Tag Archives: social networking site

Facebook and ‘The Man’

The Man

This article from the Guardian seemed to be the most visible thing on the Internet round these parts yesterday: With friends like these… by Tom Hodgkinson

Facebook has 59 million users – and 2 million new ones join each week. But you won’t catch Tom Hodgkinson volunteering his personal information – not now that he knows the politics of the people behind the social networking site

I got sent it a few times by different people. And I read it and and was shocked and outraged.

Forget religion being the opium of the masses, Facebook is the CIA owned crack-cocaine of the masses! We’ve all been duped. It’s a soul-harvesting machine designed to harness the creativity and friendships of the whole world and funnel it for the forces of darkness and oppression.

Or something like that.

Anyway I was all set to shut down my Facebook account and rush to the land of hope, goodness and light, but then I had a couple of thoughts…

  1. I’m almost certain that the boards of most US companies can be shaken-down to find a couple of neo-con sympathisers with links to dark secret societies. Like it or not my friends that’s just the way the machine works. So I figured I shouldn’t be altogether that shocked about it.
  2. There’s nothing that interesting in my life that I’d be worried about the spooks seeing. I’m sure they could analyse my musical tastes and cross-tabulate them with the events that I’ve attended and figure out that I’m probably in the upper quartile of people with a likelihood of having tried recreational drugs at some point in the past.
  3. I should spend more ‘real’ quality time with people. But I know that already. And Facebook isn’t a big time drain for me, I only look at it every now and again, so it’s not replacing or getting in the way of my relationships.

But that’s not to say I wouldn’t advise getting out of Facebook right now if you are:

  1. The kind of person who wears a tin-foil hat, doesn’t own a mobile phone and doesn’t use the internet because all computers have little cameras that are beaming to the base on the dark side of the moon 24/7.
  2. Listing your interests as: political activism, evolutionary fuel-cell development or time travel.
  3. Spending more time looking at/for friends on Facebook than actually being with real people.

So I’m staying in Facebook, in a limited way. For now.

I still don’t like it all that much though.

BT luvs Bebo

TechCrunch report: Bebo Shuns $550 Million Acquisition Offer

San Francisco based social network Bebo, which recently raised $15 millionfrom Benchmark Capital, rejected a £300 million ($552 million)acquisition offer from British Telecom Group “a few weeks ago”,according to an insider on the transaction. Bebo’s asking price? North of $1 billion.

Sounds like another big media company trying to pay big money for something they don’t understand? Maybe? But then you read something like this:

Hitwise research shows that users of social networking site Bebo generate more than half of all UK visits to VoIP provider Skype.Visits to Skype from Bebo make up 56% of the VoIP site’s total visits.

From mad.co.uk (appears to be subscription only – although I accessed it earler ?!?): Half of Skype visitors come from Bebo as young users adopt VoIP

If you can’t get in to mad.co.uk you can read about the Hitwise analysis (where I think their figures came from) at: Heather Hopkins – Hitwise UK: Skype, Bebo and Vonage – Why Skype Visits are Through the Roof

Heather says:

Earlier this month, Skype and Bebo announced a partnership to take VOIP social. The partnership allows users to host “Skypecasts” with up to 100 participants on the same call and we have already seen a massive impact on Skype’s traffic. Last week, 58% of visits to Skype came from Bebo

Be interesting to see how much real uptake there is of Skype through this.

Maybe their valuation isn’t so crazy after all…

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