The Open Graph is nothing short of a game changer, serving as a new platform that turns the 500 million user strong socialnetwork into a personalization engine and a fledging contextual network that connects relevant information, content andpeople. And now with the universality of “Likes” inside Facebook and around the Web, your Facebook persona and socialgraph becomes portable. The price? Your privacy is traded for openness. The benefits? A living searchable Web that’spersonalized to you and your contacts and those topics that interest you.By placing the power of “Likes” within clicking distance, users can literally set the foundation for the content and people towhich they’re introduced in Facebook and at partner sites. Hyperlinks are becoming peoplelinks.For those who were reluctant to say “ah” to the opening of the social graph, they were forced to manually dam the rivers thatcarried personal information into the social stream. Users deemed it too difficult to do so, and as such, Facebook simplifiedthe process for erecting walls between you, your activity and relationships, and the rest of the Web. But, because Facebookputs its users in control of privacy, what they see and what they share is wholly defined by their user settings. The moreopen the preferences the more friends within the social graph see and learn about you. Additionally, it’s how Facebook andFacebook’s outside partners personalize your experience. However, you are in control of the impressions that others formas well as the level of customized information and content you see in Facebook and outside apps and networks.
Searching Public Conversations to Research Privacy
There’s an aura of irony here in researching online privacy and using a very open information network to analyze publicconversations. While the content studied here is based on subject matter and not tied to individuals per se, one can expectthat public profiling in social networks will soon soar. In many ways, we are already seeing the results of personalizedmarketing and advertising and the improvement of products and services based on the choice words and sentiments sharedby like-minded groups and influential individuals online.Twitter is a unique beast when it comes to social media. It is a network that’s not only open, but indexed by the searchengines and open to APIs. Your profile, updates, and your social graph or as Twitter refers to it, your “interest graph,” isopen for analysis and perception freely or for the price of admission set forth by third-party developers who house this data.Twitter COO Dick Costolo once stated that Twitter avoided privacy concerns and discussions as people registered for theservice with a full understanding that their conversations took place in a very public and visible forum. While true, I’d arguethat as individuals take to social media to broadcast their observations and experiences, they are learning the true meaningof privacy and going public as they go.Judging by the numbers, Costolo is indeed right. Twitter users aim their attention at Facebook when discussing privacy andnot Twitter.
Privacy by the Numbers
Working with PeopleBrowsr, we studied the number of Tweets that flew across Twitter referencing privacy or relatedkeywords dating back just prior to the now infamous F8 conference.