Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- Facebook Staffs Up, Adds Former FTC Chairman
- A Look at Microsoft Spindex
- Online Generation Learns When Not to Post Online
- Twitter Isn't All That Social After All
Facebook Staffs Up, Adding Former FTC Chariman
Amidst the growing drama that surrounds Facebook's privacy practices, the social networking giant has added a former FTC chairman to help its cause. Tim Muris was the FTC chairman under President Bush and according to PaidContent, has joined the Facebook staff.
This development is important because Facebook has had a high degree of attention lately with its privacy settings and user expectations, as covered here on the Social Media Minute. In fact, U.S. Senators have asked the FTC to establish guidelines on social networking sites and how they administer privacy controls, so to have Muris on staff is likely a defensive move by Facebook.
Meanwhile, Google has seen an uptick in an interesting search term. SFGate reported that "Delete my facebook account" is amongst the search engine's most popular searches as of late. So, apparently, the Facebook privacy fiasco is mainstream enough to scare regular users.
Have you thought about deleting your Facebook account?
A Look at Microsoft Spindex
A huge issue with social sites is keeping up to date on all of them. If you have accounts on Digg, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, how can you aggregate and interact with all these sites? Microsoft has launched an experimental social tool called Spindex that aims to build a 'social personal index' for your personalized content. TechCrunch got to play with Spindex and offered its viewpoint.
At launch, Spindex asks you to link up your Twitter, Facebook and Evernote accounts, along with any RSS feeds you subscribe too. Apparently, there is search which could be incredibly useful: imagine being able to see what your social circle is saying about the key terms you select. Another useful tool: you can see what topics or terms are trending amongst your network of online contacts.
Spindex has the potential to become a very useful tool for social media aggregation. We already have software packages such as Tweetdeck and Seesmic that let you interact with your Twitter and Facebook accounts, but a tool such as Spindex that provides more interaction and utility into your social streams is pretty attractive.
Online Generation Learns When Not to Post Online
Social networks have spawned a new mentality of sharing. That is, it seems some young people share all sorts of information online including drunk pictures, their location and daily happenings. According to the NY Times, today's youth are more cognizant of their online tracks and are therefore being more strategic as to how their information is displayed online.
Engagement and use of social networks remains strong amongst web users under 30, but young adults are sharing information in different ways. Today's young adults are aware that potential employers will be looking online some day and are limiting the information. A recent Pew study shows that people ages 18-29 are more apt to monitor privacy settings on social networks than older users.
It is good to see youth who utilize social networking see the downfalls to sharing every last detail online. Whether Facebook makes you think your information is private to your social circle or not, details and potentially embarrassing content can spread fast online and it seems people are waking up to this fact.
Twitter Isn't All That Social After All
Some would call Twitter a social network. But, according to researchers in Korea, the king of micro-messaging is anything but social. This conclusion was drawn by analyzing 41 million user profiles on Twitter and 1.47 billion follower/following relationships. As reported in ReadWriteWeb, only 22% of all connections on Twitter are reciprocal. That is, if someone follows you on Twitter, you are only 22% likely to follow them back.
To compare, this follow-back figure is 68% on Flickr and is 85% on Yahoo 360. This type of usage points to a population of Twitter users who follow breaking news accounts or celebrity accounts, making Twitter more of a one-way communication device than a conversation tool.
How do you use Twitter? Is your purpose to converse or simply to listen to what others have to say?