Tag Archive for socialnetworking

Facebook Freak-Out!

I am surprised by the level of hysteria over Facebook’s latest privacy changes and security breaches. Here’s why I’m neither upset nor leaving.

Facebook has no social contract with its users. Facebook is a company trying to carve out the largest possible niche on the Internet, by any means necessary. Some companies have a conscience. Don’t expect Facebook to.

Facebook offered the illusion of privacy. Some people mistook this for actual privacy. I suggest that people treat Facebook as if it were completely public. Post only information that you would be okay seeing on any website.

Many other websites expose plenty of your personal information: usernames, IP addresses, avatar (e.g., bulletin boards, listserv archives).

Facebook is not alone in using your posted content to target advertising to you. Yes, Facebook has taken this to a new level, but why does this come as a surprise?

Facebook is still the best way to stay in contact with your friends. If you object to their practices, then post only information you’re comfortable having public.

Facebook pages are incredibly effective for building a relationship with an organization’s constituents. It’s easy to post media, easy for people to express interest, and easy for them to interact with you. In the last couple of months, two individuals raised $2,000 through Causes birthday wishes for a nonprofit I help run. We didn’t solicit the gift. It just happened.

Will a better site come along and displace Facebook? It is more likely to happen now that Facebook is making more information public, which also makes it available to potential competitors. If another site does rise, don’t believe their privacy claims, either!

Image: http://www.civic.moveon.org/facebook/chart/

Glad we skipped Ning

Ning’s Bubble Bursts: No More Free Networks, Cuts 40% Of Staff
(via TechCrunch)

Facebook fan page launched

We launched the Catlin Gabel Facebook fan page today. We are launching the tool to provide a strong community discussion space, using a technology that is already common. If it also helps us get the word out about news from campus or attract new applicants to the school, that would be nice too, but that’s not the primary goal. As a result, we decided to launch just a single page for alumni, students, parents, and employees instead of launching a separate page for alumni.

To build momentum, we have asked a number of people to make a deliberate effort to post in the next two weeks, so that visitors see some useful content. We also opened our wall to all fans to post content, in order to amplify the community aspect of the page. Our main web site will remain our main one-way communication portal. Facebook will be for community connections and conversations.

Catlin Gabel on Facebook