Facebook’s Eroding Privacy

May 13th, 2010 |

This is a site dedicated to social media. As such, it’s in the interest of those of us who contribute to Ploked to write informative posts for readers regarding the use of social media, and the numerous networking tools associated with social media, in our daily affairs. I fully acknowledge social media as a tool to increase business, and my posts reflect this belief. A professional media planner by trade, my job depends on determining as much as possible about consumers, using this information to better target advertising messages to potential customers. Obviously, the more information, the better the results.

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While striving to remain objective and professional, at times I have to question the level of blind trust that we, as consumers, provide to entities outside our immediate control, opting to allow online businesses the ability to access personal information, including birth dates, address, email, family members, friends, and online surfing behaviors. I’ve written posts that substantiate social media’s success at growing businesses. I’ve also written here–and on other sites–posts concerning privacy and the “information for access” model practiced by social media sites. The majority of these posts–questioning the use of personal information–concern Facebook.

Facebook was once a place to share among friends. As the site’s evolved, its morphed into a money-making phenomenon that changes the rules as necessary. Once Facebook respected, and protected their user’s privacy. Then, unforeseen and unprecedented, the site grew from college site to worldwide network in less-than a decade. Facebook ranks among the most popular online destinations, quick approaching half a billion users Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Louis

Facebook, Targeting, and You

March 5th, 2010 |

Do you ever wonder why, with all of the marvelous personal info that Facebook collects, they’d allow an advertiser to run an idiotic ad for mortgage refinancing with a hairy, caveman looking dude on it, or those ridiculous “Find out who Googled You” ads with the image of a college girl that wouldn’t Google you if she were the last piece of ass on Earth?

It’s obvious that the ads must be working because they’re still running. Either that, or they’re running on a pay-per-click basis and no one is clicking, thus costing the  advertiser nothing. I’ve come to think that social media is such a targeted platform that, when an offending ad comes up, I never fail to wonder which “marketing genius” dropped the ball.

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t have anything against banner ads on my FB page, nor do I have anything against the companies behind the ads. What bugs me is that we hear about what a great platform Facebook is for behavioral and geographic targeting, then these Run-of-Site (ROS) ads show up.  I know that money is money, but when the advertising starts to negatively affect the medium, or the brand, it’s time to make a decision on which one is of the most importance.

Why am I bitching? Primarily because I’m allowed. Yet…I do have a point, although it’s feasible that I’m the only person who took notice. This is doubtful, but theoretically within the realm of possibilities.  Maybe Facebook needs the money, although Inside Facebook projects that the social media powerhouse could boost ad revenues from an estimated $700 million in 2009 to a whopping (estimated) $1.1 billion in 2010. Why estimated? Facebook does not release their advertising revenues. So, maybe those “Who Googled You?” ads are working perfectly… Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Louis

Pope to Priests: Thou Shalt Blog

January 28th, 2010 |

Catholic priests, under a lot of pressure already due to decades of scandal associated with the Catholic Church, received word from their holiest of holies, Pope Benedict XVI, that part of their new job description should be taking The Word to the internet using social media and blogging. In fact, the Pope urged priests to use all of the media tools at their disposal to preach the Gospel, seeking to engage in conversations with people of alternate religions.

This latest  “commandment” from Vatican City comes after years of the Catholic Church’s growing web presence, culminating, perhaps, in the Vatican’s online site, The Holy See.  The site offers the latest sermon from the Pope, information on the Vatican City State, and other nuggets of inside info for all people, whether religious, agnostic, or…backslidden. In case you missed something from the Pope, feel free to check out the Vatican’s YouTube Channel (yes, that’s what I said). Plus, Pope Benedict has his own portal, Pope2You.net, that broadcasts news on Benedict’s travels, his messages, and also includes a Facebook app to allows users to create “Pope postcards” to send to their friends.

The Pope urges Priests to use “cutting-edge technologies to express themselves and lead their communities” according to a Vatican message. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Louis