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Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Hate To Say It But Zuckerberg Was Right: Privacy And Dumbf*ckery

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When I read the Business Insider article yesterday about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calling 4,000 Harvard students ‘Dumb fucks’ for giving the 19 year old him their emails, pictures, addresses and SNS, I was taken back.

Now while it appears that I am just Facebook Cheerleading, I’m actually just trying to get to the deep facts, avoiding the ‘Zuck Is Pure Evil’ stuff which is just unhelpful. I am the guy in my social circle who gets questions about privacy and this type of thing, so I need the calm and unemotional facts… but that article made me straight up facepalm… He isn’t making it easy.

Then I thought about it.

Zuckerberg was right(ish).

Those 4,000 Harvard students gave all their details to a 19 year old kid.

Youthful narcissism aside, they gave their info to a 19 year old kid.

‘Back when Facebook started, they cared more about privacy and the user’… Facebook back then wasn’t a bank-like institution, it was a 19 year old kid at a card table in a cheap suit.

4,000 Harvard students gave that kid a massive database of info, trusting him to ‘do the right thing’. That’s dumb.

That’s fucking dumb.

Putting Zuckerberg aside, trusting any amount of information to a 19 year old kids would give me pause.

In the past, institutions use to be judged on their wealth and the white columns that adorned their buildings. That is the great power of the Internet, the leveling of the playing field. Any company can compete with the big boys. The flip side is, any person with a bit of design and coding skills can present a front, white columns and all.

But that’s the new way. Every week we here about the latest startup from our blogger of choice, trundle along at break-neck speed and pump in our details. Mostly, these are young kids in their teens or twenties. Without truly knowing them, and only trusting the coolness of the idea, we create vast databases that they control.

Early adopters, by their definition, are risk takers. If you haven’t worked that out yet, it needs to be contemplated.

We trust them to do the right thing. Privacy statements are nice, but we still are just trusting them. It’s the way this new web business models works. We have to take punts on kids. Eventually, though, one time our narcissism will come back and bite us on the ass.

Now, Facebook has a long way to go. I hope the issues are sorted and not to many people end up nuking their accounts. For a lot of people I know, Facebook was the thing that demystified the web and brought a confidence.

To have that shattered unjustly would be sad and counterproductive.

Zuckerberg may be a evil dumbfuck… but we stepped up to the card table.


Written by johnworthington

May 15th, 2010 at 6:26 am

Posted in Facebook

A Thought On Facebook Privacy

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For a long time I have been ‘Mr Facebook Guy’ to some of my friends. I was a very early adopter and have helped set up more accounts than I care to remember.

Now with all this STACKS-ON regarding Facebook privacy and sharing these days, I wonder if this is a creature of our own creation.

In setting up these accounts, one of my first questions is ALWAYS do you want to be private or let anyone see you. The answer is almost always either extreme. Only rarely am I asked for advice on different levels of privacy.

The people I know would sooner de-Friend than spend time cultivating the privacy garden.

I had experience on the weekend where a photograph was taken of a child at a birthday party. The parent was not comfortable with the photo being put on Facebook as ’strangers’ could see it. Rather than the hostess diving into the privacy settings and locking it down, the photo was just never uploaded.

So if I had to take a rough estimate, based on the people I know, only 5-10% of people would actually use all the privacy tools available to them on Facebook.

For the other 90%, it’s just slash and burn… Yet they are asked to wade waist-deep through the swamp that the 10% asked for if they want some control.

- Facebook wants everyone to be open.
- Regular users (that I know) care little and are either fully open or fully closed.
- The people who want control over every little element makes it tricky.


Written by johnworthington

May 4th, 2010 at 9:57 am

Posted in Facebook

Will Facebook have a problem iPadding pixels?

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Since joining Facebook way back in the day, I have always been curious about the pixel limit they set for photographs. At this stage, the longest edge is limited to 604 pixels. This works into their UI.

As a photographer with a lot of photos on Facebook, I have developed my own Lightroom export preset to match this limit and allow for sharpening etc. I am resigned to the fact that no picture I have on Facebook will ever be a higher resolution.

Or will it?

