As if there weren’t enough reasons to dislike Zuckerberg, some of his illegal activity involving Facebook users is catching up with him.
by Ben Lopez
Another week, another recap. So, who pre-ordered iPhone 4? Not many of us, I imagine, seeing as it sold out in an afternoon (don’t feel bad, I missed it too). But you’ve heard that already, let’s get to what you may not have heard this past week:
This week’s highlights:
We have a lot of social media going on in our life these days, don’t we? While it’s sometimes convenient and enjoyable, there’s a whole lotta noise making its way in with all those spammy Twitter updates, and damned Farmville notifications every 5 seconds. I take a look at the top annoyances and how you can avoid them.
I share a great classic quote from Walt Disney on your work in relation to the time you spend with your family. Family first, don’t let them slip away as you get caught up in your work.
My good friend Phil Ricci shared a story that I thought was just completely ludicrous; the New York Times apparently things we’re just completely unprofessional to use the word “tweet”. My question to them: what the hell else are you going to call it? See my full response here.
Last, but certainly not least, a little something for iPhone users in celebration of the iPhone 4 this past week. I’d been wanting to do it for a while, so I finally set aside some time to do an in-depth review of Opera Mini for iPhone. Is it really “six times faster” as they claim? Speed tests are explained in the review.
For tomorrow’s post, I wanted to get back to a more core business focus for a while, but damn it all, after reading one of the Tumblr staff blogs, it absolutely requires a response. Don’t miss this one…
Oh, and if anyone happens to have a recommendation left at this point (unlikely) and would like to be kind to Dimes To Dollars, you can do so in the tech, startups, or entrepreneurs category by clicking on the respective link. Thanks for reading!^_^
PS: Special thanks to Jon Lopez Photography for the awesome Dimes To Dollars Photo shoot!
by Ben Lopez
Opera Mini made a nice splash in tech blogs, and as a top trend on Twitter when it launched in April. I thought it was a little buggy, but performed well overall. After allowing some time for an update (and it has been updated), I sat down for some serious Opera time to deliver an in-depth review.
My initial impressions are that it’s not a bad browser. The interface is very nice, and in fact I preferred it slightly to Safari’s. For instance, it’s nice to have a reload button in the fixed dock, so I don’t have to scroll to the top to reload as in Safari. Tabbed browsing appears a bit wonky at first with the shuffle animation that is used, but it’s very solid.
Another nice feature is a clean, simple home screen that imitates the desktop version of Safari’s “Top Sites” screen as a spot for favourites. This is strangely absent on Safari.
Speed Tests: I tried a variety of sites for speed tests, with fairly consistent results. Opera was almost always faster, though not even close to their “up to 6x faster broswing” claim. Six times faster than what? Here are two basic examples to give you an idea of the speed comparison:
-Graphics-heavy webite (ncsx.com): Safari: 11.08 seconds, OM 7.69 seconds
-Light-graphics website (twitter.com): Safari: 7.18 seconds, OM 6.83 seconds
So good interface, good speed, but the browsing falls just a little short. The biggest problem here is that there’s no control over how far you can zoom in, it is entirely automatic. So essentially any other site that is not in neat columns become very cumbersome to navigate due to this. Clicking links is also strangely spotty, and does not always proceed to load the page. Other small annoyances include defaulting to load the “mobile” version of many sites, not the “touch” or full versions, and occasionally not resizing to fit the screen.
While it holds a sleek interface and is quite speedy, there’s no substitution for elegant navigation. If they can tweak the touch sensitivity and give us more control over our zoom, I certainly think it can hold it’s own. But for the time being, stick with Safari.
by Ben Lopez
The problem with social media these days is that we’re constantly being pushed to make everything connected, and encouraged to share exactly what we’re doing, buying, and where we are. What does this equate to? NOISE, and lots of it.
Perhaps you read somewhere in one of those dime-a-dozen SEO e-books that maximum exposure is critical. Well, not when you’re scaring off users from your website and social media accounts, readers from your blog, and potential customers for your business with information overload. You wouldn’t call someone 10 or 20 times a day to tell them you’re playing a game, would you? Of course not, that’s just not socially acceptable. When you post things online, think of it as a real life conversation, and remember this when considering how often you want to inform people of every minute detail.
It’s inefficient for all of us; the chronic poster loses subscribers, friend interactions, and it is more difficult to keep track of their own activities due to the very clutter they themselves create. For the rest of us, it clutters our friend feeds, RSS feeds, and inboxes like nobody’s business, good grief. Same concept as people that forward a dozen or more e-mails a day. You’re my friend, and I still like you as a person, but at the end of the day it’s just bothersome to delete all those e-mails. In the same way, it’s bothersome unsubbing/unfriending, hiding individual apps, and tweaking my display settings due to the pseudo spam of others.
