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Too Many Facebook Friends May Cause Stress, Anxiety

Having many friends is classically considered a desirable thing, leading to things like wealth of spirit, a good self-image, and a generally happy life. Not so in the modern days of the internet, where terms like “friend” are used as a label for the barest acquaintance, and sometimes even for enemies. In fact, in a recent study by psychologists from Edinburgh Napier University, it was discovered that the amount of “friends” you keep on Facebook may be linked to heightened feelings of anxiety and stress.

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Meet Rockmelt, Your New Social Browser

Okay, so hands up if you’ve heard of RockMelt.

If you are one of the people who put up your hand — stop that. This is text and I can’t see you. Know, however, that you are quite possibly more connected and in tune with the techieverse than your now shame-faced tech-writer. Somehow, for reasons unknown to all but the almighty Goog itself, my keenly developed tech senses missed this wonder entirely! But, that’s all behind me, now. I’ve seen the light, got an invite, and have been playing with the world’s latest, greatest — and Google Chrome based — social browser for several days now.

Here’s what I’ve discovered:

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Fend Off Tracking Cookies, Keep Functionality With Disconnect [Google Chrome]

Cookies. We have a love hate relationship with them. They track what we do and report all kinds of information back to the site that generated them — and to third parties as well, in many cases. But they also often provide a better user experience, keeping track of our preferences and removing small annoyances like having to sign in to a website every single time we open it up. Unfortunately, as is the case with most things on the internet regarding your privacy and security, the only completely effective way to protect yourself is to simply turn the potential problem off. The only problem with this course of action is that turning off cookies also has the effect of making a huge part of the web practically unusable.

So what to do about it? Well, if you use Google Chrome, try out Disconnect.

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Create a Cool New Custom Facebook Layout in Less than 5 Minutes

You might have seen posts floating about the web about creative uses of the new Facebook profile page’s photo layout. If it seems like a bit of work, there is a way you, too, can be ultra cool and trendy — but with little to no effort on your part. This is the best sort of trendiness, in my opinion, and all you have to do is fall for a rather clever marketing scheme by Schweppes.

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How Much Did Facebook Pay to Snag From the Farm Bureau, Anyway?

Last week, Facebook announced its new mail service.  In the process, it was also confirmed that Facebook had acquired the domain name, and was using it internally.  Your first reaction might be that the Farm Bureau was paid handsomely for the domain name.  That is probably the case, just by virtue of the fact that two letter domain names are prime real estate.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Farm Bureau got more money, simply because Facebook was the buyer.

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Why the New Facebook Mail Will Be Dead On Arrival (For Many of Us)

TechCrunch is reporting that Facebook will be unveiling a full-fledged webmail client tomorrow, to take on the likes of Gmail.  If the story turns out to be true, Facebook could have a formidable email service, given the size of Facebook’s user base.  Technology publications seem to be overlooking an Achilles’ heel that could make Facebook mail a no-go for many users.

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Cliqset Adds More Facebook, a Bit of Digg, and Social Search

When I last wrote about Cliqset, users were able to fully integrate a Twitter and Google Buzz account, but services like Facebook were one-way only. You could share something from your various connected streams to Facebook, as well as to a multitude of other services, but you couldn’t pull content from Facebook and interact with it. Now you can.

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3 Pseudo-Monopolies That are Killing Tech

Does your blood boil when you see a company gouge its consumers?  In a world with competition, that wouldn’t be such a big deal.  The free market would rule, and consumers could just move on to a competitor.

That isn’t always possible, though, in a world where, for a variety of reasons, monopolies or pseudo-monopolies exist.  In some situations, you have to suck it up and accept a company’s onerous terms, or not play ball at all.  Here are three markets desperately in need of more competition.

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Social Media’s Darker Side Has Reared its Head Outside My Door

Normally, I like to stick to light and fluffy things like how-to’s and reviews. I don’t get up on my soapbox often and I don’t like to mess up people’s days by spreading things that I wasn’t happy to learn. Today is a bit different. The fundamental shift in the way we gather, process, and spread information, while having a hugely positive affect on social efforts like fund and awareness raising, has an equally destructive affect when in the hands of those whose moral centre lays somewhere a billion or so feet below ground. What happened on Facebook over the past week — and is still happening now — is every bit as horrible and disgusting to me as the act that preceded it. I am, quite frankly, unable to fully process it, which is why I am writing about it, trying to put it into some sort of sense.

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Has Facebook Gone Too Far to Protect Its Brand?

As a marketing professional, I understand the importance of protecting brand identity. I get that it means dollars, and that any infringement upon or blanding of a company’s identity can, in the long run, have a negative effect on that company’s bottom line. I understand that a company as culturally dominating as Facebook has to worry about their brand becoming so “household” that their trademark can become non-enforceable (“google” anything lately?) — but does that give them the right to demand that an upcoming social network for teachers remove the word “book” from its name? You tell us.

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