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Posted by timsoulo

Howdy Seomoz fans! It is an overused practice to start from some "shocking" stats and dissertate on how FaceBook is powerful and important for business. So, I will just consider you all know what is FaceBook and how cool it is.

What you’re about to read is a step-by-step SMM strategy for promoting your business on FaceBook. I’ve gathered all the best practices and tips that I have used myself, together with some advice that I haven’t tried but am confident will work well. Ok. That’s enough for the intro, let’s go!

Where To Start?

1. Brand Ambassador.

First of all, don’t use your personal account to promote your business, unless you want your customers to see your childhood pictures and lulz from the recent party. You can create another (purely business oriented) instance of yourself or hire someone to become your brand ambassador. This will be the person who represents your business online and handles all communications, so the info on the profile should be brief and clear and all the pictures neat and professional. Remember that users will associate your business with this guy.

Power Tip: Create a separate e-mail account in Gmail and import all the e-mail addresses of your clients there. Now when you use this account to create a new FaceBook profile – the system will automatically find all of your clients in your address book and suggest to add them as your friends on FaceBook! What a great start!

2. Creating a FaceBook page.

Promotion on FaceBook is all about having a page for your business. To create one, go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/ and click the "+ Create a Page" button.

Power Tip: "Page Name" is one of the the strongest ranking factors on FaceBook search. Don’t miss the opportunity to add some keywords you wish to rank for as you are not allowed to change your page name later.

Configuring Your FaceBook Page

1. Profile picture & avatar.

Profile picture is one of the few things in the design of your page that you can actually customize, so be sure to make the most of it. Here are two great articles that will help you: "5 Creative Ways to Hack Your Profile Photo"; "Making the Most of Your FaceBook Profile Picture". 

2. Page info.

The next important thing to do is fill your FaceBook page with information about your business. Most of it is stored under the "Info" tab, which you cannot remove or hide. Lots of people visit it, so work hard to make your info as brief and engaging as you can. "Think SEO" and use your keywords, as each of the tabs is indexable by the search engines.

Power Tip: if you type a URL starting from http:// in the info box under your profile picture, FaceBook will turn it into a clickable link. So you can easily refer your visitors to your website, blog or twitter account.

3. Applications.

  • Static FBML (FaceBook Markup Language) – allows you to create 10 additional tabs, which can contain HTML/CSS, Flash, FBML, iframes and FBJS
  • NetworkedBlogs – allows you to post your RSS and Atom feeds directly to your wall; 
  • Twitter Tab – posts your twitter updates to a separate tab; 
  • Extended Info – adds an additional box which supports html/fbml, images, video and music to the left sidebar of your page; 
  • Fan Appz & Promotions – helps you handle all kinds of contests, sweepstakes & give aways.

Tip: you’ll probably end up with lots of tabs by adding various applications. However you can easily drag them around if you think that some of them are more important.

4. Vanity URL.

To be able to convert your ugly "326727833086?ref=sgm&ajaxpipe=1&__a=7" URL into something fancy-looking, like "http://facebook.com/mybusinesspage" you need to have at least 25 fans. Once you do – go to http://www.facebook.com/username/ and click the "Set a username for your Pages" link at the bottom.

5. Custom landing page.

You need an attractive landing page, which will convert your visitors into fans. Here is when the FBML application comes into play. Using HTML, CSS, FBJS and even flash you can create awesome landing pages that people will not only "like", but link to, and suggest to friends.

Tip: If you’ve got no development skills you can find some nice facebook FBML page templates that have just started to appear around the template stores.

What To Expect?

Before we start reviewing various FaceBook promotion techniques, I’d like to clear things up a little bit. Essentially when someone "Likes" your FaceBook page, they will be notified every time you update its status, it’s almost the same as following someone on Twitter. To have your message spread on Twitter you need to have your followers retweet your post so that their followers could see it and retweet in turn. On FaceBook, the principle is a bit more sophisticated: when someone likes or comments your status update, this fact is being reflected in his profile. And when your status update gets a decent amount of "likes" and comments it is promoted to the Top News section of a user’s News Feed, so that more people could see it.

 Now let’s refer to a famous "90:9:1 Social Behaviors Rule" to understand what it takes for your message to become visible.

