Are Social Networks Diverging Culturally?

One thing that makes social networking a unique and unpredictable topic within the tech world is that, in a more direct way than other computing products, they reflect the influence of their users. The infrastructure and design behind them maybe draws a certain type of user more than others to begin with, but they quickly develop a culture or cultures of their own.

To take a now-outdated example, LiveJournal, structured as it was around the metaphor of a diary, became associated culturally with a certain mode of discourse. People spilled their emotional feelings, perhaps to excess, and LiveJournal became caricatured, fairly or not, as a haven for oversharing, rumor-mongering emo teenage girls.

The recent explosion of interest in Pinterest, if you’ll pardon the rhyme, has been more gendered still, with the front page at any given time resembling a women’s magazine. Whether this reflects something about the “pinboard” format or is merely a historical coincidence of crowd behavior is hard to untangle. On the other end of the spectrum, Reddit, Digg, and especially Slashdot cater to a primarily male audience of hardcore technology enthusiasts. LinkedIn is obviously the most gender-neutral, with a notable lack of personality that is quintessentially corporate: everyone needs a job.

The most successful social networking sites, Twitter and (especially) Facebook, have created the perception that they are each a permanent phenomenon with universal appeal. But is this so? We saw this anxiety play out in a big way surrounding the Facebook IPO: not only concerns about the company’s advertising model, and thus revenue stream, but this idea of, will the crowd move on, as it did with Myspace?

There is a certain element that social networking sites will always share in common with other social phenomena like fashion, parties, trends, which don’t stand still but move with the

Facebook has gone, in my short lifetime, from a substitute dorm-room where we could all reminisce about last night’s vodka shots, to a vast, family-friendly site that attempts to encompass all potential users from child to grandma, and thereby has risked alienating the original early adopters, students, who flocked there from Friendster and Myspace.

Twitter has picked up some of the slack in this regard. Its content and users noticeably hipper, snarkier, and more “plugged-in” than Facebook. Anecdotally speaking, many of the most trend-setting people I know have long ago dropped square old Facebook for snappy, fast-paced Twitter.

For those of us who think strategically about such things, it’s important to monitor the intangible differences of flavor that have cropped up within the cornucopia of social networking options. Most normal people simply do not have the time to make a sustained commitment to 17 different social sites at once, and so as they choose what “scene” attracts them, we’re bound to see this evolution continue.

This is a guest post by Aniya Wells. Aniya Wells is one of the most passionate writers you’ll ever meet. Though her writing interests run the gamut—from personal finance to health to current events and more—her primary interest is modern higher education. She serves as a reliable online degree guide for students considering taking advantage of the conveniences inherent in distance learning. Don’t hesitate to contact Aniya for questions or comments at aniyawells@gmail.com.

5 Reasons to Stick with Facebook

I can’t begin to tell you the number of complaints I’ve seen from Facebook users who hate the new features in the news feed. While I can certainly relate with some of what I’ve seen said (that ticker in the sidebar annoys me to no end), I’m sort of surprised by the threats to leave and the general amount of complaints.

Change is, after all, inevitable.

And that’s just it. Facebook has changed dozens of times in the past. These most recent changes, once you get used to seeing them on your screen, are just like the others. They become part of the Facebook experience and no longer bother you. Still, there are plenty of reasons you should stick with Facebook despite their seeming desire to compete with every other social networking platform in existence. Here are some to consider.

 

Privacy Issues Exist Everywhere

One of the hugest complaints I see about Facebook is the changes they’re making to your privacy settings. OK, so a few things may have changed and left you feeling a bit more exposed than you were before, but Facebook did NOT take away your control over the situation. It would be to your benefit to learn a bit about the changes, figure out what you need to do to increase your security (or decrease it), and then share that knowledge with others.

Social Media is Here to Stay

While Facebook is just one of many social media sites, we already know that social media is a pretty permanent fixture in the internet world and it has a huge presence. A few angry people jumping over to the next new media platform will not change Facebook’s popularity. This means you’ll have a harder time networking on other sites than you would if you simply stuck around to learn how the new features really work.

