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Social Media, Security and Connecting to Family

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The following are my white board notes and comments from an April 30, 2011 presentation I gave at Claremont McKenna College. I am posting them for the benefit of those who attended as well as those who were unable to attend.

1 – Facebook – Unleash Your Ego
600,000,000 users and growing fast
Now most trafficked site (surpassing Google)

Nature and interaction with Facebook is similar to AOL and Facebook interaction will drive users’ Internet experience
Security Considerations: 1 – Force HTTPS Connections 2 – Use a complex passwordand try rotating it (at least 8 characters with upper, lower, special and numbers) 3 – Enable text message alerts on new device logins 4 – Consider personal information you share on your profile may likely comprise components of your password, so be thoughtful.

Security risks associated with Facebook are particularly troubling because when you are “hacked” the trusted friendships with your friends means they are at high risk of being absorbed into an attack vector on the account or their computer. So, be a friend to your friends, practice safe Facebooking.
Always assume that anything you post on Facebook will be read by the world. Edit yourself accordingly.

2 – Twitter – A Room of Loud-Talkers
Imagine a room full of loud talkers each telling you what they think is interesting or important. The rumble is hard to hear through. Now imagine using Twitter to filter through all those conversations and listen to what people have to say simultaneously. Alternatively, consider this odd viewpoint I offered last year.

100,000,000 + user accounts. However, I have seen numbers suggesting that about 15,000,000 of these accounts are actually active and used frequently. While the numbers are dwarfed by Facebook, those that use Twitter tend to be highly engaged in social media and in certain niches are very connected and influential.

Learn to use the language of Twitter such as hashtags (#) and @ signs to communicate. See twitter help for that.

Security considerations: 1 – Force HTTPS on your logins 2 – Use a complex password (see above).

Robert’s favorite quote from the presentation: “Twitter is a hyper-efficient tool for consuming and filtering non-normalized data.”

The next time you are speaking on a panel or putting on a forum, consider projecting a live stream of tweets using a hashtag filter o have the audience interact with the presenters in real time. It is a great way to engage the audience.

3 – Social Media Tools
There are ways to be more efficient in consuming or generating social media content. These include things like TweetDeck and HootSuite. There are dozens of Android and iPhone apps, too. Tools like TweetDeck are particularly helpful because they span across multiple social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to give you a dashboard view on your social media.

URL shorteners are good, particularly for Twitter where you are limited to 140 characters. Example: bit.ly

4 – Connecting Your Family
Part of the presentation objective was to provide ideas on how to stay connected with family more easily. Clearly tools like Facebook do an efficient at keeping up to date with people, and something like a Group on Facebook can go a long way, but there are other tools worth nothing.

Consider creating a Google Apps account for your family. That will give you access to a shared calendar, email, video conference and document repository. Shared calendars can be helpful because you can have individual calendars and then a shared family calendar to see where soccer games, school plays, PTO meetings and grandparent visits all line up.

Microsoft offers similar tools with their Live suite of online services. They also have a deeper partnership with Facebook and have some nice Facebook integration.

5 – Privacy is Dead
At the tail end of the presentation we were reviewing the point that privacy is dead in many ways. You concede a bit of your privacy every time you do the following: search on Google/Bing, install a free iPhone App/Android App, swipe a credit card at the gas station, use a reward card at the grocery story, use a Fast Pass on the toll road or scan a keycard at the office. Some of this data may be locked away or limited in its exposure, but there is relentless pressure to monetize this data.

The death of privacy is not necessarily all bad, and these folks did a good job of discussing some interesting positives of the loss of privacy.

6 – Things I Read
Finally, a list of the things I read to keep up:
www.engadget.com
www.allfacebook.com
www.techcrunch.com (CMC Connection)
www.twit.tv

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