The New York Times has an insightful (and funny) article on the secret of Facebook's success. Facebook's increasingly open platform lets in a wide range of applications. However, if you've spent more than a few seconds on Facebook, you know that all that glitters is not gold. It's not even copper:So far, though, the applications fall mainly into two categories: the silly and the annoying (and sometimes, both). Users can throw virtual sheep at each other or take part in zombie attacks on their friends. Recently, many users received a message entreating them to "… Read more
"I'll go on a hunger strike!"
So said one adamant Facebook user in the wake of the news that game manufacturers Hasbro and Mattel were trying to do something about the wildly popular, unquestionably addictive online game known as Scrabulous.
The game, which rose to fame when its creators turned it into an embeddable Facebook application, is a word game that's a whole lot like the classic board game Scrabble. It uses a playing board with "bonus" spots just like Scrabble. In fact, the rules are identical to Scrabble's.
The companies in charge … Read more
This post was updated at 9:11 a.m. PST with comment from Nick Denton.
Facebook isn't too happy with Gawker Media founder Nick Denton over some screenshots of a member's profile that he posted on Gawker.com on Tuesday, Portfolio.com reports. The social-networking site reportedly plans to send a warning letter to the New York-based digital-media entrepreneur citing several terms-of-service violations--one more, and he's out.
Facebook representatives were not immediately available for comment.
On Tuesday, Denton--who took over as managing editor of Gawker.com this month after several staff departures--posted a bit of an expose … Read more
A trio of German entrepreneurs-turned-investors may have invested in Facebook, TechCrunch wrote Tuesday.
The European Founders Fund, consisting of thirtysomething brothers Alexander, Marc and Oliver Samwer, has reportedly put out a "very brief press release" explaining that they have invested in the Palo Alto, Calif.-based social-networking site. An exact amount was not disclosed.
The investment firm was not immediately available for comment.
It's no secret that Facebook has been hunting for new investors ever since it was pegged with a whopping $15 billion valuation following Microsoft's famous purchase of a $240 million stake. Some of … Read more
I've been writing about parenting and technology long enough for themes to begin to emerge. Like Lou Dobbs talking again and again about the "War on the Middle Class," I am going to keep following the evolving story about kids and online safety, and supporting the idea that "Safe Product Design is Good Product Design."
Monday's announcement that MySpace has unveiled a new safety plan, working in cooperation with 49 attorneys general, is a step in the right direction. However, it did draw the predictable criticism epitomized by this reader comment on The Social blog:
A Novel Idea...: reader comment from jltnol Posted on: January 14, 2008, 2:24 PM PST Story: MySpace agrees to social-networking safety plan
Why can't parents just do what the [sic] are supposed to do? Part of parenting is knowing what your kids are up to all the time.
If you can't do it then hire a baby sitter who can.
You need a license to drive and a license to fish, but anybody can have a child.
Wonderful! Another chance to hone my argument against such an unrealistic point of view. This is like saying, "You had a kid, so it's your job to drive safely. Why should car makers have to provide seat belts and antilock brakes? If you don't like it, don't drive at all."
Parents can't know exactly what their kids are up to at all times, especially when the category "kids" includes teenagers. In fact, I bet that if I told you that I maintained absolute surveillance on a 15-year-old at all times, you'd think I was a paranoid, hyperinvolved parent.… Read more
This is sort of handy: OutSync is an app that will compare your Outlook and your Facebook address books, and then take the photos of people you know in Facebook who are also in Outlook, and copy them into your Outlook contacts.
It gets really cool if you use a Windows Mobile phone to connect to your Exchange server, because once it syncs the address book, the photos will then show up when people call you.
I'm not completely sure this app honors Facebook's terms of service, but it seems pretty innocuous. And it only applies to people … Read more
UPDATED: January 14, 2008 5:30pm The book isn't actually available until May! Web 3.0 and 4.0 should be in flight by then.
My pal Sarah Lacy's book about Web 2.0 "Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0" is now on sale on Amazon.com. I have been giving her grief about the stupidity of Web 2.0 since she has been writing this magic tome, but I have to offer my sincere congratulations to her for cranking this sucker … Read more
That noise you just heard was the sound of several hundred thousand procrastination-happy Facebook users gasping in panic.
Josh Quittner at Fortune reports that Hasbro, manufacturer of the timeless board game Scrabble, is trying to shut down Scrabulous, an unauthorized electronic version of Scrabble that has gained a rabid following on Facebook. The reasons are obvious: licensing. Scrabulous profits from advertising revenue. Hasbro, citing infringement, wants to see it scrapped.
There's no online version of Scrabble, but as Quittner notes, electronic rights to the game belong to video game manufacturer Electronic Arts. One of Scrabulous' creators confirmed to Quittner … Read more