I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how Google+ will destroy both facebook and twitter.
Though facebook is unforgivably slow there is still 750 million users many of which spend almost all of their free time on or posting to facebook. So myself and several others agree that Google+ simply is not contest and so is any other social network until facebook completely mess up bad enough that people simply don’t like it anymore (see myspace for instance). The way Google+ is set up it really is more of a facebook replacement but seeing my friends over 50 are just figuring out facebook and afraid of the internet as a whole I really don’t see them taking out facebook, but what about twitter? They have a measly 21 million users that more than likely already are very much inside of the Google ecosystem and always on the edge of tech trendiness, you say. Well, I’m glad you asked.
I find a few fundamental flaws into why I use twitter in the first place.
- The 140 Character Rule.
Yes, twitter started as a texting alternative and it seems silly that they still require you keep your tweets to 140 characters or less, but quite honestly that is the reason I still use twitter.
For news or companies I prefer to make them keep what they want to tell me as condensed as possible and facebook allows 420 characters and I am not aware of a character limit on Google+ yet. While Google+ allows for “Following” circles to help fight twitter, twitter’s biggest weapon is the character limit.
- I Keep My Friends and News/Blogs/Companies on Separate Social Networks.
Sometimes I just want to see what my friends up to and not be attacked with world news, tech news, free company advertising and who has updated their blogs. This is why I normally hide pages from my news feed on facebook.
Sure I follow a few of my friends on twitter but this is generally for their blogs. In fact I sometimes I unfollow friends because their tweets simply have no value added to my news. When I log into twitter I am expecting news and not what everyone is up to, that’s what facebook is for after all.
I do follow people who are acquaintances on twitter and for this Google+ does have an edge but that really is a small percentage of people I follow on twitter. Even of these acquaintances only when I @reply or DM them am I really after anything other than more value added news or comedy or something other than lunch.
- I Don’t Want to See Every Comment to Big Name Person/Company I Follow.
One other reason I tend to hide pages I like on facebook is all the comments that fill up my News Feed. I will give them the credit that they generally only show the last few comments but unless it’s someone I know commenting I really don’t need to see it. At all.
Twitter fixes this with the @reply system. I can see responses made by people I follow have made to other people I follow, then can see the whole conversation if I want.
People are free to disagree with me but I really don’t see Google+ as a twitter alternative because twitter is so different from how facebook and Google+ are set up and Google+ will need a lot of changes to make it the new twitter. One suggestion I could give that would make it a viable twitter replacement is setting up pages so they are in their own feed, without all comments on, or at least as an option in settings and most importantly limit the characters to 150 or less.
There has been a lot of spam running around facebook lately and no one seems to know what to do when it happens, so let your favorite techie tell you.
First if you see what is obviously spam in your news feed: move your mouse over the post and you will see an X appear in the upper right hand corner. Click it. In the drop down you will see mark this post as spam. Click that. You will see a confirmation box pop up. Click confirm. This helps you by removing the post from your feed so you don’t click it and it helps facebook find the spam to kill it.
Second if the post is on your wall: go to your page (click your name in the upper right hand corner of the page) and follow the directions described in the first section. This will remove it from your wall and let facebook know there was spam.
Third if you are the one sending spam: I have seen many people talking about the http vs https, this is very good. Check to see if you have a secure connection to facebook especially if you are using public or unsecured (not password protected) wifi. It is a good idea to change your password at this point but may not be necessary if it is simply session hijacking (more on this later) or if you clicked a bad link (can happen to anybody).
Session hijacking: basically if you are on public wifi and you are using http and not https a hacker can see the info you are sending back and forth and virtually hop on. So they don’t know your password anymore than I do. This is why it may not be necessary but still a good idea to change your password. If any of your emails or other logins use the same password, change that password as well.
Now that you have the facebook end done what do you do? Well if you have a Windows PC there’s a fairly good chance you got a virus through all this. If you have anti-virus software open it up, click update, click full scan or scan whole computer or something similar and click scan. This will take hours but it very needed. If you don’t have anti-virus software then I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials. Download it, install it and run a full scan. If your computer won’t download it then try downloading it to a flash drive on another computer and installing that way. If you can’t figure it out and you know me, give me a call. If your anti-virus finds a virus don’t freak out. It happens to everyone, really. Just reboot and run the scan again till it returns 0 infections so that you know it has gotten them all.
Lastly preventative maintenance: Click account in the upper right corner of your facebook page and click Account Settings. Scroll down to Account Security. Make sure the https option is selected and that send me an email under Login Notifications is selected. This will let you know if anyone is logging into your account. Finally use discretion as to what links you click, what you like and what apps you give approval for on facebook. This will save you a headache and call to someone like me.
It has recently come to my attention that there are a couple things that the Zuck and I have in common. First two roommates and I started a site in the fall of 2003 entitled WOLBI Hookup. It was a place where we had all of the pictures of the students of WOLBI and they could post their relationship status. I mean like The Social Network points out one of the main driving points behind college is to get into relationships so we aimed to help us and everyone else on campus achieve their goals. This, however, never got further then some design ideas that are still on one my old HDD’s and one of my roommate’s old computers and a registered domain name similar to our famous notes site.. We now refer to as our primitive facebook before facebook. But alas as Jesse Eisenburg playing Zuckerburg so elegantly said to the Winkelvoss twins, “If you would have invented facebook, then you would have invented facebook.”
In addition, I recently found out why facebook is blue. Much like me the Zuck is red-green colorblind and blue is the one color he can see without problem. I feel ya Zuck. Had WOLBI Hookup taken off it probably would’ve been blue as well.