Results tagged “facebook”

Mo' Data, Mo' Problems

By Michael Mulvey on July 22, 2014 11:01 AM

Om Malik on Big Data:

Facebook's emotion-driven-engagement experiments are tiny glimpse of what really awaits us: a data-driven and alogrithmic future, where machines make decisions on our behalf, nudging us into making decisions. As I pointed out in my recent FastCompany magazine column, the new machine age is already underway, unseen by us. "It is not really just a human world," said Sean Gourley, cofounder and CTO of Quid who points out that our connected world is producing so much data that it is beyond human cognitive abilities and machines are going to be part of making sense of it all. So the real question is what will we do and what should we -- the technology industry and we the people do? From my perspective, we need to start with the raw material of this algorithmic future: data. Whether it is a billions of photos that carry a payload of emotions, relationships and location data, or status updates announcing the arrival of a new one or those searches for discount Prada shoes or a look-up about a medical condition -- there is someone somewhere vacuuming our data droppings and turning them into fodder for their money machine.


Automation of our society is going to cause displacement, no different than mechanization of our society in the past. There were no protections then, but hopefully a century later we should be smarter about dealing with pending change. People look at Uber and the issues around it as specific to a single company. It is not true -- drones, driverless cars, dynamic pricing of vital services, privatization of vital civic services are all part of the change driven by automation, and computer driven efficiencies. Just as computers made corporations efficient -- euphemism for employed fewer people and made more money -- our society is getting more "efficient," thanks to the machines.

We live in a post now, ask questions later world.

Make Art, Not Status Updates

By Michael Mulvey on June 28, 2014 2:50 PM

I had no idea about this:

You might be surprised to know that Facebook has an active and ongoing Artist in Residence Program. Not only that, but it's also among the most innovative corporate art and artist programs anywhere. Now in its second year, artists have become a regular fixture around the Facebook campus. According to the program's founder and curator, Drew Bennett, artists are active within the Facebook community during the periods of their residencies and besides making art for exhibition, display and dissemination around the campus, they also have ongoing opportunities to observe, mingle and interact with the people who work there.

Making art is a much better way to spend your time than to fuck around on

Not A Problem

By Michael Mulvey on April 9, 2014 1:34 PM

TechCrunch: Facebook Is Forcing All Users To Download Messenger By Ripping Chat Out Of Its Main Apps

Except for old 36-year-olds like me who sometimes uses the Facebook iPhone app and have never used Facebook Messenger (although I'm a fan of the UI in Facebook's new Paper app).

No one is forcing me to do shit.

Everything Is Downhill Now

By Michael Mulvey on January 23, 2014 9:13 AM

Speaking of brands dying from apathy, heads up, Facebook:


via Bombtune

Don't Wait For Perfect

By Michael Mulvey on October 26, 2013 8:41 AM

The Most Fascinating Humans In New York, Collected In One Place:

At 21 years old, Brandon Stanton—the creative force behind the immensely popular photo blog Humans of New York—had flunked out of college (earning a combined score of zero on his five courses). Kicked out of his parent's home, he was doing drugs, working at a dead end job at Applebee's and living in his grandparent's basement in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also convinced that he was going to write a bestseller.

I love stories like this—taking a hobby, a passion, a side project and turning it into much more than than what it might seem like at first glance.

Keeping Up With The Kids

By Michael Mulvey on December 27, 2012 11:09 AM

I think it's funny and amazing to see Facebook's new Poke app tanking in popularity in the Apple's App Store.

At the tender age of 28, Mark Zuckerberg is already finding himself keeping up with what's popular with the kids. Not too long ago, he was one of those kids, coding up thefacebook in his dorm room.

Moves like this and Twitter's decision to make itself look more like Instagram with the inclusion of image filters just make both companies look dumb and out-of-touch.

Feature parity can been really boring and pointless without strategic thinking behind it.

Apple copied Android's pull-down notifications when they launched Notification Center in iOS 5 in 2011. This is an example of gaining feature parity and giving people something that improved the overall experience of using an iPhone or an iPad.

You always have to ask yourself why you're doing something. It doesn't matter if it's adding new features to your mobile app or buying a new pair of jeans. If you don't truly believe in the decisions you make, you have no reason to follow through with them.

Saying, "I'm doing this because [fill in person or company name] is doing it." isn't enough.


By Michael Mulvey on December 13, 2012 9:22 AM

Yesterday a friend posted something great on Facebook:


First I decided to turn myself into an 8-bit character, and then illustrate what this might look like:

img alt="Michael_Mulvey_Coffee_PowerUP.gif" src="" />

You Are The Product

By Michael Mulvey on August 30, 2012 8:20 PM

From Electronista:

Facebook has announced plans to allow external marketers to mine new customers from the social network using personal information, such as phone numbers, email addresses, Facebook users' unique UID code, and other identifying characteristics. The targeting option will be available to advertisers next week. Facebook says advertisers will have to seek their customers' permission to use the data for marketing purposes before they proceed.

Facebook's customers? Advertisers.

Facebook's product? Their users.

Just a reminder.

It's Not a Verb

By Michael Mulvey on August 10, 2012 12:20 PM

John Gruber summarizing the thing:

In a nut, is a startup aiming to build a rival platform to Twitter, "where users and developers come first, not advertisers." How? By generating revenue from users instead of from advertisers. They're not using Kickstarter but they've built their own Kickstarter-like system.

Like Gruber, I respect what the people at are doing but it's not going to work, even if they do reach their funding goal.

The reason?'s service is not a verb. I'm not saying every online service has to be a verb, but 'googling' and 'tweeting' have a tremendous amount of momentum with regular, non-nerdy, non-developer people. You might say, "Facebook isn' a verb and look how big they are." Sure, but they own 'Like' and before that they owned 'Poke'.

