I love the audacity of Facebook, the company. It rightly (yet so wrongly) operates under the assumption that you're using Facebook (you probably are), you'll continue to use Facebook (you probably will) and that there's absolutely no way you'll ever quit Facebook (ever). Consider a couple recent examples:
Facebook now gives you the option to limit how much of someone you'll see if you break up, and how much of you they can see, all without having to unfriend them. Because the last thing you'd ever want to do when a relationship ends is unfriend them on Facebook. Give them their stuff back (or toss it), bury the hard copies of pictures (people still do that, right?), but you'd never want to unfriend them. That's just crazy talk.
And Facebook's "Safety Check" — a single place for you to see whether your friends who might have been caught up in some natural (or otherwise) disaster are OK — has been put to a lot of use the past couple weeks. It's a great service, actually. But folks are right in noting that there's going to be disparity in the times that it's activated. A car crash is not a building collapse. A tornado is not a car bomb. How do you decide whether a tragic event is "important" (or, let's face it, "popular") enough? "Everyone should have access to it," wrote our pal Mark Spoonauer at Tom's Guide. And Facebook should be applauded for its response during all this.
Safety Check indeed is a good service. But it's not like I'm not able to say "In Paris, I'm OK" without it. On your Facebook timeline, on Twitter, wherever. (And a good many of us probably would take the shortest path and try to post to as many places at once and not muck about with a service within a service.) And that doesn't take into account that in a true emergency SMS text messages may be the only way to get information out anyway.
Or maybe combine the two. "It's over. I'm OK."
A few other thoughts on the week that was:
- Seeing folks just quote the email sent to developers about apps being labeled in Google Play as being ad-supported. As we pointed out, it's not that simple.
- Will fewer people install our app because the Google Play listing will say it has ads, even though it doesn't really have display ads? Guess we'll find out.
- I'd maybe give myself a C on this editorial. I still believe in the point I was making — Pushbullet was wrong to even insinuate that "selling data" was the only real alternative to charging a fee. But I should have led with that and not worked up to it.
- (Never mind that the first sentence was "I'll gladly pay for a good app and good services, even if they previously were free." Like I said before, it's not about the money at all for me.)
- And the Pushbullet Reddit AMA didn't really seem like a good idea to me. The product's worth needs to be the explanation for why I should pay for it. An AMA wasn't likely to change many minds.
- Definitely a shame that LG canceled the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE (seriously, that name ...), and even weirder that it was done just days after devices started shipping. Stranger things have happened, but not many.
- On the other hand, I've yet to see a compelling cellular-enabled watch. There are just too many design trade-offs — thickness, battery, stiff, permanent bands — for my taste.
- But what the hell. We're talking about magical computer boxes on our wrist.
- I was wrong for being concerned about bringing up the encryption debate on the podcast. I thing the guys discussed it perfectly. Some decent (and some not so much) debate in the comments, too.
- I did Pensacola Business Radio this week — a cool little show at the other end of the hall my office is on.
- Vernon Reid said it right.
- So did this Marine.