Original URL: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/18/quotw_ending_may_18/

'Facebook ads are very boring and not very imaginative'

Plus: 'IT boys, hiss it through your teeth – Shut up, bitch!'

By Brid-Aine Parnell

Posted in Policy, 18th May 2012 10:46 GMT

Quotw This was the week when investor interest hit ever higher feverish pitches as (not sure if you heard about this or not) Facebook prepares to go public.

The temperature rise was enough for the issue to get oversubscribed, giving the social network the room to raise its valuation even more: to a mind-boggling, eye-watering, pants-wetting $104bn – despite concerns about the social network's continued revenues.

All this naturally made Eduardo Saverin think about the humungous tax bill he'd be paying as the ousted co-founder and still shareholder of what was once Thefacebook.

So this is what he did, according to his spokesman Tom Goodman:

Eduardo recently found it more practical to become a resident of Singapore since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time.

Practical, eh? That's a word for it.

It wasn't all good news for Facebook though, as the dazzling sums of money being bandied about started to make people wonder if the social network was really going to make them rich.

So it was a bad time for General Motors, the US's third-largest advertiser, to pull its advertising off the social network as surveys and studies pondered the future of Facebook's ad appeal.

Larry Kim of internet marketing software firm Wordstream told The Register:

Facebook had pretty good marks for huge audiences and growth. Where they got really killed was in two areas: ad formats and ad targeting

The Facebook ads are very boring, not very imaginative, they're not able to deliver a very rich experience because of the limitations of the ad format.

Kim added that the Google Display Network was streets ahead of Facebook.

El Reg's Andrew Orlowski wondered if TV and movies or a Skypelike service could unlock some new floods of cash for Facebook.

Meanwhile, Dell made THE snafu of the week when it hired known provocateur Mads Christensen to compere a conference in Denmark, ending up with some hilarity from Christensen about women having no place in IT.

Some gems from the MC included:

All good inventions came from men; women we can thank for the rolling pin.

The IT business is one of the last frontiers that manages to keep women out.

IT boys, hiss it through your teeth – Shut up, bitch!

Dell didn't even have the lame, worn-out excuse of "He's a comedian!" to fall back on, because he's not a comedian, he's a debater and speaker well-known for his provocatively contentious views on race and gender.

It nevertheless took a few weeks for Dell to respond to the criticism as the Danish version of his comments was translated into English and posted on Reddit.

Eventually, the computer firm apologised and assured people it would choose its speakers more carefully in future.

In a not very surprising turn of events, it appears that turning the whole Chocolate Factory upside down and inside out in order to tie everything to Google+ might have been a wee bit premature.

A study by beancounters at RJ Metrics has found that the latecomer to the social network party is failing to gather any momentum, with many users not bothering to post much:

The decay rate here is very concerning. Users are less and less likely to make additional posts, even a few months after initially joining.

Naturally, Google disputed the results, whinging that the research only looked at public posts and not private posts within Circles. However, it didn't feel the need to reveal any internal figures on those posts.

As if everyone weren't annoyed enough about the whole UK-in-recession thing, variously giving the malevolent and blameful eye to banks, businesses or the government, a new study showed that most of the organisations that are supposed to be saving money are overpaying for IT.

The NHS was a particularly bad offender, whittling through taxpayers' money by uselessly purchasing IT equipment at a 28 per cent profit margin when they should be buying it at 3 per cent like everyone else.

But universities – yes the ones that are gouging students for astronomical fees that will plunge an entire generation into the very kind of debt that will stop them spending, buying property and supporting the economy when they get out – aren't doing too well either. On average, they're forking out margins of 27 per cent when they purchase kit, while housing associations, banks, utility companies and telcos are also paying much more than they should.

Never fear though, the NHS has a talent for stating the blindingly obvious:

The NHS should not be paying over the odds for any products and services.

Really? Do go on:

It is important that every penny spent on the NHS provides value for the taxpayer and we will shortly be publishing guidance to help the NHS get the very best deal it can for equipment it buys.

Marvellous. Guidelines. That's are just what's needed here, should sort the problem out in no time.

(If that wasn't enough to help you grind your teeth in exasperation, try the UK government spending oodles on the wrong kind of planes for the Royal Navy, because otherwise BAE Systems will force them to spend oodles on fitting catapults for the cheaper sort on carriers.)

And there was NO APPLE NEWS whatsoever... Oh OK, there was some Apple news.

Steve Wozniak said the fruity firm could – brace yourself – become more "open". He pondered:

I like a lot of the openness I see in Facebook or Google, and how things can interplay on the internet. I think that Apple could be just as strong and good and be open, but how can you challenge it when a company is making that much money?

Leaving aside the idea of "open" Facebook and Google, the Woz was quick to stick in some caveats before anyone got too excited:

There's a lot of things about the closedness of Apple I don't like and wouldn't have done myself, but obviously I'm very overjoyed with the quality of the products. So is that a result or not? I'm not expert enough to say.

If making it open would give us not the quality of Apple products all working together like they do, I would say keep it closed.

Clearly, Apple could be in for a minor shake-up that may never happen now that Steve Jobs is no longer at the helm.

And here's another thing fanbois might get from a Woz-controlled Apple: bigger iPhone screens, according to some rumours.

Although wait, didn't we just have mini iPad rumours? Wouldn't a bigger iPhone and a smaller iPad be, in fact, the same thing? The mind boggles... ®