Monday, October 01, 2007

Mini Microsoft is... sad without Facebook. I can truly understand the deepest feelings around the before and after of this poor elephant seal and his bucket. Cos my blue bucket - my Facebook profile - is, well:

Okay, it's their sandbox, their rules. But I'm still sad.

"Sorry" to the friends I had a great time interacting with on Facebook. It was a lot more interesting and productive than just regular 1:1 random emails and I think representative of a side-by-side evolution of a blogging conversation building up an interesting eco-system. It gave me a lot of energy to stay engaged with folks who read this little of piece of the blogosphere.

I hope Facebook will reconsider. I've dropped them a note.

For fun, you could create two Facebook groups: "Let Mini Microsoft Stay on Facebook!" and maybe - because I'm all about the fairness - "Keep that Mini Microsoft Jerk Outta Here! TOU! TOU!" Ah, well.

I guess I'll have to put all that time I spent enjoying Facebook into writing more posts here (coming soon, especially to move on from this little indulgence).


Anonymous said...

Looks like Bungie has left the building:

Anonymous said...

But why did they disable your account?

Whilst you were my Facebook friend we chatted briefly about careers at Microsoft... ah, fond memories...

Are you sure there's no correlation between this activity and rumours that Microsoft is to start investing in Facebook?

Matthew said...

Ouch, what was all that about? Are you supposed to have violated one of the rules?

Anonymous said...

so, what's the reason they took your account offline?

Anonymous said...

Why? What'd you do?

Anonymous said...

Chatter on the wire about the Soft investing upwards of $500m in Facebook last week and this week Mini is locked out.

What a sensational coincidence! ;)

Anonymous said...

OK, group's up. Please all those who would like to supprt this noble cause show your commitment by joining. much to do, so little time !

Who da'Punk said...

Regarding Facebook, one of the Terms Of Use is not using an alternative identity. (Adjusts collar.) Ahem.

I'm too boring to violate any of the other more salacious terms.

Anonymous said...

Talk about losing face....

Anonymous said...

"Regarding Facebook, one of the Terms Of Use is not using an alternative identity. (Adjusts collar.) Ahem."

I guess all those now-dead celebrities with Facebook entries got a pass? How silly.

macbeach said...

Is that presumably because you weren't using your real name?

Funny thing is I signed up using Mac Beach (not my real name either) and had it that way for weeks. I don't even remember at the time noticing that real names were a requirement.

When I finally decided to use my real name (as an experiment, in fact my entire use of Facebook is an experiment)it was only then that I noticed the strict real name rule. It said my request for name change was being "evaluated".

It made me wonder, what had they done to evaluate my original name, and what were they doing to evaluate my change. Are there rooms of facebook employees looking up people in the phone book?

Where is the outcry from the privacy crowd? Seems to me like Facebook has gone light years beyond Google, Yahoo and MSN in not only demanding a lot of personal information from you, but also demanding that you use your real name, which in this case can be thought of like a password to your entire identity.

Has there been a peep from the press on this? Not that I've seen. Hopefully it will be coming soon.

Will celebrities be allowed to have Facebook ID? (I bet some already do):

Michael Caine - Maurice Micklewhite

Cher - Cherilyn Sarkisian

David Copperfield - David Kotkin

Bob Dylan - Robert Zimmerman

Larry King - Larry Zeigler

Madonna — Madonna Veronica Louise Ciccone

Demi Moore — Demetria Gene Guynes

Anyway, sorry to see you go, but as my experiments are concluding I'll probably be closing down my Facebook ID soon anyway. I wonder how many other people will be doing the same.

Surprisingly I never found a single person I know from High School, College, or workplaces in there. Somehow I think the product doesn't translate very well beyond its early (Harvard was it?) and now Silicon Valley roots.

Meantime, I've made a lot of friends online who know me only, or mostly as Mac Beach. They won't find me either. Not on Facebook anyway.

Anonymous said...

link to group?

i couldnt find it..

macbeach said...

"Gianni said...

OK, group's up. Please all those who would like to supprt this noble cause show your commitment by joining."

Need more info please.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Bungie has left the building

If true, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Friends of mine in Xbox were saying years ago that the remaining founders of Bungie were planning to split after Halo 2 (this was in early 2003 or so, about two years before Halo 2 actually shipped).

Obviously someone opened up the Brinx truck and offered them a blank check to not end the storyline with Halo 2 and stick around for one more outing so they'd have that hook to sell the 360. Looks like they only managed to delay the inevitable for three years.

