52 posts categorized "Social Networking"

August 24, 2008

I Got Facebook Spammed

I received an interesting Facebook message tonight from another mom:

Your ass looks not bad in this video.:
http://%79ou%74ube.su%62do%6D%65n%79.com.pl/?a=F0F2E... (lots more letters/symbols after this - too long to bother including in this post)

Because I have a background in Internet security, I did hesitate before responding.. Well, that and the fact that another mom would probably not compliment me in such a way. So, if you don't have a background in Internet security (and like when people compliment your a**) let me give you a hint:

Links to you tube look like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxT5NwQUtVM
(Here is link to my favorite "mom song" from YouTube)

Now compare THAT link to the babbling link I was sent in Facebook.   Does that link look anything like a YouTube link?

NO!

Instead of clicking on that link (HINT: never do that), I sent a message back to that mom asking "What's up with that message". She replied that she had clicked on a link from her friend and her Facebook friends are randomly getting that message - without her directly sending it.

In the end, this seems to be some sort of virus like spam that is being spread. So do yourselves a favor, never click on any link you get on email or on your social networks without reviewing the link - and the message.

RELATED POST: Charlene Li also blogged about the Facebook Virus

Here is a link to two posts I did about Phishing, which is similar to what happened here.
Techmamas:
Attack of the Computer Phishers and Zombie Hordes
Beware of Phishers: Part Deux - The Domain Name System Security Hole 

Best of all, check the Facebook Security page for important security updates.

July 21, 2008

Techmama's Summer Adventures at BlogHer

I am just getting back down to earth after a whirlwhind couple of weeks.. Backlogged with technology posts (can't wait to talk about my Jawbone) - but so happy with the non stop action and excitement. These events were planned with the knowledge that many of the Silicon Valley Moms Group contributors (that I am a Co-Founder of) were coming out to San Francisco to attend the BlogHer conference.  I will post more gory details in the weeks to come, but here is a summary:

1. Organized the technology and developed the site for the Silicon Valley Moms Group "Moms Road Trip". Including an interesting clip on CBS News... Followed the Mom Road Trip for their last 30 miles in my mini-van filled with swag bags for activity #2...We had a FUN stop at Guy Kawasaki's house.

2. Worked with the other founders of the Silicon Valley Moms Group to plan summer parties for our fabulous contributors. There were also fab swag bags.... All the hard work was worth it - meeting up with our contributors was a real treat!

3. Attended the BlogHer conference...

Oh - and between all of this managing three boys at two different summer camps - that change every two weeks.. Ah, those relaxing summer days... More details to come...

June 26, 2008

Liveblogging Facebook Girl Geek Developer Garage

I am here in San Francisco using my new favorite toy (Sprint USB Broadband card - Compass 597) to liveblog one of my favorite social networking events: Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners. The theme of this dinner is the Facebook Developer Garage with the following panelists:
» Ruchi Sanghvi (Principal Product Manager, Facebook)
» Julie Zhuo (Product Designer, Platform, Facebook)
» Alina Libova (Founder and Developer, Easter Eggs)
» Holly Liu (User Experience and Co-Founder, Watercooler)
» Annie Chang (Co-Founder, LOLapps)
Moderator:
Sandra Liu Huang (Program Manager, Facebook)
Introduction:
Cyan Banister (Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Zivity)

This event celebrates and promotes women in technology.  Please excuse any incorrect statements or spelling errors, my son decided to wake us up at 3am with alittle stomach problem so it was not a good night for sleep!

It is almost 7pm and we about to start...

Angie Chang, organizer of the Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner is giving an intro. She thanked Facebook for sponsoring this event.

Cyan Banister (Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Zivity) introduced herself and shared that she was once voted the most sexiest Geek. She talked about the contest - it was a time based test... Started out as 100,000 then she won. Celebrated both female and male geeks. She has a blog: Sexiest Geek Alive (they are accepting nominations now.... ) . 50% or more are online buyers, but there is not good representation the engineers - so glad to see everyone.

Ami Vora from the Facebook Platform group talked about advantages and disadvantages of being a girl geek. No lines for bathroom - one of the advantages. But hard to find mentors. She was excited to bring women from around the social media space together. Seeing this network gave her hope to see a strong female network.

