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Protecting the Stupid from Themselves

Earlier this week, the US National Labor Relations Board declared Facebook part of protected speech. Not being a lawyer of any kind, much less one focusing on employent law, the precise details make my brain ooze. Basically, if you say something negative about your boss on Facebook, and you are doing so with cworkers, you can’t get fired for that reason.

I want to protect people, but some people shouldn’t be protected from themselves.

There was a time when Facebook was a closed social network.  That was 2004.  Now we’re in 2010, when we have no shame in hiding anything because we all know the internet never forgets anything.  Even that time you wore MC Hammer pants.  You think we forgot, but Google remembers.

In the world of open online identity, ranting, whining, and bitching about real people is a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t care if you use code names or even just pronouns, it’s bound to bite you in the ass.

The best way to protect yourself is to use common sense. If you think someone can construe what you write as being negative about your work situation, don’t write it on the internet. Write it in a private journal. Talk to a friend. Complain to your cat. The internet can survive without your negativity for one day.  We already have YouTube comments.

And if you have to do something online, start searching for a new job.  It’s a much healthier way of dealing with the situation than just venting to all of us who’d rather share pictures of puppies and double rainbows.

So yeah, you may think you’re being protected, but it’s easer and better to just protect yourself by stopping and not venting online.  You’re career will thank me.

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Foursquare is F#*&ed

Foursquare is F#*&ed

R.I.P Foursquare 2009-2010

Facebook, the 500 million member gorilla the room, announced its deals feature for places last week. After I spent a shopping trip using and loving enjoying this feature, I predict Foursquare, Gowalla, and their like will not last too much longer.

When I went shopping this weekend, I remembered I heard something about a deal when you checked into the GAP on Facebook. Let me be clear: I hate Facebook, and I hate checking into places. But if I know checking in will save me a few bucks, I will totally go for it because it provides me value.

I loaded up Facebook, and suddenly I’ve got a list of stores in the mall, some with little golden tickets offering me deals when I check in. I load of the venues and I can see what the deal is before I check in. I planned the rest of my shopping trip around Facebook’s little golden tickets.

Then, when I used a coupon, Facebook posts on my wall that I got a deal. Now my friends can see that there are savings to be had, and then they’ll want them too. Pure. Fucking. Genius.

This is game, set and match. My massive list of Facebook friends just saw I saved 20% at Macy’s and H&M and are free to like and comment on that. Facebook Deals are moving to national brands quickly, something Foursquare has struggled with. Mom and Pop Stores on Foursquare or the like are probably already on Facebook, and it’s easy as hell to set up a deal. If you’ve got 500 Facebook fans, and only 40 Foursquare users, where are you going to go?

Any location based service that wants to stay alive needs to do something big, bold, and exciting. No more meaningless virtual badges. No more check-in deal guessing games. Provide real value to people. Otherwise, the foot of Mark Zuckerberg will crush every other service that tries.

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Facebook: Stop Adding Useless Features

Facebook is hosting an event on Nov. 3 to announce new mobile features. What. The. Hell. Didn’t we just have a Facebook event three weeks ago?

I’m sick of these Facebook events that don’t add anything useful to the experience. Three weeks ago we got the new group features, which have yet to prove to me any value. Whatever Facebook launches, I can already tell you it will be wrought with issues, whether from a privacy standpoint, or it just won’t launch correctly.

Facebook has a pretty decent mobile experience, at least from what I use on my iPhone. The app is clean, easy to use, and stable.  That’s really the most I can ask of any app. Here’s hoping they don’t turn it into a ad-driven hell hole like the Facebook site is now.

Even worse will be trying to watch this event. Have you ever seen Mark Zuckerberg give a presentation? It’s torture. Mark Zuckerberg has no stage presence.  It’s like watching a high school powerpoint that’s trying desperately to be Steve Jobs.  You think he’d could pay someone to give him a few lessons on how to effectively present new materials, but apparently not.

Whatever happens though, I’m not going to be lusting after any new mobile features or anything on the Facebook. I’m ready for Facebook to stop adding new features and streamline all the ones we have now.  That’s what really needs to be announced.

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Friends don’t let “friends” post crap on their…

Friends don’t let “friends” post crap on their…

Friends don’t let “friends” post crap on their wall.

