User data ownership on Facebook and why it doesn’t matter

Geesh, everyone got their panties in a bunch over the weekend due to Facebook’s new terms of service.

Truth is it doesn’t matter.

If you are uploading your content to, and participating online with, you are giving a HUGE amount of ownership to services that, well, you really don’t control.

They can go out of business. They can delete your account. They can make money off of your content. They probably all have wacky stuff in their terms of services.

This is true for Flickr. For YouTube. For Twitter. For Facebook. For all of them.

I’ve been yelling and screaming about how Facebook has been treating its customers for a year now. Facebook already showed how they treat you by the way they delete accounts: they have complete control and you have none.

Deal with it! Me? I dealt with it by putting all my photos into the public domain when I upload them to Flickr.

I dealt with it by having Fast Company own its own servers and content. It’s a real pain, too, takes me a lot longer to upload my videos to than it does to upload them to TubeMogul. But then we have control and we know when ads will be put on top of our content, etc.

So, relax, have fun, just realize you’re here to serve Facebook, not necessarily the other way around.

UPDATE: There’s an interesting conversation going on about this over on friendfeed, including links to a comparison of several TOS’s of several user generated content sites.


Did Adobe snub Apple with FlashPlayer 10, Palm Pre, and Development Fund announcements?

Just now Adobe announced lots of mobile phone news. More on that in a second. But what wasn’t announced?

No iPhone support for Flash yet.

What else was announced? FlashPlayer 10 will ship on the Palm Pre. I was briefed on the rest of this stuff last week and they were holding out on this news.

Now THAT is the way to poke Steve Jobs and crew in the eye. Apple has famously not put Flash on the iPhone, which keeps a lot of Web experiences from working.

There’s a TON of news, though, including a $10 million development fund. Here’s what the PR folks sent me from Adobe — I will be updating this post all night long with more news, so come back frequently and often.

UPDATE: Tons of other blogs are writing about this:
Venture Beat: Mobile Flash apps get better distribution, more money.

Press Release from Adobe: Adobe Announces New eBook and PDF Support for Mobile Devices.

Press Release from Adobe: Palm Latest Mobile Industry Leader to Join Open Screen Project.

Press Release from Adobe: Adobe Announces New Flash Lite Distributable Player.

More news on TechMeme (funny how other blogs totally missed the Palm Pre news).

Flash Player 10 for Smartphones
• Browser plug-in for smartphone-class devices with full desktop web compatibility and access to rich applications, interactive content and web videos.
• First operating systems expected to be supported: Android, Windows Mobile, and Nokia S60/Symbian.
• Flash Player 10 for Smartphones expected to be avail to OEMs: End of 2009; Devices expected in market: 2010

Flash Lite Momentum
• According to Strategy Analytics (Jan ‘09 Report), more than 1 billion devices shipped with Flash Lite by the end of Q1 ’09 – one year ahead of schedule. Additional 1.5 billion expected to ship within next 2 years.
• According to Strategy Analytics (Jan ‘09 Report), close to 40% of all new mobile phones and devices worldwide shipped with Flash Lite in ‘08. Also, Flash Lite shipments experienced a 100% year-over-year growth.

New Flash Lite Distributable Player
• Adobe Flash Lite Distributable Player is a new, over-the-air mobile runtime based on Flash Lite 3.1. Enables developers and content providers to create and directly distribute mobile apps.
• Player is automatically installed and updated as apps are downloaded. (WiMo and Nokia S60 first OSs to be supported)
• First step for direct distribution of mobile player; similar to the distribution of Flash Player on the desktop. Distributable Player launches as a beta in the U.S., Spain, Italy and India, and is supported by dozens of content aggregators and developers. (see separate quote sheet)
• Player is part of a larger solution for developers that includes Flash CS4, Device Central CS4 and a mobile packager.

Open Screen Project Fund
• Nokia and Adobe launch $10 million Open Screen Project Fund designed to help developers create apps and services for mobile phones, desktop and CE devices using Flash and AIR. The fund is an open fund with additional OSP partners expected to join.
• Funds are available immediately. (direct grant funding, no VC involvement) Developers are invited to submit concepts for apps that will be reviewed for how innovative the user experience and how robust the app is, and how well it exploits Flash and AIR capabilities. Developers retain all rights to their apps.

New Reader Mobile SDK
• New software development kit to enable OEMs to deliver mobile devices that can download, manage and display PDF content and eBooks. Supports reflowable PDF technology, Adobe content protection technology, and EPUB file format. Replaces Reader LE 2.5.
• Available today. Companies that announced plans to ship devices and apps in 2009 that integrate the technology include Bookeen, iRex Technologies, Lexcycle, Plastic Logic, Polymer Vision, Springs Designs and others. Sony already integrates the engine in the Sony Reader today.

Doing comments first on Twitter with Twickie

OK, so, what is the tool I was using earlier in the evening to get lots of responses from my Twitter followers and copy and paste them into my blog? Chris Pirillo’s Twickie.

How does it work?

I ask a question on Twitter.

People respond.

I log into Twickie. It lets me see the tweets I’ve posted. I click on a down arrow to see all responses.

I copy the HTML out of Twickie and I paste it into my blog editor’s HTML mode.

Real easy. Free. And demonstrates how you can use a crowd to do research.

Earlier tonight Chris told me it lets him write blog posts “backward.” See in the old world we’d write our opinions, then you’d comment. In Pirillo’s world you comment first, then he writes his blog post.

It’s a weird world and it’s Friday night, so I went with it and was amazed at the responses I got in just a few short minutes.

Thank you for participating. I’ll try other questions soon, I don’t want to overdo it.