Julie - Is an Engineer at Facebook... She talked about the history and technical challenges and what is coming up over the horizon.
-Why did they build this platform? Value of social contest for applications. Make it possible for users to have a social network everywhere. Then they integrated third party application content and distribution.  One of the biggest distribution channels is the newsfeed. There are also minifeeds, requests and invitations channels. 
About the platform
...They created FBML, extension of HTML.  FBML is first parced by Facebook and translated into HTML to be rendered by browser.  FTML helps enforce privacy and can be abstract.
Re-design plans? They are working on a profile re-design to put the focus more on the user and highlight what is relevant. There will be tabs on the new profile. Users will be able to install application tabs.

Sandra- 20% of the people do 80% of the networking. She suggested we all introduce ourselves to the person sitting next to us... I had to great opportunity to talk with Ami Vora.

Panelists introduced themselves: Ruchi Sanghvi (Principal Product Manager, Facebook),Julie Zhuo (Product Designer, Platform, Facebook), Alina Libova (Founder and Developer, Easter Eggs), Holly Liu (User Experience and Co-Founder, Watercooler). Annie Chang (Co-Founder, LOLapps)

QUESTIONS:

How is it working in early stage of products?...Holly- We put emphasis on listening to users and growing. Holly said the social media space is dynamic - fast paced change, it is important to respond to user feedback. Annie said it is exciting, busy - when working on Facebook we get instant feedback. When Ruchi started at Facebook they had a small crew, but over time they matured and understood the value we offered. We added unique visions, it has been truly dynamic and an amazing experience.

How about moving it to the next stage? Julie said they were surprised how the user base grew so quickly, and commented that they constantly look at is what is best for the  Facebook users. Holly said Iterate as soon as you get user feedback and make things easy and accessible for users... Alina started adding ad revenue then used the Facebook developer forum to advertise that she wanted to sell her facebook app.

Where do you go to find ideas for product development and find people to mentor you? Alina gets the most ideas during final week. She uses teachers and a wiki page for mentorship. Julie gets ideas for applications from their user community, suggested if you talk about what you are interested in and passion about you will end up meeting the right people. Ruchi also said to iterate and develop quickly. Holly said simple applications that allow people to share information is important. Alina suggested to find a niche market, most developers are men and there are many women that use social networking apps so having a women's perspective while developing apps is an advantage. Annie said Facebook app distribution is totally different, you just need to understand how people interact with their friends. It will grow if you design it right and people want to share it with their friends.

What facebook apps do you like?

Julie - Bowling buddies and word games (like scramble). Alina likes the friends circle. Holly likes the biggest brain.

Questions from the audience....

Here comes the food....

SUMMARY: Seeing and meeting these women made me proud to be a girl geek!


June 22, 2008

MySpace Versus Facebook: Where are the Highschool/College Students Going?

UPDATE: See response from 23 year old blogger/writer Vanessa Van Petten  below...

Andrew Chen from the blog "Futuristic Play" posted with an international analysis of the traffic and ad revenue of MySpace versus Facebook.  The summary had an interesting conclusion: "MySpace leads in the major market (the US) but is losing ground overseas".  That post lead to a discussion on Techmeme, with blogs like GigaOm who added "....Social Networks need to find new purposes for people to come back every day and be loyal."

I can't comment on the international market, but I can comment on the US. I like to use my "completely unscientific" analysis which is just talking with random people to see which social network they use. While some college students are sick of what is out there - which relates to GigaOm's point that social networks need to find new purposes - the overall trend is online social networking becoming the "default stop" for all college students. A neighbor of mine, who has a son entering college next fall, said his son joined the college's Facebook network and has already found a local gal to go on a few dates, a roomate and friends.  College students are using Facebook events, applications, groups and even Facebook pages (good purposes for people to come back). When I ask the teens, they mention both MySpace and Facebook, but say that many are "leaving" MySpace for Facebook. When I asked why - they just said because Facebook is "cool". The Facebook terms of use allow teens starting at 13 years or older to create profiles, but they must be in highschool. MySpace's terms of use specify 14 years or older, without the educational requirements. The educational requirement has turned into an advantage for Facebook, highschool and college students I talk to joined to be part of their school's groups/network.

