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News and Announcements from CMD

19 May

Facebook Under Fire: Where Will the Early Adopters Go?

Concerns over Facebook’s privacy settings have been filling my Twitter feed for days. A friend asked what I thought about Facebook’s privacy issues and I had to answer two ways: as a regular person and as a marketer. As a regular person, Facebook is not my social network of choice, (I’m a Twitter girl, through and through), so I was nonplussed. Facebook has never been interested in the individual rights of users—remember that whole thing a year and a half ago when Facebook quietly inserted a line into its legal agreement that said something like “we own all the content you put on your wall”? I’ve been cautious ever since—I’m in very few groups, I rarely “like” things and my follower group is embarrassingly small. As a marketer, however, I find Facebook’s open graph incredibly exciting. You mean if someone “likes” my website, I can then insert messages into their newsfeeds? Yes, please! Check out Justin Kistner’s excellent post on this over at Webtrends.

On the other hand, the latest round of Facebook privacy concerns has led to a diaspora among tech-savvy folks. As a social media lover and an admirer and follower of many early adopters, I’m paying attention to where they’re going. What I’ve seen so far—they’re taking it to Twitter and to their own blogs. What? No new social network someone has uncovered from Canada?

So what’s next? I mentioned a diaspora, right? Well, some tech-savvy college students have gotten together and started Diaspora. It’s an open-source social network that has yet to be built, but is already funded to the tune of $173,000 through Kickstarter. (Their goal was $10,000.) I have my five bucks on this—the tech-savvy people love open-source and hey, it’s college students! Just like Facebook!

Until those guys get their Facebook-crusher built and I hear a liftoff from my Twitter feed, I’m waiting for someone to take me up on my offer to bring back Friendster. C’mon. You know you miss getting email in your Hotmail about the birthday of that college friend whose name you can’t remember five years later. Who’s with me? … Hello?

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