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Facebook and the "Social Graph" 200

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the enough-with-the-farmville dept.
itwbennett writes "Peter Smith is blogging about day 1 of the Facebook F8 conference and Mark Zuckerberg's vision for Facebook, which, as it turns out, is somewhat confusing: 'Zuckerberg clearly sees Facebook as a service. Facebook Connect (the name) is going away and being replaced by the Facebook Platform. "Share on Facebook" buttons are being replaced with "Like on Facebook" buttons. And Comcast is now called Xfinity. ... What does it all mean to the end user? There's a new API to fetch data from Facebook more easily, which sounds great, if only I could figure out why I'd want to do that. The overall tone of the keynote was that Facebook was serious business and they were going to build the Social Graph, a vast network of connections between people and the things they like. Zuckerberg was a man with a mission.'"
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Facebook and the "Social Graph"

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  • Facebook (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kyrio (1091003)

    is for chumps. I don't understand how people can give away ALL of their information like that.

    • Re:Facebook (Score:4, Insightful)

      by zero.kalvin (1231372) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @10:52AM (#31939566)
      Because we are social. We need social contact. If being social means having a profile on facebook so you'd connect with your friends, most people(whether they know the risks or not) will have one.
      • Re:Facebook (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @10:59AM (#31939698)

        Because we are social. We need social contact. If being social means having a profile on facebook so you'd connect with your friends, most people(whether they know the risks or not) will have one.

        That's not real contact, though. It's a one way broadcast contact.

        It's one thing to keep up with distant friends - it's a hell of a lot cheaper than phone calls, but in many cases it's a replacement for in person contact - even if folks are local. Sure, there are folks who use it to say "Hey, I'm at Joe's Tavern tonight, come and join me!" but others?

        Facebook is pseudo social contact and I think it's actually making us more isolated as a people. We evolved to communicate one on one - not via a computer terminal.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by icebraining (1313345)

          We evolved to communicate one on one - not via a computer terminal.

          Wrong. Evolution has no "purpose". Fixed: Those who were more predisposed to communicate one to one survived better.
          Eventually, those who can communicate better in Social Networks may have better lives and consequentially they may dictate the human race evolution pattern.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by tophermeyer (1573841)

            I think the point was that to date we have spent millions of years evolving to maximize our face to face social interactions. The relatively instant replacement of that with "social networks" is not something that we have evolved to cope with, and so has a disruptive effect on our lives and social interactions.

            If those social networks persist for an extended period of time than we may certainly evolve to maximize them. However, evolution happens by selection through successful reproduction. As this is

            • Thank you. I couldn't have said it better myself.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by icebraining (1313345)

              But you can say that about anything newer than a couple million years. We haven't evolved to use almost *none* of the stuff we use today.

              The relatively instant replacement of that with "social networks" is not something that we have evolved to cope with, and so has a disruptive effect on our lives and social interactions.

              Bollocks. Evolution is not the only way to adapt. We have adapted to millions of changes without evolving. Sure, it's always a bumpy ride 'till we adapt, but it'll be measures in some years

            • Re:Facebook (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Sir_Dill (218371) <slashdot@zachul[ ]om ['a.c' in gap]> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @12:05PM (#31940748) Homepage
              I like the direction you were both going for.

              I agree that FB communication is a poor surrogate for face to face in person communication, however speaking from an American societal view, allowing people to communicate freely without some of the awkwardness or judgment based on physical appearances may allow people to "connect" with others and exchange ideas more freely.

              Group social interaction and the sharing of ideas is what drives our society and civilization. To imply that the only way to do that is via "facetime" is not only naive, but its a little ignorant.

              Yes body language can account for a significant amount of "communication" but it can also impede the sharing of ideas.

              Personally I see FB as the next logical evolution to online disucssion forums and IRC chatrooms. The body language issue is largely negated through the use of "emoticons" and other memes, not to mention things like skype which I can tell you from experience, is an EXCELLENT alternative to face to face communication.

