What Facebook left out with Lists

Facebook recently revamped its Lists system, improving it tremendously. Most importantly, you can add a user to a list while on their profile, a simple feature that was missing for the longest time. The ability to drag users in the chat sidebar in lists was available at first, but was then removed for reasons unknown. Until the recent improvements, Lists on Facebook were broken at best. One of the best things Facebook did was proactively organize people under lists, just like they did when they first introduced them.


With new lists in place, Facebook has made it easier to target status updates/posts/links to certain groups of your social network. But one couldn’t possibly have a list created for each sub group of the network. Which is why on the fly  lists would work perfect. If I had a link/post that I imagine only a selective audience would appreciate – a joke that only  the guys in my network enjoy, or a video that is relevant to my friends from Dubai and India, but not England – I could merely select any of the elements of a profile, to create a list on the fly and have it sent to them.

For a brand page, Facebook already lets admins target a post to users from a particular country or speaking a particular language, why not roll out profile based targeting to both users and brands.


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I discuss Online Privacy and what it means for Businesses & Users

“What is left of privacy has become the user’s responsibility to control what they put up online, since anything you put up online can become public – one way or another; the phrase ‘Online Privacy’ is now nothing more than an oxymoron.

Suddenly marketers are sitting on unprecedented levels of data, opening up a new world of opportunities limited only by their definition of it.”

Read the entire article on Emirates Business 24/7

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What is your Foursquare Door policy?

A lot has been said about privacy on the internet – both in terms of what we put and who share it with. With the omnipresent nature of Facebook, the social network has evolved far beyond the tool it used to be to connect with existing friends. Facebook, similar to Twitter, is being used to form new relationship and make new connections.

Foursquare and other Location based networks, on the other hand are meant to be for your existing friends only, especially given the sensitive nature of the information they are built around. And that is what Dennis Crowley, founder of Foursquare would want you to believe as well. He has said before that Facebook is a place where people may become friends but on Foursquare people connect with people who “they truly wouldn’t mind running into during a night out”

A glance through my Social Graph paints a picture where users (including me) connect with people they may be acquainted with – over Facebook, Twitter and other networks – but may not necessarily have met each other, let alone be friends.

This leaves me wondering, what is your door policy on Foursquare? Do you accept every request that comes your way? Or only the ones you interacted with on a different social network? Or do you strictly maintain it to real life connections?

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Online privacy is dead and it is a good thing

Privacy and protection of online users  (and the content posted by them) has been the subject of great debate recently. The latest iteration of the Facebook Platform – a framework to create applications – has given developers and websites access to user data which they use to personalize content  for arriving users. The social network has received a tremendous amount of flak for this endeavor ranging from mild criticisms to elaborate campaigns to quit Facebook (Quit Facebook Day campaign on May 31st). Facebook for its part has had a fairly solid privacy framework underpinning the network granting users granular control over what content can be seen by which of their friends. After the backlash, Facebook (recently) introduced considerably simpler controls to the previously complicated system. Is that enough though?

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