Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Facebook Implosion

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis May 24th, 2012

Remember how I warned against buying Facebook stock during its IPO?  If you listened to me, you sold short right afterwards, and MADE A FORTUNE.  It’s been in a downward spiral since the initial offering, and I don’t think that’s the end of it.  For some reason, Wall Street and the gang think that just because something is popular and “technological”, it can make money.  You would think that some lessons would be learned after the dot-com bubble burst in 2001, but alas…. they just don’t get it.  I just read a great analysis by Michael Wolff of the Technology Review that concurred, for different reasons.  I solve puzzles all day, and the thing that I always come back to is REMEMBER THE BASICS.  Yes, the advertising and the information they hold about their users is an issue, but the biggest, simplest reason they will continue to drop is POPULARITY.  People are already drifting away.  They’re tired of Joe Studly posting every move he makes, including brushing his teeth.  They’ve been scalded by having TOO MUCH information available when their best friend stops talking to them because of some awkward post on FB.  So it’s become a place where only the die-hard fans continue to post, and others just sit back and watch (or stop using it for weeks at a time).  As FB tries to capitalize on the information they have, and shove more advertising in people’s faces, they’ll lose even more users.  If you want to invest in technology, look for truly high-tech solutions to terrible problems.  Cancer research is a fine example.  Or at least buy something that has a tangible service to the users, like Google’s search engine, or Amazon’s online store.  Ok, I’ll climb down off the soap-box now.  :-)

Facebook Apps

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis March 16th, 2012

Facebook is officially APP crazy.  Since the wild popularity of Farmville, there are tons of games and gizmos for millions of Facebook users to play with.  First off I have to say I DON’T DO FB APPS.  So for all my friends that invite me daily to challenge 5th graders or join the mafia – Forget It.  Why?  Privacy.  Each one has access to information from your page, and (if they’re smart) they’ll sell that. There have already been “breeches” in the flow of information from the app vendors, and who knows what they’re collecting or who they might be selling it to.  Besides, there are plenty of games elsewhere that are better, faster, and less intrusive.  I noticed that since the change to timeline that they made it more difficult to banish requests from a given app.  Before, you could just go to the request and one of the options was to Ignore This App, or basically ban it from ever bothering you again.  But since this is one of the major selling points for advertisers (especially the “sticky app’s”… the ones people spend a lot of time on) they evidently made it more difficult to make them GO AWAY.  If you want this, go to the Apps panel on the left column, then click any invites.  You should be able to opt out of any future invites.  I always giggle about some customers I had that REFUSED to give up their PC’s because they had to check their farms on Farmville.  They would rather have a virus than let their crops dry up.  Bizarre.

Facebook Stalkers

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis February 20th, 2012

Yes, it happens.  So there are LOTS of good reasons to enable privacy on your account.  ESPECIALLY women and kids.  But you’ll often see ads that claim they can tell you things like 1) who is looking at your page and 2) who’s searching the engines for you.  THESE ARE FALSE, and might get you a virus instead.  There’s no way to do this without a warrant, so it’s just another scam.  They’re trying to get you to sign up/pay for something that’s impossible.  Meanwhile, make sure you enable full privacy on FB and don’t friend anyone you’re unsure of.   If you or someone in your family suspect ANY bad feelings about an individual, just remove them from the friend list.  Better safe than sorry.  I’ve also posted some good stuff in previous blogs to help protect/monitor your children It’s interesting to note here that LinkedIn (another social site geared more towards business) CAN tell you who’s watching, for a price.  You have to pay them for a premium account to get this feature.

Facebook IPO

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis February 19th, 2012

Should you invest?  The initial public offering of stock by Facebook has been the hot topic of the business world for a few weeks now.  I’ve read a lot of opinions, and been asked by several people to weigh in, so here goes:  at this point I think it would be VERY dangerous to buy the stock.  The biggest issue, in my mind, is that the success of the company depends on popularity.  Let’s be honest here:  the attention span of the average American is about … ooo what was that?  Oh.  What was I saying?  :-)  Seriously, does anyone even REMEMBER MySpace?  They started this fad, after all.  Add to that the VERY high expectations of success, and the fact that Zuckerberg refuses to give any control to the stockholders, and I see a recipe for disaster (unless you plan to sell short).  Internet companies like this have very little brick and mortar capitol invested, so it’s basically just a high priced IDEA.  Throw in the fact that the staff virtually ignores the users, and I see a failure looming.  Have you ever tried to get help on Facebook from the company?  If so, you know how frustrating it is.  There are no phone numbers, no chat options…nothing.  At best you can send an email and HOPE they respond.  For more detailed analysis here is an article describing how people don’t trust them (thanks Daily Ticker).  Here’s another with lots of financial details (very nice analysis by Aswath Damodaran) .