              Ultimately FB allows more communication easier which will naturally lead to more physical interactions. The idea that just because you met someone on the internet discounts the possibility of being "friends" in real life is foolish. It's really no different than meeting someone on the train or in the grocery store. They are just as likely to be an axe murderer as the person you met online. The only difference is the method by which you were initially introduced. The same social rules and personal safety habits still apply and I think THAT is the larger issue. The internet has invaded every part of our lives at all levels. As a species we are still adjusting and evolving to take advantage of the new tools and communication avenues that have recently been created.

        • Re:Facebook (Score:5, Funny)

          by AnEducatedNegro (1372687) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:31AM (#31940220)

          We evolved to communicate one on one - not via a computer terminal.

          Says the man posting on Slashdot

          • by Abstrackt (609015)

            We evolved to communicate one on one - not via a computer terminal.

            Says the man posting on Slashdot

            He dictated that post.

        • Re:Facebook (Score:5, Interesting)

          by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecatedNO@SPAMema.il> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:53AM (#31940556) Journal

          Facebook is pseudo social contact and I think it's actually making us more isolated as a people. We evolved to communicate one on one - not via a computer terminal.

          See, here's the problem. Facebook isn't meant to replace social contact; it's meant to enhance it. When Zuckerberg and company began developing facebook (before the 'f' was capitalized, of course), their main impetus for doing so was to develop an easy way for people in Harvard to know and keep in contact with each other. Since college students would prefer anything online over in print, it made it a much better alternative than using the actual face-book that Harvard publishes every year (which I think they still do). On top of that, it provided a medium to allow people to contact each other easily. It was way better than digging through and through to find someone's email address, let alone their phone number. This obviously proved to be way more advantageous than finding people, as attested by the outrageous growth it's experienced since it went live in 2004.

          Unfortunately, making communication easier naturally implies some form of increased isolation. However, would you really consider that mitigation a disadvantage if that simplification makes your life easier? Calling people makes it easier for me to not talk to the person face-to-face, but would you doubt that the phone is a terrible way to communicate with people because of that?

          I own a Facebook profile, and have accumulated a ton of friends over the years on it. Now, in reality, I only know a handful of those folks...but having tons of Facebook friends sure makes it easy to find something to do on a quiet Friday/Saturday night if I'm up for it. Which, of course, makes it easy to make real acquaintances (or friends that stick around, if I get lucky).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Who are these CHUD people everyone on Slashdot claims to exist who communicate solely on Facebook from their underground lairs with no one on one social interaction whatsoever.

          Everytime Facebook is mentioned here, a lot of people seem to create this strange stupid type of person who has 5 million friends on Facebook and talks to no one in real life. The fallacy of this is that the "person" being nerdraged against is a construct, it's easy to get mad at Facebook when you think these types of people exist an
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mea37 (1201159)

          You're saying two conflicting things as though they were the same thing.

          When you say facebook "is" pseudo-contact, you're wrong. Facebook is a tool. Some people use it for pseudo-contact, and if those people didn't have FB to use for pseudo-contact it's hard to predict what they'd do instead. As you yourself note, others use FB in positive ways; so why hate the tool just because some poeple use it wrong?

          Also, I find your opinion that FB is only for one-way broadcast communication interesting, because it

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drachenstern (160456)

        I realize the OP was being a troll, but please mod the parent up. /.ers need this awareness. Facebook is not for /.ers, it is for our mom's and our SOs. The ones who don't understand why a cryptographically hard password is important.

        Because we are social

        • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
          Some of us have multiple passwords. Some intended for secure purposes and others not so. Also, the assumption that significant others won't care about these issues is at minimum obnoxious. If you think an issue matters, you should damn well make sure the people you care about understand the issue.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Lumpy (12016)

          You are correct. it's not for /.'ers its for people that want to connect with others. I use it as a brand building tool and networking tool, same as my linked-in. I only post to my facebook positive things that build my "brand" to the point that I have over the past few years turned into a minor celebrity in some circles. A lot of people know of me that I don't know and they know my work, cripes little ol' me has 1500 fans on my fan page. It helps because only friends are on my page and everyone else

        • I realize the OP was being a troll, but please mod the parent up. /.ers need this awareness. Facebook is not for /.ers, we are too cool to have friends.