My advice: DO NOT LINK TWITTER to your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Myspace account, or else we’re all doomed to suffer endless pages of “LOL yea i no” and “help me tend my crops in Farmville!”. Assuming you don’t post a new article every hour, auto updates from your blog are generally considered acceptable. If you play games, get rid of the ridiculous number of updates that flood both your wall and our friend streams.
Follow these simply rules and it’s entirely possible our planet may not be doomed (maybe). What do you think? Is there still a chance of redemption, or is society beyond hope?
by Ben Lopez
It’s time once again for the week in review: for those that can’t be bothered reading all of those pesky articles in their entirety, this is the weekly post for you! Of course, if you find one that strikes your fancy, just give it a click. But enough with the patronizing instructions, onto this week’s highlights:
I decided to start off the new week with a bang and jump right into a topic that had been bothering me for a while now: Tumblr blogs that don’t allow comments. I go on for a while on why you would never, ever want to do that.
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of 37 Signals, share their thoughts on business plans. 37 Signals is an excellent blog that I heartily recommend. I also own their book, Rework, and can hardly put it down. These two men will make 30-year CEOs question traditional business wisdom, and embrace technology like a new born puppy.
Some of the other entrepreneurs had some excellent blogs this week as well, so I went ahead and reblogged Phil Ricci’s experience with a crappy business owner who is sure to fail miserably and added a few thoughts of my own.
But that’s not where the reblogging (are we allowed to call it RBing?) ends; Mr. Postling himself, David Lifson reblogged some interesting thoughts on Tumblr and @Replies. Naturally, I had to put in my two cents, so I reblogged the fella and did just that.
In this week’s humour, an animated office worker shows precisely how I used to be before I got (semi) organized. Though I do still have a row of post-it notes lining the top of my computer monitor, so maybe I’m not quite there yet…
Last, but certainly not of lesser importance, I cover the phenomenon that is Quit Facebook Day. For those who aren’t quite ready to quit, but are fed up with the privacy issues and still want to show their disgust, I also share when and how you can do just that.
Tumblr should have something equivalent to an @reply. It should go in the “messages” area in the dashboard. A question should be highlight-able and an @reply assigned so as to send just a part of a post to a friend, with context available.
Another benefit of an @reply is the ability to do a type-ahead like facebook. This would make me associate a tumblog with an identity easily, and would be very good for Tumblr. When that happens on Facebook, no one cares too much. When it happens on the web on a blog, google notices and it matters.
I love this idea. Not only would I use this, but it would also allow tumblr users to more easily scale (increase) the number of people they follow. Why? Because instead of scouring your dashboard in case you missed something, the @reply feature could be used like to signal people’s attention.
I could not have said it better myself, I completely agree with giantrobotlasers and caterpillarcowboy.
The only thing I might add is, let’s not confuse these features as “the Facebook model” or “Twitter’s feature”. These features will be standard across all social media eventually. Frankly, I’m shocked it took Youtube and Facebook so long to implement @replies when its value was so obvious. Tumblr is much younger, but they still need to keep pace. They’re already ahead of the blogging game as the originators of Reblogging, so they should make a push to maintain that key advantage.
by Ben Lopez
This is it. After months of hype, today is the day where Facebook users near and far, in every corner of the world, are being asked to delete their accounts in protest. It’s not just Facebook’s policies that have come under scrutiny, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s personal actions as well. I could have shared a news article every day on a new piece of incriminating evidence against the company. And it is bad. The press on Facebook since the F8 conference has been almost universally negative.
If you’re looking for somewhere else to go, there’s always Myspace, who has detailed in this interview with Mashable, some of the major changes they’ll be undergoing throughout the summer and into the fall. Many of their features, such as the ability to filter your friend feed by category (status update, photos, videos, etc) has already been put into place, and are actually quite useful. If it’s been a while since you’ve logged-in, take a look around and I think you’ll be surprised.
Another hopeful is Diaspora (die-ASS-pore-a), an open source solution that will have a large emphasis on privacy. Unfortunately, development is still early, and no UI (user-interface) or concrete details have yet been revealed. However, some tech insiders, such as Leo Laporte (host of This Week In Tech), sees great potential in it, and has personally donated money to their Kickstarter campaign (as have I). I’ll be keeping my eye on them, and will report any details as they become available.
For those of you who aren’t ready or willing to quit, but are still fed-up with the way Facebook has handled your privacy, there’s another way to send a message to FB: Facebook Protest’s D-Day.
Am I quitting Facebook? Halfway. I’m deleting my secondary account. I do use it as a business platform, but I would eventually like to quit, yes. Did you end up quitting? Share your comments and questions below!
by Ben Lopez
That’s it. Enable comments. There are a multitude of reasons to do so, and not a single reason why you’d want to intentionally disable them, short of looking to explicitly avoid criticism. I hope no one will take offense to this entry; none is intended, friends. I’m saying this today because it’s something that needs to be said, and I have yet to hear another Tumblr blogger address this persisting issue. Comments give bloggers an interactive incentive to their readers, and the readers are able to further contribute and share thanks when you provide useful, engaging content.
