Blogging, Privacy and the New Facebook


Over the course of this column, we’ve talked a great deal about privacy, both legally and ethically, and how it intersects with blogging. We’ve looked at the problems with anonymous blogging, privacy and email and even some of the false privacy-related legal threats a blogger might face.

However, privacy is a very thorny issue, even more so than most areas of law online. The reason is that much of what we think of as privacy law is actually decided on a state level, meaning in the U.S. alone there is effectively 50 interpretations of privacy law. This says nothing, obviously, about the international implications.

But privacy issue for bloggers is about to get a lot thornier than even that, or at least a lot more visible. At its F8 conference, Facebook announced a new API that is going to make it easier for people to share more things with their Facebook friends, including sharing things that they did not decide, at least on an individual level, to put out there.

Combine this with its already-promised new buttons for websites, including “read”. “watch”, etc. and it’s easy to see how the issue of privacy will likely be brought into focus again for bloggers.

So, no matter what you think of the new Facebook features and tools, it’s important to be aware of the potential legal and ethical implications of using them and, to that end, it’s worth taking another look at privacy. [Read more…]

Facebook Going Mobile With Like Button and Open Graph


Facebook LogoFacebook has announced that their Open Graph and Like Platforms are going mobile.

Head of mobile products Eric Tseng said at the MobileBeat 2010 conference in San Francisco that the company “really sees mobile as the future.”

The move to mobile especially makes sense for Open Graph when partnered with geo-location based technology. Users could walk into a store that’s having a sale, receive information about that sale and then see relevant reviews or suggestions from their Facebook friends about those products, creating a more interactive advertising platform for retailers. [Read more…]

Facebook Open Graph Search, A Semantic Web Tool That Actually Makes Sense

Google Facebook logos

Google Facebook logosThe Facebook Like button may just seem like a great way to share your favorite web stories with friends, but there’s more to the puzzle than you may think. Facebook has announced Open Graph search, an option which allows the site to search the web based off semantic (user chosen) website information, then display that information in your Facebook search results (on a small basis at the moment).

The new system could allow Facebook to more quickly and accurately gather website information than Google, while providing content users want to read, while forcing websites to pair up with Facebook in order to serve their nearly half a billion strong user base.

Unlike Google which sends out “Google Bots” to “crawl” the web, Facebook makes websites come to them. Don’t want to use Facebook Share or Like buttons? That’s fine, you just won’t show up in Facebook search. As stated at FastCompany:

“It doesn’t need a massive and constantly updating infrastructure to index the Web, Web masters will do its work for it.” [Read more…]