Monthly Archives: August 2010

Facebook Places – your default privacy exposed

In Episode 28 of TheSocialGeeks last night we dug into the announcement yesterday on Facebook Places.  If you are one of the 500 million members of Facebook and have not heard about this yet, your default privacy settings allow others to “check you in” to places you are visiting.  While this can be undone, if you hardly use Facebook but have a profile on the network, you could have people mapping your locations for you.  Recall my article on how I like to Check in when I check out.

Courtesy: Telegraph

Courtesy: Telegraph

What does this mean for your privacy?  Your habits, places of preference and more leave your immediate control.  Sure, you can remove the tag of you in that location, but aggregators and Facebook themselves have already seen it.  Advertising dollars are built around it.  Even the ACLU in California has stepped in to write an article on the topic:

Places allows your friends to tag you when they check in somewhere, and Facebook makes it very easy to say “yes” to allowing your friends to check in for you. But when it comes to opting out of that feature, you  are only given a “not now” option (aka ask me again later). “No” isn’t one of the easy options.

One of the other factors invading on your privacy is the controls around “Here Now”.  Many of the added applications you have nejoyed have been authorized full access to you profile data.  So as soon as someone tags you in a Place, or you do it yourself, that information may be passed along to the other applications.  You will need to review the apps to see what data access they have as well.

So what do you do?

  • Use the service carefully
  • Set the privacy controls before anyone starts tagging you in Places
  • Limit who can see your Places
  • Tag yourself only in public arenas and maybe when you are leaving in most instances (not arrival unless it is a meeting)
  • Read the tutorial written by DotRights.org on this topic of the steps you need to take

Location services are a constant topic I write about and Facebook exploding the ability to 500 million users without granular privacy controls could change the landscape.

Also, catch up on the recent podcasts from TheSocialGeeks where you get to hear a roundtable of the top social media minds go after these topics.

Stop Being Lazy and Filter Your Inbound Content

I am lucky enough to have a panel up for voting at SXSW in 2011 for the above title.  Here is the excerpt:

We are constantly adding new RSS feeds, streams and sources for our own consumption. Soon we file virtual bankruptcy and start over, leaving behind the sources we trusted. What we do not learn is the value that drew those sources to us in the first place. Learn how to use smarter filtering, tools and resources to streamline, remove duplication and find the most important information.

There will be a slew of questions I answer along the way:

  1. What are the top tools you use for filtering content?
  2. Are you basing your flow on keywords, broad topics or searches?
  3. How did you build your trusted referral group?
  4. Is a micro-community a source for filtering information?
  5. Can you oversubscribe to a particular topic?

I hope you would take a moment to vote for the SXSW session if you like the idea, even if you are not attending in March 2011.  I will be posting the slides and content after the event.

School Superintendent suspended after Facebook post

We have too many Facebook posting stories to cover each week, but this stood out in the common sense arena.  A Connecticut Superintendent of the Windsor Locks area, David Telesca, has been put on leave after comments found on his Facebook page, according to TheDay.com website.  He did himself in right away after starting the new job and having the following occur:

The Hartford Courant reports Telesca wrote on Facebook that his first day on the $150,000-a-year job involved “counseling an administrator to retire or face termination,” and ended the comment with a smiley face.

He also wrote that he slept until 10 a.m. on his first day, and it would be “the best job ever” if that happened every day.

Apparently he is unhappy they caught and monitor such things as his Facebook page and says it is a violation of his contract.  This is where we step in.

Many of you know we offer training to parents, school officials and educators about proper usage and expectations in social network settings.  I imagine that there is no policy in place he signed or otherwise agreed to about such monitoring and fair usage.  We also know he allowed people associated with the district to see hos postings on the site through approving friend requests or opening his feed publicly.  Either way a certain level of conduct is always expected, but rarely enforceable.

We are finalizing the date for a webcast for training on this very topic for educators.  Join the email list to get notified under the Social Stalking list


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Declare war on your favorite location and mayor – Mayor War

Someone just couldn’t be happy that someone took their mayorship (is that a word) of their favorite location through Foursquare.  Apparently war is the best solution.  Rather than check in again to try and gain mayor rights back,  just go straight to war without passing go.  Mayor War steps in to help this situation and become your virtual battle ground.  They currently only offer an iPhone/iPad/iPod application for you to declare war, but I sense that Android and web based might be close behind.

The idea is simple.  Pull together your social army (oh so close to Mafia Wars).  There is:

  • levels
  • experience points
  • attack points
  • battles
  • wins
  • losses
  • weapons
  • and more …

To start a war, either use one of your mayorship locations, or just pick something.

# How do I attack an opponent?
# You can select a target from nearby venues or friends’ venues. After you select a target, you choose a weapon from your arsenal and tap “Attack” button to attack. Your attack may hit or miss, depending on the accuracy of the weapon and the distance to the target. For every attack, there is always a counter-attack from your opponent. The counter attack may hit or miss as well.

From there you just battle.  Now you do not get mayor rights to their location, but I think this is more virtual turf wars.  To gain supporters they must click a link in Twitter.  So the more followers that click your links the better.  this becomes more of who will click over how many followers.

So if you just cannot spend enough time checking in and need to protect your fiefdom, this might be the game for you.