Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Note of F8 Keynote

1. Mark emphasizes the bar of good apps, share and meaningful.
2. Mark demos the new profile, emphasizing on feed, easy to share and clean UI(The point is to underscore the feed)
3. Mark announced facebook connect. Digg and other two partners come to demo.
4. Ben announced Principle of Great App.
* Meaningful
* Trustworth
* Well-designed

5. Ben announced the launch of new developer website.
6. Ben announced the recipients of the FB fund.
7. Ben announced a new competition. 2 months, 10 million dollars, 25 recipients.
8. Ben announced facebook verification program, emphasizing on the quality of apps.
9. Ben announced facebook great app program, again emphasizing on the quality of apps. Like people reported already, the first two "Great Apps" are iLike and Causes.
10. Explain the reason of shutting down apps.
11. Support for openweb.

The take-home messages are:
Facebook will be more social,more share,more platform like.(of course more share of market)
Facebook will enhance the control of app quaility.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Facebook, where's the Ads?

Just saw facebook's new design. I like it! Clearly facebook is going after Twitter and Friendfeed. The status update has been emphasized a lot.

Here I only have one question: where's the Ads?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Facebook to sue Xiaonei next?

According to Financial Times, Facebook is filing a law suit against German facebook clone StudiVZ. There is some coverage in Insidefacebook and Techcrunch.

The interesting question brought up by Insidefacebook is that, will facebook sue the Chinese clone Xiaonei next? Clearly, in terms of clone, Xiaonei is a better one. There is even no "replacing Facebook’s blue colour scheme with a red one".
The question is, why didn't facebook sue xiaonei first? My guess is that, first, China's copyright law isn't as perfect as US, so maybe facebook doesn't want to get itself in trouble. Second, there is rumor saying that facebook has been blocked in China, due to it's highly opened platform and potential sensitive information. It doesn't sound like a good idea to mess with it by suing a Chinese competitor. Google and Baidu's battle could be a good example. Pretty much everyone agreed that Baidu plays an important role in the block of Google back to several years ago. Third, Xiaonei do have some features designed for Chinese market that facebook doesn't have, so maybe legally it's a little harder to approach the lay suit.

If like people said, you should always sue where the money is, Xiaonei is definitely a better option. They have raised $430 million this year, which seems a bigger number than StudiVZ's price(€100M). So it's likely Xiaonei will be the next target.

Or, maybe here facebook is sending a message to the rest clones: behave, otherwise I'm gonna go after you. Or...will facebook deal with it by acquiring Xiaonei? well...just a wild guess.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What's left for facebook apps?

Today, Insidefacebook has an interesting post about the most engaging categories of facebook apps, as shown below. (Screenshots courtesy Insidefacebook)
Clearly Games is out numbered, which is a little unexpected to me. It seems Social Networks is designed for fun, but is it? Think about the real life social networks. Yes we do seek for fun in our networks, hanging out with friends for fun, joining groups and participating activities for fun, etc, but we also do a lot of serious stuff in our networks, too.

So, there is still margin left in the facebook apps battle. Honestly I'm really tired of writing on walls, sending all kinds of gift, rating my friends through all aspects, doing all the surveys... and stuff. I'm really looking for something that is meaningful and functional on a daily basis to me, and hopefully generates some sort of value. So developers, think from real life, what can be done or can be improved in a social network, you'll stand out of the crowd.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Could awesome "Waterboard" be used in apps, such as iPhone?

Yestercday I saw this cool video called "waterboard" randomly on a blog. It has been there for a while though. It's really cool. In fact, it's awesome! At first I felt this was some sort of magic, but after a while, I figured this might not be that hard. I'm guessing it's basically some(a lot of) sensors and a not so sophisticated program. Then I started to think, maybe this could be applied to some sort of iPhone apps because of its highly interactive nature. Games for sure, like another NDS port, But can we think of something else? something you'd like to do with N(N >1) fingers on a screen?

------------------- Some random thoughts -------------------
This water borad makes me wonder that, if I become super rich one day, how I'm gonna decorate my house. Yes I'm gonna have one of this water board as a wall in the living room, and I'm gonna have this programmable ceiling

in my bedroom(not walls, because I'll have a big garden outside my wall glass windows). And I'll have one of those big white board wall in my studying room, which you can sketch on it. O_o....LOL

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Poor Jerry Yang - He needs a hug from Larry and Sergey

This is the photos from Reuters(I don't know if it's ok or not to re-post like this. If it's not, please do let me know and I'll take them off).

I BET all of you have already seen it somewhere(If you haven't, save it to your I know that all of you know the Yahoo-Google vs Microsoft-Carl Icahn story and how hard Jerry has been through, but it's still too hard to not mention it in a tech blog such as mine. Here I don't want to repeat the truth, but just have two points to share with you guys what I learned from this whole thing:

1. Never do your enemy any favor, never, no matter how neglectable they are.

There are two cases in the IT history that everyone should remember. One, IBM helps brand MS-DOS, two, Yahoo helps Google and outsources their search to the latter. This was said to be a bless for Google, because back to that time, although Google had been quite famous, they had some problem with their financial situation. It was Yahoo that helps the future search giant out. I couldn't really think of how Jerry feels at this time, but it must be very complicated.

2. This whole internet business changes fast, faster than you can ever think of.

Several years ago, Yahoo was like a glory, a glory in the internet history that will never be shaded. To me, that was like yesterday. But now, Yahoo is like a poor guy who used to be rich but go bankrupt overnight. How about Google? 10 years ago, I think few people knows them, really, except for those really geeky computer folks, but now they are the super star. 10 years from now on, who knows if Google will become the next Yahoo, and if Facebook will become the next Google(say...). Maybe one day you'll see a picture with Mark giving a warm hug and pat to Larry. So, the take home message is, if you want to survive in this business, always be cautious and be prepared, and don't be surprised if you see bigshot dies in one day.

By the way, for the past 5 months, I've seen Larry and Sergey for several times(basically every Friday), I've never seen Larry wearing any clothes other than his black shirt(Sergey changes this time..). Can someone tell me why?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Chinese dominate Ph.Ds in US

A post in Science indicates that Chinese students dominate the Ph.D degrees in US. The top 2 school who provides the most US Ph.Ds are Tsinghua University and Peking University, which are the top 2 universities in China. As shown in the following graph, the number of Ph.D holders from China is increasing over the past years and is now above UC Berkeley to be the top 2.

From my personal point of view, one reason that causes this could be the better visa situation in China, which encourages more and more students in China to pursue a degree in US. Another reason I suspect could be because of of the H1B visa limitation. Due to the harsh situation of getting a H1B visa, many students choose to stay in School and get a higher degree in order to win in the job market.

This is interesting to the IT field, too, because for one, it says clearly that more Chinese students are coming to US, and most of them are in engineering major. It could mean a lot to the job market, which has already been dominated by engineers from China and India. For another, Ph.Ds are the fresh blood of the academic field, which to me, will potentially affects the direction of the market. It won't have any effect in the next couple of years, but I think it's surely an interesting trends for both industrial and academic fields. Let's see if the Congress is gonna do something.