Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Moving to WP

This blog is now on my own domain, The Dude Dean Please update your bookmarks and rss readers.

Elite Space Monkey | Social Media Maverick | Web Developer | SEO Consultant | Dangerously Awesome | The Greatest Living American Dude | Fort Lauderdale, FL |

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do You Know What Your Facebook Privacy Settings Are?

I was doing some long overdue maintenance on my Facebook requests this last weekend trying to clean up group invites and application requests. Something bugged me as I was clicking around those application in the wee hours of the morning and I couldn't place my finger on it. I kept on seeing my social media friends in the ads inside of the applications and it didn't dawn upon me until I saw one friend in particular, Yvette (who I know has a thing for her privacy), Ines, Agustina, Maria, Tami and my own avatar in one of those ads. Two years ago I thought I had fixed this issue with Beacon and then it hit me, Facebook is invading our privacy.

Facebook Ad: Ines AgustinaP TamiFromMiami ViceQueenMaria TheDudeDean
Facebook Ad: DearYvette Ines AgustinaP ViceQueenMaria TheDudeDean
Facebook Ad: Ines AgustinaP TamiFromMiami DearYvette TheDudeDean

From Facebook Principles (Privacy Policy)
1.You should have control over your personal information.
2.You should have access to the information others want to share.

OK sounds good, like Facebook is on your side. Not that facebook is trying to take advantage of Your Good Name, Your Image, Your Avatar, Your Personality and/or Your Online Reputation. Sounds good in theory. In practice however Facebook doesn't at any time along the way prompt you to lock down your privacy settings nor does it say they are going to use Your photo in ads on their popular Facebook applications throughout the site. Nor does the privacy policy say anything about compensation for use of said images. Read a little bit deeper into the fine print of the Facebook Privacy Policy:

Sharing Your Information with Third Parties

*(Bullet point 4) If you, your friends, or members of your network use any third-party applications developed using the Facebook Platform ("Platform Applications"), those Platform Applications may access and share certain information about you with others in accordance with your privacy settings. You may opt-out of any sharing of certain or all information through Platform Applications on the Privacy Settings page. In addition, third party developers who have created and operate Platform Applications ("Platform Developers"), may also have access to your personal information (excluding your contact information) if you permit Platform Applications to access your data. Before allowing any Platform Developer to make any Platform Application available to you, Facebook requires the Platform Developer to enter into an
agreement which, among other things, requires them to respect your privacy settings

How do you opt out? Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the log out link. Select PRIVACY. Then select NEWS FEEDS AND WALL. Next select the tab that reads FACE BOOK ADS. There is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Then SAVE your changes.

Think your out of the facebook ads? Think again, because I thought I was. "How long have you had your privacy settings on facebook locked down?". Since Day 1, including the Ads setting. And I check it (and my other privacy settings), every time Facebook does an overhaul. "Am I imagining this? "You may opt out of appearing in your friends' Facebook ads."" Very interesting, so if Yvette has her account on lock down and I though I had my account on lock down. Then why am I seeing her avatar image along with mine in one of those pesky facebook application ads?

Here's the kicker! Remember Bullet Point Four Above? It goes on;
"Before allowing any Platform Developer to make any Platform Application available to you, Facebook requires the Platform Developer to enter into an agreement which, among other things, requires them to respect your privacy settings and strictly limits their collection, use, and storage of your information. However, while we have undertaken contractual and technical steps to restrict possible misuse of such information by such Platform Developers, we of course cannot and do not guarantee that all Platform Developers will abide by such agreements. Please note that Facebook does not screen or approve Platform Developers and cannot control how such Platform Developers use any personal information that they may obtain in connection with Platform Applications."

So basically Facebook has a rule that they aren't able or willing to enforce. Facebook could phrase it such that they can and will delete applications in breech of their privacy policy but that goes against Facebook wanting to have more apps and more clicks on their social network. I informed Yvette of the bad news and she has some interesting counterpoints; "This is wrong, on so many levels. I have not formally endorsed a single commercial product, voluntarily... And, ethically, if I agreed to product endorsements in the FB TOS, I should be informed of what they are. False advertising. And, what if I am morally or contractually prevented from endorsing this or that product, then what? Troubling."

So Basically it falls on the end users to police Facebook and the application developers if they are breaking the Facebook privacy policy and using your images and likeness to sell their wares. Facebook claims these are "rumors" but they are not. But realistically if the setting for this was off by default, would you want to turn it on?

Report Facebook Apps that are Spam

When you catch an app you don't think isn't playing by the rules remove and report it. Also Facebook didn't bother to carry over my setting for Beacon from the older version of Facebook. If Facebook can carry over all the information, apps, pictures from the older version Facebook can remember my Privacy setting for Beacon. We shouldn't have to protect our privacy EVERY TIME Facebok does an update to their social network.

Facebook's got you covered!  Don't worry, we'll leave beacon on FOR you.Facebook's got you covered! Don't worry, we'll leave beacon on FOR you.

Facebook Updated my Privacy Settings for me.  Notice its OFF
Facebook Updated my Privacy Settings for me. Notice its OFF (Or set "Only My Friends")
Do You Know What Your Facebook Privacy Settings Are?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Open Letter to Wired and Ars - Reddit Sponsors

Dear staff at Wired and Ars,

Long time reader, love your stuff, its all good. Been reading you guys for a very long time, arstechnica since 1999. I along with others submit Your(meaning Ars and Wired's) stories on Social Bookmarking sites.

