Facebook’s Social Ads & Privacy

A rather big discussion erupted on using Facebook members’ names and pictures for making ‘social ads’. You read things like:

Daniel Solove, an associate professor of law at George Washington University law school, blogged that Facebook “might be assuming that if a person talks about a product, then he or she consents to being used as an advertisement for it. It is wrong to assume that just because a user visits a Web site or rates a product highly or speaks well of a product that the user wants to be featured in an ad.”

Now to put it quite simply, this guy doesn’t understand what he’s talking about. Sure, he understands laws and surely he understands at least a little about the internet… However, times are changing, marketing is changing and he doesn’t get the concept that Facebook’s using.

Basically it’s a type of viral marketing, using the functionality of a Web 2.0 application. These ads should not be seen as any traditional ad we know. It links a user’s action to a product, but does not claim the user endorses the product. You see this a lot in blogs right now, where writers give their honest opinions about products. They may be very critical about it, but they will often offer affiliate links for all the skeptics.

Now my point is, the ads will most likely pop up in users’ news feeds as:

* Bas reviewed product X.
* Bas purchased product X.

This does not mean anything. Other users now have the opportunity to contact me to see what I think about the product, or read the review. In other words, if an advertiser doesn’t offer value, he will not make sales. This is the new marketing.

Showing these ads does not mean you endorse the product, it means exactly what they say; that you either reviewed or purchased the product. Nothing more, nothing less. And if Facebook can earn a little money from that, why not. Let’s not make an overcomplicated system with requests for endorsements everywhere, when it really isn’t necessary.

And hey, if a review inspires friends to give a product a chance, why not. It’s what we do anyway. When we see our friends walking around with certain products, we buy them (*cough* iPod *cough*). When we buy something from a shop, the vehicle for carrying it (usually a plastic bag) is an ad for the shop. You’re now advertising for the shop, only because you bought one product.

Let’s just stop being so scared and get ready for a transition, the old types of marketing stopped working – long ago. We’re finally recognizing this and now we have the opportunity to get some genuine recommendations, not from marketeers, but from our friends and family. This is both good for the consumer, as well as for the sellers of products who offer value. Bad value products; your best days are over.

Activism meets Web 2.0

Rethos.comSeems like activists are catching on to the power of web 2.0. I assume most of the readers here are familiar with Avaaz.org and their emails calling on people to sign petitions and send emails to representatives. Their method is rather conventional however and (dare I say) dated.

Good news. Rethos.com has opened up their beta to the public and aim to create a social environment for change, on a system that learns from its users. Users can read, post and share news articles, get organized, find jobs an opportunities, all in the name of change. Whether you care about ecology, human rights, freedom of speech or other issues, Rethos will let users work together for change on these points. I myself signed up because of them saying the following:

It is our duty to not let others turn a blind eye to pressing social and environmental issues. If enough people unite, change is inevitable.

This is exactly the way I felt when I was posting about Burma like 3 times a day (psst… the monks are protesting again). I hope this convinces you and you will sign up and come and add me as a friend. What really did it for me however, was their video. Have a look at it below.

So sign up now and visit my profile.

Particular type of spam gaining popularity

Got another peculiar email like the recent one. This time in another mail box. The weirdest thing is that there is no link included in the email, suggesting that they’re sending these out to determine if your email account is active (since there are TONS of dead email accounts on the web). Replying to this could most likely double your spam in no time. So my advice: don’t reply.

Anyway, might as well have fun and use Guerrilla Mail to reply to this, which provides you with disposable e-mail addresses which expire after 15 minutes.

Hello Dear,

My name is Sene Sibanze, I am a 25 year old Girl, I hails from Zambia in Africa, But I currently lives at Dakar-Senegal in West Africa, I saw your listing at Internet data and I decided to contact, I am looking for love and friehdship, with someone nice and easy going, my hobbies are cooking, reading,sports, and dacning. please I willl like to know you better and friendlier. Please I will like to know you more OK. Please, If you care’s to know me as-well,the feel free to write me back.

I will be anticipating you mail.


Sene Sibanze

Dear Nubian queen,

Thanks for your sweet, albeit scary, email. There’s nothing that says “girl with a life” than a completely random email from a stranger. You must be very attractive. However, I’m very busy since I receive many, many requests from strangers with the same desire. Meeting someone from Africa who has the same hobbies as 90% of the under-30 population of any country seems like a tempting idea, but I’ll have to say no.

I know someone who’s very open to African girls like you and will be glad to share his wealthy life with you here in the Netherlands. I’ll give you his email, it is G.Wilders@tweedekamer.nl.

Good luck.


Spam of the day

Spotted a quite peculiar spam message today when I opened my spambox out of absolute boredom and procrastination. Thought I’d share it.

