18
Oct 10

404 Privacy Not Found

The curious thing to me about the Facebook apps ‘leaking data’ story is not that’s its happening, but rather the low levels of digital literacy (or the fact that this has been happening for years) by the public:

Many of the most popular applications, or “apps,” on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people’s names and, in some cases, their friends’ names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

The issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook’s strictest privacy settings. The practice breaks Facebook’s rules, and renews questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users’ activities secure.

The difference in the past was that the cost of acquiring this data was substantial enough to make it not worth the effort.  The amount of data freely available and the decreased cost of computing power make it a trivial effort.  This is only going to become more prevalent as online providers look to monetize the sale of data.  The problem is that data is being used in ways that the average internet user cannot comprehend, and therefore cannot make an informed decision to opt-in or opt-out.

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07
Dec 09

Daily Links for December 7th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • The Major Works of Counterintuitive Thought From the Past Decade- The 00’s Issue– New York Magazine – In the aughts, the shocking hidden side of everything became the only side of anything worthy of magazine covers and book deals. Social scientists applied their techniques to the problem of climate change; liberals who wanted to be taken seriously had to come up with arguments for conservative policies and vice versa. Everywhere in the media, the former creators of mass consensus devoted themselves to contradicting the conventional wisdom. Here, a selection of the most unlikely ideas in a decade that was always looking to blow your mind.
  • Winners and Losers as the Dollar Falls – Experts argue about the many effects of the dollar's fall and what it says about confidence in the American economy, with its decades-old trade deficit and mounting national debt. But there are also more predictable effects replayed in each decline.
  • How Will You Die? – While you may be worried of catching of an obscure disease you heard about on the news, the truth is that we are far more likely to die of a small range of illnesses, nearly all of which are tied in some way to your lifestyle choices, like the food you eat or how much exercise you get. But you can lessen—sometimes dramatically—the likelihood of succumbing to the most common causes of death by knowing your risk factors and making informed choices. This is a look at your most likely cause of death (excluding uncontrollable events like accidents and homicide), given your race, sex, and age. Use this information to make choices that will keep you healthy.
  • The Biggest Lie In Social Media – Weather we want to believe it or not, investing in social media takes time, money, and resources. Companies and people need to have a means for evaluating their investment in social against other areas of focus. When the bean counters and CMOs are weighing their options, I can guarantee you an argument of “the numbers don’t matter” won’t hold water and will have you laughed out of the room.
  • Why Social Media Purists Won’t Last | Social Media Explorer – No, I’m not turning my back on the social media community or mindset. But I am trying to make a point all the social media evangelists out there need to grow up and face: If you don’t stop selling the fluff and start driving the bottom line, you’re going to have to go back to whatever you were doing in 2005. It’s not about convincing the curmudgeon. It’s not about waiting it out until digital natives are calling the shots. It’s about making social media drive business for your clients or companies. If you don’t, you’ll soon hear, “You’re fired,” and it won’t be from Apprentice reruns.
  • Three Tweets for the Web – Many critics of contemporary life want our culture to remain like a long-distance relationship at a time when most of us are growing into something more mature. We assemble culture for ourselves, creating and committing ourselves to a fascinating brocade. Very often the paper-and-ink book is less central to this new endeavor; it’s just another cultural bit we consume along with many others. But we are better off for this change, a change that is filling our daily lives with beauty, suspense, and learning.
  • Business Week Social Media Article Misses The Point – They frame it as if social media (which in reality is just one part of the digital marketing mix) is this new scary thing, and that companies and professionals are gullible enough to be usurped by snake oil types. At this point, the opposite is true: any marketer worth their salt understands digital marketing by now. At least enough not to be sold snake oil.

    Executing on the correct digital strategy can accomplish the same business objectives as strong traditional marketing/PR strategy. The web and the real are no different in my eyes: this article might as well have been called “Beware The Consultant Snake Oil,” sans-social media. What does the web have to do with it?

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05
Dec 09

Daily Links for December 2nd through December 4th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).


01
Nov 09

Daily Links for October 30th through November 1st

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • Full List: America’s Safest Cities – Forbes.com – Surprisingly, we're number #21.
  • Omar bin Laden on his father | vanityfair.com – A son of Osama bin Laden paints an intimate portrait of the man who would become the world’s most infamous terrorist.
  • The Complete Guide to Google Wave: How to Use Google Wave – Google Wave is a new web-based collaboration tool that's notoriously difficult to understand. This guide will help. Here you'll learn how to use Google Wave to get things done with your group. Because Wave is such a new product that's evolving quickly, this guidebook is a work in progress that will update in concert with Wave as it grows and changes. Read more about The Complete Guide to Google Wave.
  • Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem Of Hell – In short, these games try to get people to pay cash for in game currency so they can level up faster and have a better overall experience. Which is fine. But for users who won’t pay cash, a wide variety of “offers” are available where they can get in-game currency in exchange for lead gen-type offers. Most of these offers are bad for consumers because it confusingly gets them to pay far more for in-game currency than if they just paid cash (there are notable exceptions, but the scammy stuff tends to crowd out the legitimate offers). And it’s also bad for legitimate advertisers.
  • You Aren’t Average | SEO Book.com – We need to keep in mind that most people don't see the internet as we do. Most people don't know what a browser is. Most people cannot tell a paid search result from a non-paid one. People certainly do not understand that the site they are seeing in first position may only be there because some smart SEO has helped ensure that happens.

    What is "spam" to the trained SEO eye may be perfectly acceptable to the end user, so long as the user gets the answer they want.

  • A WORLD SERIES DIVIDES A GARDEN STATE Population Statistic – The irony: By trying to co-opt the identities of two neighboring metropolises, New Jersey ends up with no true identity of its own. In other words, no matter which baseball team wins the World Series, New Jersey is still full of losers.