Thursday, May 06, 2010
If Microsoft was running Iphone's AppStore instead of Apple, how would you and the antitrust bodies react?
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Step by step: Get your privacy back on Facebook - Updated with the latest April 28th 2010 change with "Instant Personalization" and "Friends, Tags and Connections" menu
Update 29/04/2010: Facebook has just changed AGAIN the privacy settings. I'm not talking about the Instant Personalization option which was rolled in April 21st, but a slight change in the privacy menu http://bit.ly/facebookprivacymenu and specifically with the new sub-menu Friends Tags and connections. I will try to change later the screenshots to reflect that change.
I guess you have been on Facebook for a while now, and you've seen the change in Facebook's privacy settings in February and December 2009. Now with the release of the OpenGraph things are changing again.
I am making this post specifically because of 2 persons who are not the least tech-savvy, but who ran into trouble by letting there previous (pre-2008) privacy settings stay the same for the last 3 years. After sending them the following screenshot, I thought it may apply to other people as it's probably clearer than my previous post.
Hopefully, in the 6 following steps, you'll get the Facebook YOU want it to be and not Zuckerberg & Co's "open" community (open, as in show your whole life publicly no matter your previous privacy settings). So here you go!
1. First today's "magical and revolutionary product", the "Instant personalization" "feature":
Instant personalization allows other websites to access your profile. If you want to cancel that function here is what you should do, go to http://bit.ly/instantpersonalization and uncheck the box.
2. Applications & Websites privacy option:
Indeed, if you read what's written at the bottom of that page it says:
Please keep in mind that if you opt out, your friends may still share public Facebook information about you to personalize their experience on these partner sites unless you block the application.So go to this page http://bit.ly/applicationswebsites and uncheck all the boxes about the informations that you don't want other websites to know about you, because if a friend of you goes to this website, it can store the following information about you.
3. The general privacy settings:
Now the funny part that changed in December 2009, if you haven't changed your privacy settings since then, you probably have them "reset" to the state bellow, that's what happenned to my brother and sudenly he had his whole profile open to the world to see.
When you work long hours in a highly demanding job, you don't have the time to tweak your profile every now and then, and that's something that Facebook does not (want to) understand. So here are the changes that should be made in order to get a little bit of your privacy back http://bit.ly/privacypersonal :
4. The search settings:
Now that you have done that you should also think about who do you want to be able to find you on facebook and on Google (or other search engine). Do you really want the HR department of that shiny new firm that you applied to be able to check your "background"? Do you want to be found by random people on Facebook or other colleagues and then to have to exaplain why you did not want to add them? You cannot run all the time on the famous sentence "oh, I don't check my Facebook very often, I forgot to accept your friend request" or another one of the same flavor, so go to http://bit.ly/searchprivacy :
By default Facebook wants everyone to find you and enjoy "socializing" with you:
5. Your friends list:
You should also change how your friend list is displayed to your friends/friend of friends/Everyone as follow: Update: it's now in the following 6. section that you can change this settings
6. Update on April 29th: The new Friends, Tags and Connections Privacy sub-menu:
Here is the latest in Facebook "get back to default i.e Everyone" privacy settings... I'm really thinking about switching my Master's studies to get a degree in a "Master's in Facebook & Social Media"! ;)
So here is the new default settings that I just saw this morning in the new Friends, Tags and Connections Facebook settings that controls the tags you get and the new "like" button on partners websites http://bit.ly/friendstags:
Here you go! I'm not sure that I covered everything, I just hope that you'll take advantage of this tweaks and that you'll follow this posts for future updates regarding Facebook's privacy! Actually I really think I should do a "Master's in Facebook" (perhaps from University of Phoenix! ;) or create a dedicated website for this crazy ever-changing privacy settings, layouts, Terms Of Services etc...
Please just take the time to share this page to make sure people know more about how your seemingly innocent activites on Facebook can have a huge impact on your life (professional & personal) and that you have the tools to make sure you "control" to a certain extent what goes on your behalf on Facebook and the web in general...
PS: feel free to tell me if I forgot anything, Facebook's privacy is getting harder and harder to crawl through....