Hello, Daniel

Well, I’ve finally gathered all my braveness to write to you.. Even though
you should know how hard it is to write a letter to a Stranger, whom you’ve
never seen before and whom you don’t know at all, but I truly believe that
in this case, my perspective acquaintance with You is more than enough for
an excuse:)

Truly speaking, I have thought in the past of such an option, to meet
someone through the letter, but I wasn’t brave enough for this. I guess, I
am still not brave enough, but my wish to be happy and to be loved is
overfilling my heart and head. I am not a complicated person, nor simple.
I am an individual, that’s for sure. I don’t know what your character is
and how you look like, most important is that I am not going to change you.
I want to like you as you are and just be happy. I can answer to you at
affiliate link removed and will be happy if our relations continue.

See you


Dear Marinochka,

How brave a person must thy be, for behold ye has sent a man as I such a daring yet good-hearted message. Well-meant compliments I giveth thou for thine cunning control of the English language. However, I sayeth to you, the brave woman who hath no fear to make display of her being a quean, that although most flattered I am, no interest arises in me as response to your grand act of courageousness.

Quite the individual thou must be indeed, but my fear of one’s potential motivation to change me takes control of me. Thou sayeth that thou shalt not change me, although thou hath yet changed me since now I speaketh in the poorest of Old English for no reason which hath apparence.

Good luck with your wish. You silly cunt.



Check out this tool I found called ClipMarks. Let’s you easily make screenshots of what you want, so you don’t have to crop your print-screens, and it’s even easier to share your clippings. Go check it out!

clipped from clipmarks.com

Watch the demo on the right to see how
it works, or keep reading to learn more…

  blog it

DailyMe Launches Public Beta

Looks like I won’t be giving out invitations after all.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007, 12:05 AM
I’m pleased to announce the launch of the DailyMe public Beta. This means our DailyMe news platform is now available to everyone.We’ve been working hard to be able to make this day happen. I’d like to thank all of our early Beta testers for their commitment, feedback and patience over the past months. Much of the DailyMe experience we are launching today is a direct result of the feedback that we have compiled from our initial Beta test group.

For those new to DailyMe, all you need to do to experience DailyMe is create an account and select your DailyMe preferences. It’s a short process that just takes a few minutes.

Briefly, DailyMe creates a personalized news digest based on your own preferences, using choices of news categories, keywords, individual news sources and pre-configured “picks.” You can choose to have DailyMe delivered on the web, sent via email or automatically output from your personal computer printer at a specified time of day.

Feel free to sign up and give DailyMe a try.

Lastly, one request. As you use and enjoy this Beta version of DailyMe, if you have any suggestions for the site, encounter any technical issues, or come across anything that is not 100% clear, please let us know so we can address it. We’ve set up a link on the sidebar where you can reach us directly.

Thanks for your interest in DailyMe.


Try it out people. I’ve been using it for a little bit now and it’s quite a nice system. Really has to separate itself from other personalized news pages though, when it comes to the web service that is. The options that you can automatically get it emailed, or printed are very cool. Besides that, Eduardo announced some cool stuff that will be available in the future:

As a result of such feedback, we’ll be:
– Looking into improvements and better explanations for the process of selecting content (step 2 of the sign-up process)
– Adding an open RSS reader to allow DailyMe users to add their preferred RSS feeds
– Offering more display options for your news page
– Adding more licensed sources

Sweet stuff, right?

One thing I don’t really get however, is the social bookmarking links at the bottom of articles on DailyMe. Thing is, I doubt that you can view any content without signing up, so what’s the point in SOCIAL bookmarking it?

If you’re interested, go check out the sign-up page now!

Soon you’ll be able to receive DailyMe throughout the day, where, when and how you’d like. Have your 9:00am DailyMe via email at your desk and your 6:00pm DailyMe printed automatically, easy for the grab and go commute.

The future of news. Share it.

Two Web 2.0 Tips!


Just found a really nice tool for shameless self-promotion. A simple tip to increase your SEO ratings.

Go to www.rss2twitter.com right now! If you don’t have a Twitter account yet, open up one. Basically, you can let RSS2Twitter export any RSS link straight to your Twitter (the Picasa one doesn’t seem to be working though). Easily increasing links back to your website. Encourage other people to do the same and who knows how fast you might rise in the indexes.

Here’s the next cool thing.

Selecting del.icio.us tags for your site

If you’ll have a look at the bottom of the menu on the right on this page please, you’ll see that I have links to some of my bookmarks there. If you click through to my del.icio.us account (add me!) however, you’ll see that I’m bookmarking a lot more. Have a look here: http://del.icio.us/Spartz/baslife. These are the links that are exported to my site by adding an RSS feed widget to my blog. This specific site (everything tagged ‘baslife’ by ‘Spartz’ (me)) is automatically aggregated to this page. Ain’t that sweet?

Like it? Stumble it!Add this to your del.icio.us!