Tag Archives: socialmedia

Facebook Will Continue To Share User Addresses & Numbers With Third-Party Developers

Facebook will continue a plan to share users’ home addresses and cellphone numbers with third-party developers despite criticism from privacy advocates, users and members of Congress.

The social network announced an update to its platform in a January 14 blog post that would allow Facebook apps and other external websites to access this information if the user gave them permission. Mobile phone numbers and addresses were given a permission category separate from “Access my basic information” that would ask users to approve third-parties to “Access my contact information”.

Facebook is going to get the backlash it deserves. Hopefully, before everyone in America has their private phone numbers posted into a miassive torrent somewhere.

Oh, wait…

Mubarak Stepping Down Amidst Groundbreaking Digital Revolution

The events in Egypt served as a flash point for journalists on the ground, too. For perhaps one of the first times in history, history itself has been recorded instantaneously, as reporters took to Twitter to share 140-character updates and personal stories from the protests. The messages provided a stark reality to readers in the outside world, especially as the protests turned violent and police turned on journalists — the very people many of us outside the country were following.

But Al Jazeera had its “CNN Moment,” and although it couldn’t reach viewers in the U.S. by cable television, it found a way to viewers — on YouTube. The network live streamed Mubarak’s public address — in which many believed he would resign — Thursday via YouTube. But Al Jazeera’s comprehensive coverage put it on the radar for U.S. viewers and it created a campaign to bring its English-language network to U.S. televisions.

I’ll go out on a limb: Bringing Al Jazeera to US cable networks is the single most important act Americans can authorize to bring an end to terrorism. Yes, the flow of communication across the world, and the media and cultural perspectives attached (embedded, even) to it, are impossible to overestimate. Hatred, and violence stem from ignorance, and sharing information and life experience with people from other cultures is the single best way to do that.

Facebook Turns Friend Activity Into New Ad Format

Facebook is rolling out Sponsored Stories, a new ad format that turns your friends’ actions into promoted content.

Sponsored Stories is “a way for marketers to sponsor activities that happen throughout the News Feed,” Facebook Product Marketing Lead Jim Squires told Mashable. Companies can choose to take certain user actions — such as checkins or actions within Facebook apps — and feature them in the column on the right side of the News Feed.

For example, if you’re Whole Foods and you’re looking to increase your exposure on Facebook, you can pay to have a percentage of all checkins to Whole Foods featured in a Sponsored Stories slot in the right-side column. Your content wouldn’t be shown directly, but the actions of a user’s friends would appear. Users seeing their friends “liking” or checking in to Whole Foods will drive increased trust and increased traffic.

“The advertiser is not controlling the message; it’s about actions,” Squires said.

Here’s an example of an action that could potentially be sponsored:

And here’s what it might look like as a Sponsored Story:

It’s actually a really intuitive, non-invasive form of social media advertising. Hurrah!

Facebook Woos Big Media

Facebook and Time Warner are now talking about using the social network’s login system to “authenticate” cable subscribers who want to watch online video from cable channels like TBS and HBO. Sources familiar with the companies’ plans say they are in early stages, but that the two companies are hoping to link up first with Verizon’s FiOS TV  service.

Nifty. I wonder, though, if Facebook will share your private data with TWC? That’s not an option I’d consider too seriously given the infoscape and TWC’s past history…

Hell Freezes Over As MySpace Fully Surrenders To Facebook

The event is less of a partnership announcement and more of a formal surrender ceremony.

MySpace is sending CEO Mike Jones for the announcement. Facebook managed to rustle up a vice president – Dan Rose. Our sources say MySpace is a little more than embarrassed that Facebook isn’t making someone more senior available for the event.

Here’s at least part of what they’ll announce. Facebook Connect integration so that users can associate their MySpace accounts with their Facebook accounts and then log in to MySpace via Connect. Part of that is already live. MySpace will suck in as much profile information as possible and use it to help with advertising and the interest graph (bands you like, etc.)

And they’ll also announce that Facebook users will now be able to push all their Facebook status updates to MySpace. So your Facebook stream will appear on your MySpace profile.

What’s MySpace again?  I seem to remember hearing something about it, last century…
Maybe it’s a new take on the stick-and-hoop game?

Massive Censorship Of Digg Uncovered

A group of influential conservative members of the behemoth social media site Digg.com have just been caught red-handed in a widespread campaign of censorship, having multiple accounts, upvote padding, and deliberately trying to ban progressives. An undercover investigation has exposed this effort, which has been in action for more than one year.

One bury brigade in particular is a conservative group that has become so organized and influential that they are able to bury over 90% of the articles by certain users and websites submitted within 1-3 hours, regardless of subject material. Literally thousands of stories have already been artificially removed from Digg due to this group. When a story is buried, it is removed from the upcoming section (where it is usually at for ~24 hours) and cannot reach the front page, so by doing this, this one group is removing the ability of the community as a whole to judge the merits or interest of these stories on their own (in essence: censoring content). This group is known as the Digg “Patriots”.

As much as I love the distributed network of news sources and aggregators I rely on, like Digg, I’ve always been wary of their hidden algorithms and the possibility of ‘gaming’ the results. My first reaction was, “well, this throws any semblance of impartiality out the window” – but really, is this all that different from how pundits and lobbyists have gamed the major news sources for the last 50 years?

In either case, it’s clear that shifting the curation and editorial power directly into the hands of the users necessarily complicates my relationship with that news even further. As millions migrate to these new, largely unpoliced news sites, these coalitions, conspiracies, and collaborators will become even more pervasive and influential.