David Kirkpatrick

December 17, 2010

The perfect t-shirt …

Filed under: et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:56 am

… for anyone who’s sick of social media.

From the link:

In case others don’t understand the essence of MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, make perfectly clear the commonalities of these social sites with this T-shirt.
$15.95; www.despair.com

 

August 18, 2010

Social networking advertising tops $1.5B

And not surprisingly Facebook is getting half of the $1.68 billion in social media/web 2.0 advertising forecasted for 2010. Facebook offers a very attractive advertising model in terms of very granular audience targeting coupled with a flexible set of criteria for creating an ad campaign. Expect to see more advertising dollars going into social networking in the future, particularly if it proves out to be very effective.

From the link:

Just after Facebook hit 500 million users last month, some analysts increased their 2010 forecasts for spending on social media advertising.

U.S. advertising is expected to increase 20% over last year to $1.68 billion, up from December’s forecast of $1.3 billion, according to a study by digital research group EMarketer.

“That’s primarily due to the strong performance of Facebook and somewhat due to the fact that we started adding Twitter to our analysis,” said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst.

The study, conducted every six months, also measures sites such as MySpace, LinkedIn and Classmates.com as well as popular sites in China, Japan and Russia for worldwide figures.

Half of that $1.68 billion spent by U.S. advertisers will go to Facebook, according to the study. By 2011, advertisers will spend $1.06 billion on the San Francisco company — a 112% increase from 2009.

May 25, 2010

Even more on social media and privacy

And this one isn’t just limited to Facebook.

Social networking sites may be sharing a lot more of your identifying data with their advertisers than you realize.

From the link:

A report in the Wall Street Journal indicates that a number of social networking sites (including Facebook, MySpace, and Digg) may be sharing users’ personal information with advertisers. Since the Journal started looking into this possible breach of privacy, both Facebook and MySpace have moved to make changes.

The practice is actually a somewhat defensible one–and most of the companies involved did try to defend it–in which the advertisers receive information on the last page viewed before the user clicked on their ad. This is common practice all over the web, and, in most cases, is no issue–advertisers receive information on the last page viewed, which cannot be traced back to the user. In the case of social networking sites, the information on the last page viewed often reveals user names or profile ID numbers that could potentially be used to look up the individuals.

Depending on what those individuals have made public, advertisers can then see anything from hometowns to real names.

The Journal interviewed some of the advertisers who received the data (including Google’s (GOOG) DoubleClick and Yahoo’s (YHOO) Right Media), who said they were unaware of the data and had not used it.

For some reason I find that last claim from DoubleClick and Right Media a bit hard to believe.

February 19, 2010

The dangers of social networking

All those web 2.0 tools — blogging, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (well, maybe not anymore), LinkedIn, Google Buzz (the new kid on the block), et.al. — are fun and somewhat addictive, but there are serious privacy dangers lurking in all that sharing.

Dangers as obvious as putting plenty of data out there for cybercriminals to harvest for phishing attempts and identity theft, not quite as obvious danger in putting discrete bits of corporate information out there in multiple locations that put together become useful to competitors, and even dangers as vanilla as broadcasting when you are home and not for local criminals seriously casing your home for a break-in.

That ought to be food for social networking thought.

From the link:

Pervasive social networking may herald the future’s most critical insider threat: cyber-chattiness.Individuals are simply revealing too much about their professional lives online. It might be possible, for example, to cross reference a Facebook post about a “big project that isn’t looking good” with other posts and piece together sensitive corporate information. And while a LinkedIn request for a job recommendation reveals a job seeker, two or more seekers in the same division could reveal company upheaval.

The threat from chatty insiders isn’t new, but a perfect storm might be brewing. Consider the following:

– People are broadcasting more of their lives online than ever before. More than 55 million status updates are posted every day on Facebook alone.

– A new batch of “Open Source Intelligence” tools now exist to help map out people’s lives and relationships.

– Lots of personal and business data online makes it easy for a hacker to personalize phishing attacks and in some cases, automate the personalization process. Tools and frameworks now exist to gather enough information about you online to custom craft emails that are very credible.

– Setting policies to stop employees from using these social networking sites at work doesn’t stop them from talking about work when online at home.

We are now starting to see some privacy stretch marks on the social networking bubble. Consider the case of Robert Morgan. Earlier this year Robert, a researcher at Microsoft (MSFT), updated his LinkedIn profile with details about his work on Windows 8 and its new 128-bit architecture. The problem was that Microsoft had never disclosed it was working on a 128-bit version of Windows (let alone working on Windows 8 or 9). This was a direct disclosure snafu made worse by the fact that anyone with an Internet connection could see it.

September 2, 2009

The adults are now running the web 2.0 asylum

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:04 pm

In news that isn’t all that surprising at this point, but would have been a jaw-dropper as recently as three, or so, years ago, over 34s dominate social networking websites. Web 2.0 has come a long ways from the heyday of MySpace.

