Coincidence or enemy action? Two stories with the same protagonists made it through the filter this holiday weekend. In one, Facebook grabs Old Friend Arturo Bejar from Yahoo. In addition to being a digital photography and racing nut, Arturo has been the 'Chief Paranoid Yahoo' for a number of years. That's the site CISO in any other organization. There are less than ten guys in the country with his level of experience in not only securing a diverse site under continuous attack, but dealing with the organizational and motivational issues of being security conscious. Arturo will be director of Site Integrity at Facebook, reporting to VP Engineering Mike Schroepfer. Considering all the issues FB has to hand in trading off security, user acceptance, and an actual revenue model, he will find plenty to keep him amused.
The second blip was a mention from a friend that Facebook has been gaining popularity with women over 30. Not only that, but a small amount of digging finds that women over 55 are joining quickly, and indeed that senior citizens on FB now outnumber the high-schoolers commonly thought to be the main users. There's no explicit mention of Yahoo in any of those stories, but if you happen to know that Yahoo's core demographic has shifted to older women, you can make the correlation: Yahoo's continued failure at social media is becoming Facebook's gain.
There's no blog search niche, after all. A while back I was scratching my head about Technorati:
...a nice feature when the Technorati API service is running and stable, which is not always the case. (It's evidently not part of their core business model, whatever that may be.)Evidently their funders were wondering, too. Jeff Nolan calls their repositioning:
It’s easy to have missed what Technorati has been up to but CEO Richard Jalichandra has done an impressive job building a vertical content network and advertising network. In the process he has extricated himself from being in the competitive crosshairs of Google...Good spot on the shifted business model, which should come as no surprise to bloggers who have noticed the erratic maintenance and performance at Technorati of late. Hmmm, shifting from search to content aggregation. Haven't I heard that somewhere else recently?
From the 'WIll They Never Learn' Dept. It's not enough to try to make digital goods scarce, now some geniuses want to make it possible for your copy to be stolen, not just copied in turn. This 'advance' is called Digital Personal Property. I suppose I should admire the ingenuity going into this, but instead I'm filing it under 'Dumb Research'. It's not that there are burning, unsolved technical issues in the domain, it's that the customers don't want it. Even white haired grannies have figured out that digital goods are not inherently scarce, let alone the savvy younger generations that are the marketing targets for most of these goods. From their point of view, DPP - like DRM before it - is a way of subtracting value.
Flying on water. Eye candy of the day - the French trimaran foil l'Hydroptère:
(Hat tip: Ole Eichhorn. This is bloody amazing. Can't wait to see what happens as the architectural implications of this design work their way into other classes of sailing vessels.