Over the last few months I have had many Japanese acquaintances ask why I don't use Facebook. They claim that it gives us the opportunity to keep in touch with people over great distances and interact in ways we couldn't before. While I can't argue with these statements, I have not yet felt the need to give up my entire personal life to Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk. Sure, there was a time when I entertained the idea of using Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family back in Canada, but I was really put off by the amount of my personal information other people could give to Facebook without my knowledge or permission. Later I was put off by the amount of application spam. Then finally I was put off by the endless, poorly spelt drivel that people would put online with the expectation of a "like" or other positive interaction. Facebook can have a lot of value for other people, but it's just not for me. This is what I usually tell people who ask me about it.
An article is making the rounds online telling the story of a yoga teacher who was fired from her job after giving a Facebook employee a dirty look for ignoring the classroom's cell phone ban. As someone who has a similar rule when delivering my own lessons, I am behind the yoga instructor 100%. People who attend a class or activity in a bid to improve themselves need to focus on the right now and leave the distractions of the day at the door. Emails, phone calls, Tweets, and everything else will still be waiting for us in an hour.
Facebook seems to have multiple domains for their "friendly reminder" spam, as yet another one has bypassed the Inbox rules and landed alongside more important messages from the Nokia Developer Community and LinkedIn. What's interesting, though, is that these guys are so persistent despite what they already know about me.
For a company that makes its living by (supposedly) understanding what people want, Facebook sure takes a long time to clue in to what my needs are ...
Analysts, journalists, and blogists all over the web are falling over themselves to write about HP's recent decision to effectively kill off their year-old, $1.2-billion acquisition of Palm, and what will eventually come afterwards. Of all the crazy theories that have been bandied about, the one posited by Nicholas Carlson seems the most logical: Facebook should buy WebOS.
There have been rumors that Facebook has been working on a custom version of Android that could be used on mobile phones for some time already, and devices with deep Facebook integration and dedicated Facebook buttons like we see on devices like the HTC Status are making their way out to consumers as we speak. Would it make sense for Zuckerberg & Co. to invest some money to pick up WebOS and maybe some attractive patent licencing contracts?