[UPDATED] Thanks to Facebook’s Kevin Fox for pointing me to Facebook is rolling out an update over the next few weeks that will increase the maximum pixel size to 720. This move is not retroactive. This is still short of the 1024 pixels of the iPad but is a promising move for the largest photo sharing site in the world. [/UPDATED]

With the announcement of Apple’s iPad, and the success of the Facebook app for iPhones and iPods, this has raised a question regarding pixel resolution and the full screen display of photos from said Facebook app.

Currently, the resolution of the iPhone/iPod is 480 x 320 pixels. This is fine as the Facebook app down samples the picture to meet this resolution.

The issue I see is that the reported resolution of the iPad is 1024 x 768 pixels. This would mean that the current pixel restriction of 604 pixels (longest edge) is less than half of that. This would cause the Facebook app to up sample the picture to twice it’s size.

I have produced an approximate up sample example in Photoshop to demonstrate:



This is important as I like to display and browse photos using the app’s full screen mode. The question the is: Will Facebook’s iPad app display in full screen, the 604 pixel size with black bars around the sides or does Facebook keep higher resolution copies of all photos uploaded?

Knowing the importance of the Facebook app to sales of the iPhone (it has sold more iPhones to my friends than I care to mention) this is something that should be address before the 60 days are up.


[Please note, Johnny is quite prepared to be wrong or not understand pixels. Plus correct him on Twitter @jworthington as, alas, the spam bots are pwn'ing my blog. Anti-Apple people need not apply, this is a Facebook issue]

Written by johnworthington

January 31st, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Posted in Facebook, iPhone

Tagged with , ,

You Got To Be Flocking Kidding Me

with 2 comments


I just read about This is a new service that lets you “Search for tweets from just your friends”…

Never really thought about it before but frankly, I’m stunned.

1) Twitter didn’t have this feature in the first place?
2) It’s took a third party to come up with it?

Further to this, despite Jesse Stay writing about this several days ago (Just in Time for the Holidays, FriendFeed Becomes First OAuth Wrap Provider) the news just ‘broke’ that Facebook is using FriendFeed to test it’s OAuth WRAP thingy (I don’t fully understand it yet, but it’s something about something that sounds cool… I’ll read it and come back later with an explanation).

Now I tried my hardest to find some discussion on Twitter about this but all I got was retweets of the TechCrunch article. Poor Brizzly was loading more tweets like a mad person. I found discussion on the places the tweets linked to but not inside the tweets themselves.

This, once again from my opinion, just proves to me why FriendFeed (and to some extent Facebook) is a Mack Truck of discussion and discovery… and why Twitter is still a 3 legged donkey on a unicycle.


Written by johnworthington

December 22nd, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Twitter Is DEAD, Facebook Has Won

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Twitter Is DEAD, Facebook Has Won
Did a quick poll of my friends on Facebook tonight. I went through all the people I have meet in the flesh (about 110 of them) and only 14 had Twitter accounts.
Most of the ‘normal’ people I know have knowledge of Twitter, but don’t use it or do not intend to.
They want a deep social space with pictures, fun and popular culture. They don’t want to know someone has posted new photos, they want to see them. The go one Facebook as an activity, not use a tool.
So, in my small sphere of if the world, Twitter is dead. Facebook has won.
But Johnny, look at these stats and you don’t know what… BLAH BLAH BLAH…
From what I have learnt, being a social media expert allows for lapses of logic and fact. My space may be a bath tub in a sea of fact, but why look over the sides when my the water inside my walls feels fine.
I also plan to frequently tweet how dead Twitter is, just to stab the wound and convince myself I wasn’t wrong about joining Twitter back in January 2007 and banking my reputation on it. Twitter broke my heart, so the bitch must pay.


Did a quick informal poll of my friends on Facebook tonight. I went through some the people I have meet in the flesh (about 70 of them) and only 14 had Twitter accounts.

Most of the ‘normal’ people I know have knowledge of Twitter, but don’t use it or do not intend to.

They want a deep social space with pictures, fun and popular culture. They don’t want to know someone has posted new photos, they want to see them. They go on Facebook as an activity, not use a tool.

So, in my small sphere of if the world, Twitter is dead. Facebook has won.

