Posts filed under “Web/Tech”

Why I Don’t Do Social Networking Sites

Time for a bit of a rant:

"Its not you, it’s me"


So said George Costanza, and I second the notion. Please do not be insulted when I turn down your request for one of the social networking sites. Really, "its not you, it’s me." 

Actually, its neither of us, but that’s hardly amusing. Several times a week, I get an invite to some social networking site: Plaxo, Friendster, MySpace, Orkut, 43Things, Spoke, Leverage Software, Zero Degrees, SelectMinds and LinkedIn.

Kevin Bacon may be six degrees away from everyone else, but I don’t need to be. More importantly, I do not want to entrust my data (precious data) to a start up firm — or Microsoft for that matter. (Google, maybe — but thats where I draw the line).

Indeed, I refuse to participate in any and all of these sites, and with good reason.


I think its safe to say that the marketplace does not have space for 9 (nine!) of these companies. And I probably missed some. Eventually, there may be some consolidation -we see it starting already. That means two things:  One, I have no idea where my personal data and address book will ultimately end up, what company or person; and B) the liklihood is that at least 2 but more likely 3 and probably 4 and maybe even 5, and quite possibly 6 of these firms will go belly up, the long dirt nap, buy a farm.

And when that happens, the VC’s investments will be worth zero, nada, zilch, and they will seek to recoup something, anything, even just pennies on the dollar (pretty please?). And then the vultures will come in: strip the offices down to the bare walls, sell everything thats not moving for pennies on the dollar. Aeron Chairs (ha!), PCs, desks, wall cabinets, EVERYTHING.

And when that happens, when the Bankruptcy Judge brings down the gavel, the most valuable asset these companies have — all of my personal info, plus all of your contact info, plus every person you know’s name/number/email address — will be sold to the highest bidder. They may promise that they will protect your data, but I simply do not believe they can control anything post banckruptcy.  The contracts are ignored.

And I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that the buyer will be a bigtime spammer. That’s right: I bet that some of the data that you have so willingly forked over to these new social networking firms will be sold to a spammer. That’s why I suggest you update your own damned address book.

No thanks . . .


UPDATE   March 27, 2005 5:24pm

This spam scam is circulating, preying on  (what do you know!) Social Networking sites:

Subject: Ringo

Finally got around to checking this, and it may be of interest to others.  It came from a friend a month or so ago, and I haven’t had a chance to speak to him yet, but it’s clearly something that should be avoided.

This falls in the same category as e-cards.  Seems like a nice easy and convenient service, but when you "send" the e-card, you’re giving out somebody’s email address to a big black hole.  Who knows how many places the address and other info are stored, or who has access to it..

This Ringo thing is a spammers mother lode — an organized, up-to-date email database.  We have enough problems with private info being hacked into, without offering even more of it up for grabs.  It doesn’t take much effort to keep an address book up to date, or to notify friends of address changes; and nobody else needs to get involved.

Just a FYI,


I’m updating my address book.  Please click on the link below and enter your contact info for me:

I’m using a new, free service where I put in my contact info for you, you put in your contact info for me, and everyone stays up to date automatically.  It’s surprisingly easy and useful.

It was inevitable that the spammers and scammers would get around to spoofing/phishing via these networks.

Category: Web/Tech

VOTE: Best Financial Industry/Investment Blog

Category: Web/Tech

The idea factory

Category: Investing, Music, Web/Tech

Uh-Oh: Apple on the Cover of Fortune

Category: Investing, Media, Web/Tech

Video Game Industry Sales Reach Record Pace in 2004

Category: Music, Web/Tech

VOTE: Best Financial Industry/Investment Blog

Category: Web/Tech

Apple aiming for the sweetspot ?

Since we’ve been discussing the impact of Apple lately, I thought it worthwhile to point to a graphic depiction of Apple’s marketing strategy, as conceived by future Wired comtributor Paul Nixon.

I’m not sure I agree with Paul’s statement that "until January 2005,
Apple had no iPod that served the mass market
" givent he enormous sales
numbers the Pod has rung up. But the broader point of targeting the new devices
at truly mass entry level (i.e., cheap) is valid.

click for larger graphic


Check out the full size graph here:

Nice work, Paul

Apple’s Tipping Point: Macs for the Masses
Paul Nixon
Nixlog, January 12, 2005

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Category: Finance, Web/Tech

Wall Street Remains Clueless as Ever as to Apple’s Products

From all the chatter I’ve heard on Wall Street, I get the sense that many PC analysts – long wed to the windows world – have no clue what to make of the mini Mac. I cannot say I am surprised.

Just last year, one PC analyst at a bulge bracket firm suggested Apple sell itself to Sony. Another suggested that Apple start producing Windows machines, or use Intel chips.

Umm, no.

This is part of a long term misunderstanding of Apple by the Street. Most of them don’t “get” Apple; They certainly haven’t been able to figure out Steve Jobs. And since all but one (that I know of) work primarily on a Windows machine, they never really understood what the fuss about the Mac was all about.

Until the iPod came along. Apple created a category killer by engineering a marvelous piece of user friendly technology made from essentially off the shelf components. The secret sauce was their terrific user interface. That forced some Analysts to start getting clued into what the cult of Macintosh was all about.

But what about this new Mac mini?

Understand what Apple is doing with the mini:

1) It’s a Windows replacement machine;

2) Geeks like it!

3) It’s potentially the centerpiece for a Home theatre

4) It’s a cheap 2nd Apple for faithful MacHeads

Let’s focus on #2 today (#1 will be the subject of a column later this week).

In the old days, geeks recommended Windows because they were a “standard,” they let admins under the hood pretty regularly  — and they were cheap.

Indeed, the original name for Windows 95 was “the IT department full employment act.”
It was buggy, difficult to maintain, vulnerable and crash prone – but
it was the industry standard. Any IT guy you spoke to in the mid 90s
would tell you how much cheaper the Wintel machines were to buy, how
much more software there was for it.

he didn’t tell you was how much higher the cost of ownership was –
namely his salary. Its eventually became his entire support staff’s


The result of that “bias” has been costly to maintain PC networks in most offices, and unsupported PCs in most homes. Every home PC user who has ever had a major Windows headache – security issues, virus infections, corrupted ini files, missing dll library – is desperate for an easy to use alternative.

Here we are a decade later, and a new generation of younger IT employees have inherited these headaches from their predecessors. And, to judge by the geek blogs and websites, they are none to happy about it. From Malware to spam hijacking to Explorer vulnerabilities, keeping a windows network running – or even a single internet connected machine – is a time consuming, frustrating job.

For what most people use their PCs for – email, internet surfing, music playing / CD burning, word processing – this is all the machine they need.

And Geeks like it! They really like it! — And they are key influencers of purchases by many people . . .

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Category: Investing, Web/Tech

Fun with Google

Category: Web/Tech

Hunting for the next iPod

Category: Web/Tech