As of April 2012, Facebook connected 900 million people. That’s three times the size of the United States, and roughly 36% of the wired world. After the IPO, or the Initial Public Offering, it is estimated to reach a value of US$100 Billion, making it the second largest internet company ever surpassing Amazon.com ($90 Billion) and behind Google ($200 Billion). Some say that this behemoth of human interaction will never die, and that one day Facebook will connect the entire world. Investors are excited as the service continues to grow almost 10 years after its creation in a Harvard Dorm in 2003. Some even predict that it will become the largest company in the history of the world, however, this is a set of opinions I feel I disagree with. Although Social Networking Services have existed since the beginning of the World Wide Web, ones of this size and scale are in their very early ages. In no way has a system such as Facebook matured from the early days of social networks – they are still built on the false assumptions of almost dead sites such as MySpace, Friendster and even Bebo. ‘Friending People’ is a broken system, yet nobody realises the great flaw it poses because they haven’t even questioned it yet. Facebook tells me that everyone I allow to connect to me is my friend. No best friends, no acquaintances, just friends. In real life, social law dictates that someone will rank the people they know in order of how much they interact. I have my close group of friends; the ones I sit with every lunch time and hang out in the weekends. Then, I have my year group, most of which I am connected to on Facebook, then I get the novelty people I add, for example, Jack Robinson, a 23 year old student in Wellington, or Jack Robinson, 18 year old mechanic from Canada. Now, the last two I have never met before, yet Facebook has me consider them at the same level as the actual friends I spend my spare time with. Although recently they added a feature to distinguish between close and non-close friends, it wasn’t made openly aware, and it essentially just gives you another level of privacy to what you share. Facebook wants you to share with everyone, and a feature such as this just continues to make it look like they are on your side. Facebook markets itself as a Social Network for everyone, something that has enabled it to become the size it is. Their largest technique of gaining members is the fact that if your friends are on it, you will too. No doubt that this is effective – a lot of people see it as a thing of social standing having a Facebook profile, however this ‘one size fits all’ genre of social media is another flaw. It goes against more of society’s laws. When you think about it, you live in a society where fundamentally, everyone has the same beliefs as you. Although you may have a preference of who governs us, or what sports team you support, it doesn’t mean that you are largely different to that person. Deep down to the nuts and bolts of it, you are living in the same society because your interests and beliefs are the same. This also enables you to meet someone new and know that they have the same basic values as you. Religions live in societies because they understand each other. Essentially what I am trying to get here is that if I interact with a group outside of my close social life in the society in which I live, I know that they have the same basic mind-set as me. If I mention Social Network, you’d immediately assume I’m talking about a website such as Facebook or Twitter, and that such an idea has only been around for 20 or so years, but that is wrong. A Social Network is a sociological term that has been around for a large number of years, and you too have been a part of one. This extremely successful network is called society, and this has been around for centuries. But of course, this comes up with the question: Why aren’t online social networks such as Facebook built to reflect physical societies? Imagine this three part model. There are three concentric circles. In the central one is your close friends and family, those who if something came up you’d call on them first. There may only be 20 to 30 of them, but they are the ones that mean most to you. The second circle, a much bigger circle, is the one made up of connections you have made. These may be people in your year group at school, or even people that you have met only once or twice, and they saw fit to add you; kind of like the people you would meet in the street and talk to. Instead of perhaps the first circle being the one you share the most with, you could choose what you post only to your close friends, or what you post to everyone. The third circle, which will be much larger than the last two, would be the people also on the network that you haven’t ‘friended’ however, this network of people share similar ideals to you, which is why they joined this particular network. These are people who you probably have walked past many times, yet, you haven’t had the time to meet and talk to them. You could say this is the circle of people who you haven’t met yet. Then, you could choose what you share with what people. You may want to talk to your friends but you may not want to talk to your connections, and vice versa. And the third circle is up to you as to what you want to share with the entire network. And there won’t be just one of these networks, there will be hundreds of communities created to reflect the ideals and beliefs of the users who use them, and achieve millions of members. These kinds of networks will reflect what societies we live in. It reflects the quote given by Justin Timberlake’s character, Sean Parker, in the movie ‘The Social Network’ – “We lived on farms, we lived in cities, now, we are going to live on the internet” which is wholeheartedly a true statement. If social media perfects the art of creating a society of networks online, they will achieve a new medium as to where people can live their lives. This is what the future of networks has to be like, to be more for the connections, not the member making, advertising behemoth of Facebook, and this change is happening right now. Facebook recently implemented the upgraded Groups function that allows you to select people and only talk to them. They also started the ranking of friends system, but as I said, the default is that they are thrown in your friend pool. They have some way to go yet before they achieve a full online society. Facebook has in no way won the battle. Social Media, as it stands, is just in its early years and already we have seen the immense impact it has. As soon as new networks stop setting goals to be the new Facebook, and instead aim to be the new Society, this is when social media will be perfected. When? Well, about three years from now. Already networks are popping up just over the last year that helps with this theory – Google+ for example has a function they call ‘Circles’ that does almost what the above model shows, and this is only in its first year of running. It took Facebook five years to reach 50 million, Google+ reached 100 million in one. There is a new age in social networking coming, you just have to wait.