PPS: sorry for the mess, the post was created on April 21st, then posted and updated on the 29th.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Facebook does not allow to create protest pages against the New Facebook Open Graph and Like's identity usage online
Facebook acts like a totalitarian state ;) It does not allow to create a page entitled "DON'T LET FACEBOOK OWN YOUR IDENTITY ONLINE"! Yes, it's not a joke!
I really don't know what to think. I posted a couple of thoughts about what was going on since yesterday and was thinking about writing a blog post later to clarify my thoughts, but I had to post this first: Try to create a COMMUNITY which is by essence a NON-OFFICIAL page as stated by Facebook:
Community Page: Generate support for your favorite cause or topic by creating a Community Page.What does this mean? If my favorite topic is "I love Obama" or "I hate Obama" it's ok, right? Indeed it's ok for Obama lovers/haters.
But it does not go this way for Facebook!!!!
Try to create a Community with the topic: "DON'T LET FACEBOOK OWN YOUR IDENTITY ONLINE".
You'll get the following message:
"Our automated system will not approve the name "DON'T LET FACEBOOK OWN YOUR IDENTITY ONLINE" because it contains a word or phrase that is blocked to prevent the creation of unofficial or otherwise prohibited Pages. If you believe this is an error, please contact our Customer Support team."
Sorry Facebook, but that's a cause and a topic, so for me it deserves to be seen as a community page.
I see what you could say: it's Facebook's brand so it might be a breach of trademark or whatever, and even if for ages we were able to see pages like "I love X brand" or "I have Y brand", today is the day where it's not permitted anymore.
Well, you are right, and even if it feels weird as the community page is clearly to support a cause/subject/topic or whatever as a community, I would understand that. So I ran a little experiment. What other brands are as mainstream as Facebook today? Nike, Microsoft, Cisco, ExxonMobile, Maroc Telecom (lol), Apple, Amazon, Marrakech (that would almost be a brand;) etc... But what main brand is also sometimes associated with "evil" and online identity super-ownership? Google of course! I'd let you run the test aswell by creating the same page for Google and see what goes on...
Ok, you might be lazy! So I did it for you for a couple of brands, and you guessed it right (otherwise I wouldn't be writing that), it passed the "automated system". Proof in picture bellow:
As I side note, I was able to create the following page: DON'T LET FACEB00K OWN YOU & YOUR IDENTITY ONLINE http://www.facebook.com/privacynow.
Finally, a little piece of advice, If you want to CHOSE if whether you want to opt-out or opt-in into the new Facebook social-web's scheme check your privacy settings at www.bit.ly/facebookoptout and uncheck or check the last box.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
But I think that the good strategic move here is by not playing the "big-launch" game, Google is smart by letting Google Buzz be more like an "app" service to its already pretty large plateform (starting with Gmail, but who knows where it will stop: Blogger, wave, google maps, Reader etc...) instead of a new plateform (like all the other Twitter wanna-be that lost ground and had to change like Tumblr, or one from Northern-Europe that was bought by Google I while ago I think). It is just like an extension of the already wide services that Google offers and may lead to a seamless adoption of the service, while a big "tada" launch might have made people think too much about adopting or not the service.
It uses the already pretty wide user-base and delivers slightly a well differentiated approach (Porter would love to hear that!;) where the service mixes the "large spectrum" possibility of Twitter with the the narrow-tweaking of privacy and reach of Facebook, and with an added layer of media interaction that Twitter too often makes it hard (read more-clicks) to use even with all the tools that uses its api, it's still not for the average user who just want to share a couple of thoughts/advices/comments and links/pictures/video (I might look like bellow-average as I almost never use any picture/video/data sharing web services).
I think the two main challenges would be:
1. retaining the control on the user-experience without giving away the flexibilty brought by apis for added layers of web-services built upon Google Buzz without being a plain plateform very slow to move but that lets people do whatever they want with the api. Not in an Apple-Store-style-I-control-everything service, nor in a Windows-Mobile-free-for-all type (before Marketplace but even then...), perhaps more in the style of the Android plateform with a balance between control and freedom.
2. keeping the differentiation approach strategy, perhaps by keeping a more personal flavor to the service more in line with the 2005 Facebook's era, and giving a good control over the balance of private/public life.
What other challenges would they have, beside the obvious entry-barrier that Twitter and Facebook have set to the "personal-social-sharing" services?
