MySpace, What have you Done?

MySpace logoWhen MySpace had its most recent makeover (that one that included the addition of Justin Timberlake’s involvement), it created a problem for itself. New users were able to create MySpace accounts in the new system. However, for quite some time, MySpace couldn’t figure out how to get the previously existing user accounts (that were now on the “old” MySpace) to integrate.

Today, people who had a MySpace account that was stuck in “limbo” got an unpleasant surprise. The Ask MySpace blog that talks about the change starts with a big understatement:

“You’ve probably noticed some changes to your MySpace account”.

Oh, yes, people certainly did! The “old” MySpace is gone. The “new” MySpace is now at the URL for the “old” one. People who had an old account can log into the “new” MySpace with their old login. Unfortunately, doing so will not actually give them access to what they were expecting. Plenty of things are just plain missing from the “old” accounts. What things?

Those that were posting work into the “old” MySpace blog on their accounts woke up today to find that it has disappeared. This, all by itself, was enough to make a lot of people rant all over (other forms of) social media. People want their blogs back, and they aren’t going to get them. As a writer, I can imagine how it would feel to lose all the blogs that you took the time to write, edit, and post over the years. (That’s why I blog on my own website and not primarily through any form of social media).

People caught in this shift from “old” MySpace to “new” MySpace also had their private messages, videos, comments, posts, and customized background designs deleted. MySpace even removed the game activities that these users had posted and/or interacted with.

The sudden removal of all these things from users accounts is not making people happy. Instead of encouraging these users to move over to the “new” MySpace, I believe MySpace has instead given people a good reason to stop using MySpace altogether.

MySpace Loses Even More Ground, Gets Dropped From Windows Live

Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse for MySpace, the once-king of social networks, it’s now official that Microsoft is giving them the boot from their Windows Live services.  MySpace was once one of the prominent social services that Live users could connect to, thereby importing and exporting status updates via Windows Live Messenger and importing MySpace contacts into both Messenger and Hotmail.

However, it seems Microsoft has recently sent an email to all Live users who had connected MySpace accounts to notify them that these import/export services will be ceasing within the next few weeks.  They even point out in their message that this will have no effect on other social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn – it’s strictly MySpace that is getting the boot.

Both Messenger and Hotmail are two of Microsoft’s most popular properties, but it’s unlikely this email went to very many of their users, and those who did receive it will likely be hearing the death knell for MySpace.  That’s the sound that most of the world heard a while back.  A copy of the email, which was posted earlier by Neowin, can be seen below.

GNC #684 Google+ Review

I dig in deep and give you a inside look at Google+ along with a whole bunch of tech news on top. I also talk about some new initiatives I am working on that I am pretty excited to see where it leads. I am scouting for talent in Hawaii specifically details on the show.

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Listener Links:
California Versus Amazon.
Flight Radio Book.
DNA Samples on Doggy Do Do?
Final Cut Pro X Comments on Conan.
Google Versus Facebook.

Show Links:
Fav Google+ Fetaures.
Facebook Fear?
Google Hangouts.
FTC Targets Twitter?
Scanners not so Safe?
RightHaven our Lawyers are to Blame?
EU to sign ACTA?
New Scan of Bible?
PlayLater.
Gmail new Look.
Sony under Investigation?
Facebook Announcement Tease.
Net Neutrality Finally!
Full Tilt Poker Dead Pool.
4.5 Million Botnet.
Chickens Passed us some Genes.
ISP Cops.
GPS versus LightSquared.
WOW Neptune.
Paramount no Copying Props?
BT says No to MA.
Flipboard Updated.
Wireless Streaming PC to TV.
GPS that can Text.
Boxee to get Categories.
Office 365.
Google Calendar Update.
Hindenburg Field Recorder.
Facebook Android Update.
Zetabyte.
Android Google+ App.
Thunderbolt Cable Review.
RIM Employees Speak Out!
UFO over London.
MySpace what a Train Wreck.
Stream torrents.
Hotmail Supercharged.
Amazon Pulls Plug on California.
Chrome 7 Patches.
Students build own collaborative tool.
Delkin New 64gb SDXC Card.

