INB 347 Harnessing Collective Intelligence

Sorry this is late, technical difficulties.

To make a change from blogging about my life in all its grandeur, this blog will now be about (for the time being any way) Web 2.0 and this week’s topic was harnessing the Collective Intelligence.

From discussions among the group it was decided that in order to create a website that was popular and profitable the application had to have the ability to harness the collective intelligence of its user base, and by so doing ensure that these users trusted the website. Most websites are attempting to gain this trust by (to some extent at least) guranting the privacy of their users. For this blog I will attempt (succinctly I hope) to show how Facebook has potentially compromised the trust its users had in it, by altering their new privacy settings, and how this may make it harder for them to Harness the collective intelligence of it users.

Recently Facebook has made relatively drastic shifts to their privacy setting on each user’s profile that makes it easier for people who are not directly connected to you with friendship to assess your personal information. The primary change that Facebook made is to make all information pictures and groups automatically public to everyone. On their site they claim;

“Certain categories of information such as your name, profile photo, list of friends and pages you are a fan of, gender, geographic region, and networks you belong to are considered publicly available to everyone, including Facebook-enhanced applications, and therefore do not have privacy settings.”

However  the privacy change reverted all of you current information you share on Facebook automatically available to everyone with an internet connection. Facebook provided a bare minimum tutorial on how to change the privacy settings back however, said tutorial only showed how the privacy settings changed and not necessarily a step by step tutorial on how to alter the change. I recently my own profiles privacy settings which i altered shortly after the change only to realize all of my pictures had been public since the change. In order to fix this you have to open completely separate page away from the other privacy information. Furthermore the motives can again be questioned that there is not an automatic “All Pictures” button to set all pictures to private at the same time. Instead you have to change each album individually.

This has caused Facebook to come under fire for its general lack effort to take care of the privacy of its user. As a rebuttal Facebook claimed that;

“We recommend that Everyone be able to see information that will make it easier for friends to find, identify and learn about you. This includes basic information like your About Me description, Family and Relationships, Work and Education Info and Website, as well as posts that you create, like photo albums and status updates.”

Although all this has come to light the sheer user base of Facebook is so great that people (including myself) have simply chosen to work around these obvious breeches, due to the fact that their is no alternative that has the same or equal power that Facebook has as a social network proving the power of harnessing the collective intelligence.

Next week I will talk about how Data is the next “Intel Inside”

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