j-schoolIf J schools have heart strings, then UC Berkeley’s have been pulled, stretched and tangled far past the point of breaking. After having one suitor icily retract her acceptance, and then a year later regathering its pride upon receiving a massive applicant pool, only to have the three front runners bail at the last minute, Berkeley’s Graduate school of Journalism probably exhaled palmward a few times to check for institutional halitosis. After all this, on Thursday they finally settled on Neil Henry, who (ironically?) hadn’t actually applied. Somehow this seems like yet another burn; we’re just not sure to whom. read more »

If you haven’t noticed already (and who hasn’t, with the News Feed stronger than ever), Facebook introduced new applications that users can add to their profiles. On Thursday, the Facebook Blog left a cryptic message about its Facebook Platform:

bq. You may have heard that we just unveiled the next evolution of Facebook Platform. Our new stuff will be going live sometime tonight, so definitely stay tuned on the site and on the blog for more information tomorrow.

And then it rained applications. Everbody and their mothers (because they can use Facebook now too) are adding the latest doodads to their profiles.

After an intense coffee session, we decided to test drive a random smattering of applications. Not because we’re cool or anything, but mostly because it’s summer and we don’t want to clean out the fridge just yet.

Music Applications
uPlayMe tells everyone what you’re listening to and makes you look like a douche in the process. We were gung-ho until it asked us to complete “just two easy steps”:

bq. Step 1) Create a uPlayMe account (do this below, its easy!)
Step 2) Get our awesome uPlayMe software (next page)


iLike lets you add music to your profile. Apparently you can also get free mp3′s.

Through the application, we updated our profile to say we are going to the Daft Punk concert. This makes us cool.

It also suggested free mp3′s to download based on our music preferences listed on our profile. None of them looked appealing, and so we didn’t even bother.

As it stands, the application is a bit confusing, but it looks promising. Plus, eight of our friends just added it.

Other Applications
Extended Info is straightforward. It allows you to add more information to your profile, like new favorite categories to fill out or even a self-created survey. It’s very bare bones, but it made us happy.

HotLists is essentially an extension of the Interests section on your profile, but in a picture-format. Nobody has time to read words anymore. In the year 2000, everything will be in images and symbols.

It’s a little unnecessary, but we were excited to see 22 different images relating to our search for “porn.” We then cried when “emo” came up with 26 results, the no. 1 being Girls Gone Wild.

30 Boxes Calendar, we assume, is similar to a Google Calendar. We don’t know because we kept getting error messages and it took forever to load. And we were so optimistic.

Personally, we think the applications are fun to mess around with. They definitely give us something to do (i.e. figure out how the hell these things work) during summer.

However, it seems the launch was a bit hasty. Many of the applications still have kinks to work out, and it would have been better to delay the release to make things run smoother. Either that, or Facebook should have released the applications under a beta testing caveat.

The Facebook Platform makes us hate Facebook less than the News Feed, but we’re still pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg is trying to suck our souls.

Facebook Platform is here. [Facebook Blog]
Application Directory [Facebook]