Facebook “Likes” World Domination [Mashable] – Previous social networks, you’ll remember, were destinations. As soon as Friendster became slow and unreliable, an exodus to MySpace began. Once MySpace pages became bloated and unwieldy, the crowd hopped over to Facebook. Zuckerberg is well aware of the threat: If you build a destination site, users will hop over to the next cool hangout in no time at all. That’s why Facebook longs to become a sturdy platform. The more businesses rely on Facebook, the less likely it is to fail. […] and thousands of websites now use Facebook Connect for their login systems. The toolbar and web-wide “like” button are the next phase; by providing more distributed services, Facebook becomes invaluable. Credits, Connect, toolbars — these are all distributed plays that try to weave Facebook’s social graph throughout the fabric of the web. Rather than aiming to be the coolest bar in town — and losing its clientele when they leave for a hipper spot — Facebook plans to become the Starbucks of the web …”
Facebook Open Graph: What it Means for Privacy [Mashable] – Sensible thoughts on the privacy implications of Facebook’s new web plugins: “… it is imperative that users who have concerns about privacy make sure they read and understand what information they are making available to applications before using them. Users need to be aware that when they “Like” an article on CNN, that “Like” may show up on a customized view that their friends see. Public no longer means “public on Facebook,” it means “public in the Facebook ecosystem.” Some companies, like Pandora, are going to go to great lengths to allow users to separate or opt out of linking their Pandora and Facebook accounts together, but users can’t expect all apps and sites to take that approach. My advice to you: Be aware of your privacy settings.”
Facebook introduces Docs, based on Microsoft Web Office [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – A good at the differences between Google and Microosft/Facebook’s cloud office tools: “Facebook Docs is still in beta, so it’s not clear how many features it will offer. However, Microsoft’s Web Apps suite is more powerful than Google Docs, and has the advantage of maintaining compatibility with the desktop version of Microsoft Office. With Google Docs, by contrast, what you get out of it is worse than what you put into it, so trying to “round trip” complex documents is basically a waste of time. Of course, Microsoft Office Web Apps will be available to everyone whether they are a member of Facebook or not. Facebook is providing the social features, such as documents appearing on walls and in profiles so that friends can comment on them, and so on. For some users, the combination will be worthwhile.”
Introducing Docs… for Facebook [Docs.com Blog] – Microsoft’s online office 2010 offering ‘Docs’ partners with Facebook, allowing Facebook users to sign in, share and collaborate on documents. Clearly a direct challenge to Google’s emerging Google Docs and Spreadsheets.
Library Releases Report on Flickr Pilot (Library of Congress) [Library of Congress Blog] – “Only nine months into the Library of Congress’ pilot project placing Library photos on the Web site Flickr, the photos have drawn more than 10 million views, 7,166 comments and more than 67,000 tags, according to a new report from the project team overseeing the lively project. “The popularity and impact of the pilot have been remarkable,” said Michelle Springer, project manager for digital initiatives in the Office of Strategic Initiatives, who said total views reached 10 million in October. The site is averaging 500,000 views a month, she said, adding that Flickr members have marked 79 percent of the photos as “favorites.” The report recommends that the Library of Congress continue to participate in The Commons and explore other Web 2.0 communities.” [Full Report PDF] (Short version: sharing public cultural goods via participatory culture platforms is a win for everyone!)
Microsoft Office to debut online [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “Microsoft is preparing web versions of some of its most popular programs. In 2009 web versions of Word, Excel and other programs in the Microsoft Office suite plus Exchange and Sharepoint will go online. Users will be able to get at the programs via a web browser rather than install them on a PC. Some versions of the programs are expected to be free to use provided users are happy to view adverts alongside the software.” (So, Microsoft are racing to reclaim some of the cloud computing presence which has become Google’s spare backbone … given how slowly Google Docs have evolved as a service, and how crude their slide presentation software is, if their offering is good enough there could be real Microsoft Vs Google competition in the clouds!)