Tag Archives: facebook

In your Face—book

As of last night, you can export your Facebook contacts. How come? Thanks to another wave of the slapfighting going on between Google and Facebook. Thank you, whoever is behind this (Google?).

Facebook Doesn’t Own My Friends is a Chrome extension to export your Facebook friends’ contact data.

Despite what Facebook says, if someone is your “friend” and you can see his/her email address on his/her Facebook info, they are probably OK with you emailing them.

Facebook doesn’t let you export this data, so they expect you to click on each of your friends’ pages, copy their email address (or other contact information), and paste it into your email client. Kind of ridiculous? Yes.

Facebook Doesn’t Own My Friends will let you export all (or some) of your friends’ contact info, to CSV or directly to your Google Contacts (GMail).

Advice? Do it – while you can.

[Via Techcrunch]

Cause a scene


Improv Everywhere is an urban prankster network which causes scenes or flashmobs crowds in cities around the world. One of their latest ‘missions’ was the No Pants 2k9 day organised across 22 cities. The group has spread over to blogs and Facebook as well with their Improv Everywhere page and multiple country-specific groups that try to keep participants up to date with what’s going on.

On Saturday, January 10th, 2009 nearly 2,500 took off their pants on subways in 22 cities around the world. In New York’s 8th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride we had over 1,200 participants, spread over four subway lines.

One of the more interesting ‘missions’ coming up in London is the Urban Desert Island Shipwreck, which will consitute of a few agents being dropped off on an pond island. They’ll be wearing ragged clothes on and showing consequences of a 2-week stay full of hunger and misery setting in. The scenario so far involves a plane crash, a rescue mission and family reunions.

Too close for comfort?


I just read an interview with Mark Zuckerberg (the CEO of Facebook) on TechCrunch. Alongside my hesitation to use Facebook Connect, I decided to re-visit my privacy settings and saw the following privacy policy on the applications section:

When a friend of yours visits an application or authorizes it, the information that the application can access includes your friend’s friend list and information about the people on that list. Thus it can access some information about you. Please note that applications are obligated only to act upon the request of your friend and must respect all of your existing privacy settings.

For those of us who are on Fb and have friends (it’s supposed to be a social thing, right?) it seems that there is no way of getting around releasing info to applications unless you’re willing to be very selective about what information you release on your Fb profile. This ultimately means that pretty much every application will get its hands on your information unless you highly restrict:

  • your number of friends (though you still can’t control what apps they may authorise without your knowledge)
  • the info you release (though  most of us probably don’t mind sharing my info with people we’re friends with, which doesn’t equal their applications)
  • … or you just get off Facebook!


According to Dunbar, human beings are able to maintain stable social relationships with a maximum of 150 persons at a time. In Dunbar’s theory this capacity of the human mind is related to the size of his or her neocortex. The 150 of the people one maintains social relations with may include high school friends or past colleagues with whom a person would want to reacquaint themselves if they met again. Groups above that number usually require some sort of organised control. You can see a reflection of this in news reporting and charity advertising, among others. Why is it that somehow supporting a single child in Africa is often more appealing than the idea of donating money to a school fund or infrastructural causes, which one could deem as more important than a life of a single individual? With news of fatalities, once the number is too high, doesn’t the tragedy of it all get lost among the numbers?

When looking at social networking, and in particular at Facebook, you can easily come across individuals who have a 150+ number of friends. This obviously does not include everyone they have social relationships with, since some people just refuse to do Facebook and some, like the the older generations, sometimes just have no incentive to maintain their presence in the online networking sphere. Assuming that Dunbar’s theory is right, would it be possible to enhance our social networking capacities? Will sites like Facebook allow us to stretch the number 150 and allow us to create and maintain more relationships? This may seem possible, as in normal circumstances we would not have the array of information percolating about our friends’ activities that FB makes available via its news feeds. Whether through status updates or news on your friends’ blogs and break-ups, you’re more often up to date with their situation than ever before. This availability of information stimulates a more regular reacquaintance with one’s friends or colleagues, even family members. Social networks have also been effective in re-connecting people who have lost touch, whether via college networks or simple name browsing. I’m convinced that a lot of people create connections on FB just for the sake of it, regardless of having created a real relationship with a person, but perhaps more and more the friends on FB won’t be just a number?

Our mouths go buzz buzz buzz…

So what is everyone talking about these days? For once it’s actually hard to tell, since new buzzwords seem to be introduced every time we go online. Everyone is expected to be highly involved in the online life of blogs, facebook, and such. We’ve come to a time where our online lives more and more often converge with our real realms of life, including work, friends, political movements, art trends we follow, you name it. We all use the new words, even if we’re not entirely sure what they mean, which leads not only to language change, but to a constant re-definition of these terms as people continue to use them.

Except for the obvious ones, you can check out the ones infiltrating the business spheres these days…

The online social networks and these new linguistic phenomena have an immense breadth of influence on our lives. The language does not only seep through from user to user on FB and blogs, but also gets picked up by a more and more seductive industry of businesses, which thrive on being able to convince you they are more than just that. More and more brands try to create an experience for their customers, appeal to higher values, try to be eco-friendly, privacy-friendly, whatever it takes. Customer loyalty building and networking have become one of the most visible trends when you navigate the web.

Are you on Facebook?


After months and months of hearing this question and seeing every day that about half of all computer users at my college were logged into Facebook, I finally concluded that this was something to investigate. I was going to write down all my possible questions and complain about the time wasting, the artificial cyber social lives we live, and all else that could come to my mind on the topic, but the post never happened and instead I finally gave in into creating my own profile on Facebook.

I’m there. With just a week under my belt, I’m so far connected with 18 other people, I’ve created a Flickr account so that I could display my pictures, and put up an RSS feed from my blog, among other things. Whew. I found everyone from my brother to long lost highschool friends and know there’s only more coming.

With almost 50 mln people on Facebook around the globe and 200 000 new users every day, Facebook really does have it going. It’s used by students, businesses, and just about everyone else. Mark Zuckenberg establised the webpage in 2004. Today he is 24 and the business is estimated to be worth around $15 bilion.

Are you on Facebook?