Let’s consider that "Heavy Contributors" are those ready to comment on
your update, "Intermittent" ones will probably "like" it, and "Lurkers" will read it or just scroll through. Say your page has 100 fans. Knowing the fact that only 12%-20% of all your "Fans" will see your status update in their Live Feed, we can see that:

I hope this delivers a clear understanding that FaceBook promotion takes an enormous amount of effort to become successful.

Promoting Your FaceBook Page Internally.

1. Using your Brand Ambassador.

  • Add to friends any people that may be your potential customers or somehow relate to your business. Recently, FaceBook has added Skype integration, which can suggest you some FaceBook friends from the list of your Skype contacts. Once you have a decent amount of friends use the "Suggest to friends" and "Share" buttons to promote your FaceBook page to them;
  • Use FaceBook Search to discover relevant pages, groups, events, people and even messages. With Search you can easily track any mentions of your brand and provide feedback – people really love that;
  • Once you join pages, groups and events, you are able to participate in the conversation, which is a great way of direct promotion. Moreover you can see the list of the group members and easily add them to friends;
  • Communicate. Once someone comments on your new status, a photo, or anything else – answer back. Moreover you need to make people love your brand and become active contributors and then brand ambassadors. 1/4 of search results on each big brand is UGC (User Generated Content).

Power Tip: When composing a message put the @ symbol and start typing the name of your business page to mention it, just like you mention someone on Twitter. This can be used as a signature to your updates.

2. Keep the page fresh and interesting.

People join your page hoping to receive some interesting stuff from you, so do not disappoint them. FaceBookers usually prefer pictures, videos and links to plain text updates. Here is a comprehensive list of things that you should keep in mind to avoid losing your fans: don’t post too many updates; don’t automate your content; don’t be a duplicate of your website and don’t be boring. Your page wall is your social proof and a signal for people to get involved.

3. Cheat a bit.

Ask fellow staff & your team members to post "likes" and comments on each of your status updates to boost its rankings. Only status updates with 5 or more "likes" and comments show up in the Top News section. This will also make your wall look "alive", which will inspire your fans to be more active on your page and participate in the conversation.

4. Fill in your page with media content. 

  • Upload pictures of your products/services, your office and your team at work to make your company easier to relate to;
  • Encourage your fans to post  pictures of how they use your product;
  • Upload pictures from each event you host and tag your fans there;
  • Post videos of your team members talks;
  • Show your products/services in action;
  • Use video to respond to your fans (Bill Clinton frequently does video responses on his page).

5. Treat your fans.

You need to offer your fans something special and reward them. For instance 1-800-FLOWER FaceBook page shows the discount code only when you click the "Like" button.

You can make some special offers, which are available to your FaceBook fans only and are not announced outside of FaceBook. It’s dead easy to reward your loyal fans by promoting them to the admins of your page, which will most likely turn them into enthusiastic brand ambassadors. Anyway, if there is some prominent fan – he should be publicly rewarded.

6. Send an update to Fans.

Direct messaging is a very powerful tool, but do not misuse it. Think twice before sending a message to all of your fans – it should be really valuable if you don’t want everyone to ignore it or get irritated.

Tip: FaceBook allows you to send targeted updates. Think of a way you could use that feature for your business.

7. Ask your fans for help.

Now and then you can post a status update asking your fans to help build the community by suggesting your page to their friends. Just refer them to "Suggest to Friends" and "Share" links on your page and measure their response.

8. Build partnerships with other pages.

Notice that each page on FaceBook has an "Add to my Page’s Favorites" button. When you do this, the logo of this page appears in a special "Favorite Pages" box on your own page. People see it and they might click the link to find out more about this page.

Your aim here is to build partnerships within your niche and be "favourited" as much as possible. Add to favorites pages that you like or that your business is related to and inform their owners about it with a wall post or a private message. Most likely you will be "favorited" back.

9. Use the applications.

There are a lot of crazy apps that you can use to promote yourself. You can even develop one of your own if your budget allows that. But how do the viral applications work in common?

You need something that people would willingly launch. This might be a game or a quiz or any other kind of dynamic content that most people love. Once a person has his score, bagde, vitual gift or any other result – the application publishes it to his wall so that all his friends could see it. The application should have a clear call to action, so that new people could easily get engaged. If the application has some kind of a High Score – people will play it again and again till they outrank their friends. You can (should) use the apps for sweepstakes and giveaways – people love them a lot.

