I recently put out a post that said, “If you think follower counts matter, you’ve been fooled.” Here’s 3 reasons why they’re actually irrelevant.
A lot of you know I’m a fan of unique watches. Five years ago my best friend from college, Kevin, pointed me in the direction of a young upstart watch company. The company, Original Grain, was in the midst of their first Kickstarter campaign.
Back in February I had a chance to sit down with one of my closest friends in the entertainment world, Tony Brent.
Tony's comedy dinners how can be seen nightly at Wonderworks on I-Drive in Orlando, FL.
I've known Tony since early 2000 when he was entertaining at Disney's MGM-Studios (now Hollywood Studios) in Orlando. He was making a living as an entertainer while I was working on Disney's College Program.
We met up for about 30 minutes at Disney Springs in Orlando to record the show.
Apple Co-Founder, Steve Wozniak Joins the #DeleteFacebook Movement. Here's why it's a total waste of time.
By: Robert Smith
That’s the position of Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak.
“Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and… Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this. The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back,” Wozniak recently told USA Today.
It’s impossible to miss this in the news. Facebook is at the center of the spotlight on issues from data usage in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the Russian’s allegedly hacking the 2016 US Presidential Election and how the company actually profits off its users voluntarily supplying their data.
Let’s step back and take a look at these issues individually.
On Wozniak’s comment, “but the users get none of the profits back.”
Forgive my while I nearly choke to death on that load of nonsense. Of course Facebook’s users don’t get profits back from the company. They’re a private company. Users are supplying their data freely.
Apple has been caught in multiple scandals on how their iPhone iOS systems work including geolocation based tracking of their user’s movements without user consent. But Wozniak is now going to flip his iSoapBox and declare he’s deleting Facebook.
Good for you, Woz. Way to stand on the moral authority of being Apple’s co-founder.
By the way, are people still throwing themselves out windows to commit suicide at Apple’s manufacturing plants in China, or no?
My gut feeling is that Woz’s comments have more behind them. Apple and Facebook are tech competitors, no question. Apple would love to destabilize Facebook and get a hold of the company.
I may be wrong. But make no mistake. When two tech giants are playing for the attention of billions of people, and there’s easily $1 trillion dollars in market value at stake, your interests are not what they’re representing.
On Cambridge Analytica & the Russian “Influence” of the Election
There’s so much we don’t know here. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has been clear there was abuse by Cambridge Analytica targeting FB user data. Time will tell how this plays out. You can bet with Zuckerberg scheduled to testify before Congress that legislative changes will eventually be rolled out to attempt to protect user data on various social platforms in the future.
I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it. Americans have lost all perspective and context on these very serious issues.
I find incredible hypocrisy in Congress demanding Mark Zuckerberg appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee to testify regarding Facebook’s privacy practices.
The hypocrisy quite frankly is mind-boggling. This is the same Congress that via repeated authorizations of the Patriot Act, have authorized Presidents Bush (43), Obama and Trump to spy on the American people. Think about this. Congress is authorizing themselves to spy on you without due process, via a kangaroo FISA “court,” and track your movements and personal data without notifying you.
But they’re going to summon Facebook’s CEO before Congress to testify about his company’s privacy practices.
All because Donald Trump won the election.
On Russian “Influence” of the 2016 Election
American’s need to desperately gain some perspective over this entire Russian influence situation via Facebook.
Let’s be clear on two things here.
First, the United States of America actively influences elections in dozens of countries across the globe. Our government will go to the point of war in order to gain influence over other countries.
But I’m supposed to be angry that Russia bought some Facebook ads to try and mislead voters.
Has Russia bombed us?
Have they sent their troops to Washington, D.C., to occupy our nation’s capital?
Second, the Russian’s didn’t use Facebook to influence our election. You did.
Facebook’s algorithm can only respond and propagate false news stories if you, the user, spread them, share them, like them and comment on them.
Russia wasn’t stupid. They planted stories. But ignorant users on both sides of the political aisle foolishly promoted and shared them without confirming facts.
That’s not Facebook’s fault. It’s not President Trump’s fault. It’s not Hillary Clinton’s fault.
Don’t believe me?
Go to Facebook and type into the search bar a subject that has no interest to you.
Let’s say you have zero interest in Disney World or theme parks. You’ve never been. Don’t want to go. And can’t stand Disney.
Search, “Disney World.”
Then like the first 5 or 6 pages you see. Comment and like on 10-15 other posts. Then sit back and pay attention to the sponsored posts in your feed.
Over the next month you’ll suddenly see ads from Disney, Universal, tourism departments, Southwest Airlines, hotel companies and every other brand that is involved in the travel and tourism industry.
That’s exactly how Russia’s bullshit stories gained legs. Russia may have put the dollars into Facebook to cast a wide net. But the users themselves spread those stories and gave that nonsense legs.
Don’t blame Trump, Hillary, Zucks, Facebook. Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you spread that horseshit. If you did, take a deep breath, swallow hard and own up to it.
Zucks Owns It
That’s what Zucks did. If you’re reading this you need to know something about Mark Zuckerberg. He is among the all-time greatest entrepreneurs in modern history.
He took responsibility for all of this. He didn’t blame a staffer, or an assistant, or a rogue team member like the people in Congress who will be questioning him do.
Nope. He owned it.
"It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well," Zuckerberg said, "That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here."
How many Congressional representatives own up to something like that?
Hell, do your local school board representatives ever take responsibility for anything?
The Future of Facebook & Social Media
My friends, social media is here. It’s not going away. You think we’re going to turn our devices off and go back to a day where we only got our news via television and 5 or 6 old white guys decided what information made it through the filter?
Information has been commoditized. More people have more opportunity world wide to make a life for themselves than ever before.
A small business can reach customers at a global scale for pennies on the dollar.
A music artist can take their music directly to the public without some producer deciding for the rest of us which song is good.
A writer with talent can use a blog to reach audiences never before available.
Will Smith, the Fresh Prince himself; one of the biggest movie stars of a generation, recognized that he was losing influence and becoming obscure. He’s now using Instagram every day to create a vlog and tell his story. He has rapidly regained relevance.
We’re not going backward. There’s going to bumps along the way. No different than when radio transitioned to television in the 50s and 60s.
Whether it’s Facebook or Instagram or FaceySpacey or InstaApp or whatever the hell it’s called, the internet and social media have reached scale. They are here and are not going anywhere.
This is the biggest communication transition in human history.
Complaining about it will not help. Rather than complain about it I recommend we make ourselves comfortable, read the terms of service agreements and take responsibility for the environment we’re helping create.
So share your pictures of your perfectly plated steak. Share the photos of your family vacation.
And maybe from now on, skip sharing political stories unless you do the due diligence of verifying their veracity.
On today's episode, I'm joined by Aaron Alejandro, the Executive Director of the Texas FFA Foundation. Aaron recently drove through Albuquerque and had time to meet up for breakfast.
I had planned to interview him but it turned out we had such a genuine conversation that I think it stands on its own.
We talk about global access to food and nutrition, the block chain and how we share our stories in the fair and ag industry.
PLUS, my wife, Sara joins us and shares her insights as an educator and school administrator here in Albuquerque.
In January, Sara and I had time to catch up with Bob & Kathy Duck of the Great American Duck Race. I took a minute to sit down and interview Bob and found out how he built a post-military career around duck racing. Yes. Duck racing.