I’ve never been a fan of things I don’t need. I don’t need a snuggie come this cold winter, I don’t need a bread maker from one of those shopping networks, and I don’t need Yahoo Mail teaming up with Facebook. In late May, Yahoo announced that its mail service would be stepping up by making the web more accessible through Yahoo Mail. Sites like Pandora, Flickr, YouTube, and popular blogging sites were magically incorporated last year to seamlessly transfer their updates to your user account for your viewing pleasure. The big news, however, came when Yahoo announced that your Facebook news feed would be accessible through Yahoo Mail. Not only will you see the latest viral videos that your friends ‘like’, but your mail even gets pre-sorted thanks to an upgrade. You can now read the important things first, but those e-mails about inheriting a large sum of money from an African Prince will have to wait. Sorry Nigerian scammers. Read the rest of this entry »
Facebook is trying to implement a universal “Like” button for non-Facebook sites so that your friends will be able to see what you like across the Internet. (YouTube just added a “Like” button, but I’m not sure if that has any relation to Facebook, yet.)Â Sites across the Internet also have incorporated a share button, one of which is on this very site to help, well, share information with others.
These features, along with things like “Recommendations” and “Live Stream” are known as social plugins which will be broadcasting your information to partnering sites unless you opt out. That’s right, you’re automatically signed up for it thanks toÂ Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Â It is predicted that 30% of websites will have some of these pluginsÂ in a month. Some of the new features you can expect from Facebook are as follows:
- Instant Personalization: Facebook will try to help the web cater to you by giving up your information when you move to another site like Yelp or Pandora. In the case of Pandora, the music site will be able to go through some of your favorite artists and make Pandora more YOU friendly, because we were too lazy to type in “Coldplay” before. Or you can go to Yelp and see what YOUR friends have to say about a certain restaurant over what a stranger has to say.
- Toolbar: Facebook plans to add a toolbar that it will encourage other websites to use. My guess is that “Like” and “Share” will be included on the toolbar so that you can give instant feedback to your profile of what you’re digging at that moment. In absence of this addition, you could have simply copied a link and posted it to your Facebook profile if you really felt the need to express your love for a certain site.
- Activity Stream: Of course, all those things that you are in fact digging have to go somewhere, so a mini-stream will be created to display all of that activity. In other words, this will probably lead to another Facebook makeover with more clutter.
- Docs: In a final move to ensure its worldwide takeover, Facebook seems to have teamed with Microsoft to take down Google Docs. The idea is practically identical to Google Docs with users using their Facebook accounts to create, manipulate, and share Microsoft office documents. With Facebook accounts known for being hacked and Facebook itself always changing their layout, I wouldn’t want to use these docs to work on an important project. Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s face it, April Fools’ Day isn’t the same as you get older. You kind of push it aside like the Easter Bunny or the fat man in the red jump suit that givesÂ you presents.Â Thanks to the Internet, this is the reason why some of us became victims on April 1st.Â These pranks weren’tÂ the standard “Rick Roll.” No my friends, these were very plausible situations and some people (myself included) forgot it was April Fools’ Day and took them to heart. Here are three of my favorites:
- YouTube – The video site took a step in a strange direction by givingÂ users the option to convert videos to text only, making the screen look like something out ofÂ “The Matrix.” The option was noted under “TextP” and YouTube claimed that for every second you spent in “TextP” mode, you would be saving the siteÂ a whole dollar. I’m not sure how many people bought into that idea, but it was aÂ clever one.
- Bieber Fever – Â Funny Or Die caught the Bieber bug as the site announced that it had been bought by singer Justin Bieber. The site’s logo became “Bieber or Die” and videos of Justin were pretty much the only thing on the main page. I have to hand it to the site and even toÂ Bieber himself. Funny or DieÂ got a ton of publicity from his fans that wandered overÂ out ofÂ curiosity. Bieber also appealed to a broader, more adult (though probably less mature) audience by showing his sense of humor.
- Google’s Name Change – Google is known for changing its logoÂ to cater to what’s happening.Â On its birthday,Â we see candles. July 4th, fireworks, and so on. In those instances, the Google nameÂ remains intact and creative visualsÂ areÂ added to enhance it. You can imagine the shock of millions as they logged on and saw an entirely different name – “Topeka.” Â Clicking on it led you to the Google Blog where we learned that the name change came in honor of Topeka, Kansas, which is informally going by the name “Google” for a month. Adding to the reciprocity was a sectionÂ on how to properly use the term “Topeka”Â and specifics involving brand identity under the new name. This was probably the prank that affected the larest number of people andÂ many probably thought it was real. Thankfully, it isn’t. Saying you “Topeka’ed” someone sounds a little dirty.
These were just three ofÂ the more popular April Fools’ hijinksÂ from 2010, but there were far more that hit the web that slipped under our radar (4Chan, anyone?).Â In closing, we have to bequeth honorable mentions toÂ Starbucks for Â introducing new cup sizes and to CollegeHumor for opening In-N-Out Burger in NYC. Can’t wait until next year to see what the Internet,Â in all of its nonsensical glory, has to offer.