Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

August 13, 2008

New Mediapost Article: Social Media: Its More Than Facebook

Social Media: Its More Than FacebookI've written a new article on Social Media for Mediapost; please check it out. My thesis is that far too many marketers get hung up on trying to reach people in Facebook, Myspace, etc., when they should be focusing on reaching people where the real action is: on product-focused bulletin boards and forum areas.

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July 24, 2008

Say Goodbye to

Say Goodbye to

Looks like the wildly popular online game and Facebook application Scrabulous will soon disappear as quickly as it rose to preeminence, thanks to a lawsuit filed today by Hasbro, which owns Scrabble, from which Scrabulous is obviously derived. Enjoy it while you can -- frankly, I expect Facebook to be next in Hasbro's crosshairs if it doesn't immediately disable the Scrabulous application. I'm no lawyer but I've read the complaint and am completely convinced that Scrabulous is a flagrant rip-off of the classic Scrabble game. How could two bright developers have been so stupid as to think that they could simply reverse-engineer Scrabble, put it online, gain hundreds of thousands of users, and expect the rights holders to behave like doormats? It boggles the mind. You can read more about this at the New York Times excellent Bits Blog.

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November 26, 2007

Facebook Snoopers Outed By Facebook Group

Facebook Snoopers Outed By Facebook GroupFacebook's now infamous "Beacon" system, which turns its unwitting members into unwitting "fan-sumers," took a major hit today when a renegade Facebook group published a list of commercial participants in its nefarious scheme. They include some small fish and plenty of big brands. Latest talk is of a consumer boycott of these services this Holiday Season: this is a good example of what can happen when a big brand lies down with privacy-stealing fleas. Let the blowback begin!

The list (so far):

Busted Tees
CBS Interactive ( & Dotspotter)
Live Nation
National Basketball Association
Sony Online Entertainment LLC
Sony Pictures
STA Travel
The Knot
Travel Ticker

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November 08, 2007

Facebook Ads May Be Illegal

Facebook Ads May Be IllegalFascinating article in the New York Times discussing how Facebook's plan for "social ads" (which appropriate the likeness of a Facebook user) may be completely illegal, at least in New York State).

The skinny: it's OK to use images taken "on the street" for news or non-commercial purposes but definitely wrong when these images are part of a commercial transaction and the subject does not give written consent. Facebook's "Social Ads" scheme may be in violation of these basic principles.

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Farewell to Facebook!

Farewell to Facebook
I've enjoyed my time on over the past year or so, but have decided to depart, because I don't want advertising injected in any conversations I might have on the site. I've contributed my time and shared some of my intellectual property to Facebook, and it seemed to me a fair trade for whatever bandwidth I've eaten up and whatever services I've used. But I am tired of being shadowed by marketers who don't show their faces and I will not allow advertising to pollute my friendships in the form of product endorsements I have no control over.

I am not a walking billboard. If you want to be my friend, send me e-mail and we'll take it from there.

Facebook Account Deactivation Screen

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