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Facebook may be the most “in” thing but don’t let it affect your social and professional life

January 29, 2011 Leave a comment

These days, Facebook may be the single best way online to keep in touch with friends, associates, far-flung family members, and people with similar interests. But if you’re not careful, it’s probably also the site most likely to get you into trouble.

Virtually every week, there’s another news report about employers using Facebook to evaluate or screen employees or potential employees, making assumptions about character, trustworthiness, or conduct based upon Facebook postings or “friends.”

Girlfriends and boyfriends, husbands and wives, friends and neighbours can check out each other’s Facebook pages with ease, possibly jumping to erroneous conclusions about what shows up. So how can you enjoy what Facebook has to offer while limiting your risk? Follow these steps:

Know your privacy settings

Whether you’re active or not on Facebook, if you haven’t visited the Privacy Settings area, you should put this on the top of your to-do list. In short, Facebook pages get indexed very well by the major search engines, and unless you know both what’s on your page and what could be on your page as a result of friends’ postings, you should take control pronto.

From Facebook, click Account in the upper right-hand corner,and from the drop-down menu, choose Privacy Settings. The Choose Your Privacy Settings page opens. Under Sharing on Facebook, go directly to the “Customize settings” link at the bottom of the Settings table, and make the most appropriate selections for what you wish to share with the world, your friends, and friends of your friends.

But don’t stop there. Under the Connecting on Facebook section, click the “View Settings” link. The Connecting on Facebook page appears,and from there you make important decisions such as whether you can be found as a result of a standard search on Facebook and whether others can view your list of friends.

Watch what you post

Consider Facebook a close relative of e-mail. That means that anything you say, any picture you post, any member you befriend can be made public without too much trouble – regardless of your privacy settings. In the digital age, after all, everyone knows how to copy and paste, and screen captures can easily link you with a post on your wall. If you really want something to remain private, don’t post it on Facebook.

Reign in third-party apps

A growing number of third-party social networking applications and websites – such as TweetDeck for Twitter and Digsby for instant messaging – are asking for access to your Facebook account so that updates can be sent two ways. Don’t allow such access requests unless you know what you’re getting into. Using third-party tools that are tied into Facebook might make you appear “online” on Facebook far more often than you actually are, for example – a potentially embarrassing situation.

Even when you do allow third-party access to your Facebook account, it’s a good idea to visit the Apps and Websites section of your Facebook Privacy Settings page to see which programmes have been granted access. From Facebook, click Account, Privacy Settings, and then under Apps and Websites, click the “Edit your settings” link. Adjust the settings appropriately.

Facebook taking on groupon – Launches Group-Buying Prototype

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Facebook is currently testing a new feature called “Buy With Friends,” which allows users to get discounts on virtual goods purchased by their friends.

Here’s how it works: A user makes an in-app purchase using Facebook’s currency, Facebook credits, and shares it in his or her newsfeed. A friend sees the purchase and can then buy the same item at a discount directly in the newsfeed.

Currently, the feature only works for certain in-game purchases of virtual goods. Developers determine the items and terms of the promotion.

Speaking at the Inside Social Apps Conference in San Francisco Tuesday, Facebook’s head of commerce product marketing Deb Liu said that during early tests, more than half of users chose to share their purchases with friends, Forbes reports.

Although Buy With Friends is currently restricted to virtual goods, we can easily envision how this feature could be expanded to include physical goods as well, especially as more and more retailers set up shot on Facebook. The prototype could be Facebook’s way to participate in the kinds of group-buying offers recently popularized by the likes of Groupon and Livingsocial.

Twitter Now Worth $4 Billion

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Twitter’s market value has reached $4 billion just a month after it raised $200 million in funding.

According to SharesPost, a secondary market for buying and selling stock in privately held companies, Twitter’s value has jumped to $4 billion, based on recent transactions. That is a $300 million increase in value in just over a month, based on the $3.7 billion valuation set by its funding round in December. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led Twitter’s most recent round of funding.

