Tag Archives: web 2.0

Facebook gets a “new” facelift

Well Mark Zuckerberg is at it again… or at least his infrastructure team is.  As I mentioned in May, Facebook would be launching a redesign and some are now witnessing the “new.facebook.com” looks, acts, and thinks much differently.  It was rolled out last week, and I’ve given it a thorough test drive.

The re-design scared me at first, it looked too much like myspace.  Homepage changes include a wider sidebar on the right, and the freakish absence of my beloved left-hand nav.  Applications can now be found in the top blue bar or made into bookmarks on your homepage.  The overall look comes off as more sloppy I think because the site has grown so many legs in the past year with all the new applications and tools.  Where can you put it all?  I have to say I am a bit disappointed with this update, but maybe I was expecting too much (after all the company did acquire mozilla’s online OS parakey last year) anyways heres the breakdown: 

PROFILE LAYOUT (TABS):
So instead of having a single-paged profile now we have customizable tabbed profiles which is by far the biggest change in the update.  For those as confused as I was, profiles were basically enhanced with more information space, new navigation, and an impressive “back-end view” that makes editing a breeze

But what are the benefits of tabs?  Profiles are no longer one-stop-shops or billboards for personal information, tabs make personal info and activity a few clicks further away.  They have essentially deepened the pool of information here, making users actually have to dive deeper if they want to invade someone’s privacy.  

THE WALL & NEWSFEED AS ONE:
Like before the newsfeed still displays stories related to you and your friends and it still shows everything the same as before, such as friend requests or action items (like being tagged in a photo). But the big change here is to give users the ability to toggle which stories are shown at any time by choosing either “Posts by _____”, “Posts by Others”, and “All Posts”, along with moving the wall onto its own dedicated profile tab.

Activity is less transparent, the feed works differently now (reminds me a lot of pownce).  The days of landing on a friend’s profile page and stumbling across any back-and-forth conversation with someone else is over.  However you still can view users “wall-to-wall” conversations if you want.. but then your just a creep and trust me facebook will know.

NEW “PUBLISHER”:
Think of this as a widget docked at the top of your homepage.  It can add links, photos, videos, notes, updates in a snap and allows 3rd party development access which of course rules but for someone like myself who a whole lot of uploading, its an eyesore!  With all the options and preferences out there already, I’d really like the ability to remove this.   

FRIENDS PAGE:
The last change I noticed was a new friends page layout, its given a taller left hand navigation list and makes it a little easier to create friend groups, and organize contacts.  

If you use Facebook you may notice a lot more information being pushed through the site this year and the recent redesign was built to withstand the wave.  The importing of activity from other social websites like flickr, digg, and hulu will play a huge role in connecting social networks.  Could this be the year Facebook and Myspace start exchanging info? I doubt that, but its an idea..

Advertisements

King of the Web

Look at Alexa’s World Wide Web traffic rankings and compare any top-ranked company’s website to it’s real world operations -at least for those companies that actually do “real-world” operations (i.e. microsoft, google, amazon, BBC) It was announced last week that YouTube.com overtook the #2 spot for overall traffic worldwide; beating out Live.com (Ranked #3) and it’s own parent company Google (Ranked #4). Who’s still at #1?

…to everyone’s surprise that would be Yahoo.

Interesting stuff because much like everyone else, I use Google to search on the web (77% of web searches are done using Google). I also keep the website as my browser’s homepage like the rest of the world. So who uses Yahoo??? After thinking about it, I can recall having a decent-sized list of contacts whom I message through Yahoo’s mail server. These rankings are suddenly more important when we find out the #1 and #2 could just become a bigger number 1.

A few months ago Microsoft Corp. who manages two separate domains in the global top 10 (Live.com, MSN.com) made a bid of $42 Billion for Yahoo. $42 BILLION! This acquisition is unsettling for those of us who enjoy using an “open internet” like we have today. The world wide web was originally thought of as an open forum for individuals and groups. The internet as a platform has continuously encouraged open communication and more lately has provided the advancement of data sharing, which can now be sent almost instantaneously. Within years we’ve evolved the world wide web into a “newer modern-day internet” with the help of system administrators, database engineers, and the designers of each page.

Web portals and newer, more practical web applications have raised the bar yet again, coining the term “web 2.0”. These websites offer dynamic ways to share information through multiple domains seamlessly. This is evident through text ad campaigns, the sudden development of web API’s and their large range of applications around the web. These applications can be a convenient map service, a local weather forecast, new stock updates, or a from-afar image upload. Around this time last year, Microsoft acquired the #1 global e-mail provider hotmail.com which gave them a head start on the competition. If you can’t beat em, buy em? Which is perfect reasoning for a company now bidding on Yahoo, who is the largest provider of e-mail today.

Microsoft is buying users into the internet experience they intend to provide, which sounds harsh but this experience is sold as Windows Live. Imagine a internet portal that gives each user an internet toolbox, with resources that update automatically and easily convert, and mountains upon mountains of customer support. I would be okay with that idea, and it actually sounds quite nice… but the mere idea of selling e-mail accounts and web traffic seems like a doop. Will I be eventually be stuck using Live? I would like to assume the world is capable of upholding its diversity and not surrendering to any one company who attempts to control everything at large. If Microsoft can strike a deal with Yahoo the company would grow to provide nearly 20% of all the world’s e-mail.In conclusion, if my e-mail is so valuable to a company willing to buy it, then where’s my cut???

Windows (OS) + Internet Explorer (Browser) + Live (Online Services) = Total Domination

Microsoft is aiming to take the space that AOL once held in the mid-90’s… Is it fair to let one company take hold of this technology? Net Neutrality is important and Open-Source standards are important. Diversity is also very important because if we let this pass us by there may be no turning back, the internet should not be controlled like radio and TV. The net lives off of its users and this is a medium that was born free, we do have a right to decide.

Big government and Internet providers are slowly trying to pass legislation without anyone realizing the big effect on our information. When I discover new ways to speak out against these regulations I’ll post them on this blog. Stay tuned!