Facebook Does Hear You

Have you seen a new group pop up called “We Hate the New News Feed” or “Click if You Love the New Timeline?” Facebook actually sees these groups when they’re created and, believe it or not, they are watching to see what people are saying about the changes. They may not change everything – or anything – back to the way it was, but they might offer solutions and future upgrades that address your concerns and make things easier for you to use. Of course, they may simply apologize for upsetting you and move on. But, really – could you expect any different from any social media platform?

Your Business Depends on Facebook

Edison Research recently released a study that showed that approximately 41% of the people living in the United States use Facebook. That’s a huge percentage and that’s just the United States. If you have a local business, consider that 41% of those in your local municipality are on Facebook at any given time. If you have an online business, you have the potential to reach a rather large global audience. The reality of the situation is that a large number of your family members, friends, customers, and potential customers are using Facebook regularly. And the odds of them jumping ship are pretty slim.

More Change is on the Horizon

Like I said before, change is inevitable. Facebook announced even more changes in the coming weeks (some of which actually look pretty cool). What makes you think Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, and all of the other sites you use won’t change as well. Fact. They will. Eventually. And you’ll probably hate those changes just as much in the beginning as you hate these.

It’s a waste of time to jump ship simply because of a little bit of change. It is a part of life. You’ve built a huge network and if you’re in business or have any sort of public reputation you simply don’t have the time to start over. Embrace the changes you’re seeing and learn to use them properly. You may be surprised at how easy they are to adapt to. And (shhhh – don’t tell), you may even end up liking them.

About the Author: Patty Kleen is a full-time writer and blogger with a passion for social media and personal finance. She enjoys writing about social media tools, online business marketing, credit repair, bad credit loans, and money saving techniques for those with poor credit histories. 

This post is part of our I’m Inquisitive too initiative, which encourages readers to participate with interesting, inquisitive insights from their end. If you would like to participate please do drop me an email at me[at]melvinpereira.com with I’m Inquisitive too in the subject.

Inquisitive Guide – The “new” Facebook : Everything you need to know

Yes, our semi favorite Social Network has changed … again. The fact of the matter is whether we like it or not, the changes are here for a while, until they change are going to change once more. There have been more negative reviews to the redesign than positive ones, the fact of the matter is no matter how much we complain, it is still a free product that we are NOT compelled to use, but we all use during our everyday life. After desperately trying to add in all the features that were unique in the rival social networks like the subscribe feature making the twitter’s main feature available on Facebook and the lists redefined to behave more like Google Circles; Facebook threw their biggest gamble yet. A complete redesign from the profile to the user page.

Yes I liked the previous Facebook better, but I guess we all need to adapt into the new one; so what if I thought someone had a Blue Drink and barfed all over the screen. So I thought I will post some of the most important features of the “new” redesigned Facebook. Some that might need to be known to all. Sigh, I liked Social Networking sites when you did not need a manual to use them. Some humor about the changes first here below.

Changes to the News Feed including the Ticker

This is one of the most noticeable new changes on the new Facebook. Facebook’s new design highlights posts that you’ll likely find important (well what they think you will find important), and prioritizes them at the top of your feed when you log in. The top stories are designated by a blue tag in the upper left corner of the post. Knowing so much about you it might be easier for them to actually “guess” this through their algorithms. Keeping the page open for a while, I did notice that it did not change much if you leave it open.

If you have used Twitter you will know that new tweets are displayed at the top and Facebook has a similar feature for their new recent stories. The ticker in the right is interesting and annoying. This is the place where real time information will be put up. It will always be there and also auto attach to the chat window as well.

Photo Albums

It has been known for a while by all that the largest database of pictures on the Internet is with Facebook. From Albums that people add to Facebook Apps that create its own set of images (for some reason are very popular on Indian Profiles) the entire Facebook is full of pictures. Using the previous theater mode, people who had complaints realized that the way pictures are displayed is now changed. Google Plus users will immediately pick the copy cat. However, the images are provided with good area for commenting and viewing in a theater like view as well.

The Like Button is no more just that

The Like button is one of the social legends of our time. Nearly everyone trying to come up with an equivalent. Google even got the +1 as a competitor, but guess what, like everything else Facebook is going to fix the like button although its not broken. Now you will not only like, but the most requested Dislike will come up as well along with any verb that people can think of. So well with the new redesign developers can come up with their own verb like, “Inquire”, Broke, and stuff. This is an evolutionary step for the like button, lets just hope it does not evolve into extinction. Facebook’s most used feature might just become diluted in the crowd.