But Johnny, look at these stats and you don’t know what… BLAH BLAH BLAH…
From what I have learnt, being a social media expert allows for lapses of logic and fact. My space may be a bath tub in a sea of fact, but why look over the sides when my the water inside my walls feels fine.

I also plan to frequently tweet how dead Twitter is, just to stab the wound and convince myself I wasn’t wrong about joining Twitter back in January 2007 and banking my reputation on it.

Twitter broke my heart, so the bitch must pay.


Written by johnworthington

December 18th, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Posted in Facebook

Tagged with ,

FriendFeed: All The Cool Kids Are Using It… And You Wanna Be Cool, Right?

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Hi, my name is Johnny. I’m here to tell you about a social networking site so good, Facebook bought the people who designed it.

What is that service you ask? It’s called FriendFeed.

That’s right, you may have heard of us before. We have been called a rival to Twitter or Facebook etc but that’s not really the point of the site. We are a central hub, an aggregator, a Twitter client, a RSS catcher, podcasting client, photo sharing service and discussion platform… The most important part? It’s a community.

It’s at this stage I would like to speak to all of you who are Twitter Fanbois who are going to fill my inbox with things like “there are communities on Twitter” and “I can have discussions here” and “Twitter is the place to be because everyone is here”. I ask of you two things. 1) Realize that this post isn’t for you. It’s not about Twitter. You won, congrats, don’t be sore winners and 2) Send me a tweet @jworthington with the hashtag #wrongjohnny explaining your point. Only 1 tweet though. With those two elements, you have 115 characters left.

OK, let’s get down to it.

FriendFeed is great for not only aggregating your social media happenings but those of your friends.

But Johnny, my friends aren’t here… Don’t worry, we’ll come to that.
Right now you probably have close to 10 different social media sites at which you have accounts or place you content. Imagine if you could have a place that would combine all those into one visual, media rich spot.

But I already have that with Twitter and Facebook.
You may have your content importing into Twitter but let’s face it, it’s just links. FriendFeed shows your photos, audio as well as a the first section of text and images contained in your blog posts.

Johnny, I have all these tools on Twitter that I use.
Excellent point, let’s go feature-deep. What are they?

Oh crap. Well, we don’t have that exactly.

Direct Message?
Ah! We do have those. What is great about FriendFeed’s implementation of it is you can DM more than one person. You can DM yourself (puts it into your own feed), your friends and a group (which we will come to).

But how can I DM a bunch of people, doesn’t that take up message space?
No. The structure isn’t built into the message. You can DM 1 or 20 people, just like email. What is even funkier is that you can have this set up through email so you can send a receive them just like regular email. Did I mention you can post pdf, docs and other media too?

We go about this in a few ways. Firstly, you can reshare the item into your own feed. This creates a whole new item. Also, on the share screen, you can click on the quick link icons to send the message directly to that service.

But we have Likes and Comments. Now this has been confusing in the post so let me explain.

If I am subscribed to you, I not only see your content but I can see the other items you comment or like. When you like a post, it shows up in my stream with the note that you liked it.

In return, if you follow me, anything I like or comment on shows up in your stream. Now this can be overwhelming at first but if you use our hide and block tools, then it will be cool. I’ll give you a quick run down on those in a sec.


Our search will blow your mind. You know how you can search for a term or terms on Twitter? FriendFeed search lets you pick who wrote it, who commented on it, who liked it, how many comments, how many likes… on and on and on. I mean, the creators worked for Google, they don’t play around with search.

You can also set up saved searches, lots of them, and you can even have them ping you when something new comes up. You know that whole real time web thing? We were kinda in the front carriage of that roller coaster.

The great thing about FriendFeed search is when you block someone, they don’t show up in your results.


OK, so do you guys have spam?
It’s very small, but the team have given us the tools to combat people we don’t want to see.

Very powerful tool. If you block someone, they not only dissapear from your feed, along with any of thier comments, but they can no longer access you content. The same works in reverse. if someone block you, you can no longer see them. Block at your discretion, but do block if someone gets too much.

