Yaba Yaba

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Posts Tagged ‘FaceBook

free soul food, or the Atheist food kitchen

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Clay Shirky asks:

Would it be possible to run an atheist soup kitchen? (This isn’t an entirely idle question…)

Easy.

A soup kitchen needs some fixed assets (space, pots, plates), and a reliable supply of three resources:

  • Perishable goods, aka groceries.
  • Manpower
  • Modest finances to cover operating costs.

Let’s assume we have an intitial investment to cover fixed costs (from municipalities, foundations, etc.). The main challenge is sustaining a flow of resources over time. So –

Now, for some administrative health:

  • Use a wiki (such as wikia or google sites) to share organisational knowledge among kitchens.
  • Maintain a public facing blog, with at least 2 posts a day: one informational, one opinion.
  • Use google app engine to construct and manage your operations database.
  • Use ZohoCRM to manage supply chains.
  • List locations of your soup kitchens on http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter

And some PR:

  • Get the right people to blog about you.
  • Get some good viral videos out there on youtube.
  • Publish a constant flow of heart-warming stories of champion volonteers and some heart-breaking stories of your clients.

Most important:

Make a habit of innovation. Make your core service 5% more eficient each year, and use the residue to develop new services.

By the way, here in the civilised world we have an atheist soup kitchen, its called a welfare state. Not as streamlined, not as sexy, but it does keep people from freezing in the streets.

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Blackadder kicked out of Facebook, John Wood drafts the spec for the worker’s social net

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Derek Blackadder has been kicked out of FaceBook again. This time for good – his account has been deleted. I’m not going to pose a protest ban on FaceBook, because I already did that. And came back, and got bored of the whole thing.

But this incident leads John Wood to a very pointly analysis of why FaceBook is good, why its bad, and what the ideal social network for social action would look like.

Now here’s what I think. With current platforms such as google app engine, open social, ning and the lot, it should be possible to hack something useful in a few weekends in the garage. Who’s game?

if this is a stunt, it has my respect

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This is a campaign to ensure the UN convention for human rights is upheld and 118 is given an account in his real and legit (although stupid) name.

Well, if Derek Blackadder got his account back, I’m sure mr. 118 TAXI will. Along with a hefty load of new facefriends and more business than he can shake a stick at.

Btw, if you actually read this log regularly, and are wondering what I’m doing on facebook the answer is, if its bad enough for Sheikh Ali al-Maliki to want to block it, its good enough for me to be there.

Written by yishaym

April 6, 2008 at 12:40 am

The Cute Cat Theory

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Ethan Zuckerman’s notes from his talk at ETech. Including pictures of cats, youtube freedom of speech virals, government monitoring googlemap mashups, and a lot of stuff to think about – whether you’re a political activists, technological startupist, or just want LOLCats to rul da wrrld.

Read it. save it. spread the word.

(also on the WorldChanging blog)


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Adiós FaceBook

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Right, that’s it. enough. I’m gone.

To be honest, I wasn’t feeling very comfortable there for some time now. The idea that these guys are making a commodity out of our identity was gradually seeping in, and I – call me old fashioned – it just didn’t feel right.

blackadder.jpg But now this. Derek Blackadder. Derek is a Canadian trade unionist who was trying to use FaceBook to do what trade unionists do: organise workers and promote their causes. This guy must have read the about page

Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.

And instead of thinking ‘oh, cool! I can throw a virtual wet fish at my homeboy’s virtual dog’ he thought ‘hey, social utility, connects – that could be useful for empowering workers, mobilizing campaigns, fighting corporations.

Ah, did you say fighting corporations? EEEEEEE wrong answer, dude. You’re out.

you can read the full story here, here, and all over the place. There’s a campaign to reinstate him, and knowing how these people are scared of bad publicity – they probably will (or already have), and say it was all a misunderstanding. But I say: why bother? You know this Internet? the great thing about it: you have the choice. At the end of the day, FB is just another social networking site. And not such a great find (unless you’re really, really into wet fish in the face). Just move on. It was getting too crowded anyway. See you guys at UnLtdWorld, Pulse, LinkedIn, or where ever the winds of web may take you.

(p.s. and leave a msg if you need an UnLtdWorld invite. They are seriously nice.)

FaceBook is evil.

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FaceBook’s strategy may be genius, or it may be bonkers. I’m betting on bonkers – and praying for it too. Yes, privacy is dead, it has been for a while now. But this is taking it to an extreme. There an old line from an old radio sketch that comes to mind: yes, everyone pisses in the pool, but they don’t do it from the top of the jumping board.

Google has been serving me ads tailored for my behaviour for ages. Whether it’s adsense or the little clips on my gmail. Amazon tells me that people who bought this book also liked that one. The big difference is that whatever is personal, stays personal. No one tells my friends what I bought unless I do.

Mr. Zuckerberg thinks we’re ready to cross that bridge: hand over whatever is left of our dignity to the noble cause of making corporates richer. It kinda makes sense with the MS deal. Funny, how the same people who will go to great lengths to protect “their” intellectual property (read: DRM) are so eager to violate ours.

The irony is that FaceBook will fail, but not because the masses will awake. It will fail for the same reason that Friendster, Yahoo360 and so many of its predecessors failed: our short span of attention, and our low tolerance of bad products. And let’s say it once and for all: FaceBook is a crap product. Don’t give me the 800M users can’t all be wrong. They’re not. They came, had some fun, and will soon move on to something new. Why? Because FB gives you very little in terms of actual social value. Ok, you threw a fish at me, I joined your save the penguins cause. Now what? What does FB give me, in terms of managing my life, that email doesn’t? In fact, in most cases – it’s just a pain compared to email. Even the big API hoo-ha turned out to be an embarrassment. The only FB applications that carry any weight are those that point you to external services, like Zoho. Believe me, I’ve tried them.

Now google, that’s a different story. I can communicate with my friends with gmail, share document and edit them collaboratively, coordinate social activities with my calender and mailing lists. And you know what? I don’t mind their targeted ads, because their targeting actually works: most of the content that gets pushed my way is actually of interest (compare FB: I’m still getting dating ads. Please someone tell them I’m in a relationship, been happily in one for decades. Oh – that’s on my profile).

Mr. Zuckerberg is a genius social engineer, but as a software engineer he sucks. He was smart to start with college kids and expand upwards. He rode the wave of carnival for a year, now the party’s over. Which is why he’s resorting to hysterical business strategies.

(originally posted as a comment on

http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2007/11/dont_tap_on_the.php)

(digg this)

Written by yishaym

November 10, 2007 at 2:02 pm