Media is coming to Facebook… Big time

When a good friend of mine mentioned a while back, that he is now used to picking up news and interesting information on Facebook first before checking up on it on other sites, I realized that Facebook’s sharing feature had grown BIG. I cannot imaging the last time I searched the web for new trailers, all friends put up something interesting inevitably.

Facebook I guess realized the same thing and has made it possible to now watch TV and movies, listen to music, and read news with your friends — all within Facebook. Starting today, thanks to a whole bunch of partnerships, there are a lot more things you can do without ever having to leave Facebook. You can watch a show on Hulu, listen to a song on Spotify, or check out a story on Yahoo News. The ticker will tell you what your friends are watching, listening to or reading, allowing you to share the experience with them by clicking on a link. Although the video and songs are now US centric, they are going to spread around the world soon.

Now to the two most dangerous and ones you really need to watch out for.

Apps posting information about you

Applications on Facebook used to ask your permission before posting anything on Facebook. Now they dont need to. If you are worried about privacy you need to ensure that you are clear about what Apps you choose and what you dont, cos once an application has access to your profile it can post and access information when ever it wants.

With this move Facebook is slowly trying to kill one of its biggest problems Privacy. How ? Well this is the first step to removing privacy completely. Eventually all information about you will be available freely with your knowledge and you will be OK with it, thats what Facebook is trying to suggest, this could be the very first step in that direction.

But for those worried about privacy, this is something you need to go back and check, all the applications you use and what information they can access and what sites you have logged in using your Facebook Id and what they can do with that information is all something that we need to worry about for the time being.

The TimeLine instead of the Facebook Profile 

In what is the biggest of the changes to Facebook, the entire provide of a person is now going to change into a Digital scrapbook for all of us. With all information we ever put up being physically available to anyone viewing your timeline. Although the feature is going to go live only by the October 1st, I got a preview of the feature and my timeline is available now. Here is how it looks.

You can now add a lot more “life events” on your profile, a new banner picture as well. Maps on the profile all in the name of making a complete Timeline. So much so that you will be asked to provide your birth photo as well. I am sure we are going to see quite a few baby photos soon. Timeline is going to reveal everything you wanted to forget and regret about posting on Facebook ever ! And it will tell your friends about it too, if they have time to stalk on you. The further back in Timeline you go, the more Facebook will compress the information so that you’re only seeing the most interesting parts of your history. You can customize this by clicking on a star next to a status, say, or enlarging a picture.

If you would really want to get your own timeline right now, try some of these steps mentioned here.

Probably the most riskiest decisions ever, this redesign might have the impact of driving its users to other sites like Google Plus. And with Diaspora now opening windows to new users, there could be very soon fragmenting of these social networks.

Is Facebook struggling to keep up with its competitors?

Facebook has been implemented a number of changes to its services in the past few months. And with the growing popularity of social media services like Twitter and Google+, it begs the question of whether the social networking giant feels the need to establish a new edge among its competitors. Some people even question whether Facebook is copying its competitors to some extent.  Let’s investigate some of Facebook’s recent changes and see how they compare to features on other social media services.

Facebook Messenger

One of the more ponderous additions to Facebook’s networking arsenal, the Facebook Messenger mobile app joins the ranks of countless other messaging services offered for smartphones as an alternative to traditional texting. The application is especially curious considering Facebook’s chat capabilities for the regular Facebook mobile app. While this app doesn’t directly compete with Twitter or Google+ (unless you count Google’s GChat), it certainly signals a move from Facebook to expand beyond the typical boundaries on the social networking website.

Improved Friend’s List

Facebook recently announced a retooled version of the Friend’s list on a user’s Facebook page. Although users have had the ability to create lists, before it was a laborious task rarely used by people on Facebook. Now Facebook has “smart lists” that automatically categorize your friends and family based on your shared data. You can choose to share information with people on your lists while keeping it from your other contacts—that way embarrassing pictures of you don’t make it to your Facebooking family members. The smart lists also help determine what information you see on your newsfeed, phasing out information from users who you’re more unfamiliar with. While this is an undeniably helpful feature for Facebook users, whether you’re tired of over sharing your information or seeing too much information from mere acquaintances, it feels an awful lot like Google+’s “circles” feature. Some people see the smart lists as a too-little-too-late move from Facebook, but its success with users has yet to be determined.