Monday, February 01, 2010
The iPad: a little too hyped for what it is... & The JooJoo: the first full cloud computing experience...if only software/services providers follow....
I'm not a big fan of the closed system of apple, but there is one thing they know how-to do is the media attention. It really amazes me when i see big names like OM Malik saying that the Ipad is going to kill anything else (Kindle, HP Slate or whatever), because that leads to self-fulfilling prophecy. And the analysts are not supposed to do that I guess, because the kinds of OM are not financial analysts, they built their fame on the analysis of gizmos etc... so their loyal fan base kinda trust them. I understand from a financial point of view that probably the Ipad is going to kill whatever is on its way, just like the iPhone did it for Nokia which still needs to give a real direction for the open-sourced (now) Symbian, but that's only because of the sex appeal (and form-design & accessories microcosm) of Apple and any "i"-stuff they bring to the market. Common guys, even the big media houses seemed so thrilled about the device, we saw it all over TV. I mean, I watch TV perhaps 20min a day, and I was able to have a glimpse of it.
For me that really leads to misinformation. Let me explain, if mainstream media wants to talk about technology and gizmos, fine. But to publish only one side is really a bias that should be. Have you heard about the slate? What does the Ipad do that really deserves that kind of attention compared to say the joojoo or the slate? Apps? Ok with more that a hundred-thousand apps already compatible (or with a minor reprogramming tweak), it's obvious that soon you will be able to buy the iKitchen accessory that will let you hang your ipad on the oven with your favorite receipt on while you are cooking, then turn it and watch the latest clip on Haïti, or on Michael Jackson while you are waiting....that's true! But still, you see the Ipad on TV and the guys there don't even say that there is any competition out there?? Wtf? Really, no other device? Really, they even quote Steve Jobs marketing b.s. (and I'm not an apple hater) by calling it a "magical (?) and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price"...waw!!! Apple does not need any advertisement fund anymore, they got it free! Don't let me start on the "magical" harry-potter-ish statement....
Everyone is talking about the 140 000 or so apps that are compatible with the Ipad. That's true and obvious. But, Joojoo might be on the verge of bringing a whole new internet experience through digging deap inside Macromedia Flash and all the cloud-hosted apps. That's funny how everyone is calling that device dead or so with no added value (well for the price I would agree, but the Ipad would probably bring the price down now that we know the market price of the "high-end" tablet). That's unfortunate that they do not have the name/money of some, and if I were Adobe, I would really support the initiative to counter HTML5's video support and Apple claim that Flash is "dead" in a a way by not supporting it for the last 3 years on its Iphone/Ipod touch. There would be a real win-win deal there: Joojoo gets the media/investors attention after Mike Arrington chocked on the deal, and Adobe would get a technology showroom for flash....and....why not think big: get their own Adobe AppStore (is there any on the web? please enlighten me)! That's the deal today, no? We saw Nokia sinking because they changed the OS Software only when the hardware changed leaving people looking for apps all over the web just to realize they were incompatible, and Ovi is really a "too-late-with-no-added-value innovation" to really bring something to the table.
So, imagine that:
1. Adobe funding and bringing the attention on the Joojoo.
2. Adobe hosting a flash app-store.
3. Finding a solution for data retention of the flash apps on the cloud (and not only the social-media services that are already doing that).
4. Having a real OS with Google-gears style local on-device data retention for all the apps.
5. Calling me a say thanks! ;)
I do believe that this is a killer/not seen yet combination of device and cloud computing (let me know if I'm wrong, I study pretty hard, so no time to stay aware about all what's going on the web2.o stuff). It could really be the first full cloud computing experience with a usable local aspect, just like you have to sync your Iphone with your computer every now and then to get, you would synchronize your Joojoo Tablet/Slate with the cloud when you are back home/at the office/at a friend's house/at a starbucks etc...
And just to finish: hey Adobe, if you don't do a bold move like that, you'll keep losing market share for you flash format toward html5 (I mean less sales of Adobe flash CS, and more of Dreamweaver CS!;) or you'll keep wooing Apple to get it adopted on Iphone/Ipad platform until perhaps one day it will. But just a hint: do you remember the floppy disk on the first i-macs, Apple never put a player on them even with all the controversy....
Well, that's only my 2 cents, what about yours?