The internet annoys me.
I blame the fact that these days your social status online is dictated wholly by the single lined comment you left on a 9gag.com picture, or the reddit post that got you 1000 karma. How long does that last? On reddit, at least, about half a day depending on how busy it is. After that, you are forgotten.
I mean, I’m all for one liners. Some are funny, but there is a serious problem when long winded jokes on the internet are just forgotten because that. They are too long (which is why this is probably going to be small).
But, yeah, the internet has killed the long joke. Not only that, Tumblr is a gif-haven?! WHAAAAT?! I don’t get it. I mean, I don’t use this for much - rant my ideas out, out loud, and the cool thing is no one really looks at these. Except you, of course. Maybe it’s because I don’t tag nuthin.
I kinda wished this to be longer, but I’m just too lazy. That, and if it was too long, you’d be like TOO LONG, DIDN’T READ.
A hundred, godamn, billion.
What is this madness?
Okay, I admit, I have a problem with Facebook. While it is a very good way of communication, and I use it every day, I don’t exactly like it. Perhaps its the fact I aspire to make billions one day on the internet, maybe it is because I don’t like how much they know. The main reason, I think, is the fact they cannot make a good Android App.
But after their entry onto the stock market, they have an estimated value of $104 Billion, but what I don’t understand, why would you invest? In its defence, I see that they have had exponential growth after 10 or so years, so it’s probably most likely that your share prices would increase. However, there are a couple things bugging me.
The first is the amount of money it makes. I know it has probably had 100% increase over the last four years. 44% of all ads on Facebook are not visited. This means 44% of the possible cashflow (Last year it was roughly three billion) isn’t coming in. Thats about two billion dollars not making it into the company, so, their advertising model is slightly off kilter. Does this mean they are bad at advertising? No, it means they are keeping the users happy. However, this raises a concern. How do the business people look at it. 44% loss of money. How are they going to increase it? 44% more advertisements. Business people of monetary gain are what kills networks. Look at MySpace, look at Bebo. They’re essentially dead because of the corporations taking control.
Secondly. what are Facebook going to do with the Windfall? They’ve already announced they aren’t planning on making any more acquisitions of the instagram-size deal. Just the fact that they believed it to be worth a billion dollars made me mad. Such a stupid piece of technology. So they have $16 billion essentially sitting there. More members only makes so much money.
FACT: I’m addicted to Minecraft.
Who knew that a game where you place blocks and adventure with friends fighting skeletons, zombies and sheep could be so much fun. I’ve currently sunk 700+ hours into Minecraft over the last year and a half and I’m still going strong, however, there is one thing that is beginning to annoy me - the unique minecraft server is dying.
Over the last year and a half, there have been three or four different servers I have played on, and that I have consistently enjoyed. The first was the first server I ever joined, AvengersCreations. Now, this was my first venture into Minecraft, more importantly, my first steps of power. Me, being the 15 year old I was, enjoyed this ‘power’ and used it at every chance - following griefers, banning griefers, power abuse, power abuse with other mods, promotions/demotions. Now I look back, apart from being good-humoured, and good with words, I was a bad admin, and I was the exact thing I don’t look for in a server. But the time I had there was one of the best online experiences ever, where I ventured into the realms of Minecraft Alpha and began chewing my life away. AC one day randomly shut down, and so I was forced to find a new home (I came back one day after an argument that ensued between the original owner and his ‘friend’ and got mad, kinda. I regret it now, but it was a release of pent up anger over the owner).
