Social Networks & Privacy

by Dan Blank on September 7, 2006

Facebook, the social networking site for college students has made some updates to their system this week, to dramatically mixed reviews. Facebook describes the change as: 

“Before, it was an encyclopedia model, but now we’re changing to a news model.” 

Basically, if you had a Facebook account, you can now see daily updates of activities on your friends’ accounts. While this is a dramatic improvement to having to check each friend’s Facebook page for updates, there have been cries of privacy rights, and the tool being used for stalking. 

Fred Wilson describes it this way: 

“Users will have to react to this. They’ll have to think more about their privacy options. Or just get used to it. Because this is what the power of feeds and social networks is all about. This is the future.” 

Washington Post has further commentary. 

Robert Scoble is using this as a case study for dealing with online communities. Among his suggestions for the Facebook team: 

  • Get out of text. Use video to talk with your community 
  • Build a community group with a good cross-section of your users
  • Open up your company to real, interactive, blogging
  • Engage with bloggers. Directly. In their comments

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