As this will mark the sixth week in a row that I've posted about Facebook, I'll be entering a 12-step program later this afternoon to get me off the addictive habit of constantly looking at the world as if Facebook is the only thing that matters. But today, on the day that Facebook announced its latest round of privacy controls -- which has been the theme of all those columns, dating back to mid-April -- it's just too tempting. So here we go.
Is all mobile social? More specifically, is all mobile media inherently shareable through digital social channels, and should that be the case?
At the risk of turning this column from the Social Media Insider into the Facebook Ranter, let me close my month-long look at Facebook's (maybe too) Open Graph and ask the devil's advocate question: Should Facebook even listen to its critics, or just look at the numbers -- headed to 500 million users within the next several months -- and continue on with its plans?
The latest debates over Facebook's privacy policies may not last, but there's a lot of good coming out of the dialogue. If Facebook won't clearly explain how it publicizes consumers' information, others are trying to fill the void. Most resources have the echo-chamber effect, only reaching people who care about privacy and social media to begin with. But if enough of these echoes escape and start ricocheting around the water coolers where more Facebook users hang out, then there's a chance to bring the discussion to people who wouldn't intentionally look for it.
Even though I've excerpted portions of it here, do I ever have a must-read for you: the Q&A posted yesterday between Elliott Schrage, Facebook's vice president for public policy, and readers of The New York Times, who submitted questions to him via the paper's Bits blog over the course of the last week. It's an eye-opening look at the current disconnect between consumers and Facebook, which seems to have reached its apex with Facebook's recently announced instant personalization features.
We're getting so good at motivating consumers that we're motivating them to death. If you thought it was tough to bring Lazarus back, just wait until we have to revive our consumers.
Forgive me for harping on the same subject three weeks in a row, but it's time to talk about Facebook, and the sharing of personal information, yet again. Why? Because I'm growing increasingly convinced that social media, as an industry, needs to step up to the plate and make it clear to consumers how their data is being used. Or else.
I can't wait to tell you about this new social network I just joined. The technology's cutting-edge, and you have to pay to get in. For me, it cost $1.29, involved a trip to the grocery store, and included a 7.25-ounce box of macaroni and cheese with my purchase.