Facebook bans breastfeeding photos

Social networking website Facebook is boldly taking the Internet into the 19th Century by banning photos of breastfeeding as “obscene”.

Look, I know Facebook is American, and America is (a) a Puritan nation at heart and (b) pig-ignorant of the fact that the other 96% of the world’s population might think differently. I mean, their own president can’t tell the difference between APEC and OPEC, between Austria and Australia. When he’s standing in it. But quite frankly, a society which thinks photos of mothers feeding their children are “obscene” has deep, deep problems.

And not just that your president is dumb as a stump-post.

The protest group Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!(Official petition to Facebook) has almost 8000 members already. And while I generally don’t pay much attention to the needs of the breeders, this one I’ve joined.

iYomu: too late to beat Facebook?

iYomu logo

iYomu, that “social networking for grown ups” site I wrote about, officially launched today — with US$1M in prize money up for grabs. And I’ve just written an article for Crikey explaining why I don’t think it’ll fly. I also reckon Facebook will win out over MySpace.

My argument in the Crikey article is that the key to success on the Internet is massive, uncontrolled growth. That means attracting a lot of users fast — and then selling out to someone like Rupert Murdoch before it all implodes. The problem is, the very nature of iYomu works against that rapid growth.

Continue reading “iYomu: too late to beat Facebook?”

iYomu: “Social Networking for Grown Ups”?

“Every single person working in the media today who experienced the dot-com bubble in 1999 to 2000 believes that we are going through the exact same process and can expect the exact same results — a bust. It’s déjà vu all over again. And since this moment in time is only the beginning of the cycle, the best nuttiness has yet to emerge.”

iYomu logo

It’s ironic reading those words by John C Dvorak the very day after seeing last night’s demo of iYomu, the “Social Networking for Grown Ups” website to be launched on 13 August. It’s also rather nostalgic.

iYomu is entering an over-hyped marketplace. MySpace is the biggest of the social media websites — pig-ugly and (last time I bothered with it) a tad unreliable. But it’s got 201 million users. If MySpace were a country, it’d be 5th-largest. Facebook is flavour of the month, “only” 11 million users but growing fast. Photo-sharing site Flickr gets 3000 new images uploaded every minute. They’re worth squillions. In theory.

Yet the vast majority of Internet users wouldn’t know what “social networking websites” are — indeed they can barely use email. And for all the success stories, there’s dozens of failures.

So as sharp-dressed Frances Valintine and a relaxed David Wolf-Rooney, both New Zealanders, presented their Vision to a small collection of eminent bloggers (plus me), I couldn’t help but wonder…

Will they become millionaires, or will it all crash and burn?

I also wondered how many times Frances would use the word space. I stopped counting at 15.

I’ll explore iYomu and report daily as it moves from beta to launch and beyond. I think it’ll make an excellent case study. If you’d like to join me and be eligible for the US$5000 prize draw, let me know and I’ll send you an invitation — though I’ll demand that you post at least one useful comment back and, if you win, buy me dinner.

(There’s also a Big Global Incentive to join once the site launches officially, and you’d be in that draw too, but that’s still a secret.)

There’s still one thing bothering me from last night, though. If iYomu is for “grown ups”, why doesn’t it have a grown-up name?

[Update: Check out this more detailed description from one of last night’s attendees. Saves me having to repeat the feature list. And also read my thoughts on why Facebook will beat both iYomyu and MySpace.]

Today’s Crikey fallout

I’m always intrigued when a mention somewhere else in the mediablogopolitisphere generates traffic back to little old me. Yesterday’s article in Crikey is no exception…

  • A friend wondered whether my current poll on the Haneef thingo is being run by Diebold. No, Bernard, it’s just that you’re allowed to choose more than one answer — that’s why things add to more than 100%.
  • I was amused to see my piece right next to an article on The Trouble with Triple J by broadcaster Michael Tunn, since I was the ABC staffer who gave him a briefing when he joined the ABC at age 17.
  • A PR firm invited me to attend a function tonight to see “a new social networking site for ‘grown ups’,” joining “six other bloggers who have an interest in social networking sites.”

More blog-fodder there, eh?