Continue reading "MySpace Versus Facebook: Where are the Highschool/College Students Going?" »

May 27, 2008

FriendFeed - An Example

I posted yesterday about Lifestreaming so I was happy to see an example of using FriendFeed. Steve Rubel posted his FriendFeed link (and he is a power user). His FriendFeed does have interesting links and discussions, but I wonder how I would keep up with all of this when added to all the other social network tools I use...

Steve Rubel - FriendFeed

Any thoughts on FriendFeed? Is this something moms would use? Is it ok to subscribe to your kid's FriendFeed?

I will try to stop obsessing over social media and talk about something else - really...

May 22, 2008

ReadWriteWeb: How to Use Social Media for Social Change

I found this post from ReadWriteWeb that discusses how social media can be used for social change, including Jeremiah Owyang's post about how to support the China Earthquate relief organizations and Facebook Causes (among others). That post highlights some great examples of how the forces of social media can be used for charity as well as networking with friends.

UPDATE: Here are a few other posts demonstrating how blogging can be used to as resources for the community:

Earthquake preparedness at the Silicon Valley Moms Blog (Sarah Granger) Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst and Emergency Preparedness Kit - What's In Yours?

Breast Cancer support like the topics covered by Why Mommy of Toddler Planet

Do you have any other links to share?

May 21, 2008

Facebook Redesign Preview

I just read that the Facebook redesign was presented to select media and bloggers (hey, what about some parent bloggers?). Here is a link to the screen shot, and liveblog details of the redesign meeting from the Inside Facebook blog. Mark Slee, Product Manager from Facebook, described the goal as the following:

"The goal is to split up different types of information according to the different ways user communicate. The core tabs are Feed, Info, Photos, and Boxes, and there will be custom application tabs as well."

Tabs and re-organizing the data related to how people communicate will be helpful for engaging more parents into Facebook - who are currently scared off by the multiple amounts of information that is thrown their way. I scaled down my Facebook profile to only allow feeds, walls and my links - some of the applications were overwhelming to keep track of. Even though I will miss out on some Good Karma or virtual cocktails - I am happy with just utilize Facebook as a way to network and keep up to date on my friend's feeds and links.

May 18, 2008

TechMama Quiz: College Gals or Moms Discussing Facebook?

This discussion took place today at 4:30pm. The challenge is to guess if it is a group of college gals or a group of moms talking. The conversation is from my mom-of-three-boys memory so it may not be exact.

Person 1: Hey Person 2- that Facebook status you put up on your profile last week was amazing!

Person 2: (laugh, giggle, laugh)

Person 3: Did you see the link I put up on my profile about that Facebook in Reality YouTube Video?

Person 1: No, I missed it - I don't read the Facebook links posted as much as I read the Facebook status updates. A buddy of mine put a status update announcing a breaking news item - I could not believe it! I had to turn on the TV to confirm it was for real.

Person 3: What Facebook applications do you like to use?

Person 2: I don't like the applications where someone sends you a cocktail, I wish they would just message me to meet live for a cocktail instead! I do enjoy the Facebook game applications.

Person 4: I don't load the applications at all, I just read the newsfeeds and status updates.

Person 1: Did you try the Facebook Chat yet? That works great!  Now that I am on Facebook I am able to keep up to date with more of my friends, including those that I have not seen in awhile. I want to load Facebook mobile but have not had time.

Person 3: I loaded Facebook Mobile (she shows them the application on her smartphone) and enjoy reading the status updates on the go.... Person 4 is the one that got me hooked on this smartphone in the first place - I will get her hooked on Facebook! Infact, I am going to update my status right now that we are talking about Facebook.

CLICK ON THE "CONTINUE READING" THIS POST TO SEE THE ANSWER.......

Continue reading "TechMama Quiz: College Gals or Moms Discussing Facebook?" »

The Data Portability Debate Continues...

Reading all the news about social graphing makes me feel good about paying over $300 for my head shot, including the debate going on today on Techmeme about data availability, Facebook Connect and Google Friends Connect. The debate centers around the public information you present in your social networks: Should your friends be able to load that information into an aggregator so they can track their friends from all the various social networks in one place? For parents the question may be: Why do I care?