10. Spy!

Yes! Always keep an eye on your competitors, especially on those outranking you. Check what they do and if you consider it to be a successful strategy – do the same. When they fail – try to avoid their mistakes. Anyway, you should always be informed on what others are doing to promote themselves.

11. Ads?

Indeed the most common way to promote your page. But before you use it, check out these stats:


Promoting Your FaceBook Page Externally.

 1. FaceBook for webites.

The FaceBook team has come a long way toward making your website more personalized and social. There is a list of great social plugins that can be easily embedded into your website and drive lots of new visitors: "Like Button" plugin, which is almost everywhere now, "Like Box", which let’s you become a fan of the website without leaving the page, &q
uot;Live Stream" which is often used while broadcasting some event. Try them on your website and see what happens next.

2. "Like" and "Share" buttons.

These two are so powerful that they require a separate paragraph. Once you own an online store – those buttons are of exceptional value. Whenever you find something that appeals to you in an online store – you no longer need to copy the URL and send it to your friends to ask for their opinion. Just press the "Like" button. They will see that and comment on it. This applies to photos, videos, games, blog posts, reviews – literally anything that can be found on the web.

3. Put a link everywhere.

Once you have a website, you put its address everywhere – e-mail signatures, forum signatures, twitter info, author bio section, LinkedIn profile, links section of your blog. Do exactly the same with your FaceBook page. Highlight your FaceBook presence at offline events, print it on your business card, use every opportunity you have.

Power Tip: Take some twitter auto follow script that follows a person whenever he has specific keywords in his tweet. Some percent of the people you’ve followed will follow you back. Write an engaging request to join your FaceBook page and set it as an automatic direct message to people, who have just followed you. Being launched, this system will drive some new fans to your FaceBook page on a regular basis.

4. Using video.

Almost every video sharing service allows you to annotate your videos with links. This is a great way to drive some new fans onto your FaceBook page. You can make viral videos, funny videos, tutorials, explanations, presentations etc. and include a link to your FaceBook page with a request to join. Works perfectly!

5. Other services.

There are a lot of websites where you can get some targeted audience. For instance, upon writing this guide I’ve gone though dozens of presentations at SlideShare and Scribd. There I’ve seen many referrals to join FaceBook pages specialized on marketing, and I did join some of them truthfully as I enjoyed their presentations. Examine carefully all the websites where you post information or showcase your services and think of the way you could refer people to your FaceBook page.

Power Tip: In case you have some kind of a digital product – create a torrent with some demos, name it with trending keywords and upload to all torrent trackers you can find. In the info or in the comments section add a link to your FaceBook page. Then go to your analytics and watch your numbers grow.

Wheew… That’s the end of my guide. Sure there’s a lot more to add, but I tried to keep my tactics brief, to leave some space for your imagination. I’m sure each of you can invent lots of fantastic ways to use FaceBook for SMM. I am open for any questions, shoot!

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In an effort to educate and entertain, the Nestat Brothers’ YouTube Channel posted this Facebook Movie. It’s not the one that everyone’s talking about coming out soon…

… or is it?

Soshable | Social Media Blog

Not much news here. In fact, it’s almost to be expected.

Barack Obama is the second most popular human on Facebook.

Who is #1? The Dalai Lama? Nope. The Pope? Ya, right?

Perhaps its soccer sensation Cristiano Ronaldo, pop-culture phenomenon Justin Bieber, or everyone’s favorite Kanye West stupidity victim, Taylor Swift.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

If you live your life a quarter mile at a time, you already know the answer.

Ahead of Vin Diesel are 2 games (Texas Hold’em Poker and Mafia Wars), a television show (The Family Guy), and Facebook itself. The President of the United States, however, is just below him.

Anyone who believes that Facebook pages are a true indicator of popularity haven’t been on Facebook much lately.

* * *

Read more Facebook Facts on this social media blog.

Soshable | Social Media Blog

Last week, the Facebook F8 Conference took place; which is a conference intended for Facebook developers and for those who love to know what’s going on with this heart stopping social network. Even underneath all the geek talk, you could understand the brilliance that was about to be unleashed unto the book of all faces. However, with all good changes come some bad, some that you may not be aware of and if not, here’s what you need to know.

