Facebook just rolled out new privacy controls for the things you share. Similar to Google+, Facebook is allowing users to share posts and photos with certain groups or lists of people and making it a whole lot easier to manage your photos and content. Find out more about each of the changes (which should be rolled out over the next few days) in this slideshow guide.
Good news is, it's easy to opt-out. Follow these steps to removing your name and image from LinkedIn's new social ads feature.
The London riots have caused more than physical damage to the city — it has also started the discussion on whether or not governments should have the ability to block usage of social networks if they believe those tools are being used to spark violence and unrest. Reports state that a large part of the London riots have been organized via social networks (like Twitter and Facebook) as well as BlackBerry BBM. RIM is already cooperating to hand over information relating to the riots while the British prime minister has issued a call to ban users from social networks who have used them to organize riots, and he's asked sites like Twitter and Facebook to remove posts relating to those actions.
Earlier this year, we saw the population of Egypt blocked from Twitter and Facebook to prevent videos, photos, and information from being shared about the country's protests. While the British government isn't asking to totally block social networks from the country as a whole, rather it wants to ban individuals using it to organize riots. The question can be asked — where do we draw the line? Obviously, sites like Twitter and Facebook have the right to shut users down for violating terms of service, but should that power also be handed off to the government?
What do you think — should governments have the ability to block social networks to prevent violence, or is any blockage considered censorship?
While Google+ hasn't exactly replaced Facebook for my friends and family, it is a cool way to share info, photos, and soon, a way for businesses to connect to their audience with the roll out of business pages. Are you still using Google+ yourself, or has your use already started dwindling?
To those that have yet to find a reason to use Google+, it's now a great way to discover talented artists. Aaron Wood shared these propaganda-style images of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ on his Google+ account and has received over 3,000 comments since posting the work four days ago.
Each individual social network image is available for purchase through Aaron's Etsy store, though they keep flying off the virtual shelves.
- Sleek design — Google+ is super easy to navigate thanks to a simple design. Sure, it kinda resembles Facebook with its main news stream and sidebars of information, and it would be cool to customize what you see with Google+ themes, but as is, it's very easy on the eyes.
- Drag and drop in Circles — Adding friends and contacts into different Circles is incredibly easy thanks to the drag and drop nature of the feature, and we love how easy it is to share updates and news with just one group of Circles, or all of them.
- Huddle — Group texting goes Google with the mobile Huddle feature that lets you message with a Circle of friends, or just a few. If you're not mobile with Google+, you can still use GroupMe and get the same feel.
- Integration with +1 — There's finally a reason to +1 things since it not only acts as a bookmarking feature, but allows friends and Circles to see things you like from around the web (under the Buzz tab).
- Sparks — Sparks isn't a RSS feed, but it does grab news stories, blog posts, and articles from around the Internet on subjects you're interested in. As I use my Google Reader mainly for work reasons, now I can use Sparks to catch up on my interests during my downtime.
- Auto uploads for photos and videos — All of your photos and videos captured on the Google + mobile app are automatically uploaded and stored in your account. Good news is you can customize your settings to choose when and who to share them with at a later time. Auto uploading sounds scary, but Google has made it easy to customize the mobile settings.
- The quick share box — When you're inside Google+ or other Google properties (like Picasa, Reader, Gmail, and Documents), you can quickly share info or a link with your Circles by clicking on the "Share. . ." box on the upper-right hand corner of your browser.
- No game requests! — A simple joy of using Google+ is the absence of Farmville requests showing up in my inbox and news stream. I'll take that for as long as I can get it.
Check out the list of Google+ cons after the jump.
Google+ brings together all of your friends in one place, and lets you simply and easily designate and organize all of your contacts into different groups. Additionally, Google+ will incorporate some cool chat and mobile features that can come in handy when uploading photos and organizing get-togethers. There are much more details to uncover about Google+, but take a gander at the first five features that will come with the social service below.
- Circles — This is basically your friends hub. Instead of grouping everyone together as your "friend," you can create different circles for the different types of people in your life. For example, you can have groups for friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, and your once-a-week softball team. It's super easy to make a new group and add contacts to it — just drag and drop.
- Hangouts — The old-school chat room gets an update. Send a broadcast to your friends that you're online and ready to chat face to face, and your pals can drop by your "hangout" to video chat with you.
- Sparks — Designate your interests in Sparks, and Google+ will collect articles, videos, and photos of the things you love from around the web to read when you're free (like an RSS reader). You can even share these items with specific circles of friends instead of all of your friends.
See more, including some demo videos after the break.
I've often thought that Facebook can bring people closer together, since reading friends' status updates and checking out their photos and events can keep you more involved in their lives than if you weren't seeing their everyday activities. Of course, nothing can replace a phone call or face-to-face visit, so tell me — do you believe that you have more close friends because of social networks, like Facebook, or do you feel that your relationships are more superficial?
Dunbar has studied groups from ancient hunter-gatherers to GORE-TEX wet-suit factories, and in every situation, the number of meaningful relationships people are able to maintain maxes out between 100 and 200. And new research from Indiana University focused on Twitter followers reaches the same conclusion. The reason for this, Dunbar says, is that at 150 relationships, our brains stop being able to keep track, and we reach a saturation point.
The Dunbar Number isn't an exact science; the number definitely varies from group to group, and even from person to person. So, take a good look at your social network and tell me: what's your Dunbar Number?
There's a new law being shopped around California's senate called SB242, or the Social Networking Privacy Act, which requires social networks to allow parents full access to their kids' profiles and even lets them request removal of text or photos from a minor's (under 18) profile.
For me, this calls into question the rights of the user. Facebook allows users age 13 and up to open an account, and since these kids are still underage, should their parents have total access to their Facebook accounts? And does the state have a right to step in and make that decision for them? I'm a big proponent of involved parenting when it comes to online activity, but I'm not sure a statewide bill is the answer to keep your kids' online activity clean.
While this bill may sound strict, there is a plus side — the bill would also force social networks to walk users through privacy settings upon signup, explaining what each setting means before the account goes live. I'm all for that action. What do you think about California's SB242?