PlayPlay

New Infographic – The Demographics of Social Media

The website Advertising Age released a cool new infographic comparing various social media – namely Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  There are some interesting facts revealed here.  For instance the Social Media space is lead by the 35-54 age group, the leading country for Facebook is the US, but the second is Indonesia, the leading country for LinkedIn is also the US, but it’s followed by India, and females outpace males as Twitter users.

While some of this strikes me as common sense (like Twitter being dominated by the 35-54 age group), some of it amazes me (like there are significantly more female users and visitors to Twitter).  For anyone who runs a web site this is pretty good information to have.  It can provide a lot of aim to your marketing and SEO efforts.  For those who don’t run a site it’s still a bit of pretty interesting information to parse over.

demographics of social media

The Problem with Early Adoption

Today I got an email from a web site called Threadbox, stating they were closing down and I had seven days to export my information. Threadbox was set up as a collaboration tool starting in Nov of 2008 was released as a beta in the spring of 2009 and went fully public in April of 2010. As of Aug 3, it will be shutting down after being purchase by MySpace. How or if Myspace will use the service is unclear. Many times when a smaller company is brought by a larger company, the smaller company’s service disappears. Often it is just the core of the service that is used by the larger company. This scenario is great for the team that created the service, but is often devastating for the end user. The end users are forced to find new services that do close to what the original service did. This is often hard, since even if the new service does the same thing, it does it differently. Most people are resistant to change and tend to react negatively to anything they are not use to.

This scenario is not new and has been repeated hundreds of times with services like Friendfeed, (brought by Facebook) YouTube (brought by Google) and others. Some like YouTube, seem to go on as if nothing happened others like Friendfeed limp along, being kept alive by a core group of user. Others simply disappear never to be seen again. The problem for end users is it is difficult to commit to a new service, when back in your mind you are wondering how long it is going to be around. This just adds another barrier for adoption of new services. It is hard enough to get most people to try a new service and often with social services they are only useful if your friends also join. This is the problem I am having with a new service I discovered called Cliqset, which is an applications that combines all of your friends conversations, no matter whether they were posted on Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz or eighty other services into one river. I like the service, the problem is not enough people have joined and you only see the post from people who are on Cliqset. The only exception to this is if someone @ you, then that will show up on Cliqset, whether they are on Cliqset or not. My quandary is do I remain with a service that I like in hopes that more people join it, or do I abandon it. This of course is the problem that most early adopters have, they often join services far ahead of the rest of the population. It is often a question of whether the service will survive long enough to become mainstream

What Makes A Tech Success?

It seems in the world of computers and the Internet there is always a steady stream of new things on the horizon, as well as a steady stream of new products and services. It’s been this way for many years at this point.

There are always winners and losers. Winners can win big, and losers at worst fail to make any marketplace splash or even a ripple and end up in the tech dustbin of obscurity with few people ever knowing that the product or service ever existed.

What is it that makes for a successful product? Why is it that some products and services that seem very similar to other products and services end up becoming household names, while others end up being cancelled domain name landing pages?

It’s obvious there are a variety of factors that come into play. If it were easy to predict these things, we would have a lot fewer losers. Why did Twitter become a household name, whereas similar services such as Plurk and Jaiku languish in the shadows? What enabled Facebook to steal most of the MySpace thunder?

New products and services that end up being successful frequently incorporate elements and principles of previously-existing successes, but package them in more compact and useful forms.

Initially when Twitter came along a couple of years ago, I heard people talking about it, but I was a bit resistant to sign up. I felt like I had plenty of ways to communicate with people, so why did I need to add yet another account to a service that would steal away time I already had filled, only to ultimately let yet another account go dormant? I finally signed up for Twitter, and after I began using it I began to understand the value of it. With a service like Twitter, the more people that are using it, the more valuable it becomes.

About the same time I signed up for a Twitter account, I also signed up for a Plurk account. After a few visits to the Plurk website over a period of a month or two, I haven’t been back to the site since.

