Why Facebook needs two levels of "friends"

April 23, 2009
Remember in elementary school (if you're a girl) there was usually some big fight going on about who was "best friends" with whom? It used to get so bad--us girls wanting to both single out one of our friends as special, but not wanting to hurt other girls' feelings--that we created new categories: good friend, best friend, best best friend, and the whammy: best best BEST friend.

Well, now that we old people have invaded Facebook--and people are using the site not only for personal social networking but for their professional friends as well--it occurs to me that the site really needs to do a similar thing. If I were them, I'd call these two groups "friends" and "circle of friends." Those in your circle of friends would have more access, and more permission, to see your content, than just ordinary friends. (Perhaps you could even mark or tag content as for one group only!) This would solve the problem that many people have when boundaries blur on networking sites.

It's a huge pain to maintain one site, like LinkedIn, for professional activites (not to mention the fact that LinkedIn is just... not fun) and one for personal life. Far better to be able to control who in your network of friends can see which content.

A Circle of Friends might be able to see feed posts like "I got so drunk last night!" and pictures of you when you were a kid... but your ordinary friends would only see default pictures like your profile or feeds you mark public. You can do this now with some of the apps--like gift giving--but it should be sitewide. I predict this is coming, as Facebook makes more and more of your life visible to your friends, and as more and more older people like me become active on the site. For people my age, there isn't such a bright line between "friends" and "people I work with"--but it still exists. For younger folks, especially, it's important to them that they be able to live their online life freely... and yet still accept that embarassing friend request from their boss!

E-Commerce for the Small Business: A Quick Primer

March 23, 2009
Over the years, I've seen (and worked on) a lot of e-commerce, ranging from the huge (multi-retailer aggregated stores; custom implementations for multimillion dollar companies; etc.) to the small (nonprofits who need simple donation systems; small wholesalers or retailers who need a simple way to get their products online) and everything in between. And one thing I've noticed about all of these implementations is that the same issues always come up, regardless of the size of the effort or th...
Continue reading...

The four pillars of good technology

March 21, 2009
In my last post, I talked about the four pillars of good technology:

  • Useful
  • Purposeful
  • Accessible
  • Usable
(A note: Technology needn't be computer-related, though these days it often is; technology in this post is defined by our use of tools of any kind. When you're evaluating computer tech solutions, it's often helpful to compare them to other technologies we don't even think of as tech--you know, the wheel? doorknobs? your car?)

It might be easy to confuse "useful" with "usable" but the two concept...
Continue reading...

A little bit elitist... a little bit rock-and-roll

March 16, 2009

Blog Archive

Make a Free Website with Yola.