Is Facebook Doing Enough about Pervs?

I know, you were all shocked last month when I had to break the news to you that there were perverts on the Internet—even on the hallowed (and supposedly fenced-in) “grounds” of Facebook. I’m sure you’re just now recovering from the shock, so I hate to have to do this to you again, but: there are still perverts on Facebook. Yes, nearly six weeks after we first brought this to the general public’s attention, Facebook hasn’t done anything to the nasty people using their network for nefarious purposes.

Okay, okay, </tongue in cheek>. That was my initial reaction when I saw the headlines today: New York Attorney General Investigating Perverts on Facebook, etc. But looking deeper, this story shouldn’t be dismissed as overcautious fuddy-duddyism.

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, or Do You Just “Google” It?

Americans get dumber every year. It’s true. If you doubt it, just watch an episode of the gameshow “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader.” Most people, frankly, aren’t.

But are we getting dumber or just more dependent on technology to remember details for us? In this month’s issue of Wired magazine, Clive Thompson examines how we’ve allowed machines to remember so much for us, possibly allowing us to focus on other human thoughts and even accelerate intelligence by sharing thoughts online.

I personally embrace the lifestyle where computers can remember the details for me, and when needed, I can pull out that data from its source. In essence, a computer can act like a secondary hard drive for my brain, allowing me to focus on thoughts and ideas that only the human brain can. No matter how advanced a computer may be, it still lacks compassion, emotion, and free will — all components of human thought.

Marketing Pilgrim Live – September 25

Just finished recording another episode of Marketing Pilgrim Live. In this week’s show I discuss:

Here’s the video:

Mozy Says No to Google, Yes to EMC

By Janet Meiners

Mozy, a company that provides remote backups, is being acquired by EMC for $76 million. Mozy started in May 2005 with an investment of just $1.9 million. That makes for a big return ? almost 40x. CEO Josh Coates and Wasatch Partners should be elated.

Since I’m based in Utah, I tried to get comments from Mozy or their VC firm Wasatch Partners. No one will comment, won’t comment on why they won’t comment, and won’t say when they might. Mozy doesn’t even answer the phones and there is no announcement anywhere on the site. That’s probably forthcoming.

The Impact of Taxing E-tail Sales

Efforts to force internet retailers to collect sales tax seem to be strengthening. Brick and mortar retailers are spending a lot of money to try to get federal legislation passed because states currently cannot force businesses outside their jurisdiction to collect sales tax on orders shipped into the state.

The impact of this legislation will be felt by internet retailers at two levels:

1) It will remove a competitive advantage. The fact that most e-tail purchases do not require sales tax to be collected is partly responsible for the huge growth in online retail.

It is important to understand however, that this advantage is offset by a huge disadvantage that internet retailers have–the cost of delivering orders to customers. In our experience, shipping costs are usually higher than taxes that we would collect. In fact, our shipping costs usually run 9% of revenue while the average sales tax rate is probably between 6-7%.

If Twitter and Yahoo Answers Mated You’d Get Attendi

SEM is so powerful, so successful, that there’s a relentless quest to find the “next search.” Attendi, a startup that launched today at the Demo conference, applies search to instant messaging conversations.

To join Attendi, you create a profile that can include blogs, keywords, favorite web sites and your social networks; the idea is to position yourself as an expert on whatever you want — cooking, motorcycles, SEM. Automatically generated tag clouds attached to profiles show what else you’re up to speed on.

Other people can come to the site and search for experts who are logged in, then request a chat. Your profile is rated as more relevant to a topic, the more people chat with you. In addition, Attendi indexes all the chats and makes them searchable. So, even if someone isn’t online, you can read what they said to someone else.

Pilgrim’s Picks for September 25: No Fluff Edition

So why do we have “Pilgrim’s Picks?”

It’s like this. We often come by news that is important enough to share, but not deep enough to justify its own post. While other bloggers might take a single story and turn it into 300+ words of fluff, we know your time is valuable.

Pilgrim’s Picks is 100% natural with no artificial flavors, colors, or additives. :-)

  • Do you use Gmail on your cell phone? Check out the new features for Gmail mobile.
  • Does anyone doubt that Facebook will overtake MySpace as the top social network? They’ve done just that in the UK.