Tech Talk Tuesday: Earned Trust, Privacy and Apps

Do not read this post. Seriously, stop what you’re doing right now and read this:

The Decade Of Publicy Stowe Boyd

After, and only after you have read Stowe’s fantastic post, please continue reading below.

Foursquare is the hottest app  in my community right now. It’s growing exponentially, and you’ll see folks displaying badges on their facebook pages. Yesterday AdAge revealed that FourSquare is signing deals with big brands left and right. Foursquare tracks your visits to businesses.

Whrrl, who I have a relationship with, has a check in feature that allows folks to see your footstream. It is not their only feature.

Gowalla, Yelp and UrbanSpoon have similar features where users generate content, reviews, and you get to know about people by seeing the places they frequent.

While it’s fun to see people’s opinions about places they visit, and maybe discover some new ones. I’m finding that in this age of Publicy the voices I trust are the voices I know. I don’t trust the crowd. The crowd gave me Korean BBQ slopped into taco shells and tried to tell me it was delicious. The crowd was wrong.

With the addition of so many large brands I’m left wondering why I’m checking in? Foursquare users, what did Pepsi do to earn your trust? Are they privy to your information? Is it because they are great world citizens? How many people know your house is empty?

Kids are back at MySpace, and they’re using the private chat rooms. Why? Because they value their privacy. They have both youth and wisdom and don’t need to be as public as we’ve allowed them to be.

Sometimes I’ll use Whrrl to check in, but I set it to private until after I’ve left, you can see where I’ve been. The Internet Community hasn’t earned enough trust to track me like a stolen car. My cellular phones belong to me and not to the world.

This Mommy Blogger is wearing her Sheitel on her iPhone.

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Comments 4

  1. You hit so many points in this post. There is so much to say.

    Trusting the masses is a great point. How many people eat at mcdonalds daily? Too many. Just because alot of people are there does not mean it is quality or good. It just means it is popular.

    Being young and online is scary. A few bad pictures posted in a bad place. One post that reveals a tad too much of you can change your entire perception. Having kids younger than 18 it is terrifying. Privacy and keeping what you are doing is essential. The youth does not need every wrong turn following them forever.

    As for the apps like Foursquare and Whrrl and such. The ability to check into a place can be interesting. Letting everyone know where you are…somewhat dangerous. I think just like all social network we will see an evolution. These concerns that you voice will resonate with others who will then re-shape the ways these networks work.

    This post got me thinking. Well said. Good points. :)

  2. Excellent and thought provoking. My favorite line in Boyd’s post:
    Consider that in a real-world restaurant, I cannot cloak my presence, because we don’t yet have invisibility.

    Note the word ‘yet’

    Cassie, having kids older than 18 is even scarier. Being a social media savvy parent does not make me immune to the eye-rolling of my almost 18 and 21-year-old kids. Although, incidences of late have made them realize that maybe Mother(blogger) Knows Best.

    Jessica, you walk the line between public and private in a very decided manner. Those who do not know you do not realize how private you truly are. As the tools become more sophisticated and, yes, more information is made available the line will become thinner and the ability to keep things private will be more difficult.

    Unless of course the second half of the decade brings us info overload and people begin to realize what they have lost. It will be interesting indeed.

  3. I’m cheating. I did not read the Stowe article. However, I have often pondered why someone, especially a female someone would track her whereabouts. I was at a blogging conference where a woman joked about checking in with Whrrl or FourSquare, “I’m in a dark alley; come get me.”

    I like Whrrl when it was a story sharing site. I created several stories and encouraged my friends to join in the fun. It looks like they are moving in a new direction and I don’t think it’s for me anymore. *sigh*

    Back to your points, I don’t trust the crowd, but I trust my network. When I ask for advice or a resource on twitter, I only consider answer from those to whom I’m already connected.

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