Subscribe Feature

Another recent announcement from Facebook unveiled a new “subscribe” feature. If a Facebook user allows to do so in their privacy settings, you can choose to follow them by clicking a subscribe button next to their profile. This way you can receive updates from a Facebook user without having to formally “friend” them, the idea being that you can subscribe to the profile’s of individuals who might not otherwise friend you. What’s more, you can alter a subscription to only notify you of worthwhile updates: uploaded pictures yes, status updates no, and so on. People have compared this new item to Twitter’s “following” feature, and while they’re similar, so too are numerous other features on other websites that allow you to follow or subscribe to web content.

Conclusion

Facebook’s changes could be read as copycat maneuvers taken from its competitors, but I think that the company is just trying to keep up with the rampant change in social media. Messaging and subscribing, it’s all an effort to stay relevant. Facebook isn’t in any danger of going out of business soon, its users still well exceed those of Twitter and Google+ combined—so any claims that they are being outmatched by competitors are premature at best. Like it or not, Facebook (and its recent changes) are here to stay.

This Post is a Guest Post by Mariana Ashley. Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com. If you would like to contribute to the Inquisitive Minds, please write to us at me@melvinpereira.com

Wife Discovers Husband’s Murder Plan On Facebook

Its unbelievable what Facebook is turning out to be in or lives. From being a tool to connect to Friends to something like this is absolutely shocking and disturbing at the same time.

Was reading the New York Post today, and this article came up as an interesting read. But the more I started reading the more I learnt of how good Facebook turned out to be in this case. If Ram Gopal Varma would read this he might make a movie on this issue. As it turns out alls well that ends well in this case. A curious Wife, a smart ass husband and Facebook. An interesting stopy of Pati, Patni  aur Facebook.

Angela Voelkert and her husband David were undergoing a messy divorce. Well, the plot thickens when Angela concocts this rather lamebrain plot that gets David to do some pretty diabolic confessing via a fake Facebook account.

According to the New York Post, the 29-year-old wife decided to open up a Facebook account posing as a 17-year-old named Jessica Studebaker, and sent a friend request to her 38-year-old hubby David. He accepted. After numerous friendly exchanges with the teen about his marriage and custody issues, on May 31, David spilled his plans for the demise of Angela by revealing to Jessica, that he had placed a tracking device in his wife’s van that would keep tabs on her whereabouts at all times.

David even asked the teen whether she could supply him with a “gang-banger” who’d be willing to do the deed for $10,000. “With me gone with my kids, the police can’t pin anything on me as I will be in another state, so I will be fine,” he said in a message. The desperate hubby then had the audacity to ask the teen to run away with him once he brought the curtain down on his poor “unsuspecting” wife. The audio salesman was arrested Friday. He was initially charged with illegally installing the tracking device.

Apparently, he provided the courts with a signed and notarized affidavit from May 25, which was six whole days before he sent his eerie request to his Facebook pal Studebaker. The affidavit, published by the Smoking Gun, states that David knew all along that Studebaker was actually his wife, Angela. He claimed to have been playing along with his wife’s little cooked-up scheme and had absolutely no intention of killing her or running away with their children.

The important question is, people getting so used to spilling most of their lives on Facebook is a personal choice, but how much is too much ?

The Earthquake, Tsunami and how the world has changed

First of all, my heart felt condolences to all those who have lost lives and property in the earthquake that just happened in Japan today. It is considered the 5th largest one since 1900, from when we started keeping serious track of these earth quakes. This time however, the effect of something like the world’s 5th largest earthquake is not bringing in as much news of destruction and loss. Its an absolutely fantastic thing to happen, so what has changed ? A few years ago if there would have been an event like this one in a place like Japan, where cities have some of the highest density of people on the planet, there would be more loss of life and property.