          FTFY

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Who needs FaceBook when I have slashdot and Felbers? [slashdot.org]

      • by arogier (1250960) *
        Facebook isn't the social, its a simulation of the social. Hell, it might even be a simulacra of a simulation.
    • by Pojut (1027544)

      is for chumps. I don't understand how people can give away ALL of their information like that.

      That's why you only give the information you don't mind people knowing. Just because there is a box where you can put your full address doesn't mean you should actually enter your full address. Likewise, if there is something you don't want the public or your job or your family to know about, don't mention it on your Facebook.

      This isn't rocket science...all it takes is a little discretion.

    • Cue Slashdot desperately trying to explain human social interaction through sputtering and rage. Typical Slashdotter: "Let's step back and precociously act as though we are not part of the human race. Let's argue about the common man's style of social interaction, something we have risen above by having no social interaction, PERIOD with the exception of posting on Slashdot. By the way, posting things on the internet is stupid, talk to your friends IRL, fagget!!1"
    • by AVryhof (142320)

      E-Megalomania.... people like to post to see themselves post.... it works on Slashdot too....look, I'm doing it now!

    • by mea37 (1201159)

      Is this sarcasm? Trolling? I really can't tell.

      Well, I use FB, and I don't give away ALL of my information. I publish the information I choose to. If there's something that I want to distribute to a limited audience but don't really care if it leaks, I post it with "friends only" security; if there's something I really want to maintain some sort of cnotrol over, it doesn't go on FB.

      FB may not be the tool you want it to be, but that doesn't mean it's not a useful tool. You just hvae to know what it is a

  • and again.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb@gmail . c om> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @10:48AM (#31939502) Homepage Journal

    no mention of user security ANYWHERE.

    That's the biggest peeve I have with facebook/myspace, et al. They don't take the end users' security into consideration.

    That's the #1 reason why I don't use their services. Otherwise, for a ton of people, they're fantastic services.

    • Re:and again.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by King_TJ (85913) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @10:54AM (#31939598) Journal

      Facebook's first round of venture capital funding ($US500,000) came from former Paypal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-multicultural tome 'The Diversity Myth', he is also on the board of radical conservative group VanguardPAC.

      The second round of funding into Facebook ($US12.7 million) came from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One of the company's key areas of expertise are in "data mining technologies".

      Do you really *think* they're THAT concerned with your security, given the situation?

      • Re:and again.... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:11AM (#31939884) Journal

        One of the company's key areas of expertise are in "data mining technologies". Do you really *think* they're THAT concerned with your security, given the situation?

        Look, we as nerds must STOP treating "data mining" like an epithet, or at least a scarlet letter on one's resume. The term has been abused by the popular media in connection with the NSA's wiretapping, but people tend to overlook the fact that "data mining" is just a bunch of algorithms to find statistical patterns in different kinds of data. When it's referred to as "exploratory data analysis", no one seems to mind. When it's referred to as simply "applied statistics", no one seems to mind. Read the statement [sigkdd.org] by ACM's data mining special interest group, SIGKDD.

        That said, I completely agree with you -- of course Facebook is interested in mining the social graph and f***ing it for all its worth. They're a for-profit company whose only asset is detailed information about people and their interactions. Why is anyone shocked that they don't want to make the world a better place, and would rather become very rich instead off their only asset. For a capitalist country, a lot of nerds in the US seem to have rose-colored glasses on.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by RazorSharp (1418697)

          One of the company's key areas of expertise are in "data mining technologies".

          Do you really *think* they're THAT concerned with your security, given the situation?

          Why is anyone shocked that they don't want to make the world a better place, and would rather become very rich instead off their only asset.

          What's shocking is that everyone knows Facebook does this crap and uses their service anyway. If consumers took more of an active interest in what corporations they supported then companies wouldn't get away with this crap.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Abcd1234 (188840)

            What's shocking is that everyone knows Facebook does this crap and uses their service anyway.

            Why is that shocking? Maybe users have *gasp* different priorities than you do! I know, it's shocking!