Which again makes you wonder how much of that $170 million first-day revenue is being eaten up by our costs. Aside from the "retainer" to the higher-ups in Bungie, they also got themselves put up in new digs in Kirkland which probably cost quite a bit more than the old offices at Millennium (where it's not like they were running out of space - one benefit of the RIFerator was that there's been no crunch for office space at Millennium in years).

Oh yeah, and about that $170 million revenue - that's not even Microsoft's total revenue. Your EBgames and Best Buys still get to subtract their cut before Microsoft sees a dime. I know that's probably only a buck or three, but still... anyone know for sure?

Anonymous said...

...and it took them this long to figure out that this wasn't your "real" identity?

Good thing it wasn't someone with malicious intent or anything. Good gravy.

Shawn Oster said...

Umm, no one should "group up" and support mini until we know *why* he was banned. I know strange, but it really is never a good idea to blindly support anything without knowing all the details.

So mini, fess up, what did you do and *then* maybe you'll get some love.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Facebook, one of the Terms Of Use is not using an alternative identity.

But... but... every superhero needs an alternative identity!


Anonymous said...

No alternative identities? Do they really think there's a guy named "George Dubya Bush" from Halifax, NS??? What about the other 25 George Bush profiles that hey, all use the same pic of George Bush?
Do they really think there are 12 guys named Brad Pitt who look just like Brad Pitt?? (way more with no picture) 3 Eddie Izzards? I would think that impersonating someone else would be a bigger issue than masking your own identity, especially when you make it quite clear that you *are* masking it. Given all of these fake identities, it seems likely that someone would have had to point out Mini's profile for it to receive this sort of attention.

Erica Toelle said...

Gianni: I couldn't find your group.

Here is the link to the group I made:

I can understand the "no alternate identites" rule, but IMO you are an established personality on the internets and an exception should be made:) It can't hurt to ask...

Anonymous said...

Forget facebook, use orkut.

Who da'Punk said...

For those who probably will never see this Facebook help-topic, this is what I've been directed to:

The only relevant text that I can find:

"Facebook does not allow users to register with fake names, to impersonate any person or entity, or to falsely state or otherwise misrepresent themselves or their affiliations."

I imagine they only do something when someone complains vs. being constantly policing things. And someone out there (scanning the crowd of exceptionally good looking people who visit here) must have taken it upon themselves to complain.

I received an auto-response from the appeals alias at Facebook that it's under consideration. I like Ms. Foley's take on the situation:

"Shouldn’t there be some kind of clause protecting Facebookers who shroud themselves with the cloak of anonymity so that they don’t risk being fired? I was one of Mini’s many Facebook friends and I was in favor of him being part of 'the social.'"

Hopefully Facebook doesn't flip the Boring Bit here.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, I now agree with Steve Jobs. Folks who design our products have no taste whatsoever. Why was it necessary to put a big ol' shiny ring around the pad? Hello? Do we have any designers over in Zune BU? How about we just ditch the shiny ring and differentiate the pad by making it slightly lighter? Why does this device have _sharp corners_?

The UI does look nice, though. Thank god we didn't design it ourselves.

Anonymous said...


I wish I could stop seeing the LCA teams at work on a nastygram, after a message from (LisaB? Steve? Brad Smith?) got them going.

But I can't -- any message they can't control must be a bad message. At least Blogger is safe from them ... for now ... muhahahahaha

Anonymous said...

Ooops, forgot to link the group:

Mini, what about posting the link on your post body for all to see?

Anonymous said...

I joined :)

*PS - I uploaded a photo of elephant man (with the bag)

To the admin - maybe use that as profile picture:

"I am not a man - I am annonymous!"

Anonymous said...

"The UI does look nice, though. Thank god we didn't design it ourselves."

Go home flameboy. The UI and Device are beautiful and work wonderfully.

And yes, we did do it all ourselves thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

um the real group - with MJ foley - is here:

Anonymous said...


I'm not flameboy but want to ask you a question a out Zune...

Does it matter? How can Zune possibly challenge iPod\iPhone?

Some facts to consider:
- Zune shipped 1M units compared to Apple's 100M units of iPod. We now have 1% of the market share of our competitor.
- iTunes is the standard desktop client app\portal for buying digital content. This is key for driving adoption.
- Apple is not letting up... They shipped 1M iPhones in 74 days.
- The new iTunes WiFi application just released and beat us to market (again). How is it that Apple was able to release functionality that Zune didn't have when the hardware supported it over a *year ago*?

