Tag Archives: social media

Paranoia Can Destroy Ya or What’s All This I’m Hearing About The Social Graph?

OK, so it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. To tell you the truth, I’ve been getting a little bit antsy about being here at all. Just when I was getting all comfy about social media like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare, Buzzd and even blogging, and feeling like I basically knew my way around the online landscape, I found myself getting weird little twinges from time to time. So what was wrong with being open and easy to locate on the web? Wasn’t it just a basic human need to feel connected to everyone else? It’s natural, right?

Natural? What’s natural about it?

Have you reviewed your privacy settings on Facebook lately? Maybe you’d better. And have you heard the term “Open Graph” yet? It’s the idea that we can all be connected online through our social connections. Facebook started out by telling us it was a portal for us all to connect to our friends. Well, it’s looking more and more as if Facebook is making some very aggressive moves to do a whole lot more than connect people to each other. Facebook now has the ability to amass a whole lot of personal data involving not only how you are connected to other people, but about how we are connected to things, tastes, activities, likes, dislikes, buying patterns, places — in short, everything. It’s making me nervous. It’s one thing to post a review about something on a website. But what if every time you did anything online, Facebook could tap into that?

When I was a little kid, one of  my favorite stories was Alexander Pushkin’s “The Fisherman and His Wife.” It was about a magic fish caught by a poor fisherman who granted all kinds of wishes in return for the fisherman letting it go. This fisherman had a super greedy wife who didn’t know when to stop, either. Kind of like a Ruth Madoff/Leona Helmsley type. The moral of the tale was not to be too greedy, lest you get nothing at all.  Too bad it didn’t work that way for Ruth or Leona. I am hoping, however, that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg may absorb the lesson before he finishes taking over the world.

I suppose it’s wrong to blame him. Didn’t our mothers warn us not to put anything in writing we wouldn’t want to see in the newspaper? But, wait a minute. Does anyone still read newspapers anymore? Being a Luddite is beginning to look a whole lot more attractive…

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Twitter Hacked by Iranian Cyber Army?

What the sam hill is going on? I’m home from an extraordinary day spent at three (count ’em, three!) networking events on Long Island, happily posting away on one of my Twitter accounts (not the @2dreamit one) when a message, red on a black background comes up:

Iranian.Cyber.Army@gmail.com

Very interesting. Meanwhile, the site is inaccessible to me so I use SocialScope, my favorite Blackberry social media app, to do a quick search and find a few other posts on Twitter having been hacked. (By the way, the best aspect of Twitter happens to be this real-time search feature. I see this as the jewel of the platform. Anyway…)

Will Facebook be next?

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Social Media and Self Censorship

A lot of us are drawn to social media due to what I believe is a shared human need – the need to connect with others. So if I’m to be found here on this blog, and on Twitter and such, why wouldn’t I feel free to open up and tell the world what’s on my mind?

Let me tell you a story. I have been on a few job interviews lately and one of them was with a well known not-for-profit entity that is associated with a particular religion. My recent background is in digital advertising sales, so an interview with a non profit is slightly discordant to begin with, but nothing I couldn’t manage. Here’s the rub: I went home and wanted to ‘tweet’ a link to a newspaper editorial, and then stopped myself cold. How would that piece ‘play’ to my prospective employer? (Not that my interviewer would necessarily even know what Twitter IS, but you never know.)

That’s just one example. How about this one: I politely decline an invitation to something I have absolutely NO interest in by apologizing and saying that I’m already booked that night. Then I have to go and note my calendar NOT to go to Facebook that night and post an update like “Watching Goodfellas for the 65th time and eating pizza – good times!”

I’m home sick with a cold and as I follow the health care reform bill, I have thoughts I consider sharing, but then decide not to. During the last presidential election, I watched heated debates take place all over various social media channels, and I stayed on the sidelines. It looked like most were just preaching to their own particular choirs anyway. And when there were the inevitable clashes, the results were usually horribly polarizing.

People used to say that there were three topics you needed to avoid in polite company – politics, sex and religion. It seems like when I am faced with this whole self censorship battle, the reason is generally traceable back to one of these topics. But I have never been one to shrink away from any kind of battle, so why does this one seem more difficult?

Does anyone else out there struggle with this or am I being silly?

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