Ethnic Affinity

Facebook started targeting ads based on its perception of a person’s race or ethnicity, but just to be safe without actually taking into account their race or ethnicity. The magic PR BS word they invented for it is “ethnic affinity.”

They want to monetize every aspect of your identity, whether that’s an ethnic affiliation or a preference for bean thread noodles.

The problem is that profiling somebody’s ethnic affinities has a lot more cultural baggage attached to it—to say the least—than profiling somebody’s taste in restaurants. And that’s why Facebook’s multicultural targeting scheme is getting a lot more pushback than the company bargained for.

Less “Social Media,” More Passive Data Collection, Yay!

Foursquare had a great idea:

  • remove the social aspect of sharing, just track people silently all the time, it’s easier anyway
  • why bother with user-generated content, just feed them follow “experts” and feed them tips ads

Among the great features of the revamped app are:

  • tracking your location all the time
  • virtually no privacy controls
  • virtually no way to interact
  • suggestions almost solely based on paid advertisements expert opinions and tips
  • promise of more targeted ads outside of Foursquare

ArsTechnica has a nice quote on this:

This is the cleverest portion of the service’s revamp: make customers feel like they are sharing nothing, when in reality they are sharing everything. Passive information sharing and collection without the social friction—why didn’t anyone think of this before? The tragic, realistic answer is most likely “battery life.”
— Casey Johnston, ArsTechnica

Scalable Icons for the Social Web

If you are looking to add icons for social networks and web services to your site there are quite a lot to find on the internet. But almost all of them have shortcomings if you go beyond the Facebook, Twitter, Google+ triple. Email, GitHub, … but if you also want scalable icons you can just give up right now. Well, almost 😉 … while searching the internet I came across two projects that fulfill all the above criteria. 😀

Mono Social Icons Font gives you a ton of icons in a font file. It has three variants for each if the icons (rounded, circle and no background). They are monochrome by nature, but they can be colored as text on a website can be.

Adam Fairhead’s Webicons Set has a huge set of colored SVG icons (with PNG fallbacks). It even has some fairly rare ones … I even added one for KDE. 😉

I put them to use on my new greeter and my updated contact page.