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Facebook Privacy Settings

Are you terminally bewildered when you want to edit your Facebook privacy settings? Well the NY Times has proved that you are not alone, it turns out that there are more than 170 options [^]. And to make matters worse, not all of the options are where you would expect to find them!

facebook privacy map

All this makes it even harder for the users to be sure of what bits of “their” information Facebook is showing the world, or Google. Also in the article is a word count of the site’s privacy statement – from 1,004 words in 2005 to today’s 5,830. Does anyone read them all?

Good news, Wired have just reported that Facebook’s Head of Public Policy, Tim Sparapani, has announced that new “simplistic” privacy options [^] will be launched in coming weeks. Apparently this has came about as a result of the recent user backlash about privacy changes.

If you are fed-up with the treatment you get LifeHacker has a guide on how to set-up a minimalist Facebook profile [^]. Another option is the the [^] bookmark that scans your Facebook profile and shows you a summary of your privacy settings. The bookmark also displays links to the various settings, making changing them a lot easier.

Of course there is always the self destruct option of deleting your account!

Love/Hate Relationship with Social Networking

Steven Levy in “The Burden of Twitter” on Wired has this to say about social networking [^]:

Because of time constraints and just plain reticence, I worry that I’m snatching morsels from the information food bank without making any donations. Instead of healthy, reciprocal participation, I’m flirting with parasitic voyeurism. . .
Steven Levy – Wired [^]

This is one article that does not decry social networking as the ultimate invasion of privacy – no-one is forced to FaceBook , Twitter or blog. We choose what we share and who we share with. Just make sure that you check your account settings in FaceBook.


Do we all go through bouts of lurking, followed by big blurts of self-confession? How many other people feel remorse at going to the all you can eat gossip bar, and leaving nothing in return? Or is it worse to show up only occasionally to hang-out with your friends?

YouTube: "I’m Getting Bored of FaceBook"


This post’s title says it all!  A Not Safe For Work (NSFW) video to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire”:

I don’t like applications,
there are far too many,
and I don’t use any.

Besides it can be a way of losing massive amounts of time – and I manage to lose enough hours doing useful things here and elsewhere on the web.  Link: [^]

Just Bumming Around . . .

It’s Christmas time, and I am enjoying a break.  After a mad dash of activity at work I managed to finish-up on Wednesday night, and don’t go back until 2nd January.  Melbourne is experiencing an unseasonable, but much needed sustained wet spell, so gardening is off.  This means that I have managed to bum around the web a bit.

Part of that has meant that I have signed-up on Facebook – the first thing that I did after finding a few friends is add the flogblog application to link back to this blog.  Now all that I have to do is work out how to do the same thing for MySpace.  Now I’ve really got to agree with CopyBlogger [^] :

“…there’s really no appeal in spending a lot of time creating “user-generated” content via a social networking application. That’s like remodeling the kitchen in a house you rent.”

Besides my employer has FaceBook and MySpace well and truly blocked by their firewall, but they haven’t blocked this site yet.  So don’t expect to see to much there, here I have the complete freedom to do what I want, how I want – and I have all of the underlying data, and control over the way it is delivered.

I have finally found out how the transport companies make all their money – it involves bumper stickers and premium phone numbers [^].