Which facebook ads are clicked the most?

I notice that Facebook Ads which are somehow related to a good cause are clicked and liked about 99% more than any other ads. However it seems that my intuition is wrong since officially it only has on average 0.077% CTR. So maybe it is just “my” friends circle.


Related: the Vodaphone passport challenge app shows me that I have friends in 96 countries, check your “amount” yourself (working to 100 now).


Dark Grey Lines after viewing this blog

I changed the layout of my blog a little to be “darker”:


Unfortunately… when you now read some lines, you get some weird after effect: if you then look around you, you see black/grey horizontal lines all around you *grin*. I once read something about this effect a long time ago in some cognitive science class but I forgot even the name. This is what the world look like after reading a longer article:


How can I solve this?

Update: over at ux.stackechange.com it was advised to change the background

and… yes it is only noticeable when reading a post from top to bottom, I noticed it when I read my latest post http://edward.de.leau.net/the-everyone-is-related-social-network-year-6-20110721.html and got a little bit sick while reading it (from the effects grin).

The Everyone-is-related Social Network Year 6


Lately I got more and more e-mails around Geni, the online genealogy tool, and one of them is the request to update my account details to stay a Pro member. I left this one lingering in my starred mailbox (with lots of mails to process) but now was a good time to analyze again if I would extend my Pro membership.

I will amuse you with some broader thoughts, let’s start with a top down description of “what it is”.

Some Geni background 2006-2011 from my perspective

When I started thinking about a worldwide genealogy tree coupled with modern social technology in 2006 I was pretty enthousiastic. I was looking at the success of the social networks and was thinking how cool it would be if, instead of everyone being “friends”, everyone would be “family”. That would be the ultimate social network. While googling you would get a popup on every person explaining you how you would be related. (read more on Google Genealogy, september 26, 2006). My initial idea was that this would bring humanity closer together and ofcourse this is a univeral idea:

6 months later Geni started (Geni, januari 14, 2007), created by David Sacks, the ex-executive at PayPal and Alan Braverman, with the goal of “creating a family tree of the whole world”. They started this in june 2006 so the idea is to be likely a broader idea or, in other sense, something that we, as humanity, are going to create, in whatever way. (On that moment the site just asked for e-mail addresses).

3 days later it went live (Geni is live, january 17, 2007) and it was a big success. So successful that the site went down “the system is down for maintenance” because of the big amount of users all linking in their relatives. I opened up a Google newsgroup to discuss questions and such but 2 months later Geni added an official forum. Lots of new featured were added and when merging of trees was possible for Pro subscribers I became a pro subscriber and lots of new features were added (which I personally did not follow, no time).

In the meanwhile, in september 2010, curators were added, volunteers to help with building the shared family tree much like Wikipedia administrators and, in the meanwhile, millions of users. I got some mails from a Dutch curator and, just now, clicked the button “how are you related” (which is still ubercool):


Just imagine being able to do this with every person you meet in world. Is that cool or… not?

Geni / family social networking 2011-2020

managing big data -The bigger idea behind this is that family data is coming close to “big data“. The problems companies and organizations are facing the coming years is how to deal with big data. How is company X going to deal with petabytes in data and how are they going to get useful information from it. So I predict that also Geni will benefit from technology from this field, which is not developed yet and use it in their IT systems. And because big data is the top priority the coming years for most companies it seems that all of these systems, including social genealogy systems, are naturally progressing to some kind of system and technology that is going to pretty interesting. Probably Geni will use this technology as a fallout of bigger Enterprise implementations once some of these products have become more mainstream. (see also the emerging technologies site of ibm).

corruption of data - already, mainly because of the many different people adding data, duplicating data, merging data, etc… parts of trees are a mess. Geni took some steps other companies also do: they assign a sort of club of people with more rights to govern parts of the data, their own staff and the curators. Corruption and duplication has always been a problem. With traditional databases we have a large array of cleansing software products, specialized on specific data or data in  general. Most of the time around ETL tooling.  More or less this is heading to data integration solutions nowadays. Probably Gartner has some more up-to-date quadrant of solutions than the older diagram I could find:


So because Geni probably has already created some interesting software parts, I predict they will launch more specialized products for cleansing of this kind of data and therefore gain more relationships with the dozens of companies and organizations in this field. Their specific problem is more or less that their system is open. In a company someone somewhere can make some hard guidelines and they should be implemented. Here are millions of users who contribute data with basically no strings attached. This will lead, I think, to some conflicts in the future between users who contribute data on the one hand and some “rules” on the other hand which someone needs to enforce which probably will lead to some neutral board.

the real world – Another thing happening is that there are a lot of users out there who, like in the real world, have their own agenda.

- People who like to just mess up data, enter family trees and then just totally mess up the data just because it is fun to do so
- People with specific weird goals, or, who I think are crazy, like in wikipedia. In Wikipedia there are a lot of pages dedicated to nonsense and it seems to focus around religion (all kinds of) and uhm supernatural hocus pocus non scientific things as well as specific political (many time extreme) views. When I saw that there was a jesus family tree in Geni I got sick… I realized that they face the same problem here. I think this is specific problem for application such as Wikipedia and Geni and myHeritage and basically all applications that are “open data collection sites”. How to keep them neutral, true and more or less “fact based”. Maybe curators can play a role here, but, as with Wikipedia, the curators themselves should be audited also. (see this thread also).
- People who add false data to emphasize their family forefathers.

