Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Information Spreads Because it Must

From the author of The Meme Machine - Susan Blackmore speaks at TED. Anyone interested in marketing or technology ought to watch this. How and why do memes spread?

"Information/Technology spreads because it must." If you like Ray Kurzweil you'll love this talk - especially her description that we're at the "third replicative point". [16:50]

We become teme machines: AI merges with people. Scary and wonderful. If so we become immortal.

See the video The Birth of Computers at 15:55 (a George Dyson discussion) for another take on this topic.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Social Media and Privacy

In case you haven't seen it read the story of How Facebook Ended My Marriage.

Update: A very strange new twist has made this much more public than I ever feared. Boing Boing, the top blog on the Internet, Time Magazine’s blog, the London Standard, LibĂ©ration the French newspaper founded by Jean-Paul Sartre, Fast Company have now all mentioned our experience. Is this the 21st century equivalent of a printed wedding announcement?

Yes Thomas it is the 21st C equivalent of a printed wedding announcement.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Facebook and Privacy

A week ago Mark Zuckerberg wrote a post stating thatOn Facebook, People Own and Control Their Information. And yet a few paragraphs into the post he writes:

One of the questions about our new terms of use is whether Facebook can use this information forever. When a person shares something like a message with a friend, two copies of that information are created—one in the person's sent messages box and the other in their friend's inbox. Even if the person deactivates their account, their friend still has a copy of that message. We think this is the right way for Facebook to work, and it is consistent with how other services like email work. One of the reasons we updated our terms was to make this more clear.

Mr. Zuckerberg many people disagree with you. Facebook is not perceived of as email, where you send information to others. It is perceived to be a place where you can put up information, a journal so to speak, and share parts of it with friends and other parts with the world at large. Facebook is the medium by which the sharing takes place and as such *should* not have a say in the matter any more than does a piece of paper has a say in who can see a love note written on it. The perception is wrong, of course, that is why there is outrage.

Facebook has many problems. Privacy is the worst of those problems. As with email one should not put anything on Facebook which you would not be willing to have the whole world be aware of.

When a truly private system arises Facebook will reap what is has sown and go the way of earlier social networking sites. I don't wish this on Facebook, only that they recognize the importance of privacy. Today's teenagers will become tomorrows adults and they will not want their high school angst and insecurities displayed to their adult friends.