Home Weekly Wrapup: Facebook Privacy, FriendFeed Trolls, iPhone Push, And More…

Weekly Wrapup: Facebook Privacy, FriendFeed Trolls, iPhone Push, And More…

In this edition of the Weekly Wrapup, our newsletter summarizing the top stories of the week, we analyze the latest changes to Facebook’s privacy controls, investigate trolling on FriendFeed, explore the impact of push notifications on the iPhone, review Firefox 3.5, check out Google’s update to Blog Search, and more. We also update you with the latest from our new channel ReadWriteStart, dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs.

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Introducing the ReadWriteWeb Guide to Online Community Management

Our First Premium Report for Businesses

Recently we released our first premium report: The ReadWriteWeb Guide to Online Community Management. It’s been in the works for more than four months and we believe it’s unlike anything else you’ve seen. Businesses seeking to engage with online communities on their own websites or all around the social web will find the guide invaluable in getting up to speed on the state of the art and making sure their employees have the foundation they need to be effective.

The end product is in two parts. Part one is a 75 page collection of case studies, advice and discussion concerning the most important issues in online community. Part two is a companion online aggregator that delivers the most-discussed articles each day written by experts on community management from around the web. The Guide is available for purchase at a price of $299. (You won’t be charged until you complete a few simple steps on that page.) You can download a free sample section of the report here.

Web Trends

Facebook Wants You to Be Less Private – But Why?

Facebook held a conference call this week about changes being made to the website’s privacy features but we were left feeling a little confused. A long list of settings are being collapsed into a much more manageable privacy interface and users who want to keep sharing messages only with friends and family they have approved will be able to continue doing so. But it is pretty clear that Facebook would like you to share a lot more information publicly than you are right now, with the whole wide open internet.

Why? We asked the company if they really were trying to nudge users into being more public on Facebook and if outside developers would then get access to more user data. Two out of three of the Facebook staff members on the call have now confirmed that yes, they are aiming for users to be more public.

See also: A Closer Look at Facebook’s New Privacy Options

Oh FriendFeed, What You Really Need is Accountability

Last month, we posed the question “are trolls ruining social media?” – a topic that seems to have reared its ugly head once again over the weekend, this time with a specific focus on FriendFeed and the supposed angry mobs that form there. But let’s get real for a minute. Although it’s shocking that some FriendFeed users post terrible, hurtful things while using their real names, posting angry and mean comments is nothing new to the internet. Other social communities, including Digg and YouTube, also deal with this issue – heck, they’re even known for it! But instead of continually pointing out the problem, maybe it’s time for the innovators in our community to start thinking up solutions. Here’s one we just thought up…let us know what you think.

See also: How FriendFeed Could Become the Ultimate Social Media Tracking Service

So Far, Push Notifications on the iPhone are a Letdown

When Apple launched the iPhone 3.0 update, we were pretty excited about a number of the new features in the OS. But push notifications, which Apple billed as an alternative to battery-draining background processes, were on the top of our list. After a few weeks with the iPhone 3.0 OS, however, only a very small number of push apps have made it into the store, and even some of the best ones, like BeeJive IM (iTunes link) and the AP Mobile app (iTunes link) suffer from major drawbacks.

Rupert Murdoch: Facebook is Just a Directory

Rupert Murdoch, the 78-year-old CEO and chairman of News Corp., this week gave a revealing interview to The Street’s Dan Freed. In the interview, Murdoch argued that the latest head-count reduction at MySpace was necessary because the number of employees at the company had grown out of control. In addition, he also told Freed that he wants the site to be very different from Facebook, which, in his eyes, is nothing more than a directory, while MySpace is a place “to find common interests, share music, that sort of thing.”

U.S. Government Reaches Out to the Social Web for Collaboration, But Are Users Reaching Back?

In the quest to open government processes to citizens, collaboration and participation were identified as explicit goals in a presidential memo issued earlier this year. Upon the appearance of a tenuously connected web of blogs, sites, wikis, and forums, many were excited about the refreshing availability of public channels for dialogue between ordinary Americans and policy makers when it comes to deciding what the 21st century American government will look like. On the other hand, the participation in these initiatives has been dwarfed by what one might see on ICanHasCheezburger. In spite of what could be seen as lackluster citizen response, The Open Government initiative’s final drafting phase, which was to have closed already, has been extended until July 3.

