I’m leaving Facebook and you should too

I can no longer support Facebook. Until Facebook undergoes a wholesale leadership change, or better yet, has been regulated, I need to minimize or eliminate my Facebook account.

What pushed me to take action? Let’s look at some recent news:

And there are many more examples. Since Facebook’s earliest days, Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly broke the trust of his users. Each time Facebook is caught, they apologize and promise it won’t happen again. But it does repeatedly. After 14 years of this cycle, we should know better.

So I’m leaving Facebook and all of the properties that Facebook owns. I’m not sure what form that will take yet—whether I will delete my accounts or just leave them unattended.

I do know that I’m going to resurrect my personal website and go back to owning my content and platform. I’m finally going to upgrade my site to participate on the modern IndieWeb. I’m also excited by what my friends Nishant and Pita are building at Digest—a social network built with privacy and user control built into it from the beginning.

I’ve given myself until the end of January to figure out the details. I’ll share what I learn in hopes it helps others leave Facebook as well.

Seeking Balance

A couple of years ago, my co-founders asked me to write more frequently on the Cloud Four blog. It was flattering to know that they trusted me to speak my mind on our collective blog and let me voice help shape our company.

Since then Cloud Four’s blog has taken off and my personal blog has languished. The last post was two years ago and it was simply a dump of bookmarks from delicious.

Several events have caused me to restart this blog:

  • IndieWebCamp reshaped the way I think about content on the web and the importance of owning my own space. In many ways, I feel I own CloudFour.com as well—not the least of which is the fact that I own part of the company—but it is still a shared space. No matter how freely I can speak there, it isn’t my blog. Nor my site.
  • Anil Dash recently wrote if you didn’t blog it, it didn’t happen and the follow up if you did blog it, it did happened. Similar to IndieWebCamp, it highlighted the importance of blogging versus the more transient nature of Twitter.
  • I’ve had an opportunity to watch first hand as Luke Wroblewski and Jeremy Keith turn out numerous informative blog posts in short order. This is a muscle that needs to be exercised.
  • I want to write about things that don’t make sense on the Cloud Four blog. Talking about comic books or politics or just random ideas that aren’t fully baked. There has to be a place for that too

The final impetus came from the launch of futurefriend.ly. When signing the document, we had to have somewhere to point the signatures. What made the most sense was a link to this dormant blog.

Embarrassing. It’s time to rectify that situation.

Site Move

Been doing a lot of house cleaning this weekend. One of those items was moving from MediaTemple’s GridServer to a dedicated virtual server for this blog.

I doubt anyone cares about the move, but I need a post that I know is definitively on the new server and not the old server for testing purposes.

If you see this, you are looking at the new server.

Blogging More at Cloud Four

Since we started Cloud Four, I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to figure out what posts make the most sense here versus our company blog.

Recently, my co-founders have asked me to bring more of my mobile posts to Cloud Four’s blog, and I’ve started doing so.

For example, there are new posts about how the iPhone App Store flies in the face of the preceding technology trends and the iPhone App Store gold rush.

So if you haven’t done so already, please check out the Cloud Four blog and subscribe via RSS or email.

I’m still going to blog here, but the focus will be a bit more technical. The high-level mobile analysis posts will likely be posted at Cloud Four.

And I welcome any feedback you may have on how to distinguish between a personal blog and a company blog.

Need Google Adwords Assistance

A few months ago I moved our beach house web site from a server in my house running Zope to WordPress at Media Temple. In the process, I screwed up my Adwords account.

In particular, I forgot that I had a special landing page that tracked the referring url and then redirected to the home page. After the move, the url for that landing page was returning a page not found error.

Now my ads won’t run no matter what I do. I’ve pointed the ads at the home page, the about page, the features page, etc. I’ve tried domain aliases. No matter what I do, Google Adwords never seems to budge from its opinion that the landing page is of poor quality and not relevant.

I don’t believe my changes to the landing page are having any effect. I’ve been battling this for a couple of weeks now. I’ve sought from the Adwords help forum and from Google’s support (which thus far has only sent me back borderline insulting template emails).

Has anyone encountered anything like this? Any ideas on how to fix it?

Finally, any SEO/SEM experts interested in trading some assistance for some free time at the beach?

Details on the problem are in this Adwords Help Forum Thread.

Join us for Obama ’08 for iPhone Launch Party & Debate Watching

Live in Portland? Come join us Tuesday for an Obama ’08 for iPhone launch party and watch the next Presidential debate.

Doors open at 5 pm at the Mission Theater in NW Portland. We’ll be joined by Representative Earl Blumenauer and representative from the Oregon Obama for America campaign.

