Saturday, December 12, 2009

New media making old media mistakes, again

I've held off commenting about Facebook's latest privacy mistake (actually, it's a privacy attack) because it's such an easy target. The company, clearly attempting to increase its profits, unilaterally puts into effect sweeping changes that opens our information to the world, then retreats little bit, but still leaves us unsure about what actually is happening with our information, which is why you won't find much personal information on my site and, frankly, shouldn't find much on your's either.

But as I was reading some of the comments today (more than 150 news stories on Google news) and noting a question on Twitter by my colleague and new media advocate Linda Menck about the future of Twitter, I was once again struck by the way lousy American business executives seem bent on ruining their media product by stupidity and total disregard for the customer. New media is being run just as stupidly as old media, and, frankly, it faces the same bleak future.

My personal concerns are (1) privacy, (2) commercialization, (3) privacy, (4) arrogance in changing my settings without any approval, (5) privacy, (6) attempts to harness my history to specific advertisers, (7 and a hundred or so more) privacy. Yes, I suppose it's nice for advertising to be targeted to my interests. But it doesn't really seem to match up. And I end up questioning the need for everyone to know just when I look online as well as what I share with my family and friends. Linda decries the commercialization of Twitter (I was tweeting about an earlier post on this blog; that could be commercialization, I suppose), and she's correct. She asks what the answer? It's not out there as of now.

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