I think parents should follow this for two reasons:
1. THE OPPORTUNITIES: I am a true believer in online social networking for social and career development. I feel that people who don't have an online presence will miss out the ability to keep in touch with large networks of people online - as well as the "real life" events and invites that are outcomes of those networks. Parents can benefit even more from online networking because they are so limited in time; online social networking allows them to network and socialize even at night - at home - while the kids are asleep.
2. DEVELOPING THE RIGHT ONLINE PRESENCE FOR PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN: Knowing that all of this is going on makes it more important for parents to spend time building their own online presence and helping their children protect their own.

One example is to invest in a good headshot not only for yourself but for your children. It is important for parents to help their daughters to understand that while they look great in their new bikini's with a summer tan, their future employers don't need to see that. Or their son may not want to use a drunk party picture in for his headshot -- even though he turned 21 and thinks it is cool to be able to drink  -- because all the relatives and future employers don't need to see that either... There is always room for fun bikini or party pictures - it just important for youth to understand to keep those OFFLINE.

It is also important to manage why type of information is put online. It is great for people to have their own blogs or social networking accounts, just make sure all the information shared is meant to be shared with the public.

SOME EXAMPLES:
The Google Code Blog had a detailed post on how Google Friends Connect works. I don't have any objections to Google Friends Connect or Facebook Connect because it just allows friends to aggregate their friends PUBLIC information. If you can manage what that public information is, then there is no need to fear your friends porting that information to another application. But, if you don't manage your public online presence, then it could be a problem. Here is a link to an interesting post written on the Facebook Developer blog called "Thoughts on Privacy".

The debate gets more complicated because some applications may not want their users to transfer friends information out of the application. I know that once I get settled into an application (like I am with Facebook), I will always go back on a regular basis - even if I am getting updates on in another application.

Related: TechCrunch also has a post on the data portability debate. That post mentions a site Media6(degrees) called that collects social data for advertisers, which shows that not only friends but advertisers may be interested in that data. While that use of my social profile data may make me feel uncomfortable, I would appreciate getting the right advertising sent my way. Maybe we could get to the point that we request the types of advertising we want and exclude the others. Because in the end, I do want to hear about Lands End summer bathing suits for my kids but have no interest in the newest teeny tiny bikini that is in style for women.

For an example of a friend data "aggregator", check out FriendFeed.

What are your thoughts on data portability?

May 13, 2008

Facebook In Reality: The Video - With Added Mom Thoughts

My friends all know that I am a Facebook evangelist, but some of my tech savviest friends still don't get why. I tell them that I can keep track of what my personal and business friends are doing, get invited to events and keep my network up to date on my blog posts and favorite links.... How joining Facebook groups has helped me do some amazing business networking at night while the kids are asleep....How Facebook has helped me deepen the connection between my blogging network by adding them as friends... Or how about one of my mom friends who credits Facebook with giving her the ability to keep up to date with her friends around the world?  Or another Facebook savvy friend who uses it to help build her business network.

I am working on getting as many mom friends on Facebook to see it for themselves. Many think I am some crazy techie when I tell them I want to create a Facebook group for the moms from my kids schools' to socialize, which will be easier then trying to run after them in my sweats during the craziness of school dropoff, pickup or class parties.

I mean, come on - do moms really have the chance to meet other moms from their kids' schools unless they happen to have a playdate or carpool to sports events? Isn't that process inefficient?

Maybe developing some Facebook manners will help my mom friends jump on the bandwagon....I already tell those bothered by all the applications not to add applications they won't use. I warn my friends in advance that I am thrilled to read their updates, links and feeds but please don't send me something that I tell my kids are bad manners in real life (i.e. POKING). I also say just ignore the sophomoric humor that exists on all social networks..

Talk about sophomoric humor, a UK comedy troup idiotofants.com did a great job of explaining how NOT to use Facebook (warning - as they would say in the UK - don't get your knickers in a twist that some of the following humor has some raunchy bits):

All I can say is that parodies of social networking applications that get millions of YouTube hits means that it is already part of the modern lexicon - and here to stay.  

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