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Day 17 of 365: Facebook’s Biggest Mistake, The Universe Finds Humans Scary?, An Online Toy You HAVE To Play With – Face Substitution

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][custom_headline type=”center” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h2″ accent=”true”]Facebook’s Biggest Mistake[/custom_headline][text_output]For users, Facebook is a free service, and nearly ubiquitous. Nearly everyone has a Facebook account. There’s tons of services that use Facebook as a way of logging in. Businesses use Facebook to stay connected to their audience. Heck, news is started to use it as link fodder by predicting the death of Facebook (with articles that are made entirely from nothing, like “Teens are no longer using Facebook!”)

And, with being to widely used, every time they change anything, or add a new feature, it’s always the wrong move. Any move, no matter if it adds value or not, is the wrong move. Everyone complains about the new timeline, or the new app, or what ever minuscule change happens. It doesn’t matter that no one who uses Facebook pays anything – our sense of entitlement means that we believe we own it, and they should be things our way.

The mistake Facebook has made isn’t the changes in it’s service. Or the changes to pages, where businesses aren’t reaching their audience nearly as easily. Nope, the mistake happened much further back, and is more fundamental.

Facebook grew not just because of simple popularity.  Having some traction and people adopting it as a social networking solution was only part of it.  It took money – companies like Microsoft investing $260 million, or individual investors like Li Ka-Shing throwing in $60 million.  $100 million here, $200 million there, it all adds up.  Then they went public, which injected even more cash into the situation.

So what was the mistake?  Having to be answerable to the money, not the users.  Now, you’re seeing a lot of moves that have everything to do with monetizing the system further, a requirement when you have a vast pool of investors.  For instance, the complains that business and page owners currently have seem to have a great deal to do with convincing people to spend money on advertising (via promoting posts).  The new trending system shows the need to keep more eyeballs on the screen more frequently, so they can sell more ads.  It does very little for most people’s engagement levels, in my opinion.  But, for probably 5% of users, it’s going to be a thing of interest – and that increase of activity in 5% of people makes it worthwhile for them.

When complaining about Facebook’s changes, there’s three things to keep in mind:

1) We use it for free.

2) They aren’t answerable to us

3) They have to make money

That third one, BTW, is a solution:  if they have to make money to survive, make Facebook less answerable to the minority of people who come in contact with it by way of investment by diluting it.  Everyone, go buy a share of Facebook.  You only need one.  If enough Fadcebook users did it, and we’re talking millions, suddenly they’re answerable to the users 😉  (Then a new problem arrives, but, that’s a different tale of woe. :-)[/text_output][custom_headline type=”center” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h2″ accent=”true”]What If The Universe Finds Humans Scary?[/custom_headline][text_output]Danger: Humans is a great short about exactly how horrifying other species in the universe might find us.  It’s a Public Service Announcement style warning about the dangers of humans, and all of their strong and weak points.  Fun!

[/text_output][custom_headline type=”center” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h2″ accent=”true”]An Online Toy You HAVE To Play With: Real-Time Face Substitution[/custom_headline][text_output]

Myself as Walter White using the face substitution page.
Myself as Walter White using the face substitution page.

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at Jan 17, 2014   11.06.46 PMHere’s a neat trick – visit the Face Substitution page if you’re using Chrome.  (It only works in Chrome, as far as I know, because that’s the only browser that supports the full WebGL and WebCam API’s).  If you’re not using Chrome, well, you can kick back and watch the example video.

What it does that’s cool – when you hit start, it grabs the outline of your face, and you pick from the drop-down menu who you want to be.  The Terminator, Walter White, and quite a few others.  I snagged a couple screenshots of me as Walter White.

It’s far from flawless – it does various things like loose the trace of your face if you look down far enough, and sometimes it fails to match up the skintones.  And, if you’ve got facial hair, it might get a bit erratic at times – it would lock on to my goatee as if that was where my mouth was, not a couple inches higher.

This sort of thing has been done before – and better – but it’s interesting to see it be available as something running native in the browser.  There’s no Flash or ActiveX abomination involved.  Cool stuff 🙂

[/text_output][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][line][custom_headline type=”center” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h2″ accent=”true”]Today’s Stats[/custom_headline][text_output]
  • Workouts: 0 (Looking forward to re-starting that attempt next week)
  • Cigarettes Smoked: 10 (And looking forward to attacking this again tomorrow!)
  • Healthy Eating:  Good breakfast, Taco Shop lunch (tacos – they use a lot of lettuce, tomatoes, etc. on their tacos.  I actually consider them healthy), good supper.

Projects Worked on:

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