I believe what is valuable about Twitter is that 140 character limit per Tweet, forcing people to be succinct with their wording. Twitter and Tweet are cute names. The site design is simple, the blue bird logo pleasing to the eye, and the developers kept the API and name open to other developers, allowing an entire ecosystem of ancillary products and services to develop around it at the same time it was rapidly increasing in popularity. Twitter is very much like chat, which was already well established, but it had the added value that it either could be in real time, or not, able to be accessed from a vast array of devices beyond the Twitter website. Twitter also allows you to subscribe to just the people you want, and ignore or even completely block the rest. Twitter also allows you to reach out and touch people, and it allows you to monitor what others are up to whose lives are at once very similar to your own, yet often radically different. You can spend as much or as little time as you wish interacting with the service. Another thing that turned out to be incredibly useful with twitter is the vast 24/7 real-time data stream that it generates. Real-time Twitter data mining has proved to be quite valuable to many people.

To be honest I have always thought that many MySpace pages were often monstrous, unbelievably cluttered messes that often took a long time to load. Nonetheless, MySpace became popular because it obviously served a need with a younger demographic.

I’ve always thought Facebook’s interface is somewhat confusing, though allowing for far less cluttered and confusing-looking profile pages. I still don’t quite understand what got Facebook to the level of critical popularity – perhaps the less-cluttered, faster-loading profile pages gave it the critical edge over MySpace.

It should also be noted that Facebook allowed for an open API, allowing a myriad of interesting and often useful applications to be plugged in to its interface.

However it did it, Facebook managed to get to a critical mass of users where it became THE thing to sign up for and THE place to be to stay connected with family, friends and business associates. Something interesting has happened with Facebook that has never happened before – everyday, non-geek people who had never built website profiles in all the years they had been doing email and web browsing were suddenly signing up for Facebook in unbelievable numbers. Mothers, dads, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, etc. were suddenly showing up on the same service with their kids, nieces, nephews and grandkids. Once the ball rolled, Facebook became an incredible success.

I started noticing a while back that many people were starting to use Twitter and Facebook to communicate with each other in lieu of email. At this point I find myself getting pulled into that trend myself. These services don’t offer the relative privacy of direct email, but they allow for easy, frequent public conversations and easy sharing of personal media such as photos between friends and family on a global scale.

What I take away from the success stories versus the less-successful competitors is that oftentimes the differences in design and implementation can be slight, but those slight differences can offer real, tangible advantages to the end user. If those often-slight advantages can somehow help get the product or service to a critical mass threshold, they can find themselves catapulted to the point of planetary awareness.

Will You Leave Facebook If Privacy Issues Don’t Change?

Facebook Logo

Facebook Logo

I went searching for a buddy on my Facebook profile. It wasn’t there. I searched and searched, but couldn’t find him. I caught him on Twitter and asked where he went. He told me that he deleted his Facebook profile due to all the privacy issues. I was not surprised – With all the issues that Facebook has seen in the last couple months, I could see why he did.

He was not alone. I have heard of a few social mediates also reducing their usage, if not nixing their Facebook profile. I definitely think about what I post on my wall and send in my message area. I delete those that post a game or other application on my wall and I don’t post anything that can be considered “Private” – Basically, try to keep the profile as clean as possible.

Recent privacy issues with Facebook make one realize that your online data could be open to users within a heartbeat. We hear about someone finding a vulnerability, usually after the problem was fixed. Too many in a small amount of time, and we have a crisis where the FTC might have to step in.

No different than in years past…

Whether it’s Facebook, MySpace, email, websites or whatever, people try to get in and people test the limits. I just put up a Wiki site. I put on certain privacies, but within a week, someone found a new way to get through. They posted jibberish sites – nothing that would be malware, which I could easily correct. I fixed the hole and moved on.

Facebook is the site that is under fire because everyone has a profile. At least over 400 million users. In comparison, the US population is at 307 million, over 6 Billion around the world. Heck, my mom is on Facebook.