From the link:

Companies can begin to target people over the age of 34 with media campaigns that leverage social networks as that age group has become the largest segment using Facebook, Twitter and other social media, a new study from Forrester Research claims.

While people in their teens and 20s were the first to adopt social networks for everyday use, they aren’t just for the younger crowd anymore, according to the report, “The Broad Reach of Social Networks,” by Forrester analyst Sean Corcoran. The report is based on a May 2009 survey of 4,455 people between the ages of 18 and 88 in the U.S.

“Much of the growth in social networks today comes from people older than 34,” he wrote. Compared with last year, adults over the age of 34 increased their participation in social networks by more than 60 percent. “Now more than half of adults ages 35 to 44 are in social networks,” Corcoran wrote.

Click here to find out more!

People in their 40s and 50s still lag behind this age group in participation, but they, too, are beginning to use social networks more than in the past, the study found. And even adults 55 and older are starting to share and connect more online, Corcoran wrote.

“Seventy percent of online adults ages 55 and older tell us they tap social tools at least once a month; 26 percent use social networks and 12 percent create social content,” he wrote. “As a result, social applications geared toward older adults will now reach a healthy chunk of their audience.”

And here’s an interesting psychographic breakdown of social networkers:

Corcoran categorizes people who use social networks as “creators,” or people who write blogs and upload audio and video or post stories on social networks; “critics,” those who take part in online discussions; “collectors,” or people who organize online content by using RSS feeds and sites like “Digg” to rate content; “joiners,” or people who actually subscribe to social networks; and “spectators,” those who view user-generated content online.

August 28, 2009

Web 2.0 and the taxman

Filed under: Business, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:35 pm

Don’t look now, but it seems state tax authorities are lurking social networking sites to track down tax deadbeats.

From the link:

Tax deadbeats are finding someone actually reads their MySpace and Facebook postings: the taxman.

State revenue agents have begun nabbing scofflaws by mining information posted on social-networking Web sites, from relocation announcements to professional profiles to financial boasts.

In Minnesota, authorities were able to levy back taxes on the wages of a long-sought tax evader after he announced on MySpace that he would be returning to his home town to work as a real-estate broker and gave his employer’s name. The state collected several thousand dollars, the full amount due.

Meanwhile, agents in Nebraska collected $2,000 from a deejay after he advertised on his MySpace page that he would be working at a big public party.

May 26, 2009

Social networking is not private

Filed under: Business, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:54 pm

Not only is social networking not private, for the most part you are ceding some, or all, of the rights to material you post to social networking websites. Once your material is on their servers, you’ve essentially given it away. Something to think about.

From the link:

A study conducted by the University of Cambridge discovered that social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace do not immediately remove from its servers photos that have been deleted by users. The study audited 16 different social networking sites by uploading photos, noting their URLs, and then deleting them. Thirty days later researchers checked the URLs, and in the case of 7 sites, the photos had not been removed from content delivery networks.

The 7 sites are: Bebo, Facebook, hi5, LiveJournal, MySpace, SkyRock, and Xanga.

Other sites were able to remove pictures immediately, and surprisingly, frequent security offender Microsoft was one of them: Windows Live Spaces had immediate removal of photos. Also on the ball were Orkut, Photobucket, and Flickr.

January 6, 2009

News from the department of “no duh”

A release from yesterday stating the obvious.

The release:

Majority of teens discuss risky behaviors on MySpace, studies conclude

Studies validate parental and physician concerns about teen online communications and suggest using MySpace to intervene

SEATTLE – January 5, 2009: In a pair of related studies released by Seattle Children’s Research Institute and published in the January 2009 issue of Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, researchers found that 54 percent of adolescents frequently discuss high-risk activities including sexual behavior, substance abuse or violence using MySpace, the popular social networking Web site (SNS). The studies, Adolescent Display of Health Risk Behaviors on MySpace, and Reducing At-Risk Adolescents’ Display of Risk Behavior on a Social Networking Web Site, were led by research fellow Megan A. Moreno, MD, MPH, MSEd, and Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH, of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and the University of Washington.

With the rise in SNSs’ popularity and use, parents and those who work with teens have concerns that these sites might expose teens to ill-intentioned online predators, cyberbullies and increased peer pressure. There are also fears that university enrollment and future hiring decisions may be compromised by what adolescents post online in personal profiles. SNSs like Facebook.com and MySpace.com are increasingly popular; MySpace, the most commonly used SNS, has more than 200 million profiles, with 25 percent belonging to youth under 18, according to multiple studies.1, 2

“As with television, movies, games and all media, social networking sites are neither inherently good nor bad,” said Christakis, Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Children’s. “Their upside needs to be acknowledged even as we remain concerned about their downside. We need to devise ways to teach teens and their parents to use the internet responsibly. In the 90’s we talked about a digital divide that separated rich from poor. That divide is quickly narrowing, but a new one is emerging rapidly: the 21st century digital divide separates too many clueless parents from their Internet-savvy children.”

