Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

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Sara Wiseman: is lifestreaming

March 14, 2011

Although I signed up for Twitter last fall, I hadn’t used the service much. So this week, I really tried to learn how to make use of it. I found more people to follow, I connected my Facebook and Twitter accounts using Tweetdeck, I uploaded a photo using Twitpic, I retweeted, and I made my first tweet directed @someone.

Here’s my Twitpic.

To me, Facebook and Twitter are very different tools. Hardly any of my Facebook friends are on Twitter. Facebook, to me, has been a great way to stay in touch with old acquaintances across the country and to keep connected with friends I see every day. My Facebook connections often post links that interest me – I have found out about new music, documentaries, events, and news through friends with common interests. When I signed up for Twitter, I couldn’t imagine what use another social networking site could be to me. I was, however, quickly impressed by the things it could do that Facebook couldn’t. By following high profile people, Twitter gives me greater direct access to information on topics that interest me than Facebook can. For instance, I follow Steve Silberman, a writer for Wired magazine and also a gay activist, Buddhist, counterculture representative from the San Francisco Bay area. Throughout the semester I’ve been reposting on Edmodo some of the interesting links he has tweeted. Twitter makes it much easier to connect with high profile figures – in any area of interest – than on Facebook. My husband (who doesn’t have his own Twitter account) has me following a number of Buddhist rinpoches. And during Canada Reads last month, the constant flow of tweets from across the country really felt like a national conversation.

But probably the best thing about Twitter is the search function. With this function, I felt like I could connect with a “global chat” – as cliché as that sounds. And before this week’s assignment I didn’t know about the Google Realtime search – a great function for people who aren’t using Twitter because it allows you to search public tweets. Like a regular Google search, a Google Realtime search or Twitter search is not a bad way to start researching a topic of interest – the latest tweets on a subject can provide links from people who are already doing the research. It reminded me of the power of connections we read about in last week’s assignment – only now we can be connected around the world in far less than six degrees! I searched for “deficiencies in a gluten-free diet”, which linked me to a blog which linked me to information I’ve been trying to find for ages. (It’s an obscure interest of mine, and not a lot of research has been done on it yet. Regular Google searches – and even searches on UWO’s library databases – mostly return information on deficiencies caused by a gluten intolerance).

Here’s a cool image I found depicting the “six degrees of Lois Weisberg”:

six degrees of Lois Weisberg

And for the record, I found out about Owsley Stanley’s death on Twitter way before anyone posted about it on Facebook… RIP Owsley.

Owsley Stanley

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Social Networking

March 8, 2011

I joined LinkedIn this week. So far my only connections are my old boyfriend in Montreal, my ex-landlord, the woman who runs the Ancaster farmers’ market, and a software developer friend. I must say, I have a deep aversion to the idea of posting an online resume with no control over who might view it. And it upsets me that this might be expected of someone looking for a job. Honestly, isn’t anything private anymore?

My husband’s Facebook profile was hacked again this week. It’s not like he had top-secret information on his profile, but it still feels like a violation. Somehow, someone accessed his account and hijacked his profile picture and replaced it with another image. Here’s a screenshot – you can see the “rogue” profile photo in the top left-hand corner:

We couldn’t get rid of the image because Sean didn’t upload it; it wasn’t in his photo album, so he couldn’t delete it. The funny thing is that the picture was only showing up on our computer, and only in Internet Explorer (I tried Safari and Firefox, and they were okay). I tried to do a bit of troubleshooting – but no one I talked to had heard of this particular problem before. I did a Google search, as well as searching the topics in Facebook’s Help Center. Contacting Facebook about the problem felt like approaching a monolith – I sent screenshots and described the problem but, as expected, I received no response. I ran a virus scan, which came back with nothing. We thought, perhaps, that Sean would have to close down his Facebook account entirely if he wanted to be rid of the unwanted photo. In the end, I’m ashamed to say how simple the solution was – I deleted all recent browsing history, and the rogue profile picture disappeared!

Which brings me around to the idea of using social networking in the workplace… Certainly, security and privacy are important issues for organizations to take seriously when using social networking sites. Ultimately, organizations should recognize that they have less control over social networking profiles than websites that they create and manage themselves. Even Mark Zuckerberg was a recent victim of hacking on Facebook. One has to ask, “If the Facebook CEO (more accurately, the PR team that’s handling the page for him) can’t keep his Facebook account safe from intruders, who can?” (Schroeder, 2011).

Off hand, I’d just like to mention that Sean was able figure out where the mysterious profile image came from. On Facebook, the image was tiny and difficult to see. It looked a bit like a blown-out car window and a bloody backseat – which is kind of freaky to have as your profile picture. Anyway, Sean remembered reading an article in the Hamilton Spectator about the assassination of the only Christian minister in Pakistan’s government. The article ran with this photo:

So, like a Lois Weisberg of obscure knowledge, Sean made a connection between the car in this photo and the car in his hacked profile picture. He was able to track down a copy of the image on the internet in less than five minutes. Here’s a bigger version:

Pretty gruesome. Needless to say, I’m not feeling enthralled with social networking this week.