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Friday, May 14, 2010

Facebook & privacy (viva le revolution)

First off, one big caveat: It is simply impossible to have the old Facebook experience with the old level of privacy. If you want the old level of privacy, you're going to have to give up some functionality; if you want all the old functionality, you're going to have to give up some privacy.

There you go, from the horse's mouth (and also tips about how to tighten down privacy). Of course, we are using a COMPANY's website, so I wouldn't have a problem with fb eliminating ANY illusions of privacy. At least, in that capacity, it might be more honest... and of course, my usage of it (as well as many users) would drop or change dramatically. What bothers me is the constantly shifting sand of privacy, at times, seemingly at odds with its origins.

I realize things change, but change has been dramatic for Facebook and stands in stark contrast to its early days. When I joined facebook, you have to have an .edu email address -- in other words affiliated with a university or school in some way. EVERYONE meant everyone in facebook, not the world. No one could see ANY of your info, unless they were another facebook user (and logged in). You could control what was shared from your wall through your friends. Privacy was tight and set by the user.

The exact opposite is true now. Public is the norm and if you want privacy, you have to work hard to tighten it down (and keep it tight), plus give up some of the ORIGINAL functionality.

Maybe these folks can build the next SM site to take down Facebook -- but then I wonder, can they make it viable without selling out their most coveted assets -- our demographic and personal information?

I bet Myspace never thought they would fall, either. Perhaps, it is time someone takes a whack at Facebook. viva le revolution!

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