PR, Social Media, and Everything in Between

Posts tagged ‘Privacy’

Facebook Lets It All Hang Loose

New Facebook Terms Allows Confiscating Furniture

Image Credit: "New Facebook Terms Allows Confiscating Furniture" By HubSpot


Whenever you add the latest app on Facebook, do you ever consider what you’re allowing them access to? How valuable are your email and phone number?

In an article posted on, @SarahFKessler looked at Facebook’s decision to allow third-party apps to access individual user’s information.

Since I’ve started using Facebook, there have always been tons of apps that seem essential to my interaction on the site. From Farmville to AOL, I love the idea of connecting all my sites with a single login. I have fewer passwords to keep track of this way!

However, consumers of Facebook have long faced the paradox of privacy and connecting. We inherently can’t connect with people unless we share something with them.

On Saturday, Facebook will launch the first verison of their new privacy policy. It will be devoid of all the lawyer-ish jargon that some complain makes the current version hard to understand.

I don’t think most people will bother looking at it. After all, nobody reads EULA’s anymore either (if they ever read them…) Do you think Facebook and lawmakers should protect us from own ignorance about privacy?


Location-Based Services: I’M HERE!

Where in the World is…?

In a world of increasing connectivity, location-based services are the next step in social networking. With sites like Foursquare, individuals can check-in to locations via their cell phone. You can see friends nearby, and sometimes swoop in on special deals.

Image Credit: "dodgeball vs. Google Latitude? (at least now we know why they're phasing out good 'ol dball)" By

I was discourage when I first learned about foursquare. As a college student, my mom graciously pays for my cell phone service. That doesn’t include a smart phone. Most lBS are only compatible with smart phones. When I went on the four square website, I found a video that explained foursquare (Howcast and wordpress don’t communicate well, so I was unable to post it.)

I’m going to start engaging with foursquare via text message! What do you think of IBS applications?

Business Perks

I recently attended the Social Fresh Tampa where @SchneiderMike gave a presentation on LBS. He’s co-author of “Location Based Marketing for Dummies” (buying this book for myself soon). He talked about the different way companies can engage consumers beyond check-ins.

1.      Content (i.e. Photos, tips, and recommendations)

2.      Activities (i.e. Challenges and games)

3.      Rewards (i.e. points, coupons, and free stuff!)

@SchneiderMike also highlighted the importance of making sure the rewards are cool and available to everyone. For example, Ben & Jerry’s has a special for everyone: 3 scoops for $3 (the mayor gets an extra scoop for free of course).

Sad Face of LBS

Eric Leist wrote all about the future LBS in the blog post “Beyond The Checkin: A Look At The Future of Location Based Services.” Leist points out that on drawback of LBS are the privacy issues. LBS check-ins might one day be linked to the swipe of a loyalty card. But do you really want everyone to know where you shopped and what you bought?

Another potential drawback dealing with privacy issues would be the ability for someone to track your movements. Stalking suddenly just became a whole lot easier. If you use LBS, are you concerned about privacy?

The Great Paradox of Social Media

Image Credit: "Social Media Monopoly" By clasesdeperiodismo

An interesting paradox exists between people and their privacy when it comes to social media. The very idea of social media as Mark Zuckeberg has pointed out time and time again is the ability to connect and share with people. We share all kinds of things from what we’re doing to everything we like (and everything we don’t!). We aim to connect with as many people as we can, but in the same breathe try to protect our privacy from intrusion.

Companies that have an interest in scooping up all that data we post on site imaginable turn to social media monitoring services. Social Media Monitoring enables companies to easily see everything we put on social media sites from Facebook to Flickr, Twitter to LinkedIn. These monitoring companies offer a variety services including mining the data and formulating useful graphs and charts on our habits.

The Debate

In light of both our fight for privacy and our need to share, critics debate the ethics of social media monitoring. In “Debating the Ethics of Social Media Research” Jeffrey  Henning outlined the debate.

1.      Cite/obscure identities of commenters: Do you give credit to the source or do you obscure the identity of individuals when using the data?

2.       Seek/don’t seek permission: Do you get consent to use the data or accept that consent is not always possible to obtain?

3.      Engage/don’t engage with commenters: Do you respond to commentators and possibly influence them or sit passively respecting that individual may say things online that are not always true?

4.      Respect/ignore perceptions of privacy: Do you allow the users to think their privacy is being respected or accept that everything on the internet is public?

Weighing In

Image Credit: "3D Character and Question Mark" By 姒儿喵喵

I think that standard PR ethics codes (i.e. PRSA) can adequately address the problems associated with social media monitoring. I think knowing and understanding the target audience is also a big part of the process. Forrester’s Social Technographic Consumer Profiles can illuminate how your target uses social media.

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