Our Changing World

Is It Finally The Beginning Of The End For Facebook?

Do you remember where you were when MySpace lost its spot as the top social network? Where were you when Plastic died? There are early signs today that Facebook, used by many and loved by few, is beginning its inevitable decline. In Britain, where the drunken populace spends an inordinate amount of time staring at their phones, Facebook lost 600,000 users last month. That's not quite 2% of the U.K. user base, but it's also the opposite of "growth."

The data chimes with speculation that Facebook is reaching saturation point among the web user population in its core markets, and that continued growth is increasingly dependent on the [...]


Your Morning "Middle East" Primer

Oman: Not only is there a protest movement growing, it's actually being covered by the country's media—which exists in an uneasy state between self-censored and intimidated.

Libya: There is essentially an under-weaponed ground war under way in Libya. Between 1000 and 2000 people have died; in the last 12 hours, Gaddafi loyalists have seized and then lost Al Brega, an oil town in the east. Many see a chance to leave: "The Tunisian government says at least 80,000 people have crossed into the country from Libya in the past week, with many more expected." Gaddafi is trying to recall his U.N. ambassadors, who have renounced [...]


V Gets What V Asks For

Congratulations to the New York Times, which successfully and gracefully pulled off a profile of Justin Vivian Bond while respecting Bond's choice of proper address. (via)


Your Daily Primer on the "Middle East"

Yemen: How the Al-Ahmar family could take advantage of unrest against the Saleh regime, leading to a civil war—or simply regime change. Meanwhile, the government is going to announce what sounds like an unsatisfactory new government.

Oman: Today is the third consecutive day of protests! The Sultan is quickly making some minor concessions—distributing money

Egypt: Former president Mubarak has been ordered by a prosecutor not to travel; also his assets have been ordered frozen. Too little, too late, says Al Jazeera's analyst.

Libya: Similarly, Britain has frozen Gadaffi's assets—to the tune of £3 billion. Also, Libya asked for £900 million in new money, [...]


Today's Brief Primer on the "Middle East"

Libya: You know what's an invitation to a (possibly short, possibly endless) war? The no-fly zone, which is not a thing that has been proposed to happen. And yet, you can understand why the rebels who are fighting on the ground, city-by-city, would want such assistance, as Gaddafi shells towns in his own country! This is madness. Fascinating to know: "Libyan envoys are meeting with European Union officials in Brussels."

Yemen: "Government security forces beat demonstrators and then opened fire on them late Tuesday night, fatally wounding a 20-year-old protester and leaving nine others with bullet wounds…. Protests in Sana, the capital, have been relatively peaceful [...]