This also boils own to data quality, validations and so on and IMHO I think real solutions will come for this but are not yet present. The good thing is that Wikipedia shows “areas” where people become data terrorists and as far as I can see it concentrates on religion and politics where “believe” is seen as more important than “fact” (that is scientific fact) (although the debate if Santa Claus really exists can always be done).

Data sources and API’s – Now that the dataset begins to become huge and interesting on the one hand and companies utilizing data and API’s for new apps on the other hand are the current big trend, I wonder if the data will find its way to data marketplaces (such as the Microsoft Azure premium data marketplace). It will be a matter of a year or two before we have main stream applications where we lift our iPhone and see social data around the head of people. These data sets will become extremely valuable because these apps will earn millions of dollars. Since Geni is only one site trying to accumulate this data they will be forced also to enter this arena and price their data and otherwise the other family data market places will push them out of the market: everyone in the world has mobile phone, so they have to jump in this market as soon as possible: soon every mobile user can take a family pic, annotate their family members and the new data flowing in will multiply. I’m curious which company will survive that war.

imageDNA and political questions - In 2005 I published my DNA on my blog. Many others did, because this was the time when the DNA crowd sourcing started. Lots of companies have jumped on the DNA genealogy wagon, or the DNA health wagon and so on. On some of the DNA sites I get mails of new users who are related to me based on their DNA. For people who were adopted, they find their family members purely because they entered their DNA and it matches. Around that time I was pretty enthusiastic. But of course, when just 1 family members publishes his or her DNA in a public data set, it means that all their close family are also published (since the DNA is probably the same or shares most of the features). When we couple this now to a public genealogy data set it means good things and bad things: In a sense the genealogy tree can be represented as a DNA tree and the other way around. The only difference is that the genealogy tree adds much more informative detail data about all of these persons. I don’t have to explain to you the many arguments of the danger of public DNA repositories. In many countries these DNA data banks are only used by government officials under restrictions e.g. “only criminals are stored”. It seems however that public trends are racing by these kind of thoughts on governing this data. Soon, we will have public data sets on every person on earth including DNA, annotation and relations. From that past  we have seen some bad things happening based on this kind of data and misused by people with no scientific goals but with an agenda full of close to criminal political goals.

Merging technology and Market Leader – As an extension on the data corruptuion: With a SAAS system such as web based e-mail it does not matter if Bob uses hotmail, John uses Yahoo and Ed uses gmail. As soon as data is involved it does matter. In general the trend is as with each big company: you will see many different systems and they all exchange data to sync each other. Sometimes via a common channel and sometimes directly to each other. Then, after a while, syncing becomes way to complex and issues are too complex to solve and new projects start to unify on one new data system (and so on).
In the social genealogy field the same is happening: a gazillion solutions exists that have online or offline possibilities to govern genealogy records. But, because each of these systems have different users AND some users use different systems because of the technological feautures involved syncing takes place: With genealogy systems in general the GEDCOM exchange format is supported as data format to exchange data. But there is no unified way on how to resolve the gazillion problems that can occur when merging has to take place. A classic problem which will never be resolved completely. In a company someone, somewhere sees the problem, hires an IT club and a new expensive system is there after lots of migrations of data from the older systems. In “public crowdsourcing” kind of environments this is more difficult: all of these users have the decided for themselves which new system to use AND they all have to decide the same or they will face merging issues for all eternity. The wisdom of the crowd usually delivers after some time some market leader such as wikipedia. With Social Genealogy Software this is not yet the case. So I’m curious which data owner will arise. (and to emphasize: it is impossible that multiple of these giant systems will keep running next to each other because the synchronization problems will become way to complex). Only one will survive. Partnership with Google, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook etc… will probably do the things needed.


In the meanwhile I have to decide if I will stay a Pro member. This has not so much to with the case that this is pretty cool important site I want to be a member of but is more of a personal financial issue: as you know I live on the Internet and am a member of a gazillion of sites. Each of these thingies costs a bit of money: which ones should I keep subscribing to and which ones should I cancel. It costs € 59.40 per year, which is not much but having N subscriptions on N sites … adds up). Together with the thought at this stage that I’m using Geni.com or myheritage.nl (by these people) or ancestry  and whatever… probably not the coming year.

Wie doet mee met 1 gezamenlijke genea database waarbij de aanknopingspunten samengevoegd worden ? » Actualiteit » Stamboom Forum – het sociale netwerk voor genealogen en historici

Wie doet mee met 1 gezamenlijke genea database waarbij de aanknopingspunten samengevoegd worden ? » Actualiteit » Stamboom Forum – het sociale netwerk voor genealogen en historici
Wie doet mee met 1 gezamenlijke genea database waarbij de aanknopingspunten samengevoegd worden ?