            For example, I don't care that Facebook knows the people I'm related to. They provide me a service, and I pay them by providing them with information they deem valuable. I consider that an equitable trade. Who the hell are you to decide I can't make that judgment for myself?

            Frankly, I'm continually amused by ho

        • Re:and again.... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by rhizome (115711) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:22PM (#31941872) Homepage Journal

          Look, we as nerds must STOP treating "data mining" like an epithet, or at least a scarlet letter on one's resume.

          Look, we as nerds must STOP latching on to one facet of an argument, or at least representing it as the entire argument. The difference is DM in the context of ex-CIA, not DM in general. Relax, coffeeboy.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by corbettw (214229)

        Facebook's first round of venture capital funding ($US500,000) came from former Paypal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-multicultural tome 'The Diversity Myth', he is also on the board of radical conservative group VanguardPAC.

        OMG! One of the people who invested in Facebook has political views you don't like! It's the end of the world! Facebook are a bunch of racists and only a racist would ever use them!

        • Since politics is (currently) largely based on who has more money, by using their services you're indirectly voting for them.

      • anti-multicultural tome

        That is quite possibly the most loaded rhetoric I've seen in a while.

      • Not only that, but the founder Mark Zuckerberg has no problem hacking into other people's accounts. [dailymail.co.uk] He came up with facebook while working on a similar project for others at Harvard. Evidence shows [businessinsider.com] that he stalled his work on the other project while working on Facebook while stringing along the others. I certainly wouldn't trust a backstabbing jackass like Zuckerberg with my information. It is why I deleted my facebook account almost a year ago.

      • by Nadaka (224565)

        I don't know, if facebook was a data mining front for the CIA, I would hope that they would be interested in keeping their valuable intel to themselves. Unless of course they are merely using the insecurity of the system to gather intel instead of having an official back door.

      • Do you really *think* they're THAT concerned with your security, given the situation?

        Yes! Because if just anyone can connect to Facebook and grab all your data, then there is no reason for them to pay Facebook for a copy of all your data

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Both with Privacy AND with security.

      I mean, from a business standpoint, yes, facebook is great for drumming up marketting, developing business, and maintaining relations with clients. However, just yesterday we ran across this [wikipedia.org] little gem. A worm that targets facebook and other social networking sites specifically.

      Surprise Surprise, one our sales ladies got infected. Now that we've cleaned it off we still have to assess the damage. She could have spread it to the rest of the sales team, her clients, the CEO

    • Facebook has pretty good security features if you turn them on.

      That said, turning them all on makes the whole service pretty pointless.

      • It doesn't stop facebook from being the vector & entry point for malware.

        • You sound like a right wing politician. FFS why has Slashdot become such a technophobic community? Why is Facebook and Apple constantly maligned for what they do? You do realize how close minded and ignorant it sounds to say things like this right?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Pojut (1027544)

      That's the biggest peeve I have with facebook/myspace, et al. They don't take the end users' security into consideration.

      I am an avid Facebook user (5-10+ updates a day kinda guy), but that quote from your post is exactly why I never say or do anything on there I care about the public knowing. I'm fully aware that nothing I do on there is truly private, and I use it with that in mind.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tlhIngan (30335)

      no mention of user security ANYWHERE.

      That's the biggest peeve I have with facebook/myspace, et al. They don't take the end users' security into consideration.

      That's the #1 reason why I don't use their services. Otherwise, for a ton of people, they're fantastic services.

      What security is there in the first place? You put up a private photo and expect that only your friends see it? And that maybe they're all too stupid to "save as" and re-post the photo elsewhere as a public photo?

      The privacy settings are just

    • by bigdavex (155746)

      That's the biggest peeve I have with facebook/myspace, et al. They don't take the end users' security into consideration.

      Absolutely. I don't have a facebook account for this reason.

      The end users aren't Facebook's customers.

  • They aren't satisfied with knowing (and using to advertise and monetize) your social network. Now, they want us, 3rd party web devs, to help them figure out what other sites you visit, what type of music you like to listen to, and what movies you've watched recently.

    So they can advertise and monetize it.

