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May 31, 2010
Facebook Privacy

The Commuter’s Guide to the Facebook Wars

So much chatter all over the Web, pro and con, about Facebook. How can you possibly weed through it all to spend your precious time reading only the most relevant (coherent, concise, and literate) entries that actually contribute to the dialogue? You can’t. As Dennis Miller once memorably quipped, “I’ve got a life to lead, cha-cha.” So with a nod to the late Douglas Adams, legendary creator of "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy," we present our Commuter’s Guide to the Facebook Wars, a collection of the best of the best opinion and information we’ve found out there thus far. You know those little nested boxes someone got you as a gift one time? Where you open one little crafted box only to find another inside, and another inside that? Well, some of the entries in our collection offer a similarly multi-layered treat in that they link to multiple Facebook-focused blog posts, too. In that sense, telecom and systems integration types might call us an aggregator of aggregators. But we digress.

This is a living, breathing, and ranting organism, so we’ll be adding links to it from time to time as new discussions come flaming meteorically across the blogosphere. If you find other entries out there that you think should be included in The Commuter’s Guide to the Facebook Wars, please send them here, and we’ll add the best to the list.



(How to delete, not just “deactivate,” your Facebook account; of course requires login) --







A Quick(er) Guide to Facebook Privacy

You can’t protect your private information from Facebook advertising partners, but you can selectively share it (or not) with any other Facebook user. Facebook has many tutorials but I’ve integrated it into a single Privacy sequence:

  1. On Facebook there are so many Privacy settings for so many things that doing it Friend-by-Friend can be incredibly cumbersome. I find it more useful to establish several “Friend levels.” For this example let’s say you have two: [1] Family and close friends with whom you want to share more and [2] Acquaintances and business contacts with whom you want to share less. Let’s do this by creating a Friend List.

  2. Go to your Profile. At top right see Account, click Account > Edit Friends. On that page, upper left, click All Connections. Click button at top to Create New List. You can name it anything but let’s call it Acquaintances.

  3. Back to All Connections. You see each Friend on the left and to the right is a corresponding clickdown marked Add to List. Click to add each acquaintance to the Acquaintances list you just created. (If you have a myriad of Friends this will take a few minutes but it will save you time from this day forward.)

  4. Now let’s put this list to work: click Account > Privacy Settings. Clickdown menus vary slightly in different areas of your profile but all work the same. For this example let’s say you want to share photos of your children with family and close friends but not acquaintances.

  5. Click Personal Information and Posts. See Photo Albums and click corresponding gray box to Edit Settings.

  6. Once inside click the gray “lockbox” next to a photo album and click Customize. In top clickdown, “Make this visible to,” choose Friends Only. In bottom clickdown, “Hide this from,” start typing the name of the list you just created, Acquaintances. When it pops up, select it. Now only family and close friends can see that photo album; those on the Acquaintances list can’t. Choose a privacy setting for each photo album the same way.

  7. You can add or remove Friends from any list at any time. You can create multiple lists. The lockbox clickdowns work the same for all areas under Privacy.

  8. Ongoing "maintenance": Now whenever you add anyone you want to share fewer things with -- including sites where you "Become a Fan" or "Like" a business -- add them, click to your profile, do a quick lookup in All Connections and add them to the Acquaintances list. Done.

Some social networking services including Facebook are talking about rolling out business versus personal sites to address this, but even then you will probably want to establish different access groups. So setting access levels for various users -- which at one time was something only IT systems administrators had to concern themselves with -- is something you’re probably going to get used to doing.

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For years Jeff Cotrupe was the analyst who "named Stratecast but never joined the firm." Those days are over: He has now joined Stratecast, a division of Frost & Sullivan, as Program Director, OSS/BSS Global Competitive Strategies. If you compete in the global communications market, Stratecast offers the critical strategic insights you need to WIN. You can connect with Jeff on all social media sites at XeeSM and follow StratecastF&S and Jeff on Twitter.

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