Hello, Dr. Jones.Garret P. Vreeland: “Ageism is starting to raise its ugly head – people are judging based on wrinkles and hair color (none) now. That totally sucks. Yet my photography skills are burgeoning, and I’m up to my eyeballs in video and video editing again (yay, FCPX!). Got some good web contracts in as well. Yet I’m not comfortable yet. Goal one for my 57th year – achieve satisfaction.”

Then there’s this from a developer I have a lot of respect for.

A couple years back I went through an interview with a company I’d still love to work for. I didn’t get the gig and to this day I still don’t know why. It’s totally possible I did something completely wrong during my interviews but in the end I was told “You’re a good developer and a great communicator, but you’re not a good fit.” I was crushed. At the time I was in a bad place mentally and physically. A lot going on in life at that point in time. I didn’t handle the rejection well. That is my fault of course, but the only reason I could find that fit was I was too old for their group. Sour grapes I suppose.

I have a feeling getting a gig with Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple will come down to your ability to do the work. I’ve interviewed with Microsoft and worked for them. I’ve interviewed with Apple and didn’t get through the interview. I know for a fact that Google interviews are notoriously difficult to get through.

The best companies hire the best people. I have no doubt James Thomson could work for any of these companies. He’d probably have to prepare for the interview process, but he could do it.

Business Design


Teehan+Lax: “Ultimately, the things we would get to do at Facebook, the people we would get to work with, the problems we get to solve were too compelling to say no to.”

While I’m not a fan of Facebook I can’t blame anyone for “selling out” to them, but this deal is strange. Basically the Teehan+Lax principals just shuttered their company so they could go to work for Facebook.

In a nutshell “the people we get to work with” at Facebook are better than the people we hired and work with every day, so we’re just going to move to Menlo Park and enjoy the good life.

That, of course, is a bit harsh, but it sure reads like that’s what went down, doesn’t it?

From one of their employees, on Twitter.

Also, why wouldn’t Facebook offer everyone a position, or at least give them the opportunity to take a position in California? It all seems very slimy.

The one thing I learned while freelancing, people will try to get you to do work for nothing. Facebook obviously pulled off quite a coup, without having to purchase an entire company to get what they wanted.

It also sounds like they had reached an inflection point. They obviously didn’t like dealing with the day-to-day garbage (who can blame them) and they wanted to do the interesting stuff. Can’t fault them there.

In the end the Teehan+Lax partners did what was best for them. I just feel bad for the 40 folks left standing in the cold of a Toronto winter wondering what just happened, and what do they do next?


Facebook is bad for Business

Social Fixer: “I’ve spent 4 years and countless hours building up a community around my software: my Page had 338,050 Likes, my Support Group had 13,360 members, and my Interest List had 1.47 Million followers. But all of that work was wiped out in an instant when Facebook decided to shut it down without notice.”

I have a hard time feeling sorry for this company. Why? You shouldn’t rely on Facebook for your business presence, that’s why. It’s pretty simple math. You’re not in control of the content; 1+1 = Facebook is in complete control.

Don’t be stupid. Drive everything through your own site. It should be the center of your web presence. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc to drive business back to YOUR SITE.

Design fun

Facebook to buy Dropbox

That’s right, I’m calling it. Facebook will acquire Dropbox in the very near future. How do I know this? History is on my side.

Designer Tim Van Damme has a unique superpower. His companies are acquired by Facebook. He was with Gowalla when they were acquired by Facebook, so he left for Instagram. Not long after Van Damme arrived at Instagram, that’s right, you guessed it, they were acquired by Facebook.

The first thing I thought yesterday when I read Mr. Van Damme was leaving Instagram for Dropbox? “I wonder when Facebook will acquire them?”

Has anyone set the line?

Business Cloud Technology

Parse: It was good while it lasted

AHHHHHH!Parse: “Some of the world’s best brands trust us with their entire mobile presence, and a growing number of the world’s brightest independent developers trust us with their next big thing. We couldn’t be happier.”

Parse is one of those companies I was really excited about. Our connected world is about services, not websites or mobile, but services. The backend; the logic and data it contains are the important bits of the puzzle. They’re also the most difficult to create and maintain. Parse built something that allowed developers to create small scale services without the need to build the backend. It was a genius idea and one that opened the doors for indie developers to create great services.

How much trust will the “world’s brightest independent developers” have in Parse now that it’s part of one of the most untrustworthy companies in the world?

I guess I can’t bag on these guys too much. If Facebook offered me a pile of cash for my product, I’d take the money and run.


Facebook Apparate

Harry Potter, boy wizardWired: “Facebook Home doesn’t even have to be a hit. At least not right away. The important thing is that it’s out there, and it didn’t require a lot of up-front capital or R&D investment in hardware. It’s a better strategy than anything else the company has done in mobile. People who already really like Facebook will also like this. For people who live in Facebook, it may even drive them to buy one handset over another. Sometimes mediocre is all it takes.”

Whether or not you find Facebook Home mediocre doesn’t really matter. They’re going to sell a metric crap ton of these things. It’s beautifully designed and will give most people what they want; instant, always on, access to Facebook. Brilliant.