Becoming An Open Enterprise: Five Lessons from Booz Allen Hamilton

On Tuesday, consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton won the Open Enterprise Innovation Award at the 2009 Enterprise 2.0 Conference. The portal that garnered them the accolade, hello.bah.com, has shown impressive adoption within Booz Allen, especially for a firm that’s 90 years old. Since being rolled out in August 2008, it’s been taken up for daily use by 40% of the 21,000-strong workforce, according to Walton Smith, who’s worked as an evangelist for it. But by now, the flurry of activity around the conference has subsided, and many are left wondering just what about Booz Allen’s enterprise 2.0 initiative makes them innovative? What led their social software implementation to be successful, and what patterns and practices can we imitate? After taking a look, here are five characteristics that ReadWriteWeb feels were key to the success of hello.bah.com


A Word from Our Sponsors

We’d like to thank ReadWriteWeb’s sponsors, without whom we couldn’t bring you all these stories every week!

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  • Rackspace provides dedicated server hosting.
  • Socialtext brings you 5 Best Practices for Enterprise Collaboration Success
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  • MediaTemple provides hosting for RWW.
  • SixApart provides our publishing software MT4.


Our new channel ReadWriteStart, sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, is dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs.

Learn to Negotiate and Close

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

“It ain’t over till the fat lady sings” means that nothing happens until you get the signature on the contract. That is when the money gets wired. Deals often get derailed. They drift, and then nothing happens. Or a competitor comes in and snatches the prize from you. That is why a “closer,” someone who can seal the deal, is so prized.


Web Products

Firefox 3.5 Arrives, But Are You Dazzled?

There used to be a time when a new Firefox release was an exciting day for early adopters. We’d delve into the new features, rejoice in the speed improvements, and moan about our lost extensions. Mozilla released Firefox 3.5 this week, but something was missing. Firefox just isn’t dazzling us the way it used to. In fact, in some cases, it’s as if the browser is playing a game of catch-up instead. With new features like Private Browsing and TraceMonkey, an engine that speeds up web applications, Firefox isn’t exactly blowing us away – they’re simply introducing features that put them on par with Google Chrome and even, gasp, IE.

Google Updates Blog Search – Where’s the Innovation?

Google just announced a number of changes to its blog search engine, Google Blog Search, but none of them will knock your socks off. RSS feeds for search queries were added, something that no self-respecting search engine of dynamic content would be without. Hot search queries and recent posts from popular blogs round out the slight redesign of the Blog Search home page. While many different Google projects push the envelope with features and interface innovation – users are excited just to see Blog Search make catch-up moves, since it’s a sign that the product is still breathing at all. No news about much needed spam control, no response to Twitter stealing many blogs’ thunder, no personalization, no visualization, no semantics, no mobile play – nothing. It’s really disappointing. Google Blog Search remains the best option if you’re looking for fast results, but other options are better if you have any needs other than speed.

Video Interview with Pandora Founder Tim Westergren

Pandora is one of the Internet’s slow and steady success stories. After years of work and more than $20 million dollars invested, the company is finally looking at the light of the end of the tunnel: turning a profit. In this exclusive interview with founder Tim Westergren after a town hall meetup in Richmond, Virginia, we discuss the company’s close call with bankruptcy in 2007, their ad-based revenue model, their roadmap for adding new features and an open API, and their incorporation into a variety of hardware devices.

Pirate Bay Acquired for $7.8 million, Content Providers to Get Paid

According to their blog and a recent BusinessWire release, controversial Swedish bit torrent tracker the Pirate Bay, is being acquired by Global Gaming Factory X AB for roughly $7.8 million in cash and shares (or $60 million SEK). On the blog, the group hopes to alleviate concerns by saying:

“If the new owners screw around with the site, nobody will keep using it. That’s the biggest insurance one can have that the site will be run in the way that we all want it to. And – you can now not only share files, but shares, with people. Everybody can indeed be the owner of The Pirate Bay now. That’s awesome and will take the heat off us.”

Google Apps Go Social With Improved Contacts & A New API

With some core changes to contacts, Google Apps has dipped a toe in to the enterprise social networking waters. As of this week, Apps contacts exhibits shades of Facebook and Twitter by allowing you to find and interact with all the user profiles in your Apps suite. According to Google, these adjustments where made at the behest of enterprise Apps users. It has also made a user profiles API available to Premier Edition customers, one that allows IT to retrieve and manipulate data about all the people using Apps in a company.


That’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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