My Dad doesn’t like Facebook. To be fair, he has nothing against the people who developed facebook. He holds no strong views on their politics, or their personal hygiene. From a coding and software architecture point of view, Dad thinks they’re just fine.
What he does worry about is how much personal information they allow us to share, quite often with a far larger audience than we intended. He’s not alone either, as several information security managers across the sector, including commercial directors, and CISO’s for charity and NGO bodies have sent out similar “calls to vigilance”.
Personally, I think facebook is ok. The phone number that’s on there goes straight to a fax/voicemail service that winds up in a corner of my inbox. As for the other stuff I choose to share, well you can only see all of it if I’ve already known you in person for some time. There’s quite a good chance that you know it already. Facebook therefore becomes a convenient directory for me (although when my ex sent me a friend request, this was ignored!)
I’ve mentioned in other posts how facebook is rapidly eating the lunch of more business-oriented sites like LinkedIn – although at least two of my contacts plan to stick firmly to the limits of LinkedIn, and ignore Facebook, Bebo, and all the others. Rest assured, those two contacts are worth me staying there, for the time being.
There’s another candidate out there for the “frankly, you’re strange” website award, and that’s ecademy. Put it this way, if networking sites were religions, LinkedIn would be the rather nicely ornate cathedral your parents worshipped at, and facebook would probably be a gospel hall with a choir led by James Brown.
Ecademy would be the cult of people dressed in white, who smile, stare at your left ear while they talk to you, and are suddenly found overdosed on Kool-aid.
It’s not that they are nasty people – they aren’t, and its not that they are a foreign company – its run out of the Home Counties of the UK. Its just that Ecademists seem to have a passionate belief that as long as they pay more money to the founders, good things will flow.
Which leads us onto the “pariah” portion of this article. I dislike spam. I heartily dislike spam. It wastes disk space, time, bandwidth, and resource in dealing with it. Google Mail has a very efficient spam filter, and to make it even better, I’ve also joined the Cloudmark spam detection system – basically, if you see a spam, you tag it, the cloudmark system then alerts all the other members. Over time, if the majority agree with you, your trust level rises, and the decisions you make over your spam have more effect on the behaviour of the cloudmark agent installed on other people’s computers. I now have a little gold Cloudmark star, which means they think I know what spam is (and isn’t).
So, I got this spam….
From: email@example.com to me
Subject: Lucas Wyrsch has invited you to their network on Ecademy!
I’ve seen your profile on LinkedIn!
I would like to add you as one of my contacts on Ecademy, where successful
business people grow their business.
There are three membership levels:
* Basic members – free to join
* PowerNetworkers – proactive networking
* BlackStars – accelerated networking with mastermind groups
BlackStar membership is making a significant difference to the business
success of its members! BlackStars are determined to develop centres of
excellence for Networking, Relationship, Knowledge and Business.
More: [link removed, you weren’t really going to click on it were you?]
Click here to connect with me:
[link removed, you don’t need your head examined]
p.s. Sign up today and you’ll get one month’s *PowerNetworker subscription
Cloudmark and gmail anti-spam measures, notified. Its pretty accepted that spammers promote unsound products and services, so I think that’s cleared up Ecademy’s “business profile” once and for all.
Dropped to the bottom of my spam bucket. I will never hear from you again.
And nor will quite a few other people.