These are people that might not be tech Savvy. They don’t understand how the site works and they don’t care. They just want to connect with friends and family. They may have heard the rambling about privacy and some may have taken heed, but most haven’t and are not upset with them right now – until their profile is infiltrated.

MySpace, AOL, GeoCities

Remember when we were all on MySpace? Remember when you switched to Facebook? Did you delete your MySpace profile, or do you still check it randomly?

Back in 2007, when MySpace was king, we had different types of privacy issues. The big issue was online predators. Sex offenders on the social network site set one raid to remove over 350 profiles from MySpace.

AOL had many privacy issues in the early years. 1998, we heard of how people found back doors to the “Walled Garden”. GeoCities was under fire for selling personal information. They settled with the FTC just days before they set their first IPO. Business before privacy?

Twitter, Friendfeed, MSN, Compuserve, BBS – These all have had privacy issues at one time. As a site grows, the bad guys realize it can become a great portal to try and take down or get someone’s money. They strike, the site counter-strikes – The battle continues. Rinse and repeat.

Step in the FTC

Privacy issues have escallated to the point where Facebook hired former Bush regulator Tim Muris to defend the social network and it’s privacy problems to the FTC. Of course, if you have a product that is 400 million strong, you definitely will have scrutiny. Regulation is there to protect. Whether the government should step in for regulation might be a whole other topic. Add in the fact that some of those Facebook profiles are non- US citizens; The rules get different.

So is it different, or just the same old?

Privacy is a big issue on the Internet. Whether it’s getting your email hacked or finding a back door on a social network. We don’t want our personal information in the wrong hands. But we also want to connect to the people we care about. In all reality, Facebook is working on their issues. If you leave Facebook for privacy, you might want to just leave the Internet altogether.

So when is too much? Are you thinking of or have you deleted your Facebook profile?

They Continue to Stomp on Privacy – The Social Experiment

**Update: The “Who’s been watching my Profile” application (and 25 variants) are a Hoax and a phishing scheme, according to Trend Micro – If you see it, you should not select or accept any offer to see who’s been looking at your profile.

I got another “Who’s checking your profile on Facebook” application. It seems to be the newest annoyance on the Social Network site. We seem to run into new avenues where privacy just seems to continue to be trampled over. You can complain, but the damage has already been done. So why have privacy anyway?

First of all, we have to ask if this Facebook application is stomping on my privacy and how it’s doing so. Well, I have already been in a couple pictures stating I have recently read their profile page. I don’t remember giving the application permission to do so. A friend of mine just mentioned that he felt the app was only pulling random pictures from your friends list, so in that case, it can be a misleading picture altogether.

Nonetheless, it’s a picture. It circumvents other privacy initiatives. Such as “Certain friend see my wall posts”. If you leave your photos open, hey! I can see the picture. I know who you’ve been talking to… well… sort of.

Think about it: You get an email from a “Former friend” saying “Dude. Stop going to my profile”. Worse yet, paranoia might set in and they delete their Facebook profile altogether.

Not to get on a tangent on this one Application. The reality is we seem to continually get bombarded with privacy issues – Some of them are common sense issues – by bigger corporations. It could be Facebook, MySpace, Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Intel or a number of other companies. Most of the time, it’s the 3rd party applications that cause the issue; in which these companies state that: “We are not held responsible for what these apps do”. Yet they approve them.

Some people have said that privacy is only a figment of your imagination. That may be true, but I like to feel a little safe as to who I share my info with. Kinda like the home with the door that is falling apart and that could be kicked in at any moment: At least I have the one lock, so I feel safer. Nevermind the window I leave unlatched in the living room…

Privacy online is a different story – Of course. We have to continually monitor who has what information. It only takes one company with an idea, and another company employee to blindly approve said idea.

The “Who’s been Watching” application is a small infarction to a much bigger issue. However, we cannot overlook the smaller issues, because they can snowball. With Facebook being under the microscope as of late changing around their privacy issues, any new problem is definitely going to be scrutinized. But sometimes, you just cannot hide behind the 3rd party disclaimer. Yeah, it’s not your program, but it is my data. I can take that ball and go to another place with a beat up door and flimsy lock…

GNC-2009-12-29 #539 I make a Startling Announcement!