    I'm not seeing a real good reason to add this "Like" thing on any site of mine. I'd rather my visitors build *my* site's community, rather than simply acting as a source of content and demographics info fo

    • by Skreems (598317)
      It's a question of intent. If you have aspirations of building a community, it's worth your time to make those features yourself, and figure out how to advertise. If, on the other hand, you just want to reach as many people as possible, "Like on Facebook" allows you to hook into their network and prompt people to share your stuff with others. I don't see myself needing it, but as free advertising goes it's pretty slick.
    • by bbqsrc (1441981)
      What he said is entirely valid, and it really brings nothing new to the market. Digg and Reddit, and even Twitter have cornered this market for a long time have they not?
  • I'm as big a fan of social media as the next guy, but unless Facebook is planning to solve the "signal-to-noise" problem the future of their platform will be severely limited.
    • by edmicman (830206)

      Isn't the signal to noise on Facebook directly related to the people you "friend"? I don't get spammed by complete strangers, and the people I get tired of seeing pictures of babies and games for get blocked, hidden, or removed from my list. It's not Facebook's problem that your friends blow up your timeline with a bunch of crap....

      • by rwv (1636355)

        It's not Facebook's problem that your friends blow up your timeline with a bunch of crap....

        Yes, I have "friends" who regularly post trivial garbage to their newsfeed. The same people also make noteworthy posts on occasion. If Facebook (or any other social network site) provided a clear set of configurable settings to quiet these people (perhaps hiding their chatter in a link called "Click here to expand [4] discussions started by John Smith in the last 24 hours".

        I would like to apply this behavior towards all my friends who have posted at least three times a week for the last three weeks.

  • Haters (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @10:55AM (#31939618) Homepage Journal

    He missed the message. The internet is full of haters and he isn't providing a dislike button.

    If I like a song on Pandora, it can link to my Facebook profile. Great, I can spam my wall and annoy my friends even more!

    Facebook is the single most popular site on the world, in spite of itself. All they do is piss off their users. Some day it will blow up in their face when someone launches something better.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by maxume (22995)

      Mod parent DOWN.

    • Re:Haters (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mounthood (993037) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:22PM (#31941876)

      He missed the message. The internet is full of haters and he isn't providing a dislike button.

      I think you missed the point: Corporations want to know what you like, they don't care about what you dislike.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Enderandrew (866215)

        The value of a social network is in the users. Myspace was the indisputed king of social networks, and drove people away. Facebook replaced them.

        Personally, I don't want or care about a dislike button. I'm pointing out that Facebook is constantly going in the opposite direction of what users want. Sooner or later, they will drive people away and someone else will replace Facebook, just as Facebook replaced Myspace.

  • I was wondering what new madness would finally force the Facebook herd to move to another pasture.

    This looks like it.

    • Buzz doesn't have farmville. Until you see another site that has such strong developer support for applications, you won't see Facebook dethroned.

      • by edmicman (830206)

        Last I knew Buzz was also tied to Gmail. Not all of my friends have Gmail, some have their own email addresses and probably don't want to sign up for Google's just to use Buzz. I use Gmail for email, Twitter for its niche, and Facebook for its own use. Until Buzz gets decoupled into a standalone service I don't see it competing much with Twitter even, let alone Facebook.

  • Great. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fnkmaster (89084) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:03AM (#31939782)

    Now when I go to CNN.com I suddenly find information about my "friends" and their activities on CNN.com. I don't want to see this shit. And I sure as hell don't want my "friends" (keeping in mind that the several hundred FB-friends I have aren't particularly my real 'friends' anyway) seeing what I do on CNN.com.

    The worst thing - this is happening even though I disabled the only privacy setting on Facebook that I could find related to sharing information with third party websites. And even though I never opted in to Facebook Connect or connected CNN.com to Facebook.

    Also, CNN does not seem to have a function to disable this 'wonderful' sharing feature. The only way I could disable it was to log out of my Facebook account manually on Facebook.com. I didn't have a browser open at Facebook mind you, I just had a cookie in my browser from having logged into Facebook earlier this morning at the office.