You can hide it, and you can block it, but that doesn’t mean your “friends” aren’t smearing a stinking pile of crap all over your otherwise nice and pristine wall.

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The Anti-Social Media at ideaSPARK In case you missed it,…

The Anti-Social Media at ideaSPARK

In case you missed it, here’s my speech on why Facebook is evil from ideaSPARK/PechaKucha Raleigh.  Thanks to Carlee Mallard and the whole team of volunteers who helped make ideaSPARK such an awesome event. I had a lot of fun presenting this and putting it together, if only because I got to make fun of Mark Zuckerberg.

Yeah, I’m petty that way, but it feels so good.

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Everyone Predict Facebook’s Next Annoucement

Everyone Predict Facebook’s Next Annoucement

Facebook is hosting an event tomorrow. It’s curious they host it less than a week after The Social Network premiered, but there are about a hundred different things that could actually go down at this event, between recent rumors of a Facebook phone, Skype integration, or just making Facebook suck less. Still, they could also host a Salem-style witch trial of Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher.

My best guess is something to do with Places from the words “check-in.”  But really, it could be anything that further develops the social layer they’ve added to our lives.

Are public burnings going to take place?  Less privacy for everyone?  Mark Zuckerberg giving us all Facebook stock? I want your best guess.

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The Social Network Movie Review

I saw The Social Network, aka the Facebook movie.

I love movies. I watch lots of movies, and I’m probably at a movie theater every other week. I love the way a story unfolds in a good movie and I love to make fun of a bad movie. I’m known among my friends for going out of my way to see bad movies just to make fun of them. The only thing worse than a bad movie is a mediocre movie because you can’t explain how horrible it was, and at the same time, you can’t rave about how good it is.

The Social Network is a terribly mediocre movie.

The plot was dull. Horribly dull. You know what’s going to happen because we all still use Facebook, and you can read all about Zuckerberg, Saverin, the Winklevosses and their settlements online. The way the story is told and because of history, you know Zuckerberg screws everyone over.  The rest of the movie is a bunch of college kids on Facebook.  Did you need to see a bunch of college kids get on Facebook?  Have you ever watched someone use a computer?  Trust me, it’s just as exciting to see on film as you’re imagining it is.

The characters are two dimensional at best. Zuckerberg just wants to screw everyone over and work on his ideas. Saverin is moneyed but incompetent.  The Winklevosses are rich, spoiled, giants. Sorkin’s dialogue is great, but there isn’t much in the movie to show these are real people with hopes, dreams, and desires besides making money off a website.

Compare The Social Network to Zodiac, Fincher’s other film based on a true story. Zodiac is the opposite of The Social Network because the characters come alive. In Zodiac, you have a story that was never solved, and you get the feeling of exploration, mystery, and fear that grips California in the 1960’s. With The Social Network, you know where things are right now. You know Facebook is still here, and that Mark Zuckerberg is rich as hell. There isn’t any type of adventure, and the drama of litigation between rich folks isn’t dramatic.

If you want a movie that will bring down Facebook, make people hate Mark Zuckerberg, and make people question what they do online, The Social Network isn’t that movie. It isn’t even interesting from a social media perspective, and it’s not a great movie.  I’m just hoping it doesn’t get a lot of Academy Award nominations, because if it does, I don’t want to know what Inception was.

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Facebook Friends – Yes or Maybe

Facebook Friends - Yes or Maybe

Facebook added another feature nobody asked for.  Now, instead of adding or ignoring a friend request, it, You have the choice of Add or Not Now.

What was once a simple, one click process is now a four click process.  People you choose to add later go to the Hidden Requests area.  You have to go there, then click once more to remove them completely. Apparently as users, we just don’t know how to add people correctly into our virtual lives and need to wait before we add them.

What’s worse is this option has a hidden feature. If you leave someone in your hidden area, they follow your public information.  Forget to turn off Places from the public eye? They can see. Forget to privatize those status updates? They can see.

This isn’t any different from someone just pulling up your profile and seeing what you have public, but it makes it easier for them to see whats happening in realtime, as opposed to having to refresh the page over and over. As always, check your privacy settings and make sure you’re comfortable with people stalking you from the hidden folder.

Still, what was wrong with the old option?  Why did a yes or no question have to become a yes or maybe question?

If Facebook ever adds a useful feature, someone let me know.

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