Category Archives: Social Networking

Do You Maintain ‘Test’ Accounts on your Social Networks?

If you have been paying any attention on Twitter the last few days you probably saw a bunch of tweets from Twifficiency that looked like this

A picture named M2

Once it started I saw these tweets popping up everywhere, as people ran to find out their score, most people not realizing that they were granting the application access to tweet on their behalf (slightly embarrassing for some, extremely embarrassing if you are a google exec).

This got me thinking, how many of you bother to maintain test accounts?  I do maintain test accounts on some networks, Twitter being among them.  I use them for a number of reasons for example when I first used Twitterfeed and later moved to to integrate my blog with Twitter, I wanted to make sure I didn’t spam the twitter stream, related while I did not fall for  Twifficiency yesterday, there is a new Twitter tool practically every day that looks compelling, if it doesn’t come from a trusted source, I always have a (protected) twitter account with no followers to try it out on.

You can not necessarily have a “test” account on all sites, for example the Facebook Terms of Use could possibly prevent you from maintaining a fake account

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account: 1.        You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission. 2.        You will not create more than one personal profile.

I can’t find anything similar in the Twitter Terms of Service, in fact it is common practice for people to have multiple Twitter accounts, and accounts not in any persons actual name.

E-mail accounts – they are certainly easy enough to come by these days, I have a couple I consider throwaways, I use them to register for new sites that pop up that I am interested in but don’t know and trust.  I have seen too many sites do things like e-mail you your password in clear text, or spam your friends, using accounts and passwords that can not  be connected back and have no contacts, protect me if the site turns out to be a fraud or just poorly designed.

Finally  while we are talking about protecting your online security, how many of you go back and review the services you have granted access to Facebook, Twitter or other accounts? For example readtwit a number of people including myself found the service useful, but it did not last

A picture named M3

I wonder how many people still have rights granted to Readtwit in their twitter accounts A picture named M4

How do you protect your online interests and your followers? These are some of the steps I take to protect mine, in addition to strong passwords that are not the same on every network, and certainly not the same password as I use for my e-mail addresses.

Facebook Social Plugins Enabled by Default Opt Out if you want

Facebook announced a bunch of changes today prompting headlines like this on on TechCrunch I Think Facebook Just Seized Control Of The Internet.  The net of it is with Social Plugins and Open Graph Facebook is looking to expand out beyond Facebook on to other pages all over the Web, and take some of your information with that. I am not running out and cancelling my Facebook account just yet, I do think though that when new features are added that can share your information, they should be disabled by Default and Opt-In.  Twitter got this right when they enabled location aware tweets, but left it disabled by default allowing individuals to enable it if they so chose. When you log in to Facebook you will see this: A picture named M2 If you want to opt out of your “public information” being shared with “trusted third parties” you need to visit your privacy settings and remove the check from the box shown here A picture named M3 Facebook: Social Plugins and instant personalization FAQ Related Stories: RWW: Facebook Data & Privacy: So Much Has Changed in Two Years Mashable: Facebook Open Graph: What it Means for Privacy

After Day1 I am wondering How Much do I Really Trust Google

So as I mentioned this morning I enabled Location History on my Google Latitude Account.  This evening I decided to take a look at what my day looked like, and well it looks something like this A picture named M2 Pretty accurate, as you can see I took one route to my office and another one home.  While the history feature is private, looking at this map it really shows that someone could track your movements if they got a hold of the data.   (Just as a side note when viewing your history in Latitude you can also export it to a KML file and share/view the data in Google Earth.) The other piece that I mentioned this morning is you can see there is a large cluster at the bottom of the map, and really there is one at the top too, it is just harder to see as it covers a smaller area.  So apparently there is no way to throttle or control when the application on your phone checks in (well unless you are using the iPhone of course where the only way to check in is to load up the page in the browser since there is no app, and even if there was it would not run in the background).  The instructions for all of the supported devices (Blackberry, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Android) are the same

The background location update frequency isn’t a fixed amount of time. The update frequency is determined by several factors, such as how much battery life your phone has, if you are moving, or how fast you are moving. Background updating will only use cell ID or WiFi location detection depending on your device. GPS will not be used in the background to preserve battery life.

This does not seem to be to be very efficient as last night while I was sleeping and my blackberry was still and plugged in it checked in about 40 times an hour.  I think I like the brightkite model a little better where I have control over where and when I want to be checked in to a location, who can see my location, and the ability to post it out to Twitter or Facebook selectively . I am going to keep location history enabled a few more days out of curiosity, but unless they tweak it a little I don’t see much value in it.

Google Latitude gets Location History and Location Alerts

For those of you familiar with Google Latitude which has been around for a while now, it is a location service which you can use to display your current location as well as the location of your connections.  Until yesterday there was not history available it just showed you where you were at any given time.  Yesterday Google announced two enhancements to Latitude. Location History you need to go to your account and enable this feature if you want to use it, and history is private not public.  Additionally at any time you can clear your history or clear specific entries from your history. A picture named M2 I am not sure how useful this is going to be, I enabled history on my account last night, and my blackberry did not move all night yet it seems to have checked me in at various points in my neighborhood throughout the night (unless I was really sleep walking last night and didn’t realize it) Location Alerts requires that you enable location history

Imagine that you’re Latitude friends with your roommate or co-workers. It would get pretty annoying to get a text message every single time you walked in the door at home or pulled into work. To avoid this, we decided to make Location Alerts smarter by requiring that you also enable Location History. Using your past location history, Location Alerts can recognize your regular, routine locations and not create alerts when you’re at places like home or work. Alerts will only be sent to you and any nearby friends when you’re either at an unusual place or at a routine place at an unusual time.

This is an interesting approach google took on location alerts, I wonder how good their algorithm is to figure out when to send the alerts actually is. You can enable your Location History and Alerts on the Google Latitude Apps Page. Google Latitude, now with Location History & Alerts

IBM announces Services for Collaboration

Just caught this press release from IBM announcing “Enterprise Adaptability services”

With Enterprise Adaptability companies can learn how to embed Web 2.0 technologies into the fabric of business operations, allowing employees, partners and customers to communicate, establish new business relationships and make real-time decisions within the context of their everyday work.

Enterprise Adaptability combines industry-leading software from IBM Lotus Software and FileNet with consulting expertise from IBM Global Business Services’ Human Capital Management practice.

So I suppose the software involved is Connections, Quickr, Filenet, and I would guess Atlas would be in there as well. I would guess there is a good market for this business as more organizations look for help in their adoption of Social Networking systems.  I am very interested to see where Social Networking components are embedded in business processes, this is almost the inverse of the Atlantic project which is bringing business processes to the Collaboration tools.  So which way are we going?  Which way should we go?  I suspect over time it will be a little bit of both. IBM Announces Services for Collaboration

Linkedin goes Mobile

Linked in has gone mobile you can access it’s mobile site at

As part of a beta release, LinkedIn this week became available on various Web-enabled mobile devices, allowing members to search profiles with photos and bios, make introductions, invite people to join a network, and receive updates while on the go, said LinkedIn.

Social Network LinkedIn Goes Mobile

Want a job watching YouTube?

Interesting article on the CIA’s use of Social Computing sites and YouTube to gather intelligence.

In keeping with its mandate to gather intelligence, the CIA is watching YouTube. U.S. spies, now under the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), are looking increasingly online for intelligence; they have become major consumers of social media.

While I doubt they have employees whose exclusive function is watching Youtube, and I suspect some of it is automated, probably an interesting job, which I would expect requires some  language skills as well. Apparently at least the CIA thinks there is intelligence out there 🙂 CIA Monitors YouTube For Intelligence