What has had an impact is the engineering and the government codes and standards. These are the unsung heroes of Japan, who might or might not be recognized in the near future, but should be. Having spend the last 7 years in the building industry, I know how incredibly difficult it gets sometimes for engineers and architects to keep with the budgets, while maintaining budgets. Japanese architects and engineers have since mastered the art, with the infamous Japanese Engineering. Like testing entire building strengths for Earthquake proofing, or designs like the door above that works as a shield in terms of an earthquake.

Apart from the fact that the building codes and standards are helping with the incident, the other part is the way the digital world has evolved, from providing up to date information on the quake on Twitter right up until, videos on YouTube and Facebook. Videos Like these below have been showing up on Youtube and Facebook at the rate of  hundreds per hour.

But the real power of Social Media was not really shown by Twitter or Facebook, but the miracle of Social Media happened when Google showed up to help.

Unlike companies who are providing condolences on their website, Google has reacted to the devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan with a tool that helps you find a person or provide information on missing persons. The site also aggregates important resources, maps and other related information.

Google has previously used the Person Finder tool. The Japan earthquake version of the tool currently lists about 5,500 records, but the number is rising quickly as news about the catastrophe spreads around the world. Although the tool can be useful for finding information about a friend or a loved one, Google warns users that it doesn’t review or verify the accuracy of the data.

Google’s Crisis Center also shows a map of the earthquake, the latest related news and lists link to warning centers, disaster bulletin boards, and train and blackout information. Another example of why I love Google, and how a complete City Wide Data Management can be achieved through some of Google’s tools.

Google and Facebook on Indian streets

We are all fans of the giants called Facebook and Google, we use them each and every day, numerous times sometimes. With the growing popularity of these giants (can’t really call them websites anymore can we ? ) people are promoting their businesses on them more then ever, from linking Facebook and Google Ads right to Customized Facebook pages and also a presence on twitter. But what about the businesses that don’t really deal with online activities and dont really have a presence online ? Those are some of the companies that cannot really make use of the Facebook / Google / Twitter aura in the real world. Or can they ?

According to this Mumbai based book store apparently you can ! Facebook Books and Stationary in Mumbai has just shown that the name of Facebook can be reused. I am not sure what the legal team at Facebook would think about it. But I think being a company that lets people connect with each other it would make a lot of difference if the giant embraces this as a fan base. I am sure that there are a few Facebook users in this household that owns the store, and this image now going viral would definitely bring it into notice. Lets be honest this person is not going to make a million with just a name on his store. They should deal it with the similar grace as coco cola had dealt with their fans with the Facebook page of coco cola.

Another sample would be the above Google Golas that are being sold outside malls in Mumbai again. Its awesome that people are using more than their marketing and creativity skills to come up with these sort of real like mash ups.

Moving along the path is this Saree from Satya Paul, which is based on Google search results. I dont think this will be seen on the streets anytime soon, but to be honest its better if it is not seen on the streets. :)

Indian Police now on Facebook

Interesting ! thats the first word that came to my mind when I started seeing articles about Indian Police using Facebook now. Well its not just the guys using it for personal purposes, when I say that I mean its not just for cops who are on Facebook, but for Police work. A while back I had written about how the American Police is beginning to catch some criminals who are using Facebook, using well Facebook as evidence.

But here is a news I never thought I will be write about, not for the near future at least. But Indian cops are catching up, and how ? A small Google search will first of all bring you up links of many Police pages on Facebook the prominent of them being the Delhi Police. The innovation is not only in the fact that they have one, but how they use it. They have converted their page into a sort of crowd sourced traffic camera for Delhi, where the fans can post pictures of law breakers. Whats interesting to note is that Delhi Police have apparently now issued over 650 traffic tickets based on these pictures.

Now I would be wowed at the news, but to be honest, the fear of someone driving a car and trying to take a picture of someone breaking the law is not really legal, cos well they are using the phone while driving and not concentrating on the road. Plus there are those awesome Photoshop artists among us, who can well make anything happen with the right kind of images. Moving away from just Facebook, it gets interesting with twitter, now you can get traffic updates in Delhi with their dedicated twitter channel, also processions and upcoming rallies etc.

While the Facebook page reaches thousands of people, the vast majority of residents here are not connected to it. Just one in four people in urban India has Internet access, and Internet users tend to be the wealthiest. Facebook said in July that users from India passed the 12 million mark.

