Facebook

Why Facebook's success is bad for us.

You probably see people using Facebook at your library and wonder why they aren't out looking for jobs. The answer is, unfortunately, that Facebook is their job.

Facebook's success is a symptom of the poor world economy. When people have no money to spend on actual products, they find other ways to spend their time.

And Facebook is current destination for time-wasting. Everyone laughed when Betty White hosted SNL and said that Facebook was a huge waste of time, but nobody made that connection to the economy and said, "Hey, Facebook is really popular because people are out of work." Everyone just laughed at Betty's funny. And no one even wondered at how bad the economy must be that an 88-year-old woman still needs to work to pay for food.

And our free time is what makes Facebook worth any money at all. The company produces nothing. We see ads and that is what generates the most revenue. But the users produce 99.9% the content.

As long as Facebook succeeds, the recession will continue. So long as we are wasting time on it, we are not being paid to work. We give our labors away for free. To make Facebook rich.

I think someone should demand a salary for all this time spent making Facebook look good.

I don't know how many employees Facebook has on its books, officially, but there are 500 million names that need entering. And paid at least $8.50 an hour. And given health insurance. And dental. -- Read More

How to get your name in the paper.

First. Be clever. But more importantly, be clever in a way that the reporter wants. How do you know what she wants? You don't. So be clever, and lucky, and maybe you'll get your name in the paper.

Back in May, I saw that USA Today had a request for story ideas called "status envy" on how people can post more interesting items on their Facebook and Twitter pages. I emailed this:

When you leave people out of the loop by posting, "now that's what I'm talking about" without letting us know what the hell you're talking about.
Or using microblog slang that I don't understand; or just posting, "watching House." Although "watching White House" might be interesting; or "watching Obama in White House from crawlspace in ceiling" would be really interesting.

and later that day, I had this message from their reporter:

Hello, thanks for message! I'm the reporter working on the Status Envy story and would like to use some of this - can I call you to confirm it's from you and get your details (age, occupation, town you live in, etc.)? If so, please call or email me your contact number.
Thanks much!
USA TODAY

I didn't believe she was an actual reporter; but phone calls are cheap, so I called her back. Now, here comes the interesting part:

She asked me how old I was, and when I told her just how ancient, she followed with, "Oh, then you're new to all this social networking stuff?" -- Read More

Why am I still on Facebook?

I just saw a news story that says Facebook actively blocks users with unsual names. So how does the effing librarian get to keep his account when Alicia Istanbul lost hers?

I'm kind of offended that my fake name isn't fake enough to alert Facebook's name goons. My fake first name is Effing and my fake last name is Librarian; is there a country where that's common?

I just feel sorry for the real people who need to prove they exist when I and Seymour Butts and I.P. Freely seem to get a free pass.

The search for the next big thing

For those unfamiliar with the library field, librarians have a strange relationship with technology. On one hand, the library field has been quick to follow new trends of audio and video technologies. Even as we speak, my library is moving towards Blu Ray and expanding web based technologies such as eBooks and downloadable content such as movies and mp3s. We are working on bringing the library and the patron closer together through the internet with an online calendar, databases, and other remotely accessed sources.

On the other hand, it wasn't long ago that libraries were playing catchup to one of the biggest technologies, the internet. When the internet was emerging as a means for global communication, the majority of libraries balked at the addition of computers. Books, it was said at the time, was the main mission of the library. The internet was something that fell outside of that mission. Eventually, obviously, the massive amount of information exchange was too much to ignore. The internet rewrote the mission of the library in terms of the mediums that it could be expressed in. Combined with the linking of broadband communication networks and global information resources, literally a world of knowledge was brought to the simplest library setup. -- Read More

A New Type Of Identity Theft in 2009

Today in 2009 a new bunch of identity thieves will soon come after your web profiles. Aladdin a security firm has produced their security report.. According to their report, if you don't own and control your online persona, it's relatively easy for a anyone to aggregate the known public information about you in order to create a fake one.
Those Without Social Network Profiles Could Have Online Identities Stolen
This new type of identity theft was listed among other predictions for 2009 in the firm's annual report and was based on previous trends which included a rise in attacks distributed through social networking channels.
According to the report this new type of identity theft will be "devastating, both on the personal level by creating difficulties in employment, damaging social and professional connections, ruining reputations; as well as on a financial level, such as stealing customers, corporate data,"
The team at Aladdin was able to set up fake online identities which ended up connecting to the real network of friends and acquaintances easily.
What began as a harmless "fun" way to socialize, grew into a professional way to maintain someone's network and make new connections, the report notes. Unfortunately, this new type of identity theft, aka "identity hijacking," will become more of an issue in 2009 unless social networking sites create ideas that will incorporate better, more trustworthy ways of connecting an online persona to a real person. -- Read More

Second Life vs. Facebook

Okay, may I first say that I'm having a heck of a time figuring out how to blog on this site. Any guidance would be great! I'm tired of doing weird things in order to get to the post link...help!

Now onto Second Life avatars on Facebook. I find this really interesting. Apparently, Facebook is banning anyone they suspect of not using their real names! This is unfortunate because it has actually led them to ban people with unusual, but real, names. What shot do I have? I first read about this issue in the Reuters/Second Life Blog, but the full story can be found at the Sydney Morning Herald site. Basically, if you aren't yourself on Facebook, you are banned. If you want to remove the ban, you have to go through all sorts of trouble (i.e. documents proving your identity) in order to come back. I think this is ridiculous. I admit that I've never cared for Facebook as much as other sites...I find the look less...clean. Less organized. But this latest thing irritates me. As someone with a unique name, I would be pretty annoyed if they decided I wasn't "real." If I don't want my real picture on there, but a picture of my avatar...is that going to count against me? Whatever happened to freedom of expression? -- Read More

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