As of April 24th, Facebook has added a new Privacy feature under your accounts setting; this feature is called “Applications and Websites”. Since Facebook is looking to have your favorite websites connect to its platform, this also means that your information will be shared across the Internet. For those who don’t mind, this won’t matter, but for those of you who do care, you will need to check your Account Settings immediately and apply changes of any unwanted information sharing. Since this new feature was rolled out yesterday, Facebook made sure to leave the default setting to reveal your information.

  1. Sign into Facebook > Account Settings>Applications and Websites

  2. Start from the top click on all 6 settings and read the information provided by Facebook carefully to than make your decision.

  3. Uncheck all that you do not want shared and click save

  4. Choose “only friends” on the drop down to keep you information within the friends you have chosen to have on Facebook.

As Facebook expands it is crucial for you to keep up-to-date on your privacy settings, whether you use Facebook for Personal or Professional gain. Although spending time on the Internet does open up your privacy, it does not mean that you can’t still be knowledgeable to where your information is being sent, and further more, you should be entitled to make sound decisions on what information is being used as well as owning your online reputation. Always remember that being savvier won’t make you less social.

Did you know about this new feature and will you make any changes to your Privacy settings?

Erin Ryan has a passion for Social Media and is currently working within the industry as a Social Media Specialist. Contact Erin on Twitter @4u2wear2

* * *

Read more on this social media blog.

Soshable | Social Media Blog

We need help. This is a story that needs to be done properly with strong research and unbiased execution.

There are two possible headlines, and they can even be combined into point-counterpoint style if appropriate.

  • Facebook’s is Successful Because of Mark Zuckerberg
  • Facebook is Successful In Spite of Mark Zuckerberg

Those are the choices.

Success is definitely being judged by sheer size at this point. Financial, influential, and historical success are debatable, but nobody can deny that Facebook is huge and growing. Despite a planned “Quit Facebook Day” yesterday, the numbers continue to rise and more people joined yesterday than deleted.

If you know someone who car write all or part of this piece, please email JD Rucker. I would do it myself, but again I want this piece to be done the justice it deserves. It’s a good question and there are conflicting facts, including:

  1. 500 million users on a site created by a guy who admittedly didn’t really know what he was doing and may still not
  2. Outrage over privacy, yet very little action being take by the users
  3. Nobody claims to want to join but eventually everyone does

The list can go on forever, so I want a person or people willing to put the effort in and come up with compelling, researched information about one side, the other, or both.


Soshable | Social Media Blog
Facebook Global Network ImageChris Saad is VP of strategy at Echo, the world’s leading provider of comment/conversation technology to Tier 1 publishers. He is also the co-author of the Synaptic Web Strawman, co-author of the Attention Profiling Markup Language (APML) specification, and co-founder of the DataPortability Project.

Last week, I wrote a post calling out Mark Zuckerberg for making a correlation between Facebook’s privacy issues and their altruistic pursuit of data portability.

Today I’d like to do something a little different. I’d like to examine some of the reasons why Facebook is finding it challenging to either a) implement data portability, or b) communicate about issues of privacy or data portability — and why ultimately, that might be OK, in the sense that it leaves room for the rest of the web to innovate.

I will examine the issue in three parts. These parts, I believe, make up the crux of any reasonable criticism of Facebook at this time.

Data Portability vs. Interoperability

First, Facebook tends to discuss data portability without acknowledging the significance of open standards and interoperability.

Data portability is not just allowing users to access their data. There is a silent “Interoperable” before the phrase that means the data, and the protocols to get it, need to be based on open standards and be interchangeable. Letting people code against your API is not the same as building the API in such a way that others (i.e. social aggregators or networks) could participate in the transactions just as easily.

Facebook’s challenge, however, is that they are pioneering many of these interactions and can’t necessarily wait for standards to emerge or crystallize before acting.

Standards emerge after a good pattern gets established. In many ways, Facebook’s leadership in demonstrating these patterns at scale shows the way (and provides the market momentum and emotional fuel) for standards to emerge. See the OExchange announcement earlier this week, for example.

The challenge for Facebook here is to balance their need (and obvious appetite) for innovation with architectural choices that allow for open standards and interoperable protocols to be absorbed by their system. To show true commitment, they must also quickly adopt standards as they emerge.

Taking these steps would put them in good position to avoid the Internet-scale forces that often reject proprietary platforms as fast as they emerge. In addition to decisive action, if Facebook clearly acknowledged this to stakeholders, it would go a long way.

