Archives for the month of: March, 2009

As I step on the subway, I take note of society around me. I love the subway. It’s one of the best places to explore one’s curiosities about society and the world. However, today I notice one thing.

Everyone is connected.

Through mobile.

Let’s take a step back. Let’s look at mobile from the big picture standpoint. Mobile is what connects us. It is what breaks barriers of distance and time. It allows humans to communicate notwithstanding the normal constraints of communication. We can call, text, or MMS anyone we know in the world.

Everyone around me there are mobiles. iPhones, Blackberries, Nokias, Motorolas. All of them connected in an international network that connects all people to each other.

What is so amazing about mobile is that it is the first technology to connect people wherever they are. As opposed to before.

It’s a completely revolutionary technology. Mobile. 3 billion subscribers. And we’re just getting started.

Although I’ve expressed approval for the new Facebook redesign, it’s obvious that many, many people hate it. If you’ve been on the new Facebook for more than a few milliseconds, you would have figured this out.

Let’s analyse this disapproval. Firstly, every single Facebook redesign or new feature, since it went mainstream, has been criticised by users. Everyone seems to hate them.

  • News Feeds 2007
  • Applications/Platform 2007
  • Beacon Ads 2008
  • New Facebook 2008
  • News Feed Redesign 2009

With the exception of Beacon Ads 2008 (and hopefully News Feed Redesign 2009), all users have gotten used to them and realised the potential and usefulness of the new features or redesign. This is obvious.

A Little Poll Comes Along

Some guy develops a Facebook app, covered by TechCrunch: Facebook Poll: 94% Of Users Don’t Like Redesign. This is an area which I really, really like to think about all the time: statistical bias. In a specific area: how bias is achieved through ignorance.

Main gist: there are three barriers to entry in this voting system.

  1. Giving a crap.
  2. Clicking through to the poll.
  3. Installing the application to vote for the poll.

People that feel that the Facebook redesign sucks will go ahead and have an initiative to ask Facebook to change it, because it apparently sucks. They pass all three barriers, because they have a drive to be against the Facebook redesign.

Others that feel that the design is indeed a pretty good design, and the “yes” people accept it as the status quo, and don’t make any noise about it. Therefore, many of them don’t have the initiative to fight against the naysayers, and go through the trouble of installing the application, so therefore we see a lesser-than-actual “yes”-sayer audience.

Another Facebook-related bias is the outrage against the Facebook Terms of Service change. Although probably less than 0.1% of people really cared about it (and that’s a pretty high estimate, since that’s about 200,000 people) are the ones who made the most noise and had the biggest audience. Not saying that’s a bad thing—it can be an important matter to concerned users—but that’s the reality of it.

Do you think anyone that didn’t really care about the Terms of Service changes had any initiative to argue for it?

No.