For example:

However I have to let You (meaning Ars and Wired) know whats going on over at one of these Social Bookmarking sites: Reddit. Reddit just recently banned a bunch of users on their social media site. No reasons were given, no warnings were issued. I guess My Grammar needs to improve( a joke from Ben's post about this issue, see below). Now I tried (Unsuccessfully) to contact reddit about this issue and received no response. This leaves me no recourse but to get in touch with You, Reddit's sponsors aka "Sister Sites".

You are going to rectify this situation. You are going to explain to Reddit just how the internet, community and social media work. You are going to teach them how to play fairly and nicely. And most importantly how to build a community. Reddit is going to restore accounts, apologize and send us Hoodies (if they don't have hoodies explain to Reddit why people on the net like them) and Schwag (and I want LOTS of Schwag, maybe an Ars and Wired Hoodie XXL).

This is going onto Digg and Twitter, so I am certain you will find this VERY quickly. The lesson here is not to mess with the Social Media Elite. By that I mean people that are Digg Elites and "Twitterati" who used to Digg your stuff and Tweet your stuff to 1000s of friends and in some cases 10,000s of friends. Consider this a very clear and transparent message. I am turning the tables on you. But unlike Reddit, I am letting You know that You are now black balled.

As "Sister Sites" of Reddit, I am certain you will quickly resolve this issue. I am sure my schwag; Hoodies (XXL remember?), Wired Subscription, T-Shirts, Wired Subscription, Mugs, Wired Subscription, hats, Wired Subscription, and Red Swingline Stapler are already in the snail mail.

Yours Truly,
The Dude Dean

PS Style, Epicurious, Concierge you guys are next.
PPS Digg and Mixx crew, Don't sub these two sites, I am declaring a "No-Fly Zone", if you see noobs subbing from these domains please Bury until reddit, wired and Ars make this right to G-Man, Ben, myself and all the others that were unfairly banned.

@arstechnica Good bye Ars! @TheDudeDean Bye! Where are you going? :) @arstechnica I posted this 17 days ago and tweeted it to you: Open Letter to Wired and Ars: @TheDudeDean Oh right. Bye! :)
Open Letter to Wired and Ars – Reddit Sponsors

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Useful Twitter Tools

In this post I am going to round up some useful twitter tools for either the twitter noob or the twitter elite (twitterati) to use. These twitter tools are just informational, analytical and in some cases slightly funny. Instead of giving you a massive list of all the sites that are about twitter, I am giving you a useful list that you can use to help you with Twitter SMO.

Twitter Grader - This one gives a stab at giving you the secret twitter ranking (not 100% accurate but pretty close). It lacks any charts or graphs, but gives you; a tweet cloud, a top ten list of likeminded users and lets you search by city. Example tweet: @TheDudeDean got a Twitter Grade of 99.7/100 The first time I ranked myself I was a 93

TweetStats - This Twitter tool is just raw stats with the best charts and graphs and a tweet cloud.

Follow Cost - This Twitter tool is very useful, it tells you how often your new twitter follower tweets broken down in milliscobles This is a very handy for spotting those extra chatty tweople. They also break down follow cost by putting "follow cost, @aholic follow cost (my current level), nuclear follow cost" on top of the user profile page so you clearly know what you are getting into. Follow Cost also breaks down Political Tweets and Replies. Example tweet @TheDudeDean has a follow cost of 349.95 milliscobles.

Retweetist - This Twitter tool gives you a bar graph of the last 30 days worth of your retweets. Using this tool can reveal how much social influence a user has or doesn't have.

Friend or Follow - This Twitter tool lets you know who you are following, but they're not following back and it has a list of your "fans" that you chose not to follow.

Twinfluence - Twitter Influence Analyzer - This twitter tool measures your twitter rank (like grader, its a best guess), your Twitter Reach, Velocity, Social Capital and Centralization

Example: TheDudeDean's Rank: #1,157 (96%), Velocity: 4,610 second-order followers/day, Social Capital: 2,337.1 +1.3 High, Centralization: 9.98% / +0.2 Average - Resilient

Twitturly - This Twitter tool lets you see what links your prospective twitter follower is tweeting.

Twitter Counter - This Twitter tool is analytics for your follower count. Twitter Counter also lets you compare three users. Twitter Counter also has a top 100 list.

Useful Twitter Tools

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Google Has Major Malfunction

It's a rare day when you can honestly say Google messed up. Today is that day. If you click through on a SERP today and get; "Warning - visiting this web site may harm your computer!", don't worry about it. All results are getting this Malware warning.

the greatest living dude This site may harm your computer 013109

Google Warning 013109

There is no word about this issue on the official Google blog yet so stay tuned. I will update this post with more info.

This issue seems to be resolved and Google admits its human. #Googlemayharm

Google Has Major Malfunction

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Bush Legacy - Miserable Failure 2.0

Why am I blogging about George W. Bush and The Bush Legacy on my humble little blog about SEO and SMO? I am bring back Miserable Failure to the internet. Miserable Failure is the real Bush Legacy.

Today Barak Obama was sworn into office as the 44th President of the United States of America. As PotUS44 he has a brand spanking new White House web page. As a patriotic American, I was looking at the new site while watching the Inauguartion and I went browsing for GW's bio page on the new site and got first Digg on his page and for good measure, I also put it on Newsvine, Reddit, Mixx, and Current.

The terms; "Miserable Failure", "The Bush Legacy", and "worst President ever" do not appear on this page. The opportunity cost on all these social media sites, for the most part, they only let you post a link if you do it first. So let's all bring back Miserable Failure to George W. Bush. He deserves it. Spread the word and give him a vote on your favorite social media site. While you are at it give it a retweet as well:

RT @TheDudeDean: Let's send Bush off in style. Please digg, fave and RT #miserablefailure2.0

The Bush Legacy – Miserable Failure 2.0

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