The authorities have embraced the Facebook informants in part because the dangers of driving in India are ever-present. India has more traffic fatalities than any country in the world, and the number of new, untrained drivers has skyrocketed in recent years as the Indian middle class grows. The system of roads and the police are ill-equipped to handle the crush.

Check out their Twitter channel here : http://twitter.com/#!/dtptraffic

Facebook Page of Dubai Police is here : http://www.facebook.com/dtrafficpolice1

But still its an innovation that is a good sign that our sort of ageing Police infrastructure can actually get into the new world. Wonder if Dubai Police is going to adopt something like this, maybe even Bangalore Police. We will have to wait and watch ?

Facebook the new face of revolution

A few weeks ago a colleague in the office spoke of a mass revolution that was being planned on Facebook, and at that time I jokingly mentioned that the only revolution on Facebook would be all the girls complaining about the stalking guys and the girls might just leave, but funnily the entire story of Egypt and the people’s revolution has actually shut the mouths of many like me.

This however is not the first time that the social media network has been used for the purpose of uniting people in towards a cause, we will all remember the time when the famous “Pink Chaddi” campaign happened in India. If you have been unfortunate to have not heard it, the “Pink Chaddi” campaign was aimed at the anti-valentines day political party from south India, where scores of youngsters posted, couriered, dropped off a pink chaddi in protest of their protest. The group that decided to run the campaign made use of the young population of India who were on Facebook to send a strong message to the hindu extremist party, Sri Ram Sena. At that time I truly believed that Facebook is enabling to provide an awesome platform to collaborate ideas like these, however I remained skeptical of the success in a larger nation wide, political struggle. Once again I have been proven wrong.

Tunisia first and now Egypt, Facebook has been central in connecting the masses and providing upto date information about protest locations, government movements, street videos to provide situation analysis and at the end even regrouping tools. It is unbelievable, that a social networking site can help provide such a unified platform. After the protests began last month, the government began blocking critical news sites and Facebook pages created by protesters.They even went in to phishing to hack profiles to change or close them. Eventually the revolution has happened and is successful, with two countries having success using the platform, there is always going to be more, Sudan is looking to repeat the model along with other Arabic nations.

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Terming these revolutions “Facebook Revolutions” are not really fair, the revolution is by the people and for the people, what Facebook is able to achieve is a right platform for the true principles of democracy, by the people, for the people and to the people. You might very soon see t-shirts of Mark replacing the ones from Che, which is the current face of revolution and freedom.

This might be one of the biggest Facebook Revolutions of our times, but definitely not the last. And this beings me to question the authority of such a service, eventually when Facebook grows from 600 Million to maybe 1 Billion engulfing each and every member of the online world in its app wielding, stalking and revolutionizing platform, it is definitely going to give the likes of Mark Zukerberg the power of a Bond Villain, whether he will use it wisely and be a hero is completely up to him.  What do you guys think ?

Facebook Mistakes – Privacy Settings

Once again, the talk of Facebook and privacy on this blog. I am certain that a lot of us have not really looked into the Facebook Privacy settings closely and for the benefit of the guys reading this blog as well as following the updates on Facebook / Twitter and Buzz, this would hopefully serve as a guide of what you might need to do.

First things first, Facebook is really a huge website, and here I am not talking about the number of people or the functionality that it provides for the sake of connecting and interacting with friends and customers. I am talking about the number of options that are available for an individual using the site. The privacy settings for example is quite a few levels deep as you would probably discover today. Like I mentioned its not the first time I have spoken about the privacy settings on Facebook, some of the previous posts are here :

  1. Check on your Facebook privacy and Fix it with these Online tools
  2. Some New Facebook Settings you probably dont know but should
  3. Facebook – Beware, we have to be careful
  4. 10 Golden rules of using Facebook

So here goes this edition of the privacy settings on Facebook. So, well lets get to the various parts where you can actually let out more information than required.

Sharing on Facebook

Controlling how you share content is important, although the settings are a bit complex it is a process that one would need to go through. There are options to share provided by Facebook, Friends, Friends of Friends or Everyone.

Where : Account > Privacy Settings > Sharing on Facebook

Don’t forget to preview settings to ensure someone else would see your profile.

