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We All Hate Facebook Places Already

We All Hate Facebook Places Already

I don’t think I ran across a single blog yesterday that thought Facebook places was a great idea.  We all know it was derived from Foursquare, Gowalla and their cousins.  People detest “friends” being able to check you into places, and privacy groups are waging another war with Facebook.

I think enough has been said about how stupid of an idea this is from Facebook’s end.  My major problem with Facebook places was when I tried to launch it, I got this:

Facebok Places - This feature will be available soon.  Thank you for your patience.

Before I complain about a feature, I’m willing to at least try it.  However, Facebook apparently released the version of the iPhone app that didn’t work (3.2), and I had to later install a new version (3.2.1) to get Places to function properly.  Facebook, next time, launch the version of the app that actually works.  Your users will thank you.

Regardless of that blunder, Places worries me.  The logo, which my friend Maura pointed out, is a square with a four inside. FourSquare, anyone?  There’s evil genius at work.

Thankfully, for every person that checks you in somewhere you can always send them this threat, so wonderfully articulated by my friend Laurie.

Laurie Ruettimann - Don't check me on Facebook or I will check you into strip clubs and Wal-Mart

You got that?  We will start checking you into Wal-Mart if you misbehave.  You’ve been warned.

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Personal Branding 101: Privacy and Porn

Personal Branding 101: Privacy and Porn

One of my favorite things to do on Twitter is see who other people are following.  It gives this wonderful sense of spying, like you’re seeing something you’re not supposed to be seeing.  It’s also a great way to see who other people consider important and find new people to follow.  

Unfortunately, for every gem you’ll find, you can also find a turd.  And every now and then, you’ll find an atomic bomb like I did.

I was browsing who a Twitter user followed the other night.  Everything starts normally, and I see a bunch of people we have in common and some celebrities. Then, I start noticing a number of strange profiles.  Their avatars are grainy and have pictures of increasingly scantily clad bodies.  My curiosity led me to a couple of profiles, where I realize that this person followed a significant number of pornographers.

I wouldn’t have cared at first, but this person named his/her account “MyName_JobTitle.” Really.  Name, job, and face all right there following a barely covered behind. Not only do I know what they like to read and who they like to talk to, but I also know how they like to get down and do the nasty.

Unless you are involved in the adult industry, and face it, if you’re reading this blog, you probably are not, there is no reason you should use a public account with your name, face, and personal info to connect with naughty pictures and materials.  You don’t need a social account to find porn online.  If you really want to let out your inner social media slut, make a separate account.  Don’t use your real name and photo, and have fun.  Don’t ruin your image and name by attaching your identity and work life.  If you have to ruin your professional life, at least do so in a way that has a good story.

I don’t really care who you follow online. I do care that you make yourself look the best you can online.  You don’t want your clients and friends to find out everything about you from your Twitter account.  You’re an adult, you should know better.  Start acting like one.

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F8 Hate

F8 Hate

It’s known I hate the “Like” feature of Facebook, and this past week, Facebook made it clear that it its trying to take over your online life.

Facebook is introducing a universal like feature.  Basically, you can go to a website, like Pandora or, and it will access your public Facebook information to suggest articles you may like.  Sounds great, right?  It’s easier than ever to share what you like!

Most major websites and already incorporating the new Like button onto their sites.  Why wouldn’t they?  Every time a user like’s an article, it gets shared with all your friends.  More exposure equals more money making potential. However, Facebook’s greed is a terrible thing for your personal information and privacy.

Take a look at the default setting:

Unless you turn it off, Facebook will let other sites access your public information.  Granted, you should keep a lock down on what is public, but this default setting is concerning.

It gets worse.  Facebook went ahead and changed the user agreement without telling anyone.  Nothing too crazy changed, but the idea that they will change this important, legal document between the user and Facebook without letting the users know is horrifying.  In many other settings, that’s a reason to be able to end the contract early.  This change is another instance of Facebook proving it has no commitment to its users data and privacy settings.

It gets EVEN worse.  Facebook Applications can now permanently save your publicly available information.  If you thought malicious virus applications were a problem before, just wait until they can start stealing your identity because they have full access to what you share publicly.  And even if you change those settings after the fact, the can still hold onto that data, FOREVER.

I hate to say this, but Mashable has a good, easy to read run down of how to set up your privacy settings so a website or your friends can’t share anything you don’t want them sending to the whole web.  Read Write Web also has a very good article expanding on why you should delete Facebook Apps. It’s a shame that Facebook doesn’t give you more control from the beginning, and clearly doesn’t want you to stop sharing, because the more personalized and engaging the experience, the more time you’ll spend on Facebook.

I’ll keep the Facebook Fan Page Liker Page, but don’t expect to see too much original content going up over there.  If you’re expecting to see a “Like” Button over here anytime soon, don’t.  I respect your online privacy, and your ability to share an article by selecting the URL and pasting it on Facebook or wherever else you’d like.

Facebook wants to make money off of your stupidity.  They want to take over your identity and the web.  Don’t be stupid and don’t let them take over.

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