Will they make these decisions rather than pay lip service? That seems unlikely.

Social Contracts vs. Open Culture

Facebook Global Graph Image

Second, Facebook confuses privacy concerns with anger over a violation of their social contract with users, specifically with regard to people pushing back on the general goal of human openness.

The potential for social media to make the world a more transparent and connected place is real and significant. I don’t think that any rational person who seriously considers the trends could argue against the idea that people sharing more in public, and reading more about others, could reduce fear born from any sense of ‘us’ vs ‘them’.

I don’t think that anyone really challenges Mark Zuckerberg on this point when he makes it. They shouldn’t.

The challenge for Facebook, however, is they began with a social contract — a promise to their users — of a private place for sharing amongst mutually confirmed friendships.

To their credit as a company, they want to continue to push the boundaries, and innovate and evolve as quickly as the market. And the market has evolved. Thanks to Flickr, Twitter and others, public is the new default, and Facebook needs to keep up. For them to change direction towards these open defaults, however, they must declare this intention clearly and unequivocally.

The team at Facebook tries to talk about the need for an open and connected society, and have continued to make incremental steps in this direction. But they have really failed to put it in the context of their history and our future. They need to tell the story of a cultural trend towards openness and explain that while they started as private place, their (new) unashamed goal is move towards a public one.

Doing it in small steps without explaining the end goal or the reason, or even acknowledging the fundamental shift, is a big (and unnecessary) source of criticism.

Open Culture vs. Open Technology

Third, Facebook tends to use the word ‘open’ without drawing a distinction between culture and technology

When the team at Facebook talks about wanting to make the world more “open,” I, and others who care about such things, hear them cloaking themselves in the mantra of Open Technologies when they are actually talking about open/transparent/public culture.

Trying to draw the distinction between Open Technology vs. Open Culture is difficult for Facebook, considering that their audience is not that of our little echo chamber but rather a very mainstream community that does not understand such nuance. So in some regards, glossing over these distinctions is understandable given their target market.

The problem, though, is that making the world a more open place using closed technologies all routed through a single company is not the way it can or should work.

A more interoperable, peer-to-peer method of achieving cultural transparency is critical for there to be true openness (of both kinds). There is an architecture that would allow each node (read: user/site/service) to be a first class citizen on the interoperable social web and to choose how public or private it is when it comes to sharing.

Facebook might know this, but their job is not to create an interoperable social web. They are the market leader — the clear winner — and as Dave McClure likes to say, “Open is for losers.” The nice thing about the web, though, is there are a lot of big, important, well funded and motivated losers who will ensure that Open will win in the end.

Facebook’s job, however, is to capitalize on their momentum and network effects to create maximum value for their shareholders. This is not ‘evil’ or even necessarily undesirable. Because like with open standards, oftentimes until someone shows the industry how it’s done (and frankly lights a fire under its butt), it’s often hard for us all to collectively imagine what the future might look like.

The challenge for Facebook — one they are more than capable of facing – is keeping up with the inevitable opening of the walls and the peering of the nodes. They are the most agile and innovative company at scale that has ever existed on the Internet. If anyone can do it, they can. The only question is, can the rest of the community execute as well?


In these three areas — Data Portability vs. Interoperability, Social Contracts vs. Open Culture, Open Culture vs. Open Technology — Facebook has made big moves and very high profile blunders. Their challenges are great and their ability to execute with ambition first, ask questions later and quickly clean up the mess is the very reason for their success.

Are these blunders a series of accidental missteps (a combination of ambition, scale and hubris) or a calculated risk to force their world view on unsuspecting users (easier to ask for forgiveness)? Only the executives at Facebook can ever truly answer this question.

What’s clear, though, is that their platform is tightly coupled with countless other websites and applications across the web, and their financial success is aligned with many influential investors and actors. At this stage, and at this rate, their continued success is all but assured.

But so is the success of the rest of the web. Countless social applications emerge every day and the rest of the web is, and always will be, bigger than any proprietary platform. Through its action and inaction, Facebook offers opportunities for us all. And in the dance between their moves and the rest of the web’s, innovation can be found.

The only thing that can truly hurt the web is a monopoly on ideas, and the only ones who can let that happen are web users themselves.

