When Algorithms Go Bad: Facebook Recommends Exes and Deceased

FacebookI’ve already written today about Facebook’s new feature that shows you which of your friends might need a helping hand to gain more contacts or keep their profiles updated with photos or content, but apparently there are more disconcerting recommendations going on.

Think of it as the social network equivalent of receiving mail in the post for someone who has died (the exact reason for the problem is a bit different, but the distress is comparable).

The fact is, the algorithms that are supposed to help Facebook provide useful recommendations can only look at previous and current links between people, with no understanding of context.

That’s why Facebook has recommended that some users reconnect with ex-partners, or even with people who have died (presumably the deceased simply have dormant accounts on Facebook now).

Emotionally unsettling to say the least. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: The Role of Design and Formatting

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You may be surprised to see a post about design and formatting in an SEO column. These elements have nothing to do with keywords. But in my experience, they can play a crucial role in link building.

I found this out from one of my blogs about a year ago. A couple weeks after I started the blog, I started getting links and some of the linkers commented about how they liked my blog’s design. This was the first blog I launched that had a custom design. In the past, I would start blogs but just use a common free theme. I would modify it a little bit, but you could still tell that it was a common design. (If you’ve seen all the similar Thesis themed blogs running around, you know what I’m talking about.) [Read more…]

Footballer Rushes To Twitter To Apologize For Showing Up Late To Game

19 Year-old U.S. international Josy Altidore rushed to Twitter today to apologise for showing late for the Premier League game Hull City – Portsmouth. The now deleted tweet was quickly picked up by the BBC Live Sports team.

From JozyAltidore17 on Twitter: “Apologize to all of you. I showed up late. Made a big mistake I’m very very sorry.”

Altidore, who made more furore with the announcement that he was being loaned out to Hull for the season on his Twitter account some months ago than with his game in England so far, is said to be in trouble because of his public apology. Hull City manager Phil Brown said later in an interview with 5-Live that he doesn’t understand that people share their whole life on social networks and that Altidore’s actions will cost him lots of money.

Will EchoFon’s “Smart Push Technology” Change The Game On Twitter? And The iPhone?

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Of the 3 dozen plus Twitter apps available, very few of them support push notification. Even the “big 3” (Tweetie 2, Twittelator Pro and Twitterrific Premium) still lack push support, despite the fact that smaller rivals like SimplyTweet have already enabled them for their users.

While there are many apps out there with push notification, Echofon (formally known as Twitterfon) is the first that I have seen that uses what I call “smart push technology,” a feature that I wish every iPhone app had. [Read more…]

Are You a Blogpreneur?

There are three kinds of bloggers: the writer who is merely looking for a venue to express themselves with no aspiration for the blog to turn into anything bigger; the blogger who is hoping their blog will turn into some type of business endeavor; and the majority of bloggers, the type who are satisfied with the former but secretly hope for the latter.

I tend to think that most bloggers fall into this group which I’ll dub as blogpreneurs. [Read more…]

Mozilla Preps Up Raindrop Open Conversation Aggregator, Read: Google Wave Rival

The folks at the Mozilla Labs seem to be pretty hard at work lately. The reason – a new a product called Raindrop.  And guess  what?  Amidst the explanations laid out on the Mozilla Labs site, I could only think of one thing – it’s Mozilla’s version of  Google Wave and and also a sanitized take on Twitter’s model. [Read more…]