More details and RSVP information are available on Upcoming.org. You don’t have to RSVP to attend, but please show up as early as possible because the venue will likely sell out.

Obama iPhone App Blogging Resources

If you want to blog about the Obama iPhone App, here are some resources you can use:

Team Member Info

Announcing Obama ’08 iPhone Application

The main reason I became excited about mobile technology—excited enough to quit my job and start a new company—was because of the potential for mobile technology to be something that can literally change the world.

With that in mind, I’m happy to announce the Official Obama for America application for iPhone and iPod Touch users.

This is a secret side project that I’ve been working on for the last couple of months. The development started in earnest in the middle of September. The application was developed in 22 days.

The application is a great example of how mobile technology and the iPhone in particular can be used to change politics. One of the things we are proudest of is the fact that it helps people become what we started referring to as two-minute activists. The application organizes your address book by battleground state and provides mechanisms for you to track who you called and what they said.

Have a couple of spare minutes? Make a quick call and get out the vote.

I’m terribly proud of this application. I’m also honored to have been part of making it happen. It’s not simply that we built something that we believe will empower people to bring change to Washington, but it is also the fact that we assembled an exceptional team.

It’s a rare opportunity in life to work with a great group of talented people who are working long hours on a tight timeline for nothing other than their belief that they can make a difference. Our ten member team consisted of:

There’s much more that can be done with mobile technology to create social and political change, but for now, download the Obama ’08 for iPhone application and see the first steps in that process.

P.S. It probably goes without saying, but just to be clear: I don’t work for nor speak on behalf of the Obama campaign. I’m just a geek who wanted to help out. :-)

Top Ten Reasons to Attend My Web 2.0 Expo Session

An note to those attending the Web 2.0 Expo in NYC.

I was struck last night at the TechSet networking event at how much I was out of my normal element. The experience made me realize that nearly no one at this conference knows who I am. So why would anyone come to my session?

With that in mind, I want to give you the top ten reasons to attend my talk about Going Fast on the Mobile Web:

  1. 24,000 People Can’t Be Wrong
    Over 24,000 people have viewed or downloaded the slides from the earlier version of my presentation from SlideShare.
  2. Featured on O’Reilly Radar, Ajaxian, and Fast Company
    Previous favorable coverage from O’Reily Radar, Ajaxian, and Fast Company.
  3. Few Bullets. Lots of Images. And a Story to Tell.
    I hate boring presentations where the presenter reads off the slide. I can read that myself thank you very much.
  4. High-level View of the Mobile Landscape
    The mobile opportunity is huge, but most people, particularly Americans, are unaware of what the upcoming mobile wave. You’ll get high-level picture with data to convince your clients, coworkers or management that mobile is something your organization needs to focus on.
  5. But with Details that You Can Act On
    I’m also a developer so for those who want details and code that you can act on, there will be plenty of examples that you can implement.
  6. Hot Topics: iPhone and the App Store
    We’ll talk about the iPhone, the Mobile Web, App Store sales and how what they mean for businesses and web developers.
  7. You Will Be Asked About This in the Next Year
    No matter what business you run, you will be asked to start thinking about your mobile strategy some time in the next year if you haven’t been already. It is the next big thing, and you need to start thinking about how you’re going to prepare for it.
  8. Even Web Developers Who Aren’t Doing Mobile Will Learn Something
    A lot of the information in the presentation is information on how to build faster web sites that many web developers are not aware of. Even if you never build a mobile site, these are things you can incorporate into your current web sites.
  9. Research and Data Unavailable Anywhere Else
    I’ll be presenting the latest data from the mobile browser concurrency test that my company, Cloud Four, developed. This data isn’t available anywhere else. (Nevermind that it isn’t available elsewhere because we’ve been too busy to publish it. :-)
  10. Guarantee that You Will Learn Something New
    And if you don’t, track me down at tomorrow’s party, and I’ll buy you a drink. :-)
  11. So there you have it. Ten great reasons to attend my session. The session details are:

    I also want to assure people that even though it is in the performance and scaling track that it has a wider appeal than just people who specialize in those topics.

    I hope to see you tomorrow.

Gnomedex this Weekend

I’m heading up to Seattle this weekend for Gnomedex. Josh Bancroft was kind enough to include me in the Best of Ignite Portland session.

Like my Ignite Portland presentation, this won’t be on any of the familiar topics of mobile development or web site performance. Instead I’ll be talking about Nissan’s Cup Noodle.

It’s a fun five minute presentation. It will be interesting to see how it is received at 9 am in the morning at a conference instead of in the evening at a theater pub with a, well let’s just say, happy audience.

If you’re attending Gnomedex, let me know. I’ll be watching Twitter while I’m up there.