After AC, I moved to minecraft.co.nz for a bit, but it didn’t feel like home, and at this stage, I was still a n00b kinda at Minecraft. It wasn’t until my friends and I started up a private server that I came to experience the different kinds of Minecraft - Half-Creative, Creative and proper Vanilla Survival. It was this variation, along with the fact I could play not only with local friends, but be able to make ones from overseas as well that made me love the game. As Exams loomed towards the end of the year, My friends dropped off to study, while I kept on powering through (a decision that almost made me fail the year) and ended up joining the VoxelBox, and was made a member after a construction of Hangman made from Redstone. This server is very unique indeed, and the player base a majority of the time can be cool, and I saw this as a server that I could stay on for a bit. It is my most recent server-that-I-played-more-than-three-times, however, my time came to an end when I realised I never felt at home on the server. So here I am, on an adventure to find the niche server for me…
The thing about starting back pre-bukkit was that servers, although mostly the same and without a buhzillion mods, were all different. They found ways to keep the player-base entertained that put them apart from others, and also, there weren’t hundreds of thousands of servers. Thats what put the old days apart from today. Bukkit has allowed all these servers to customise their game to have a game they want to play, which is an extension on what the admins did pre-bukkit, and on hMod, but I feel, in making the Admin do less hard work to make it different from another, the server has lost its charm.
Thats my problem. Admins have gotten lazy.
I have a terrible attention span, and I frequently server-jump a lot, and the main turn off these days is the fact I cannot find a unique server anymore. They all run three things - Factions, iConomy and Towny, and when looking for a server, it’s very bland scrolling through a page of servers all with [ECONOMY] [TOWNS] [FACTIONS] blaring at my face, and is an immediate turn-away. I know having these on a server is kinda cool, but why? I mean, yeah sure, you want your own server, but making it the same as seven others out there; will it be your server?
I’m not telling people off for the use of these mods constantly - Minecraft is a game to be played like you want it, but it’s because of this repetitive mod selection, I fear the unique minecraft server is dying. Being a Vanilla Fan through and through, and having previous admining skills, and player experience, a large portion on what I judge a Minecraft server on is the admins. They create the experience the players have, but It grates me that admins insist on having the same three mods over and over and over again. There isn’t enough variation these days, and it makes me sad.
In an ideal world, you’d take these mods, and each do something new with them, but I know you can’t, when there is 100,000 other servers probably with the same mods, but variation from server to server is awesome, and you should all one day do a Minecraft Server Pilgrimage. See whats out there, and think what can make my server different - different will attract new members, and I know for sure that it would entice me :P
Call me hipster, but I miss the old days, and I’m still on the lookout for a cool vanilla server. This is more a plea to admins to create their own world, not something 200 other servers are doing :/ Hate me, love me, do what you want :D
Oh yeah. I’m back.
Anywho, at school, I have a habit of cracking bad jokes. I’m not talking about, racist or sexist jokes, I’m talking about the ones that are so bad, they can sometimes be considered funny.
For example -
How did the man drown in his museli?
He was pulled under by a strong currant
Just look at the bad-ness radiating from that joke.
I think I might post more of these in the future 8)
I was in town after work today, about 4pm, and I was on my way to the supermarket with a couple of friends who decided to kidnap me, and make me go with them to see another, when I saw a massive, great big sign saying ‘Join us on Facebook’, and I’m talking about a couple thousand dollars worth of sign, all dedicated to a Facebook page.
They’re not the only one. Of a 11 ad run I saw on TV tonight, I saw 6 that advertised their Facebook page. ShareAnIdea.org.nz, the site that is getting people to collaborate on the ideas of what is going to happen next in Christchurch, has it’s main userbase on Facebook. Tetris, a game I absolutely play to death, makes me sign in through Facebook.
Everywhere I go, it’s less company websites, more Facebook Like Pages. This goes to show the corporate side of social networking. Companies will spend thousands of dollars in advertising, just to get their Facebook page out there. Right now, I have the Fresh Choice Facebook page open in front of me. Guess how many people have liked it?
No. Twenty Seven.
So while the technology is out there, the masses do not want to ‘like’ their supermarket, or like the funeral home on TV. Corporations turn people away from Social Media. Look at MySpace, look now at Facebook. Twitter is looking more cool now because it doesn’t have major companies, such as Microsoft pulling strings, nor is there an ad for Nike to get me to buy some soccer boots.
By the looks of things, 90% of people are likely to give you their password in return for a pen.
Anyone want a free pen?