Before I joined Tumblr, I had never HEARD of a blog that didn’t have the option of commenting, at least not by default. To be fair, I realize some Tumblr users are not aware that their comments are disabled, it took me a while to notice it myself. When I started here on Tumblr, as much as I loved the community, I found it absolutely unbelievable that MANY themes intentionally exclude the ability to comment. For the Tumblr staff not to set minimum functionality requirements that designers must include in their themes seems grossly irresponsible to me, and it is hurting the reputation of both Tumblr and its users. Some blogs don’t even have a permalink button! Can you imagine? A non-Tumblr user visiting a Tumblr-powered blog and scratching their head, “Are you kidding me, I can’t leave a comment? What’s the point of blogging like that? It’s like you’re talking to yourself.” Or what if one of your friends on Facebook suddenly did not allow for status update comments or wall posts? Chances are you’re going to be visiting that friend’s page a heck of a lot less, if at all…why should it be any different for blogs?
I’m sure some of you are saying by now, “Oh, shut up, you! I’ll run my blog how I please!” And I get it. I’m not fond of criticism any more than the next guy, but please trust me when I say you have everything to gain by enabling comments. Why has social media become so successful? Because it’s social. Please do not interpret this entry as an act of spite or harsh criticism, this needs to be said for the greater good of the Tumblr community. It’s fairly often I find a really great blog that I can’t comment on at all, which is a shame. I’d love to be able to tell that person how much I enjoyed reading their work.
Take a look at some of the top blogs here on Tumblr. You’ll see that most of them not only have comments enabled, but include a multitude of commenting options (Yahoo, Disqus, Twitter/Facebook Connect, etc) in addition to a standard form so that anyone can comment very easily. They are some of the most-read blogs for good reason; that interactive element is a crucial incentive that gives birth to conversation beyond the original article and brings those hungry minds, those taking pleasure in quality conversation, coming back for more.
For bloggers without comments, did this article change your mind? If not, let’s hear your views on why you still would like to restrict comments. For those that agree with my rationale, I ask that you consider ReBlogging this entry to spread awareness.
Bring forth your comments, questions, and criticisms.
by Ben Lopez
Twitter finally launched it’s 1st-party iPhone application this Tuesday to skyrocket to the #1 spot for 4 straight days to this point.
I downloaded and tested it last night to find a very clean interface (no labels), a few borrowed touches from Twittelator (such as “pull to refresh”), and an added feature to save drafts, which is convenient on the go. It is of course a free app, and does support multiple accounts. However, I was surprised that there was absolutely no tweet confirmation, either visual or audio, and push alarms are not supported.
Have you tried the Twitter app yet? Post your thoughts on the program itself, and the supreme victory of Twitter’s stranglehold in the App Store.
It’s been another eventful 7 days! Like I explained last week, from this point on instead of spending an entire blog entry begging for recommendations, I thought it would be more useful to give a weekly recap of what has been covered the past week.
This week’s highlights:
Some excellent quotes ranging from encouragement to common sense were shared by entrepreneurial masterminds Jeffrey Zeldman, Gary Vaynerchuk, John Caples, and Tim O’Reily, whom I was fortunate enough to have my questions answered by directly thanks to Inc. Magazine.
I decided to debut a new series this week, volume I of the Beat The Clock Challenge! There wasn’t quite as much participation as I would’ve liked, but it was certainly a difficult challenge, and this blog is still growing steadily. With a little time, I think we can get some great involvement, and perhaps a little competitiveness from week to week. If you have any good ideas for future challenges, shoot me an e-mail or message me via the Ask button on the left.
Once again, I decided to do a bit of news reporting on an issue that I believe is very important. Mark Zuckerberg’s illegal activity conducted in the past is enough to warrant possible FELONY charges. If you’re a Facebook user, you should know about the shocking actions of the man running this company. The link above gives my brief commentary and a direct link to the full article.
As a follow-up to the poll last week “Do You Consider An Internet Business Professional?”, I have posted the results in two parts. Part 1 shows the poll results and goes through much of the comments sent in by the participating respondents. In Part 2 you can read my personal response to skeptics of internet-based businesses. If you’re a skeptic yourself, let me know whether or not it changed your mind!
Finally, to finish off the week, I decided to offset some of the seriousness with a little humour courtesy of Mr. Glasbergen. His comic gives a good illustration (pun intended) of how different future generations will be due to the rapid evolution of technology.
As always, thank you for reading, and your feedback is both welcome and appreciated. Let’s dominate the rest of out week to become the best entrepreneurs ever!