    So now Facebook forces me to log out manually every time I leave the site lest I be barraged with Facebook content on other, completely unrelated, websites. Thanks, but no fucking thanks. I guarantee I won't be logging into Facebook anywhere near as often any more since they've made their service an utter pain in the ass now.

    Call me a grumpy old 30-year old man if you will. I probably am. Get off my lawn and all that. But seriously, I was an early adopter of Facebook, and before that of Friendster. I enjoy seeing a little bit of mindless drivel from my acquaintances and the like out there, and keeping in touch on my terms is nice, but it has to be on my terms. I'm not interested in having my web browsing at work be a social experience - I prefer to keep my "social experiences" sandboxed to the websites they originate from, thank you very much.

    • Re:Great. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rhaban (987410) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:20AM (#31940042)

      Easy solution: remove all your facebook "friends" who are not real friends.

      • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:15PM (#31941756) Homepage Journal

        someone you actually spend time with

        anyone you only share stuff on the internet with: they are just an acquaintance, not a friend

        and if you insist that such acquaintances really ARE your friends, then you are a shallow person who has no real true friends, whether you realize it or not

        lose facebook and gain real friends and real depth of character. or continue with the empty mask and the fake charade and the pointless surface level chatter and call that a "life". your choice

    • by jonpublic (676412)

      Use a browser dedicated to facebook. I upped my privacy settings as high as they go and I use a browser specifically only for facebook.

    • Keep a different browser profile for FB alone, to maintain their cookies isolated.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FreonTrip (694097)
      I'm in the same boat. This was originally a site designed to help people stay in touch with one another, but the company's desire to monetize its data is making them drift further and further from that goal. I don't care that a friend of mine became a fan of Fluffy Bunnies and Toe Socks, or that they befriended a number of people I've never heard of, and I really won't care that they visited musicalclusterfuck.net and Liked a pop country band, or that they frequent Fox News. It's well on its way to becom
    • Re:Great. (Score:5, Informative)

      by gclef (96311) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:36AM (#31940272)

      I ended up AdBlocking a bunch of facebook URLs to solve this. Annoying, but it did work. The ones I blocked:

      (PS: why does slashcode convert text-only URLs into hyperlinks inside a blockquote?)

      • by Abcd1234 (188840)

        Excellent tip, thanks! Now if someone created an AdBlock subscription service for this filter list... :)

    • by hey (83763)

      Use on browser for Facebook (eg Chrome) and another for the rest of the web (eg Firefox).
      Actually that would be a nice browser feature ("Keep site logins separate").

    • Maybe it's because I'm 45, but I've always logged out of FB when I leave the site.

  • Quote FTW (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Dude, fuck Facebook. Seriously. - Stan Marsh

  • The overall tone of the keynote was that Facebook was serious business and they were going to build the Social Graph, a vast network of connections between people and the things they like

    So in other words, not much has changed. Zuckerberg has been talking about his social 'graph' for years now. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

  • Social Spam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3&gmail,com> on Thursday April 22, 2010 @11:19AM (#31940010)
    I find it easiest to not participate. When I was in high-school and Facebook was just a whisper, during the times in which the only allowed users had to have educational email addresses, it was a platform for communication. Now it has become a micro-blogging service on the public side, so people can quantitatively spew their opinions via 'like' or, well, frankly, 'like'. Facebook is a platform of subjective opinions, coalescing, as a previous poster states precisely, into a a very large amount of noise compared to a very small amount of signal.

    In theory, a 'clean' social networking site would simple allow people to communicate with exactly who they want in a manner that is explicitly controllable, giving that user the ability to control the exact verbosity of their messages and their communication scope. Facebook is eliminating the paradigm of private opinions, and the more laymen that sign up, more noise pervades the wire.

    The draw, the appeal have you, is simple. If you can quantize 'friendships' and social-connections, people now have a semi-definable metric that they sub-consciously always try to improve, this is human nature. People seek others to listen to their opinions, and therefore the underlying motivation on Facebook is that drives people to produce so much noise is this need to be heard, even if what they have to say is completely worthless from a societal contribution standpoint. Its easy. You just post, and Facebook does the rest. If I am giving a speech to room full of empty people, I know nobody will hear it. But if I am printing my speech on millions of fliers and jetting them all over the world, their is that chance that somebody will effectively 'hear' me. Facebook provides, the pen, the paper, the microphone, the jet, and fuel, they own the airlines, they own the airports, and now they want to connect their 'communication hub' to every-other preexisting communication hub so that you can see that Joe Schmoe just mowed his lawn or Pookie made a cute face while she crapped on the apartment floor.

