Tom Anderson on the Google+ and Facebook War

Today Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed some of their upcoming changes that will be launched in the next little while. There has been quite a lot of discussion on Google+ today about how big of a change is coming up.

Remember MySpace? Nah, me either. But it used to be the biggest site out there…One of the people that ran Myspace was Tom Anderson. All kidding aside, Tom Anderson has a great perspective on how to run a social network. He’s now a user on Google+, and gave some commentary on the wars going on between Google and Facebook, and how the changes are going to end up benefiting Google in the end. Here is his commentary for you…

Why Facebook’s New Vision is Good for Google+

I sat back in awe watching Zuckerberg at F8 today. Facebook has done it again — they are always reinventing themselves, always pushing toward the future. They’re so good at incorporating other ideas at the right time (http://on.mash.to/rkpYna) and leaving out ideas, when the’re too early.

Many people have messaged me on G+ saying that the new Facebook looks like MySpace of 2008. Customizing profiles with modules, music, video, news. There’s some truth to that. But MySpace (even under my leadership) was a rudimentary and often poor implementation of those ideas. It’s also true that people may have not been ready for MySpace back then. (Not to mention that web standards and bandwidth may have not been ready.)

The thinking behind Facebook and MySpace have always shared some basic tenets, if not from the outset, at least by late 2004:

1) Everyone will be online. Some old folks will learn. The young will swim in it.
2) Everything gets better online when you can socialize around it / talk about it.
3) People want a “place” on the web, to be found, to communicate, and represent themselves.

These are some of the basic reasons these sites are so popular. Facebook gradually got better than MySpace at realizing all these basic ideas. The one they were never that good at was “representing” the individual. That will probably change with this new launch. There’s a chance Facebook could execute poorly and things won’t work as well as they hoped, but that’s not likely. Facebook generally gets things right over time.

So if Facebook keeps getting better & better, and keeps delivering on the basic promise of “social networking,” how is that good for Google+? It’s good because with the changes announced today, Facebook becomes quite different. I wouldn’t say that today’s Google+ is too much like today’s Facebook. But I will say, that to succeed in the long run, it’ll have to be different. And it just got easier to be “different.”

Here is the link to read the rest of the post. Oh, and while you’re there, sign up for Google+!
via Google.

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Today’s post about Facebook stealing your Contacts Data is ‘partially true’.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

I usually hate messages on Facebook that sound so alarmist, and today’s post at least 10 of my friends and family put up sounded much like the rest of them, like a bunch of BS. So I started digging around and found a great explanation over at Gawker.com. Here is an excerpt from the post. I recommend that if you use Facebook, that you read up on it.

Facebook users are freaking out over the fact that the numbers of all their cellphone contacts are showing up on Facebook. What’s going on? Is Mark Zuckerberg planning the world’s largest phon-a-thon?

A scary message is being passed around Facebook, warning that you and all your buddies’ cell phone numbers are visible to the world. It goes something like this:

“OMG this is for real everyone!!!! Warning to ALL …ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS IN YOUR PHONE are now on Facebook! No joke – go to the top right of the screen, click on Account, then click on Edit Friends, go left on the screen and click Contacts. All phone numbers are published!! Please re-post this on your Status, so you r friends can remove their numbers and thus prevent abuse if they do not want them published.”

via What’s Facebook Doing With All the Numbers in My Cell Phone?.

Then Gizmodo gave a step by step instruction on how to stop Facebook syncing your personal contacts to their greedy little servers. Here is a part of the article.

Facebook loves doing unexpected things with your data. Now it’s culling numbers from your phone and adding them to its online database to “help you” find contacts. Don’t trust Facebook with your mom’s number? Here’s how to fix it.

If you’re syncing, Facebook’s iPhone app will pull the numbers in your phone’s contact file and upload them to Facebook. While it notes that these numbers are only visible to you, Facebook has a way of, let’s say, shifting its policies.

via Here’s How To Remove Your Contacts’ Phone Numbers From Facebook’s Clutches.

So, thank you friends on Facebook for getting my attention about this data mining, though you can turn off your caps-lock!