Facebook messages gets an overhaul

The message system in Facebook is set to get a major overhaul. The new system aims to integrate all of your emails and instant messages with your Facebook friends into a single “inbox,” which Lifehacker has dubbed “one inbox to rule them all.” Instead of being sorted by subject, the new inbox will be sorted by person – what Facebook is calling the “social inbox” – the idea being to make your conversations with someone easier to find.

But Facebook are also stressing that their new message system isn’t just email – though you can still set it up to receive messages from contacts outside of Facebook – but a new way of envisaging and organising your written communications with your friends. It will be interesting to see what kind of take up this new message system has.

You can have a look at a few of the new features of Facebook’s new messaging system here and take a tour via video.

facebook founder smarter

A new film you may have seen lots of publicity for is the Social Network purporting to tell the story of the invention of facebook. Written by someone not on facebook, who doesn’t think facebook is a social good, it has been praised similarly by those who don’t use or like the technology.
Funnily enough >500 milion people do use the technology and see a use for it.

There are many people who dislike facebook, probably as many who used to express dislike for Microsoft and Apple, and their founders.
Bill Gates was the subject of much hate for many years, just as Mark Zuckerberg is now.

It seems that if someone uses technology, as Gates did, to increase worldwide productivity by at least 5% thus creating trillions of dollars in real benefits for economies, then he should be derided and attacked by those who haven’t and can’t create anything. Similarly Zuckerberg provides a free service for hundreds of millions of people and is attacked for it. There seems to be large numbers of people who spend their time whining about a) privacy (even though privacy is your own choice), b) owners getting rich, and c) that social media is anti-social.

If only these people would create a working alternative.

Skype and facebook

After Google recently started offering users of their gmail (email) service free video calls and cheap international phone calls, we knew Skype would have to do something new.

It firstly reduced its already phone low fees, and is now hooking up with facebook to offer:

With Facebook integration, you can:

◦see your Facebook News Feed in Skype
◦post status updates that can be synced with your Skype mood message
◦comment and like friends’ updates and wall posts
◦call and SMS your Facebook friends on their mobile phones and landlines
◦make a free Skype-to-Skype call if your Facebook friend is also a Skype contact

Facebook and privacy … around and around and around

When it comes to privacy, Facebook seems to have developed a program of responding to users’ concerns after the fact. Whilst I commend their desire to innovate and deliver new services to their users, a little forethought wouldn’t go astray. This infographic from Mashable says it nicely. Click on the image to enlarge.

Facebook and privacy

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

Facebook accessories

How much time do you spend networking on Facebook? Would you like more Facebook in your life? Lucky for you, then, as there are a range of Facebook accessories to suit your everyday life – from coffee mugs and birthday cards, to wall decals and (my personal favourite) like and dislike stamps (what teacher worth their salt wouldn’t want to use these instead of the outdated pass/fail system?).

Like or dislike?

Like or dislike?

There are more Facebook accessories for your viewing – and consuming – pleasure over at Mashable.

More on Facebook privacy

What is all this hullabaloo over Facebook and privacy? Want to find out? Hear from the people on the inside (including Chris Cox, Facebook’s vice president), as well as a few tech experts. You can watch the full interview which appeared on PBS, read the transcript, or even listen to the MP3.

Concerned about facebook Privacy?

  • The social and moral panic over facebook seems to never end. Considering that now 7 million Australians, that’s a third of us, are subscribers it is not surprising that there are some issues and safety worries. However, considering its size, there are actually very few really bad things that have happened there. If 7 milion of us were out in a public place together you could be sure there would be far more actual danger.

There is danger in all human transactions, but at least in the online world we can limit our exposure to the dangerous. We can do that by use of the available tools out there. And if you can’t manage the privacy settings on social media websites, maybe you shouldn’t be on social media.
But anyway, luckily there is now a service for facebook users that will do it for you at: http://www3.untangle.com/saveface


facebook has redone its privacy settings so there should not be the problems that some users were worried about.

The founder of facebook in a piece for the Washington Post  has also stated:

Here are the principles under which Facebook operates:

  • You have control over how your information is shared.
  • We do not share your personal information with people or services you don’t want.
  • We do not give advertisers access to your personal information.
  • We do not and never will sell any of your information to anyone.
  • We will always keep Facebook a free service for everyone.

The problem of what to share and how to share it is resolved as far as facebook is concerned. The responsibility of how you use your content and who you choose to share it with is yours. As in anything reasonable precautions need to be taken.

Facebook fellows

Following a recent call for fellows to investigate issues related to social media, Facebook has revealed their successful fellowship candidates. The fellows will investigate issues such as

crowdsourced online help, the structure of networks, information disclosure, online advertising and data analysis.

One of the successful fellows, Parmit Chilana, is currently working towards her PhD  in information science, having already gained her master’s degree in library and information science. Parmit will investigate ways of of utilising crowdsourcing as a means to supply in-built support for web applications.

Facebook reaches the 6 year mark

From humble beginnings, built to keep friends in touch during university, Facebook has grown exponentially and is part of life for millions of people around the globe. This great graphic, created for Mashable, gives an overview of Facebook facts and figures.

Visualising 6 years of Facebook

On privacy

Where do you draw the line on privacy in a social media age? In the US, there is growing concern about what kinds of information the CIA might be collecting about it’s citizens who use various social media tools. There is even a court case in the works which is seeking to encourage the US Government to disclose just what information it is collecting and how this affects a person’s right to privacy. Information shared on social media sites have been used in criminal investigations. Recently, information shared on Facebook led to the arrest of a man who made death threats aginst the son of Columbian President Alvaro Uribe.

No matter what side of the law you fall on, users need to be aware that the information they share can be accessed by a range of people and may be used in ways they never intended. Depending on how comfortable you are with the information you’re sharing, you may want to share a little or a lot … like this couple in the US who stopped mid wedding ceremony to update their Twitter and Facebook statuses. Don’t believe me? Watch the video on YouTube!

Also in the works is a new camera device which a user wears and takes a picture every 30 seconds. Read what Mashable‘s Pete Cashmore has to say on this “life logging” device and the implications for privacy and social media over at CNN.

Facebook backpeddles

Facebook recently revised their Terms of Service (TOS) which caused a huge outcry from Facebook users in regards to the use (potential and actual) of the information and images that they had posted. Such was the backlash that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was quick to respond by assuring users that Facebook would be taking into consideration user feedback, rolling back their TOS to the previous version and rewriting the TOS with less legalese language.

Facebook users with concerns are encouraged to take part in the Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities group which will assist Facebook management to draft the new TOS. Full text of Facebook’s current TOS can be viewed here.

Web 2.0 communication tools come through in a crisis

As most of you will be aware, there is a lot happening in Victoria, and in other parts of Australia, with wild bushfires burning. Staying up to date with all of the details as they happen can be hard but Web 2.0 applications such as Twitter have proved very useful in providing quick access to this information and applications like Facebook have given people access to information on the numerous ways that we can get involved to help those in need. The New Matilda has a really interesting article on the use of these applications to spread the word here.

Bosses ‘should embrace Facebook’

A BBC news item on a British report on business usage of social networking that found that “Allowing workers to have more freedom and flexibility might seem counter-intuitive, but it appears to create businesses more capable of maintaining stability.”