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Social Networks Continue Push For Control
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Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/7/2012 | 3:19:25 AM
re: Social Networks Continue Push For Control
I'm not saying that the majority of users don't understand that social networks are businesses. I'm saying that I think the majority of people don't know how their information is mined and then used.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/6/2012 | 11:14:41 PM
re: Social Networks Continue Push For Control
I find it difficult to enjoy LinkedIn because the service is simultaneously a nag and an obstacle. I don't have the time to field all the connection requests and participate in the discussions -- being social is a full-time job. And it stymies me from connecting with people who I'm not already connected with. I'm not going to pay for a LinkedIn upgrade just to make it easier to email someone whose email address is probably accessible via Google Search.
Mike
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Mike,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2012 | 10:40:21 PM
re: Social Networks Continue Push For Control
To me, it's implied that by voluntarily self-reporting my personal information in a commercial platform like Facebook or Google+ marketers will know more about me and be able to more accurately market products and services that I care about, based on the information that I provide. That's better than marketing products and services that I don't care about.

Facebook being an intermediary is just the cost of doing business - credit to them for capitalizing on a basic human need to share and connect with others. Besides, social networks are not the only way to connect with people; if someone wants to share something privately, email is still an option.
JamesLester
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JamesLester,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2012 | 10:18:48 PM
re: Social Networks Continue Push For Control
This is SO right on. Google actually "knows" nothing. Algorithms simply find connections on the web to your search request. And boy do they ever manipulate the results. Usually the organization you are looking for is at best half way down the page of results.

But over time, the do know YOU, what you like, who you are, and where you live, etc. Social media is social marketing, pure and simple. Nothing bad in that, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, let's just call it a duck.

As to the competition among them, it's capitalism at it's purest. These are commercial companies,not social services. A very important and timely blog!
eafpres
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eafpres,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2012 | 9:25:03 PM
re: Social Networks Continue Push For Control
In "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", the late Robert Heinlein had a word for this. TANSTAAFL--There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. This has been the question behind all the "free" internet businesses. How, eventually, do they fund themselves and their shareholders or owners? Tom, I agree with you that the greater Facebook user base shouldn't be so naive, but I wonder if you give the crowd too much credit?

Nonetheless, there are degrees. What are your thoughts on Linkedin's model vs. Facebook?
Mike
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Mike,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2012 | 8:25:03 PM
re: Social Networks Continue Push For Control
Really? I strongly doubt the majority of social networking users are unaware that the networks they use are businesses that need a way to make money. Since the social networks are free logic ought to assume it's the users themselves that are the product and are therefore subject to marketing based on the data they self-report.

In fact, I would be shocked if, for example, the majority of Facebook users were so naieve that they didn't think their data was actively being used by marketers. Whether they like it or not is a different question - but it's definitely a general assumption. Or, more people live under a rock than I thought.
tmmaurer
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tmmaurer,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2012 | 7:57:30 PM
re: Social Networks Continue Push For Control
I agree that it would be hard to move. Even the "move" to Google+ didn't really happen. Unless you can get your whole crowd you want to interact with to go with you (ha!), it simply fragments things even more. I already can't keep track of how best to contact people. Don't want to fathom adding yet another avenue into that mix.
Soozy G. Miller
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Soozy G. Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2012 | 7:43:41 PM
re: Social Networks Continue Push For Control
"Publishing used to imply a separation between editorial and advertising. But these days, editorial and advertising are often blurred in a suspicious slurry. "

--So true. I have experience in traditional publishing (magazines and books) and the editorial and advertising depts back then HAD to be completely separate--either on different floors or at least at opposite ends of the building. It was a strict publishing standard. Now I live near a newspaper where the edit and ad people are all in the same room.
Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2012 | 5:16:39 PM
re: Social Networks Continue Push For Control
Great piece, Tom. A vendor told me yesterday that, at this point, people expect that companies will mine their data to return targeted ads and messaging and content. I respectfully disagreed that it's a general expectation or assumption--I think it's more likely that the majority of social networking users have no idea how their information is being used, or even that it is being used at all.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
Melanie Rodier
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Melanie Rodier,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2012 | 4:40:40 PM
re: Social Networks Continue Push For Control
Great blog. I agree that the social man of the middle attack isn't all that different from the criminal attack. After all, most people have no idea what is being done, or will be done with their data and would hardly agree to it if they knew. A Wordpress-type of DIY social networking platform is a very interesting thought - though Facebook has permeated peoples' lives to such an extent - many of whom are attracted by the possibility of connecting to hundreds or thousands of people on the site - that it seems difficult to imagine that the general population might actually favor another, more niche, social network, no matter how horrendous the current privacy policies, sharing policies, commercial policies etc are.
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