Likes Mean Nothing

Facebook Data describes what actually makes people more open and connected.

In particular, sending and receiving composed communication (something that has substantive content and takes time to write, like a comment, message, or post on a friend’s Timeline) is associated with improvements in relationship closeness (aka “tie strength”) over time. Relationships don’t change, however, through one-click communication like Likes and Pokes.

They note that Facebook helps you maintain ties to people you’ve just met, particularly to couples now married.

The Burden of Likes

The Washington Post reports on Facebook fatigue.

Everyone complaining about News Feed being bloated may as well be saying “Oh, why aren’t these people talking about what I find interesting and important? All they talk about is what THEY find interesting and important!”

What is that thing that Dennis Miller said? “There’s nothing more important to me than my orgasm and nothing less important to me than your orgasm.”

You can make your News Feed what you want. All those boring updates you see? You’re the one who invited them in.

But I will agree with this:

…not only are some Facebook users unhappy with the information overload — a significant proportion don’t like how the service makes them feel obligated to engage in the same sort of oversharing.

I think this is the behavior FB has encouraged over the years and it’s gotten them into a mess. Now they believe that pretty iPhone apps are going to change it.

“Twitter IPO: Why the Rest of America Doesn’t Care”

But it’s not just that Twitter is small and unprofitable. The truth is that few people here in the States actually use the thing. The social network remains a niche product, beloved by journalists, celebrities, and a hard core of miscellaneous obsessive users — but few others.

Unlike Facebook, it’s not a ubiquitous online utility, and you’re not going to find grandma on there.

That’s part of why I actually prefer Twitter. But the problem is that almost nobody I know in real life is on it, or they started accounts and abandoned them.

This 15-year old girl figured it out

“I like Tumblr because I don’t have to present a specific or false image of myself and I don’t have to interact with people I don’t necessarily want to talk to,” one 15-year-old girl said.  

I wonder if blogging is about to get its second wind.

Also this deep thought.

Facebook is the living dead: the most popular, least relevant social network where teenagers and adults alike gather out of fear of missing out on things that don’t even make them happy.


Twitter’s music app is launching today.

I hope that Twitter and #music are separate ecosystems. Just because I like someone’s musical tastes doesn’t mean I’ll like what they tweet. And just because I like someone’s tweets doesn’t mean I’ll like their musical tastes. On the other hand, nearly every social music service uses Twitter as a way to find other people to follow.

Also Twitter is working with iTunes, Rdio, and Spotify. Compare with This Is My Jam, which uses Hype Machine, Grooveshark, and Youtube.

“How I Became A Creepy Old Man”

The thing I like about this story is that I think it happens to a lot of people.

For example, my mom is now on Facebook. She’s been wanting to see all the photos her family posts. That’s really the only thing she’s interested in: photos.

I helped her create an account. Now, since she’s new, when she uses her account there are constant “do you know these people?” messages. Facebook is encouraging her to add people to her friends lists. BUT, I explained, just because you know someone does not mean you want them as your Facebook friend.

I suspect that many unwelcome friend requests are a result of Facebook prodding users to add everybody they’ve ever met, including your coworker’s 14-year old daughter.


On narcissistic personality disorders stemming from social media use:

Lynne Malcolm: Do you notice people posting on Facebook that are just so obsessed with themselves?

Emily Jacobs: Definitely, if not themselves it’s where they are going and what they are doing. I have noticed a few people who will post something at every location they’re at and post lots, and lots, and lots of photos either of themselves or with other people but they always seem to be social 24/7 when obviously you realise they are not like that. But when they portray this you know online personality of being a very social person and yeah, somebody really into themselves and wants to promote themselves I suppose and you notice—oh, they’re having some fun but you just not sure about how much they promoting themselves.

I’ve been coming around to the idea that the people who are always posting about themselves, their menial accomplishments, their latest meals, their check-ins at restaurants, aren’t completely to blame for this problem. I think they are actively encouraged to post these kinds of thing and this is the backlash.

The Original Wall

Steve Burge:

I always cringe when seeing people try to build an open source rival to Facebook. Projects like Diaspora gain publicity as a nice idea, but get little real traction.

However, I’ve come to believe that there is a potentially viable and very real open source rival to Facebook … WordPress.

That might sound silly at first, but hear me out:

Burge goes into how Automattic could provide unified identity across sites. I’m not so crazy about that, but I do agree that WordPress, and by extension blogs, are the original Facebook Wall.

The difference is that somehow blogging got mixed in with something people do in their mom’s basements. Meanwhile, attention-whoring on Facebook became socially acceptable.

I used to think that mindless updates on Facebook were a problem with its users, not Facebook, but I started doubting that when I began to see the constant pestering from the site to its users: UPDATE YOUR STATUS! LIKE PEPSI! TAG THIS PICTURE WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW! UPLOAD YER PHOTOS—WE NEED YOU TO UPLOAD MORE PHOTOS! RSVP TO THESE EVENTS! YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TO GO!

Facebook’s stated goal is to “make the world more open and connected”, but in order to do that they’ve been playing this psychological trick, resorting to putting you on a mission to let everyone know about the most important person in the world.


“These people are weird”

Bob Hoffman’s skepticism on Social Media marketing:

Yes, I know there are examples of brands that have been successful with “conversational” social media strategies. We always hear about them. We never hear about the thousands of failures.

Yes, I also know there are people who are unaccountably fond of a particular brand of mayonnaise and want to have a conversation with the marketer about it. But let’s be honest here. These people are weird.

I’ve got a few of those people in my sidebar.

Danah Boyd’s “The Power of Fear in Networked Publics”

On living your life in radical transparency and Oliver Sipple:

The practice of ‘outing’ for a cause is not new. As a part of the queer rights movement, many queer folks believed that publicly outing closeted LGBT individuals would help the movement. I would argue that this practice is quite fraught. Consider the highly publicized case of Oliver Sipple. Sipple was well known in the gay community, but he was not public about his sexuality. In 1975, a woman attempted to assassinate U.S. President Ford; Sipple’s marine training prepared him to recognize the situation for what it was. He lunged at her as she was shooting and she missed. The media immediately portrayed him as a hero. He asked that the media not make reference to his sexuality, but Harvey Milk – a prominent gay activist – chose to out him to the press. He wanted the public to know that gay people could do heroic things too.

The impact on Sipple was devastating. The White House put distance from him; his family rejected him. He sued the newspaper for invasion of privacy. Meanwhile, he fell apart. He drank profusely, gained massive amounts of weight, and became paranoid and suicidal. He was reported to have talked about regretting his act of heroism. He died at the age of 47.

Facebook Page Admins can remove Facebook Page Admins

I wish there were one admin and then you could have a team of authors, like on a WordPress blog. Instead, Facebook gives every administrator the same rights, so admins could remove each other.

Hypothetically, say you manage your company’s Facebook page and assign others as administrators. Then say so and so gets fired. You’d have to be really quick to remove them as an administrator before they remove you and trash your company’s brand as payback.