Connecting on Facebook

I am not sure you know that you can control who are the people that can get in touch with you, I mean who can add you as friends like Friends of Friends, Everyone etc. You can control can someone just search for your name on Facebook, and add you or send you a message ?

There is a downside to it though if you set your settings too strict around here, you might just be not findable on Facebook.

Where : Account > Privacy Settings > Connecting on Facebook

Facebook Applications

As useful as they are and as much functionality they provide, rechecking and resetting the privacy settings for Facebook apps is something that all of us do need to do. This is where the most of the Information can be stolen about you. In fact the applications usually ask for many settings they can get access into. It is highly probable that you have not reviewed these settings and very well need to.

Like computer maintenance, it is good practice to remove all of the applications that you don’t use as a Facebook Maintenance exercise.

Where : Account > Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites > Apps You Use

Instant Personalization

Instant personalization is a feature that Facebook had introduced a while back, its really for the websites to use as much information about you available to personalize your experience at the site. However, this might be a big issue as the websites will have a lot more information about you than required. With a pretext of enhancing experience, they could misuse the information about you.

You could opt out at websites who use this feature by simply saying “no Thanks” or even ensure that all the sites loose access by unchecking the option here.

Where : Account > Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites > Instant Personalization

Information to Friends

We add a lot more friends than actual “friends’ in real life, on Facebook. Actually they should be called “Acquaintances” and not friends really. Regardless, they have a lot of information about you through Facebook, your relationship status, health status, and recent outings, likes dislikes etc. You might want to hide some information from all the people you add, the real world “friends” would already know your birthday, phone number and you dont need to add it on Facebook.

You should select how much information you want to share about your personal self.

Account > Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites > Info accessible through your friends

Web Searches

Internet search results are really things that are getting deeper and deeper. Eventually soon we need to appear in them as well as protect from how much about us is displayed in them. And you can check that here too. Go and check in public search if you will be shown as a result.

Where : Account > Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites > Public Search

HTTPS connection to browse Facebook

Where : Account > Account Settings > Account Security > Secure Browsing (HTTPS)

Another one Bites the BB Dust – My first week with the Blackberry

Keeping with the theme of Mobile Phones, I have a small guilty announcement to make, I have just jumped over to the Blackberry Camp. For all those of you who are shocked, I am not giving up my Android, not for anything in the world. But like I mentioned in my previous post about Google Killing the Android in Dubai, and the fact that Blackberry has an Unlimited Data Plan unlike any of the other phones in the UAE, makes it a more compelling option. With a bit of a push from the company, the Blackberry was in my hands within no time.

After using the Android for as long as I have, the User Interface of the blackberry and the QWERTY keyboard with its small keys felt kinds difficult to get used to. But the BlackBerry messenger is something that will make up for most of that ! I love the fact that there is instant communication between people including pictures, voice notes and even plan group events. Its good, I understand people’s obsession with the Messenger, but dont yet understand why people use their BBM when they are in between other people. Now that is another post regarding cellphone etiquette. So will not get into that bit too much.

With regards to the Internet connectivity and the browser, well It could be much better, the Android browser feels like superman and the blackberry one like an ordinary human. I did get the better Blackberry, the Bold, and still it will be blown off the water by most Android phones, except for the fact that there is a data package built in the Black berry here in the UAE. The App world is well, “Not available in my country” so cant talk too much about the apps, need to wait until I get to India to access the Blackberry app store.

The track pad for me is the best innovation of BlackBerry, from the track ball earlier that was even adopted in my Nexus One to the now touch sensitive Track Pad the navigation within the phone is made simple, intuitive and really fun to use. Knowing the fact that the Blackberry and its encryption actually started a sort of a feud between UAE and Cannada is another interesting fact that I think adds to its appeal. Add in the BB Messenger, the 5 meg camera, 3G, WiFi, the in built Data Package here, and you get a compelling buy. I guess the fact that everyone is on Facebook and people sharing stuff can be seen by all, is pushing people to get to more closed groups of communication like the BBM and in effect ading to more people using the Blackberry.

I guess this is the closest in UAE you could get the feeling of what the Mobile Users in the west must be experiencing through their always connected phones. I guess the expression “Life was so much simpler when Blackberry and Apple were just fruits” is really true. I won’t say its the best decision I have made but well, its not bad for now.