In their study Adolescent Display of Health Risk Behaviors on MySpace, the research team collected information directly from readily available public MySpace profiles. A total of 500 randomly chosen Web profiles of self-reported 18-year-old males and females from the United States provided the data. Researchers examined the extent to which high-risk behaviors were reported in the profiles, as well as any correlations that suggested that certain behaviors may be influenced by other items, interests or activities. They found that 54 percent of the MySpace profiles contained high-risk behavior information, with 41 percent referencing substance abuse, 24 percent referencing sexual behavior and 14 percent referencing violence. In the study, females were less likely to display violent information than males, and teens who reported a sexual orientation other than “straight” showed increased displays of references to sexual behaviors. Profiles that demonstrated church or religious involvement were associated with decreased displays of risky behaviors, as were profiles that indicated engagement in sports or hobbies.

“Online displays of risky behaviors may actually just be displays,” said Moreno, formerly a research fellow at Children’s and now Assistant Professor of Adolescent Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “Some teens may be grandstanding, or may be indicating intention or considered behavior. If that’s the case, then there’s a silver lining because this presents opportunities for education and prevention before risky behavior takes place.” Moreno adds, “When online displays of dangerous behavior discuss actual behaviors, the good news is that teens may be amenable to participating in online interventions. Our related study looked at this, and we were happy to see that even a brief email intervention may be feasible and showed promise for influencing online behavior.”

The researchers’ pilot study Reducing At-Risk Adolescents’ Display of Risk Behavior on a Social Networking Web Site examined whether a physician’s online communication to teens about references to sex and substance abuse found in their MySpace profile would have a positive impact on reducing online display of such behaviors in the SNS. Looking at 190 self-described 18 to 20-year olds with public MySpace profiles that met study criteria for being at-risk, the profiles received a single intervention email from “Dr. Meg,” the physician online profile of Moreno, who became a MySpace member. Her profile displayed information about her professional credentials and research interests. The email was sent from within the MySpace system to the subjects’ profiles, and no personal emails were used. The intervention provided basic information about the risky nature of online personal disclosures and also provided a resource link to a Web site containing information about testing for sexually transmitted infections.

Three months after the MySpace email intervention, the same online profiles were evaluated again for references to sex and substance use, as well as any changes in profile security settings (switching from a “public” to a “private” profile). At the beginning of this study, 54 percent of subjects referenced sex and 85 percent referenced substance use. After the email intervention, 13 percent of the profiles decreased references to sex behaviors, and 26 percent decreased their substance use references. Ten percent of the profiles changed their security listings from “public” to “private,” and a total of 42 percent of the profiles implemented any of these three protective measures. Of those who received the email intervention females were most likely to eliminate sexual references.

Using results from both studies, the researchers conclude that SNS are readily available tools to identify displayed health information and also to communicate with teens about these displays, and they are another way parents and physicians can learn about how adolescents make health-related choices. They add that adolescence is a period of identity exploration which now includes online identity, and adolescents may be open to communicating with health professionals about their online displays. The researchers provide tips for parents and healthcare providers: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/home/press_room/teens_and_myspace.asp.

 

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For edited audio bites of Dr. Dimitri Christakis discussing findings from both studies, MySpace and helpful tips for parents, please visit: www.seattlechildrens.org/home/assets/press_release/christakis_myspace.mp3.

For more helpful related information visit: www.seattlechildrens.org/internet safety for teens, www.WiredSafety.org, www.NetBullies.org, www.kids.getnetwise.org and www.webwisekids.org.

In the Adolescent Display of Health Risk Behaviors on MySpace study, Drs. Moreno and Christakis were joined by Frederick J. Zimmerman, PhD, also from Children’s and the University of Washington (UW), and Malcolm R. Parks, PhD, from the UW, along with Tara E. Brito from the University of Notre Dame. For the second study, Reducing At-Risk Adolescents’ Display of Risk Behavior on a Social Networking Web Site, Moreno and Christakis were again joined by Zimmerman from Children’s and the UW, Parks from the UW, and Ann VanderStoep, PhD, and Ann Kurth, PhD, both from the UW.

References:

1. Bausch, S, Han L. Social networking sites grow 47%, year over year, reaching 45% of Web users, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Nielsen Ratings Web site. http://www.nielsen-netratings.com/pr/pr_060511.pdf. Accessed January 8, 2008.

2. Granneman S. MySpace, a place without MyParents. Security Focus Web site. http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/408. Accessed January 8, 2008.

About Seattle Children’s Research Institute

At the forefront of pediatric medical research, Seattle Children’s Research Institute has nine major centers, and is internationally recognized for advancing discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention and bioethics. In its quest to cure childhood disease, the research institute brings discoveries to the bedside in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. Together they are Seattle Children’s, known for setting new standards in superior patient care for more than 100 years. Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, which consistently ranks as one of the best pediatric departments in the country. For more information visit http://research.seattlechildrens.org/.

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