Great tool. If a post comes up that you don’t like, press hide. It disappears. Don’t like the posts that come from a certain person’s feed (like or, press hide then go to ‘hide other items like this one’ and press ‘hide all entries from that person’s service’. Don’t like a service in general, no matter the person, do the same thing but hide from everyone.

FriendFeed is a garden, and like all good gardens, require some work to get a healthy bloom.

We have those. What is cool is if you make a native FriendFeed post, the hashtag links to a search within FriendFeed. If the hashtag is imported from Twitter, the link goes to Twitter search. Nifty, right?

What’s also cool about FriendFeed is we have groups. Groups are like hashtags except they are a place where people who share a common interest can share thier content and ideas with others. The great thing is you don’t have to be subscribed to everyone in that group for them to see your stuff or for you to see thiers. You can also share your items to both a group and your main feed so both sets of people can interact on the one spot.

So, here, I have created a group called “Hi, I’m New Here“. In here you will find a cool bunch of people who are willing to help you with any questions you may have or issues etc. A lot of my friends will be here and they are all cool people. This is a good place to start looking for people to follow.

But Johnny, like I said earlier, I have friends on Twitter already who aren’t here.
This is where you get to play Early Adopter. FriendFeed has made it so easy to join FriendFeed it’s not funny. If you click here, this will take you to the signup page. Now you can log in with either your Twitter, Facebook or Gmail username. It will even find those friends already here.

Now send your Twitter friends this link and ask them to take a minute to sign up, even if they just set up the import of their content and never come back. Now you can see their tweets ‘natively’. If you comment or like any of them, your followers will be able to comment, like or response to. You can response to tweets directly from FriendFeed.

Now, let’s just say a friend doesn’t want to do this. you can set up Imaginary Friends. Grab all your friend’s feeds, chuck them into an Imaginary Friend, slap on their Twitter icon and you’re away. Now this is just your imaginary friend so any comments or likes you make won’t be seen by others.

Failing that, set them up an account, email them the username and password and tell them to pull their butt out of their head.

But now everyone is in my feed?
Now that you have friends, you can sort them into Lists (Twitter stole that from us). You have one major list, called your Home Feed. This is what you see when you log on. Now you can take people out of your main feed and put them into other lists. This will remove them from your main feed but you can still see their stuff by clicking on the list name. you can even have that person in your home feed and a number of lists. You can set notification settings for those lists to be alerted by email or IM etc.

You can set up a Favorite Tweeters list so you don’t miss anything.

About that, there is a lot of content here.
That’s what Best Of Day is for. Now it is important to state at the outset that what you see doesn’t equal FriendFeed. Clicking on BoD shows you the top posts that have been commented or liked by the people you follow. Now BoD works inside lists to.

OK, but no one is commenting or liking my stuff?
FriendFeed is really designed to find information and talk about it with others. This really isn’t a good broadcast medium. The amount of time you spend interacting on other people’s posts correlates directly to the amount of interest you get back. FriendFeed is a party, no one will talk to you if you don’t introduce yourself. We won’t bite.

We are a great community, and would love to have your contribution to the discussion. We have a wide range of interests and talents.

I could go on and on and on about features but I have given you the basics to get started. Visit the room, comment and like and introduce yourself. I am always happy to help as well as heaps of other people.

Even if you just join, pipe your feeds in and leave. We don’t mind.

We aren’t here because we’re trying to be cool. We’re here because we believe this is a great place to experience the world, together.


Written by johnworthington

November 24th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

1st Job For Mr Kevin Fox… GET ME A BIG ASS BUTTON!

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I decided to pipe this blog into Facebook. Not only couldn’t I find a place or app preloaded on my profile, it took Damond Nollan on FriendFeed to point me to Inside Facebook article on how to do it.

Turns out it’s tucked away under Notes… and not even well highlighted. Notes???

Facebook should have a BIG ASS BUTTON on the main screen that says ‘Import Your Life Stream’. How can the company that wants to be the center of your online experience not be encouraging the importation of it.

Hopefully, the ninja-fu skills of the FriendFeed team will open them up to the Fox Affordance we have come to love.


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Written by johnworthington

August 17th, 2009 at 12:07 am

Posted in Facebook, FriendFeed

Tagged with , ,