There's nothing I can see with the general public can get behind. Even with all the negative moves Twitter is making with how it's handling third-party developers, Twitter isn't broken (yet).

Facebook on iOS

By Michael Mulvey on June 11, 2012 10:33 PM

So one of the many things announced in Apple's WWDC Keynote was the system-level integration of Facebook with iOS and OS X.

This is interesting because there have been rumors for a while now of Facebook working on their own phone.

If it's true they're building a phone, then they don't want to make their (future) competitor stronger by allowing them to bake in system-level support to their platform. On the flipside, if they don't allow access, then they risk marginalizing their platform, making it less relevant.

I also like John Gruber's view that the Facebook integration was a nice "fuck you" to Google:

Starting with the opening gag with Siri doing stand-up comedy and continuing through to Apple's new maps and Siri's new features, there was an unmistakeable "Fuck you, Google" undertone to the whole keynote. Apple is forcing Google out of iOS. Even the Facebook integration feels like a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" alliance.

I'm with Om Malik though, I don't trust Facebook with my info:

I just don't want Facebook constantly tracking me and I don't want any information leaking especially on my iPhone. Perturbed, I tried to get more details on the integration from Apple. Here is what I understand about how it works - when using the system-level single sign-on, when you want to share something via Facebook, the system logs you into Facebook, shares whatever you want to share -- a link, a video, a photo or whatever -- and then logs you out.

While I do use Facebook, I'm not one of these sad people who can't live without it. When I upgrade to iOS 6 I won't be using the single sign-on. Hell, I don't even have the app on my iPhone.

You Can't Buy Talent

By Michael Mulvey on May 29, 2012 12:39 AM

I'm linking to the LA Times article about the NY Times article on the rumors Facebook is working on it's own smartphone (I'm not doing this because I moved to LA, I reached my 10-article limit at

Now, it seems Facebook is dedicating more resources to its phone project. The New York Times reports that the company has hired more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers and is actively recruiting others.

Ok, despite the title of this post, yes, you can buy talent, but you can't guarantee it'll stay around and it won't guarantee you a hit product.

I would never buy a Facebook smartphone. I don't want one company managing my relationships and monetizing them with contextual ads.

Apple manages my credit card with which I can purchase music, movies, applications and games. I am Apple's customer. With a Facebook smartphone, I am not Facebook's customer, the advertisers are. So like Google, Facebook's goal is to please advertisers, not me.

No thanks.

Businesses are not people.

By Michael Mulvey on January 24, 2012 8:33 AM

It annoys the fuck out of me whenever I see commercials for a product or company who want you to follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Hey! Check it out, we're tweeting! We tweet! And put something on our wall too! Like us!

Aside from this annoyance, I could never quite put my finger on why social media doesn't work for companies, but Randy Murray nailed it:

The opposite is also true: businesses are not people. For a business to be social, it has to be focused and friendly, but it can never be your friend. I really like Apple products, I own Apple stock, but Apple isn't my friend. I don't need a social relationship with the company that made my car, where I shop for food, or the local dry cleaners. I do find it useful to get news and information from them, and someone to listen and act when I have a problem, but I really don't need another channel of happy talk from businesses.


By Michael Mulvey on November 4, 2011 7:53 AM

At this point I've read and seen enough about the Winklevii to last me a few lifetimes, but this article in Vanity Fair was (another) interesting look into their minds.

Like why they won't let up:

In my opinion, it's all about how much pain you can make the other guy feel," said Dan Walsh, another Olympic rower, when asked to explain the lure of a sport that offers neither fame nor fortune, and why two highly advantaged individuals would spend their 20s pursuing it--the Winklevosses were then weeks away from their 30th birthday. "It's about trying to break him."

And the power of this new strategy is that it requires only modest success to get the Winklevosses what they want, which is not control of Facebook, but rather to cause Mark Zuckerberg pain measurable in pride and money, and through this pain to avenge their own ideal selves by asserting their will over his.

People don't poke anymore.

By Michael Mulvey on September 26, 2011 3:04 PM

Ellis Hamburger over at Business Insider says Facebook is losing it's identity because they're hiding the 'Poke' button.

This is bullshit.

Facebook isn't losing it's identity, it's growing up. It's no longer the site requiring a college email address to sign up for. It's a multi-billion dollar company.

You don't see me driving across lawns or joining hacky sack circles like I did in high school. Doesn't mean I'm losing my identity.

Moving on......

Deeply, profoundly profound.

By Michael Mulvey on September 25, 2011 4:20 PM

Dan Lyons has been hit and miss since retiring his Fake Steve Jobs shtick (ok, mostly miss), but I liked his reaction to Facebook's F8 Conference:

And now suddenly we are living in that future. That future which only yesterday was the future now today is the present. Just like we mark eras using BC and AD, now we will have BF811 and AF811. Where were you on Sept. 22, 2011, when the world changed? I, unfortunately, was holed up in my grubby little office in a small town in Massachusetts. Nevertheless, I will never forget this day. Never. Ever. How could I? This is the day when Timelines was introduced. Timelines! It is, in a word, profound. Deeply, profoundly profound, in fact. "Facebook Just Schooled the Internet. Again" is how MG Siegler put it on TechCrunch. Which is a pretty amazing feat, coming as it does just a year and a half after "Facebook Just Seized Control of the Internet" as MG Siegler wrote in April 2010. It is pretty amazing, after all, to seize control of the Internet. That was bad-ass enough. But to then school the Internet that you've seized control of? Who but Facebook could do that? Good Lord I have to sit down and just think for a minute because my mind is reeling ...

Yes, he lays it on extra thick, but it made me laugh. Probably because I'm a wise-ass too.


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