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Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Social Network Controversy: Part 1 - The Overall Marketplace

Social networking is no longer a passing fad, it's a serious communication tool
(rather addictive and somewhat time-consuming in nature) that provides a relatively easy (one-size-fits-all) means of staying in touch with each of your friends, most of your relatives, some of your acquaintances, many of your business associates, all of your fans, and even a smattering of strangers who share your common interests.

On Facebook alone, approximately “60 million individual status updates” are posted daily by users of the service.

If you think that’s a huge number, try swallowing this: “If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in the world.”

Those figures are part of some rather staggering statistics about social networking and media, which were gathered from the video below that is based on the book Socialnomics written by Erik Qualman. Take a look for yourself.

In the past several days, quite a bit of controversy has been brewing over social networking sites, in particular Facebook and some ongoing privacy concerns.

It’s no secret that admissions departments in colleges and universities gather information about applicants from online social networking sites, and it’s been currently estimated in this competitive job market that 95 percent of all HR departments visit social network pages to round out a more complete profile from a job-seeking applicant.

Now comes some new information to add to the mix.

Investigative journalist, Charles Feldman for KNX 1070 (CBS Newsradio - Los Angles/Orange County/ Southern California) has raised some serious concerns regarding the use of personal information (about you) gleaned by trolling “data mining companies,” who ultimately sell your personal statistics and opinions and market that information to others as a “proprietary product.”

In Feldman’s four part series, “ Think Before You Friend!” which includes some additional raw audio footage, he takes listeners on an “Orwellian” adventure exposing how banks, lending institutions, real estate agents and even potential landlords are using information about you that they find online through social networks.

You can listen to Feldman’s excellent eye-opening report by following this link.

Now, does anyone care to hide under a rock?

Stay tuned, there are actions you can implement to take charge of your online image.


BarryGillogly said...

This puts me a bit on overload... I am more concerned on how these corporations use my information than the government. I look forward to you next installment. Funny thing, our young adult childen who are so tech savey have no clue as to who's mining who. Okay parents, step up to the plate.

REI Circle said...

Thanks for the support in the Social Network For Real Estate
so we can build the net work via social networking.

Single and Sane said...

That is absolutely mind-boggling. Thanks for posting it!

TallTchr said...

I think we're in for a paradigm shift in matters of privacy. I believe some form of national ID is on the horizon to replace social security numbers. It may happen as an unintended consequence of something so benign as admittance to networking sites. We need a bridge between cyberspace and physical reality--an instant fingerprint, cornea, or DNA check to secure our online transactions and maintain the privacy of our data. But once that comes about, I predict we'll use the same form of ID to board airplanes or identify ourselves to the cops. There will always be trade-offs between safety and freedom.

Paula Slade said...

Barry - It sometimes puts me on overload too as the technology scene changes so rapidly that it's difficult to keep up with it all.

REI Circle - keep building your network, which I'm sure will provide your members clearer options for secure networking.

Single and Sane - It is mind-boggling, and you are very welcome!

TallTchr - you may very well be correct about the national ID - it is a shame that we are getting closer to that every day.

Thanks everyone for stopping by to leave your comments!

arlee bird said...

Blogging takes so much of my time that I rarely do anything on the other networking sites. I don't post too much about me, but I know my info is out there via all sorts of other sources. It is getting kind of spooky and even Biblically prophetic.

Tossing It Out

Paula Slade said...

arlee - I agree - "spooky" is a good term for what's been happening!