More Facebook Changes

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis September 27th, 2011

If you thought the ticker was bad, wait ’til you see what’s next!  The new Facebook profile is radically different, and coming soon to everyone’s account.  It sounds like they’ll leave it optional, at least for awhile.  The new layout will be based on a timeline of your life, and will try to emphasize the important events along the way.  Most reviews that I’ve read said they didn’t like it AT FIRST.  But after they tried it awhile they decided it was a great improvement.  Here’s an article that describes it in detail.

Facebook Ticker

Helpful Hints, News | Posted by Dennis September 24th, 2011

The biggest uproar on all the latest Facebook (FB) changes are about the News Ticker.  Most people aren’t thrilled with the fact that it’s posting EVERYTHING, even people’s LIKES and comments.  Now it’s not like you couldn’t see this info BEFORE, but you had to go to their profile to view it.  Still, people seem to be unnerved by the new display.  You can turn this off for individuals by hovering over their name and selecting the things you want to see.  But this could take FOREVER if you’ve got a long list of friends.  (there are lots of folks posting requests to do this).  But there are other ways.  Some are programs you can download, others are alternative browsers like Google Chrome.  Here’s an article that describes several methods of getting rid of that pesky FB ticker altogether.

The New Facebook

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis September 23rd, 2011

Well, it made Headline News, and now it’s all over the web; EVERYBODY’s talkin’ about the latest Facebook changes.  Most are complaining, and it DOES seem like it’s simply a change for the sake of, well, CHANGE.  But there’s actually some serious motivation behind this, and it’s called MARKETING.  They want to be able to target very specific people with ads, and sell it.  After all, it’s really the ONLY way Facebook makes money.  I don’t like it either, and one of the things that REALLY irks me is that their software now shows me what IT thinks I want to see.  Ummmm, HELLO!?  How would you know?  Did you ASK?  Meanwhile there are a couple of obvious changes; 1) the ticker and 2) lists.  I’ll go into details later, but the one complaint that is REALLY circulating right now is that PEOPLE DON’T WANT THEIR COMMENTS and likes showing up on everybody’s ticker!  I have a friend that would call this a ‘Yuppie Problem’.  :-)  There are MASS REQUESTS going out on FB for people to go turn this off on all their friends.  I hate to break the bad news, but some have THOUSANDS of friends listed, and it would take them a WEEK to do that.   But I’m guessing their tickers roll by in a blur.  Here’s the CNET article that describes all the changes in more details. 

Cyber Bullying

Helpful Hints, News | Posted by Dennis September 7th, 2011

Bullies onlineDon’t take that crap.  Really.  You, your kids, your family DESERVE BETTER.  We really don’t have to put up with harassment, derogatory statements, threats, or any type of electronic abuse.  Our laws are finally catching up to the issue, and some states are clamping down hard on any type of bullying behavior.  New Jersey just passed the strictest laws EVER for bullying in schools, and they include electronic versions.  Most service providers and sites have mechanisms in place to help you or your loved ones cope with these issues.  Facebook, for example, can help you tackle the problem by reporting and/or blocking the person in question.  Here’s a page that shows all the tricks.  Keep in mind that the bullies in question may differ RADICALLY from a real, live one.  They hide under anonymity, and are more often “geeks” than muscle-bound freaks.  There are a lot of resources out there to help you and yours cope.  Here’s a good place to start.

Facebook Pages

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis August 22nd, 2011

There are a couple of different types of pages that you can create on Facebook.  One type is called a GROUP, the other is called an OFFICIAL page (AKA Fan Page originally).  They are both pretty easy to set up.  The first type, or group page, is intended for non-commercial stuff like clubs, non-profits, and families.  All you have to do is click the group icon to do this.  Note that you can make it Open, Closed, or Secret.  If you change your mind, you can change this later.  An interesting note about groups:  Facebook can take it away!  If your group gets popular enough, they step in and take over.  Not so with the second type, or OFFICIAL page:  This one is a little harder to create, and is intended for companies and/or products.  These used to have a FAN button (so they were called Fan Pages) but that has changed.  If you have a business or product you want to create a page for, here are the instructions.  The article also gives some good reasons to do it this way, instead of creating a group.  If you get 25 likes on your Official page, you can request a unique URL (e.g.

To all you readers: Thanks!

Helpful Hints, News | Posted by Dennis August 1st, 2011

Statistics for the web siteWOW!  This blog SHATTERED all previous records in July!  The TPCD news site  got 16,000 + hits in July, more than double the previous month.  I guess what Dad told me is true – Content is King.  He had noticed on his blog site that if he didn’t post, the hits dropped dramatically.  Same here. I slacked off in June and only managed to post about half the month, and the stats definitely show it.   I’m glad everyone is visiting, but if you have questions or comments, by far the best place is on the Facebook page.  Once you’re a fan (just click the LIKE button) you can post.  Enjoy!