    Fuck. That. Shit.
    • by cosm (1072588)

      "room full of empty people"

      I know self-replies are not in good taste, but this has a hilariously different meaning than what I meant to type, but perhaps still relevant to my point in reference to types of people that do in fact care about Pookie's facial expressions during her bowel movements.

      • by six11 (579)

        I thought that 'room full of empty people' thing was +1 Insightful, actually. My FB friends are people, yes, but they're empty.

        • by FreonTrip (694097)

          Hamster eyes, I call it.

          You start a conversation with that round of duckspeak so popular in America, the circular "Hi-how-are-you, oh-great-what-about-you" routine that constitutes a greeting, and talk with them one on one about something inoffensive - that episode of Family Guy, or the weather, or how the Saints/Manchester/$CITYNAMESPORTSTEAM are doing this season, and the responses are polite but kinda short and airy. Then you try to talk about something deeper, and... there's nothing going on behind the

    • by MrCrassic (994046)
      Here's the thing I don't get about the people that hate Facebook because of the News Feed. If reading other people's status updates is so annoying, then why can't one just ignore them?
    • If I give you a knife and you kill somebody, its not the knifes fault, it's yours. If you sign up loads of friends on facebook and they all talk shit, that isn't facebook's faults it's all your friends who want to talk shit.
    • by edmicman (830206)

      You just described the Internet. Yay?

  • Not necessarily because of this:

    It's fun enough, but I never really think of it as a service. To me, Facebook is a place.

    In fact, I beg to differ. The whole entire purpose of Facebook (and its ilk) is to connect people with other people easily. While it might indeed be a place to see what's going on with one's friends or friends of friends, but that is a direct consequence of their mission. If that isn't a service, I don't know what is.

    My reasons for confusion are the following:

    • Facebook Credit. What the hell? I understand that Facebook games are really taking off and all that, but this ha
    • by Fnkmaster (89084)

      My understanding is that the several large Facebook game companies are making a lot of money off of micropayments for virtual goods.

      See, for example: this article [techcrunch.com] and more recently this one [insidesocialgames.com].

      It clearly is working for Zynga to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. And yes, I think it's stupid, but that doesn't mean people don't shell out money for it.

  • Didn't the last guy who pulled data from Facebook get threatened with a frivolous lawsuit with a nebulous charge of "terms of use" infringement? Who in their right mind is going to use a new and improved API, when in reality anyone pulling data from Facebook is risking crossing a vaguely defined line on what Facebook likes and what they'll sue over?

    I have a family to feed and no money for even threatened lawsuits... I don't even know if my "normal" facebook use is legal since the whole point of social netwo

  • I can't wait for the French-translated buttons : J'aime sur fesse bouc

    And for Valley Girls : "Like on, like Facebook, like."

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @12:10PM (#31940818) Homepage

    Facebook does a good job of being a "social network" for keeping up with your real-world friends. But if that's all you use it for, Facebook doesn't make any money. It's all that "casual gaming" and "fanning" that brings in the revenue. Connecting up with a game or becoming a "fan" of some commercial content sucks all your private data into some game operator's system.

    Google conquered a similar problem. Organic search makes Google no money. Google's business is being an ad agency.

  • This sounds like Beacon [slashdot.org] 2.0. But this time Facebook is putting a new slant on the tracking technology, via the seemingly harmless "Like" button and under the guise of making the web "more social."
  • Faster Forward [washingtonpost.com]

    It's not going too far to say that Facebook ultimately wants to build a layer of identity and authentication on top of the entire Web. That may be helpful in some cases; for instance, I'd like to know which Yelp reviews come from the people I know and trust at Facebook. But I don't need it at every site, and you probably don't either.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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