Facebook Acquires Acrylic

“I’m happy to announce today that we’ve packed up our small Vancouver studio and will be making the move to San Francisco in the coming weeks to join the design team at Facebook.” – Acrylic Blog

Wow. Who else will be acquired today?

How To Social

Updating Twitter from a Facebook RSS feed

Last November Eureka Burger opened a new store in San Luis Obispo and I wanted to keep up to date on events, so I searched for them on Twitter. No luck. They didn’t have a Twitter account, but they did have a Facebook page.


Since I knew I could publish to Twitter from the excellent ifttt using an RSS feed I setup an Unofficial Eureka Burger SLO Twitter account, @EurekaBurgerSLO. A few clicks to create a Recipe on ifttt and the account was up and running.

Enter Facebook Timelines

When Facebook switched on the new Timeline feature the RSS feed for Eureka Burger SLO stopped working and the @EurekaBurgerSLO account stopped updating. Since I didn’t have a Facebook account I asked my wife to go through the process of finding an RSS feed for a Facebook Timeline. We couldn’t find one, so I gave up on the account and approached a Manager at Eureka Burger SLO about taking over the account. He agreed and I turned over the account to Eureka Burger. I was absolutely trilled. I no longer had to maintain the account and all the problems that might come along for the ride.

Why isn’t it updating?

After a while I noticed the @EurekaBurgerSLO account stopped updating. Why? Well it looks like they had one person updating the feed, instead of hooking it to their Facebook account to automagically publish to Twitter. As of this writing the last update was June 8, 2012. That really bummed me out.

Introducing @SLOEurekaBurger

That’s right, I’ve created a new account so I can automagically update it and see what beer is featured on “Steal the glass night.”

This time around I did a bit of digging, ok, I did a single Google query that lead me to this entry of Stack Overflow. It allowed me to dig out the Facebook RSS feed for Eureka Burger SLO with a couple URL’s.

How To Find a Facebook Wall RSS Feed

We’re going to use the Eureka Burger SLO Facebook account as an example, since it’s what I used.

Step 1: Right click the GIGANTOR image, known as a Cover, and copy the URL.

Step 1: Copy the URL

In this case the URL is:

All we need is the fbid parameter, in bold above.

Step 2: Check the Facebook Graph for that fbid

The graph call will produce a JSON feed that looks like this:

Step 1: Copy the URL

Notice the highlighted number id. We need to copy that number for the next step in the process.

Step 3: Get the RSS Feed

Once again, notice the bold text above. That’s the id we copied from step two. Now you have an RSS feed for a Facebook Wall. Very nice.

Step 4: Create an ifttt Recipe

Since I needed a way to publish that RSS feed to the new @SLOEurekaBurger Twitter account I chose to use ifttt. I’ll let you go explore that. Ifttt is an awesome service if you need to transform data from one format to another, or from a format to a social media stream, like going from a Facebook RSS feed to Twitter.

Hopefully someone will find this useful. I know I did. Let’s hope it works.


Facebook Is Not Your Brand

I’m not a fan of Facebook. That’s ok, plenty of you are fans. The business world is obsessed with Facebook. I’d imagine most major corporations have a Facebook page by now. Why? Facebook is not your brand. Why should you promote another companies brand by using them as your main page? Why not use your corporate website for that? Sure, you can have a Facebook page, and advertise there, just don’t make that your brands main site. Doesn’t it seem counter to what you’re trying to achieve? Don’t you want the focus to be your brand, not the fact it’s hosted on Facebook?

Here’s a quote from an article in Fortune that left me thinking, you’re doing it wrong.

The Timeline redesign changed all of that. Tabs have been minimized and — more importantly — companies can no longer set a default landing page. For brands, a critical chance to make a first impression is gone. The first thing users now see on Pages is a fluid, ever-shifting Timeline of recent posts and comments

Emphasis is mine. Why in the world would a company rely on something completely out of their control to make a first impression?

Host your content on your website. It’s your brand, it belongs to you. Link to your important content from your Facebook and Twitter account. That’s what the Internet is all about. Links. Facebook is a walled garden. Why trap your content behind those drab blue walls?

BaahHere’s a great example, at least for me it’s a great example. Peter Jackson has been posting updates about the progress on The Hobbit via his Facebook page. I don’t have a Facebook account, so I can’t get behind the wall to see his updates. Why would you make those posts private? Wouldn’t you like 100% of the people who have access to the Internet to have access to those updates? I guess not. Maybe Peter Jackson’s company is being paid handsomely for his Facebook updates?

The big question is, where does that content go when Facebook disappears as a company?

As my brother is fond of pointing out, in the end I guess we’re all just a bunch of sheep, some choose to follow Facebook.

Development iOS Objective-C

Native is still King

The New York Times, Bits: “The current version of the app is essentially an Objective-C shell with a Web browser inside. When it comes to speed, this is like putting the engine of a Smart Car in the body of a Ferrari.

That’s a decent way to describe wrapper apps.