I know you are proud of the work you did on Zune2, and you should be, but I encourage you to step back for a moment, forget you live in Redmond, skip over that sip of the koolaid and face reality: Apple has won the consumer media player space. We need to exit this business and focus on a different approach such as improving the media experience on Windows Mobile where we actually have _some_ market share having over 25M units in the public.

And no, I don't work in Windows Mobile so save the flame. This posting was actually made using an iPhone...

Anonymous said...

re: zune

Have you guys seen the latest model of Sandisk Sansa? Leaving the market leader alone (iPod touch is sold out everywhere) how are you guys planning to compete even with that? The device is just beautiful - OLED screen (without a thick border around it), nice aesthetics, thin, inexpensive, extensible memory, scroll wheel. I think Zune is dead in the water again, particularly the flash model.

Anonymous said...


I present exhibit #1:

Sandisk Sansa View - $149 for 8GB, $200 for 16GB. Gorgeous. I have iPod nano (1st gen), iPhone and iPod shuffle and even I'm tempted. Zune just makes me wonder WTF you guys have been doing all year.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that's "Phil", not "Paul".

Anonymous said...

And yes, we did do it all ourselves thank you very much.

You know, whether iPod/iPhone, or Sansa, or Zune is "cooler" doesn't much matter to me. I don't know how many other people care, but the main reason I won't buy any Microsoft players now or ever is simple: how MS backstabbed its P4S partners, how the players didn't work with Vista, how the player won't even work with WMP. Headache as soon as the package is opened? I think not.

All that says to me that a Zune I buy today is only as survivable as the next goofy decision out of Microsoft executive-dom. Meanwhile, my three year-old iPod continues to work wonderfully with the latest iTunes, and its dock form factor continues to be supported by peripheral/add-on manufacturers.

So what if Zunes have an FM tuner? At the same price as an iPod, I'll go with the company I know won't throw my player or software or plug under the bus when the "strategic plan" shambles in a different direction. And if I want cheaper, there are lots of players out there that are better, smaller, cooler, and "just work".

And now that Amazon is blazing the DRM-free trail, I hope that both MS and Apple get severely dinged since both companies' DRM is unbelievably annoying. I'm thinking back to one experience with WMP and Yahoo Music... gave up after hours downloading codecs, licenses, etc. (on a fully patched, clean XPSP2 machine), tried iPod next, "just worked..." Aaahh... Now if Amazon can make it "just work" without the DRM, bingo, they get my money and Sandisk or whomever makes a straight MP3 player gets my money and I'll use iTunes as a media library, or maybe even go back to WMP9 or WMP10.

(By the way, WHY is Microsoft so obsessed with forcing exactly one version of the browser, media player, etc. on a machine? Over in dev-land all we hear is about how nicely parallel installs of different versions work...)

Anonymous said...

"...tried iPod next, "just worked..." Aaahh... Now if Amazon can make it "just work" without the DRM, bingo, they get my money..."

Technologically, it should work fine, because removing DRM essentially reverts to technology from the 1990s, and I mean that in a positive way:
Stuff like MP3 that was mature 10 years ago, with no headaches about how to maintain encryption and protect it from the user.

The only question left is "will the content owners go along with it?"

Anonymous said...

"we did do it all ourselves thank you very much."

He must have gotten the Zune confused with the Xbox. That UI was in fact farmed out, which is why it's tolerable.

Anonymous said...

Here's a novel idea for you, Mini. Rather than complain idly, why don't you just comply with the terms of use, and register on Facebook using your real name? What are you hiding?

Anonymous said...

Through mini, Mary Jo said: >"Shouldn’t there be some kind of clause protecting Facebookers who shroud themselves with the cloak of anonymity so that they don’t risk being fired?"

I was thinking about your plight mini. What I kept coming back to is that maybe Facebook is protecting your identity, since your dump is awfully close in timing to the Microsoft stake interest in Facebook. Maybe BG and SB are so whacked they would pay anything to find your identity. Just a thought. With you gone, the question does not have to be answered by the recipients of all that money.

Anonymous said...

Come over to HubPages, you won't have any trouble.

Anonymous said...

Dunno if you are still looking at comments on this topic, but looks like Facebook may have changed its mind on pseudonyms.

Article on wired online:

"According to an update on the pseudonymous blogger's site, his account has been reactivated along with an apology from the social networking site. "Since others on the site seem to know you by this name," explained a Facebook staffer to Swift, "and since you don't appear to be using the name to impersonate or to hide your identity, we have determined that you are not violating these Terms. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.""

Hmmmm. So, Jon Swift isn't hiding his identity. Maybe Mini is still in the faceless dog house?