For more social media coverage, follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

More Facebook resources from Mashable:

Why Facebook’s Privacy War Is Not Over
Why Facebook Must Get Serious About Privacy
4 Tips for B2B Marketing on Facebook
In Defense of Facebook
The Local Advertising War Will Be a Clash of the Internet Titans

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, alwyncooper

Reviews: Facebook, Flickr, Internet, Twitter, iStockphoto

Tags: data portability, editorial, facebook, open technology, privacy, social contracts, social media

Facebook’s former Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly is running for attorney general in the state of California, but rival Kamala Harris is running a TV attack ad that claims “his only experience is designing the Facebook privacy policy condemned across the country.”

The ad concludes, “Chris Kelly released your private information.” Kelly took the privacy chief job at the social networking site in 2005, then resigned on March 16, 2010 during his run for public office, but the ad’s accusations might not be factual.

Politico reports that he wrote an e-mail to progressive hub MoveOn.org criticizing Facebook’s privacy policy, and according to Time Magazine he went on hiatus from the company back in August, possibly before the development of the Instant Personalization feature that has drawn such ire from users who feel that their privacy is threatened.

Harris has been slamming Kelly for his involvement at Facebook for a while now. One of her statements read, “If Kelly couldn’t stand up to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on behalf of Facebook users, how on earth can Californians trust Kelly to go to bat on their behalf as attorney general?” She’s currently the front-runner in the race for the democratic nomination, leading Kelly by 11% in one poll.

This new ad — which is probably the first TV attack ad to focus on Facebook — brought the spat to millions of TV screens in the Los Angeles area on Tuesday.

The Ad

width="640" height="505">name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/maj2jEZ-59c&hl=en_US&fs=1&">name="allowFullScreen" value="true">name="allowscriptaccess" value="always">wmode="opaque" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/maj2jEZ-59c&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="505">

[via The Los Angeles Times]

For more social media coverage, follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

Reviews: Facebook, Twitter

Tags: advertising, attack ad, attorney general, california, chris kelly, facebook, kamala harris, L.A., Los Angeles, politics, privacy

Post image for Google is Scarier than Facebook on Privacy

In the past few weeks Facebook has been publicly criticized over privacy policies; however, when Google invades people’s privacy, the offenses don’t receive the same level of scrutiny or public outrage.

Unless you had all of your attention focused on the Lost season finale, it’s been impossible to not know about the problems Facebook has been having with privacy . It had gotten so bad that people created infographics showing the erosion of privacy over time and the byzantine settings to control your privacy. This caused some high profile people like Jason Calacanis and Leo Laporte to delete their facebook profiles as a form of public protest. However, when Google is guilty of similar violations, those people (and the community as a whole) remain mute on the issue.

In recent weeks Google has been caught uncharacteristically with their pants down on more than one occasion. First they admitted they “accidentally” downloaded personal information. More recently, they were “forced” to admit they were geographically mapping all open wifi networks as part of the European street map program. I don’t know about you, but I think these are some pretty serious offenses.

But are Jason Calacanis and Leo Laporte deleting their Google profiles or calling for any form of protest against Google?

So why does Google get to “slide by” while Facebook gets sacrificed on the altar? First off, Google has done an excellent job of perpetuating the “garage company startup” despite being a huge business and financial juggernaut. Don’t think for a second that the playful colors, funny logos, bean bag chairs, and lava lamps are by accident. It’s all intended to create that sense of being “googly.”

The second part is that Google creates a lot of good will by giving things away for free. It doesn’t matter that, by giving things for free, they destroy other businesses.  It’s almost as if people believe that, as long as long you get it for free, it’s all good. But free is a funny thing, and it motivates people in funny ways. People have been known to give away a lot of personal information to get things for free.  That tendency is something that a lot of startups depend on.

If the community isn’t going to protest, then it’s up to the government to step in. While the DOJ may want to go after Google, right now it’s not happening. Call me a crazy conspiracy theorist , but the spooks in the spy agencies have convinced the government that spying on its citizens is a good thing, and they might as well let someone else get their hands dirty doing it. And this isn’t a red state blue state debate: both Bush and Obama have extended the Patriot Act.

So what’s the next step? We each have to take a stand and educate our circle of friends and contacts about the clear and present danger that all of these companies put on our personal freedoms. Facebook, Google, or some other company–it doesn’t matter where the threat comes from. What’s important is that we see it for what it is and act accordingly. As Ben Franklin says “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.”

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Google is Scarier than Facebook on Privacy

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