A youth protest movement dreamed up by parents?

A youth protest movement dreamed up by parents? A survey of my in-house focus group of intense Facebook users reveals a universal and enthusiastic thumbs-up for the new features added yesterday. In an unusual event, the 16-year-old even demo’d the features for me using his account. Personally, I don’t understand why the feature is hard-coded and not an option, but I can certainly see why adding the features only enhance the addictive mojo of Facebook. For blogospherians who don’t have in-house demo sources, the new features are sort of like a “river of news” of photos and notes and posts being added to the pages of all your friends — or by your friends. (One feature is a group river, the other is an individual river — but nowhere on Facebook will you ever find the word “river” used to describe the features.

Not everyone likes the new features. Stephen Baker points to a growing horde and teeming mass of Facebook users who are “revolted” by the new feature and are “revolting” against it. Staci Kramer at PaidContent.org says there’s a group complaining the feature is creepy. (Which is somewhat ironic, in that one could easily argue all of Facebook is creepy for the same reasons they find just the new features creepy.) Some are even planning a boycott against it. But the powers-that-be at Facebook are hearing the pain and are suggesting the Facebookies calm down.

Frankly, I’d tell the whiners something a little less diplomatic, but hey, I’m not a teenager who is worried about appearing not cool in front of ones peers. However, I do think that suggesting a boycott against Facebook would clearly be something uncool in front of ones friends. It sounds like something only ones parents could dream up.

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Good news, bad news

Good news, bad news: The NYTimes reports that Google will announce a new “News Archive Search” today at the URL news.google.com/archivesearch. Good news: Google will start indexing “behind pay walls.” Bad news: Google will start indexing “behind pay walls.” Why bad? Publishers were finally figuring out how they could make money from their archives by removing the pay wall — now they’ll reconsider before following Time Inc.’s lead. Recently, Time freed 300,000 articles (and created a vast inventory of ad space) dating back to 1923. Google claims they haven’t figured out how to “monetize it” yet. (That sound in the background is giggling.)

The future of custom publishing

The future of custom publishing media: The item today at PaidContent.org about Anheuser-Busch investing $30 million in the creation of a new branded online medium called Bud.tv reminded me why I’m thinking Hammock Media may soon be a better name for Hammock Publishing (except all that expense of changing stationery). (At least the URL HammockMedia.com points in the right direction — and has for years.) It’s not that custom publishing is going away, it’s just that we (and lots others) are doing more than print these days. I was on the Board of Directors of American Business Press a few years ago when we voted to change its name to American Business Media. Seemed then (and now) like a no-brainer. Side note: In a few weeks, Hammock Publishing will celebrate its 15th anniversary. Hard to believe.

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