Facebook Privacy and Canada

The current buzz in Facebook news today is the report released by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner in which she finds that “Facebook needs to improve privacy practices” and has given them 3o days to comply. Putting aside the ridiculous assumptions that a Canadian bureaucrat should have any say in a Social Networking site, there are a few points in her report and in Facebook’s practices that I want to address.

One of commissioner Jennifer Stoddart‘s comments was that Facebook needs to be transparent with their users. This is a great point that has been made by critics of the “walled garden” approach for quite some time. Facebook had addressed this issue by become more open, listing accounts on Google, and granting usernames. But this was another point of contention.

According to Ms Stoddart, users should have their accounts completely private – no sharing outside your network – unless they opt in. Now, my gut reaction is to see this as antithesis to the notion of Social Media. If you sign up for a Facebook account, you are saying that you want to be “found” on the internet, and to share you pictures, stories and life, with anyone who wants to. That is the social aspect of Social Media.

I could be completely out to lunch here, in fact I probably am. But I wanted to start a discussion. How much privacy is too much privacy (in Social Media)? Does the Commissioner have any jurisdiction over Facebook?

First Job Interview

As I go through the job searching process I made the concious decision to “new media” the process of at least one job oppurtunity.

I’m going to write blog posts, upload pictures, and tweet the eperience as I pursue employment. My first interview is with Security Concepts for a sales job.

To be honest I forgot that I had applied for this job until I got the phone call yesterday. I had to go back to the Job Bank site to see what the job was. I’m kind of interested to see how the interview goes. I do have a couple of questions though; pay and hours etc.

Wish me luck.

How To Save The Newspaper Industry

I don’t think that the newpaper will ever disappear.

I do think that think  most of them will/should become weekly papers. Get ride of the pretense about delivering “news”. A weekly newspaper would become a source of insight and commentary on world news and local events.  The paper would have more thoughtfull articles and detailed investigative journalism. Nevermind the financial benefits.

If you think about it, most sections of a daily paper are day-specific, and would still feel fresh 4 days later .

I started thinking about this when I realised my podcast habits. I don’t rush out and download the latest BOL or TWiT as soon as its realised. That is because they are providing commentary on technology news that is still relevant one or two days later.

Not that I’m a pessimist, but I give the London Free Press 5 years before its just a bigger version of the Londoner.

More Of What I Do

Since this is supposed to be a chronology of my life, and as I made the decision to talk more about social media on here, I figure it was time to give people some more information.

One of the major projects that I have been working on over the past couple of months is the London Ontario Live Arts festival. I am focusing primarily on the social media aspect, promotion before the event, actively working on content during, and following up with attendees afterwards. I’m working with a good group of people, who are going to make LOLA amazing.

I’m also doing some more work for myself; working at promoting my brand and the set of skills that I have. Social media is a great field and I’m struggling to determine how I fit in to the big picture. I’m not an expert (no one is), but I have knowledge that can really help.

Radio Personalities

As I was driving around today I came to the realisation: it would really suck to be a music radio disc jockey now.

Back in the 60’s and 70’s I imagine it was an amazing job. You were one of the go to people for musical taste and relevant cultural information. People listened to the radio because of the DJs not inspite of them.

Now we have DJs who sound more like salesman who are being told to pitch item x. When they talk about a movie they “saw” on the weekend, I can’t help but think they are reading a script. Once I called in to request a song and the DJ asked me if I was going to buy lottery tickets. Huh? How does that have anything to do with the Barenaked Ladies?

I don’t think we can blame the fall of the DJ on the internet though. There are still some talented jockies, Alan Cross comes to mind instantly, and George Stroumboulopoulos is good (expect ads and syndication have really ruined his show).

Nope, the reason that radio sucks in the 21st century is because most DJs don’t care about the music, or the their listeners. If you compare a college/university DJ to a mainstream one you can hear the difference. Yes, they don’t sound as professional, but they sound like they love what they are doing.

You could have a long argument about whether radio is worth saving (I do), but ultimately the only way it can succeed is if people that care are using their voices.