Some of you are gonna flip out when you here the conclusion, I came to today while visiting a local merchant. I reverse my opinion on something I have long stood against. Sorry no more clues. I get back on track today on the intro timeline. Enjoy I think this one will go down in the history books and I expect to get a torrent of email and voicemail comments. Yes I think it’s pretty dramatic.

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Listener Links:
Cell Phone Mania!

Show Notes:
What is wrong with Air Safety!
3D for DirecTV do you care?
Yes NYC you can order a iPod now!
eReaders coming out of our ears!
USB 3.0 Sata Adapter!
Did Apple Screw Up?
This one will make you puke!
iMac 27 Inch FAIL?
Top 10 iPhone Apps? What were Yours?
Meebo?
Murdoch will not be Happy!
Best of Master New Media!
1-2 Billion Tweets per Hour!
How much will you pay for Hulu?
Google about to get some Jet Fuel!
The Christmas Mobile Winners Are?
Is it Time to Tax?
Regional DVD Codes why?
Need Some Mac Tips for Beginners?
ISS back at 6 Roomies.
Psystar to sell Linux Boxes?
Digital movies before DVD could it be True?
Wireless Master Plan to reclaim TV Spectrum?
It’s not a Substitute for Common Sense!
Earth magnetic Pole on the Move big Time!
Botnet brought down with Offense versus Defense!
It was Free to begin with!
Be careful of Facebook Everyone!
Reuters transparency in Doubt.
Get off MySpace.

Send in your stories to geeknews@gmail.com and be sure to provide a link to your websites!




GNC-2009-12-08 #534 OhanaSaurus Makes its Debut

Ok folks I give you the 411 on what happened on the last show. Plus we name the new Skype machine OhanaSaurus. Lot’s to share everything from the Podcast Awards to the 24hr Podcast and whole lot of Tech. You will not want to miss the next shows and our the events happening this weekend. Listen to win lots of cool contest going on as well.

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Video of Show at www.youtube.com/user/geeknews
Show Comments please call 1-619-342-7365 or e-mail geeknews@gmail.com

Listener Links:
Amazon Kindle Extended Warranty!
Verizon and FCC or Fee Increases.
MagicJack Complaints #1
MagicJack Complaints #2
MagicJack Complaints #3
Amazon bringing stores to UK?
Jacks review on Antivirus Application reviews!

Show Notes:
Now this is a Plug Upgrade!
Boxee gets serious about Media Distro!
Boxee introduce D-Link Media Partner.
New portable braille device for vision impaired.
What Electronics have you broken Lately?
Draft 24hr Podcast Schedule!
Hawaii Clear Wimax not living up to Hype?
Sprint Wimax and horrible 3g Performance on U300 device!
What are your 2010 predictions?
Is Google killing companies?
Some cool Geek Gifts.
Large file transfer services overview.
10 Single Guy iPhone dating applications.
Windows 7 Family Pack RIP?
Canadian Artist go after money owed through lawsuit!
What exactly does Comcast Already own?
Did someone say 1 Gig WiFi?
Balloon Hunt Challenge MIT cleans up!
Electric Cars and no place to plug in?
Virgin Galactic 2
Hey lets do a 400k Fundraiser 2 Geeks to Fly?
Would you pay 200k to have 5 minutes in Space?
NASA iPhone Application a Winner.
Do we really trust Nielsen?
AT&T gives users way to complain via App.
JooJoo sounds like Matel Toy for my Kid.
WPA password cracking service?
Lets swap fingerprints?
FCC to go after closed cable settop boxes!
Is Science Fiction once more coming true?
See how the world provides funny twists.
Wired JooJoo review.
Twitter, Facebook, MySpace live Search on Google.
What will you remember when your 90!
Google Goggles!

Send in your stories to geeknews@gmail.com and be sure to provide a link to your websites!