Twitter’s market capitalization will likely continue to rise in the near future. Several recent stock purchases on the private markets imply that Twitter’s value is more than $6 billion. While these smaller transactions aren’t a definitive basis for defining Twitter’s value, they are a benchmark that can help determine whether a private company’s value is trending up or down.

Facebook is still the king of private markets, though. While its most recent funding round valued the company at $50 billion, its value on the secondary markets has skyrocketed to $75 billion.

Secondary markets for privately traded companies are currently the subject of an SEC probe over whether they violate SEC regulations.

Zuck you’ve been hacked!! – can we still trust on facebook!??

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook fan page seems to have been hacked, with the hacker posting a message calling on the company to transform into a “social business.”

The message, seemingly posted on Facebook from Mark Zuckerberg’s account, was quickly removed (together with the fan page), but not quickly enough to go by unnoticed, receiving more than 1,800 “likes” and hundreds of comments in the process.

The message read: “Let the hacking begin: If facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn’t Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a ‘social business’ the way Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus described it? What do you think? #hackercup2011″

Facebook made no statement about the incident, but if Zuckerberg’s fan page was indeed hacked, it’s a big deal. If the Facebook CEO (more accurately, the PR team that’s handling the page for him) can’t keep his Facebook account safe from intruders, who can?

What is your point of view?

Facebook Raises $1.5 Billion, Now Worth $50 Billion

January 22, 2011 3 comments

Facebook has just announced that it has raised $1.5 billion in venture funding from Digital Sky Technologies, Goldman Sachs and clients of the investment bank. With this round, Facebook is officially worth $50 billion.

“Our business continues to perform well, and we are pleased to be able to bolster our cash position with this new financing,” Facebook CFO David Ebersman said in its announcement. “With this investment completed, we now have greater financial flexibility to explore whatever opportunities lie ahead.”

DST invested $50 million while Goldman Sachs invested $450 million. The remaining investment came from overseas shareholders participating in Goldman Sach’s Facebook investment vehicle. The social network says that it could have raised anywhere between $375 million and $1.5 billion from the investment vehicle, but decided in the end to limit the additional funding to $1 billion.

Facebook says that it was approached by DST and Goldman Sachs about the potential investment, and “Facebook decided it was an attractive opportunity to bolster its cash reserves and increase its financial flexibility.” The social network also confirmed in its announcement that this transaction will give it over 500 shareholders, which will require Facebook to publicly disclose its financial results no later than April 30, 2012.

Facebook says that it has no immediate plans for the $1.5 billion it has in its bank, though we believe it will use that money to buy the old Sun Microsystems camous in Menlo Park, expand its staff and accelerate its acquisition strategy.

Facebook ‘enhances intelligence’, Twitter ‘diminishes it’

September 7, 2009 2 comments

In today’s world, they both are leading social networking sites but with a difference – while Facebook enhances intelligence, Twitter diminishes it, a leading British psychologist has claimed.

According to Dr Tracy Alloway of Sterling University, spending time on Facebook could enhance a key element of one’s intelligence that is vital to success in life, but using the site Twitter might have the opposite effect.

In fact, playing video war games and solving Sudoku may have the same effect as keeping up to date with Facebook, while text messaging, micro-blogging on Twitter can weaken “working memory” which involves the ability both to remember information and to use it.

“I’m not saying they’re good for your socialisation skills, but they do make you use your working memory. You’re keeping track of past actions and mapping the actions you’re going to take.

“Sudoku also stretches the working memory, as keeping up with friends on Facebook. But the instant nature of texting, Twitter and YouTube isn’t healthy for working memory.

On Twitter you receive an endless stream of information, but it’s also very succinct.

“You don’t have to process that information. Your attention span is being reduced and you’re not engaging your brain and improving nerve connections,” Dr Alloway told was quoted by The Daily Telegraph as saying.

Dr Alloway has extensively studied working memory and believes it to be far more important to success and happiness than IQ. In fact, her team has developed a working memory training programme that greatly increased the performance of slow-learning children aged 11 to 14 at a school.