Job Loss – Not What Its Cracked Up To Be

Last Thursday (July 2nd) I was informed that I had been terminated from my position at BioLogic, effective immediately.

To be perfectly honest, this came as a compete surprise. I knew that business was slow, but I didn’t think that it would result in any job cuts at the firm. I’ll spare pouring out all the details on my blog.; but in my opinion things could have happened differently. I’ve gone through the full range of emotions, and I’ve accepted what happened.

I find myself with lots of time on my hands though. Aside from fixing up my resume, and submitting job applications, I have very few standing obligations.  So I hope to devote some more of my time to social media. If you think I might have some expertise to offer you, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Social Media Tryouts

If you claim to be a marketer / PR person / social media firm, who claims to help companies gain social media exposure, shouldn’t I know you exist?

I’m very involved in the social media scene in London, as many of my posts have expressed. Both in the public side with personal interactions, and the business side and various consulting projects.  So I speak with some authority when I posed the above question.

Granted most people using Facebook probably won’t know about a social media firm, or that such beasts exist. But I do, and I should know about you. Especially if you are in London, and claim any level of expertise.

I realise that sounds like I’m tooting my own horn. However  if you want to play the game, you’ve got to know the players on your own team. At this point though  some of the people trying out might as well be invisible to those already on the court.

Ldn Beta

Brian Frank, who is increasingly fulfilling the intellectual niche of the social media scene in London, has started a new initiative in the city of London: Ldn Beta.

I’ll let Brian’s words from the first post describe it:

It would be great to see #ldnbeta concept (or some other iteration) picked up and used to drive the conversation — not just here, but on people’s own blogs, on Twitter, face-to-face, everywhere  – exploring and advocating new opportunities for social media in London.

And

To sum up, this isn’t the venue for complaining about road repairs and garbage collection. This is for exploring ways to make our blogs and the social media scene in London better… so when you complain about roads and garbage on your own blog it’ll be more effective.

Here is how I want Ldn Beta to evolve; as a resource, as a community meeting place, as a sounding board, and as an ideas blog. All told it should encourage people to tap into the social aspect of the web and how that effects everyone here in London. It should serve as encouragement that we can effect positive change in the city, and we can do that through collaboration.

I’m excited to be a part of this with Brian. I encourage people in London to join in on the converstation. To input your ideas in whatever forum you would traditionally do that. Tag things with #ldnbeta or #ldn or #londonont or whatever you want. Join in the conversation though, thats where the fun happens.

Why Am I a Member of an Overly Protective State?

A Manitoba couple has “white nationalist” beliefs, and “teaches” their children the same.  Their eldest daughter goes to school with a Swastika drawn on her arm, which the teacher obviously becomes alarmed at. The teacher scrubs it off, but the mother helps the child drawn it on again the next morning. Ultimately Child Protective Services are brought in and the children are removed from the home.

I think these parents are insane, and their views are harmful to society as a whole. But what is worse for a liberal democracy is the power a few social workers can have.

This Manitoba story has raised larger questions in my mind. Specifically; what consititutes “membership” in a state, and how much interference do outside agencies have in our private lives.

As private citizens there is no reason that anyone should be interfering in your life, unless you have a direct, and I exclude any indirect, effect on the life liberty and pursuit of happiness, of any other member of the state.

I’m going to further my thoughts and reasoning on this issue.  I’d apprecitate feedback in the comments; perhaps the direction I should take, or further “points to ponder”

A Simple Post

Last night myself and a number of other Londoners traveled up to the Kitchener- Waterloo Social Media meetup. It was great to interact with another “scene”. I had a number of great conversations and made some good contacts.

More generally, plans are ramping up for the wedding which is less then a month away. If you ask me everything seems to be coming together nicely without too much stress, but I’m sure there are people who would disagree.

I’ve run into a bit of an annoyance with the house lately. The drains from the kitchen have slowed to a crawl, with water collecting in the laundry tub. I tried to clean it out with a simple hand snake, but without success. I’m going to have to rent a power drain auger to see if that solves the problem.

There have been a few cosmetic changes to the house, and once I find my microSD adapter I’ll post some pics from my phone.