 times. That's not even counting comments posted by west coast Facebook users (Facebook, which co-sponsored the debate here with ABC News, said the west coast figures were not yet available).
No doubt, the political twitterers must've felt empowered to know their Soundboard comments were being beamed out to an audience of potentially millions of Facebook users, and, if plucked by ABC's designated Facebook-monitoring reporter on TV, millions of offline viewers as well.
Still, it's a little unclear whether the comments will prove all that useful for campaigns looking to boost their candidates' standing.
On Thursday, security vendor Fortinet warned Facebook users that a popular new widget also installed Zango, software that has been labeled by some antivirus vendors as spyware. The Facebook widget, Secret Crush, promises to reveal who has a secret crush on them, and requires the user to add it to their site. Upon doing so, Fortinet says the Zango software also piggybacks in the installation without notification.
Previously, MySpace users were tricked into downloading video from a site called YooTube, which also attempted to install the Zango Cash program.
A data import feature being tested by contact management site Plaxo hasn't gone over too well with social network Facebook.
At least one alpha tester of the new script has had his Facebook account disabled, due to an alleged terms-of-service violation that brings to light the sticky debate over just how "open" the social Web is--and ideally should be.
The controversy hit the Web when popular blogger and former Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble--who once gained notoriety when he publicly complained that Facebook wouldn't allow his friends list to surpass 5,000 people--posted a blog entry that … Read more
NASHUA, N.H.--First it was Google co-sponsoring two YouTube presidential debates with CNN. And now it's Facebook co-sponsoring debates Saturday here in New Hampshire.
But while the YouTube/CNN debates were relatively inclusive, this week's Facebook/WMUR/ABC debates will be relatively exclusive. The reason for that is that a slew of candidates likely will be barred from participating, including Sen. Joe Biden, Sen. Chris Dodd, former Sen. Mike Gravel, Rep. Duncan Hunter, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
As the primary season continues, some winnowing of the field is inevitable, of course. Rep. Tom Tancredo, former Gov. Tom … Read more
With everyone becoming a producer in the YouTube age, self-branding ("The Brand Called You") has evolved from a fancy to a necessity.
Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame have shrunk to 5 seconds of microfame, and in the contained public arena of social networks, amateur paparazzi--thanks to the viral nature of social media--have the power to grant celebrity status. That, in a nutshell, is the thesis of Clive Thompson's poignant piece for Wired on the rise of "microcelebrities."
As Facebook walls make personal communications open to the rest of your trusted network, even your … Read more
I've been writing (parent.thesis) for about six months now, and the New Year seems like a good time to reflect on the themes that have developed. I love technology, and at the same time, I am cautious when it comes to kids and tech. Here are the three issues that are really bugging me right now:
Disconnect between product design and online safety Commercialization of kids online Information control, privacy, and data mining
During this past year, a number of oddities emerged in the world of tech. First, Microsoft was forced to live through an unbridled flop, Apple was enjoying its meteoric rise as the most successful company of the year and social networks gained even more steam. On the back of that, the world's favorite social network, MySpace, quickly gave ground to Facebook and companies like the ill-fated Netscape tried to take on Digg.
And it's that site -- Digg.com -- that emerged this year, not necessarily as the most popular social site (it's tough to call it a full-fledged social networking company in the vein of a Facebook or MySpace), but as the best destination for people surfing the Web.
Don't believe me? Let's take a look at some other social networking sites to see why they couldn't make the cut.… Read more
Ross Mason sent this on to me. It's clear that Facebook has a bright future ahead of it...perhaps as part of Medicaid?
Click the link. Trust me. Very funny.
I had heard there was a 5k friend limit on Facebook. I just didn't take it to heart. Until I reached 5k and tried to add 5001., at which point FB reminded of the limit.
It was a weird moment, but actually one that I have come to respect and appreciate. Facebook went from being a way to broadcast information to 5k people, probably 4k of which I didn't know or even have a business link to, to a platform I either had to take seriously or walk away from.
I try to have open lines of communications … Read more