This Week In Web - 5.23.14

  •   Miki Pacifico

By Miki Pacifico

This week - Facebook wants to know even more, BMW sells via social, and the UK includes coding in core curriculum.

Hey Facebook, Bugger Off.

Facebook recently released a new feature known as the “Ask” button that allows friends to pester others into revealing unshared information on their profile. This is manifested through a button next to blank fields in their About tab, and you can explain the reason for your asking at the time of the request. 

Facebook ask button

Personally, I have begun the slow and steady separation of my private life and Facebook. With the inundation of advertisements, “promoted” posts, and plethora of gym photos on my timeline, I realize that I just feel no need to share my life with this social media platform anymore. Friends and family are more likely to get a sliver of my daily life through Instagram than anywhere else. If any number of my “friends” (and by friends I mean people that I barely spoke to ten years ago and have not seen since high school graduation) on Facebook start prodding me for information that I already decided to keep private I may have to give up the ghost entirely. 

Ok, I get it. It’s the internet and the more companies know about you the better they can market their products. I think we are seeing enough of an issue with privacy within the last 12 months across the world and I am offended that Facebook isn’t more sensitive to that. I understand that they need to remain profitable and collect data for their advertisers, but with the transitory nature of social media they should be more focused on keeping the users they have so they can ride out the transition from teen to adult audience (a task that their older cousin Myspace failed so dramatically). 


A Picture’s Worth $138k

BMW of North America announced the limited release of twenty-nine 30th Anniversary Edition M5s to be sold within the US, and is allowing interested buyers to reserve their model via Instagram. The reservation number is being slowly released one digit at a time and is rapidly building anticipation in their target audience.

What most people don’t realize is the truly beautiful e-commerce nature of Instagram. All you need to do is post a pretty picture and a link in your profile and making the case for your product is practically done. The social nature of the platform allows for your brand advocates to make that case for you. While I don’t imagine that anyone is plugging in their credit card information for $138k vehicle directly, smaller purchases are being made through the platform on a daily basis, especially in the hand-made sector. 

The takeaway? If you have a product that you can take a picture of and a loyal community of brand advocates, try selling it via social media. 


Future-Proofing Your Children

The British school system is introducing computer science education into its national curriculum, officially putting it ahead of the US (which may be old news). Many UK schools are utilizing CodeAcademy, a free online class that teaches a variety of programming languages. While many after-school programs in the US utilize this program, there is currently no standardization for computer sciences with our school system. 

The challenge UK schools are facing now stands in educating the teachers to enable them to educate the children in the subject matter. Funny how that works. CodeAcademy has launched a number of support groups to train approximately 20,000 teachers in this subject. 

I should note here that I have used CodeAcademy in the past to brush up on my HTML and CSS skills, and since I own and operate multiple websites I find it to be an incredibly useful tool. 

I hope the UK program gives them an outlet to test their new knowledge like microsites, and when they perfect that program someone really needs to push to introduce it in the US. We don’t want the beta version. Work the bugs out first. Give us computer science education v2.5 or something. 


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