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    Re: Who's on Facebook?
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2011 Mar 19, 03:01 -0700

    The NavList-based "Celestial Navigation" group on FB now has a dozen members. Just a reminder, if you want to join, the easiest way to do is "friend" me at www.facebook.com/frankereed and then I can add you to the group manually. Feel free to "un-friend" me after I sign you up. I'm not keeping score. To be absolutely clear on this, this FB group is just for fun and in the long term I hope it helps people who have not heard of us connect with NavList. In no way does it replace any current functions of NavList, and I wouldn't want it to. It enhances the community.

    Just a quick correction here. Alan, you wrote:
    "Of course, if one knowingly chooses to lay themselves open to spamming, all manner of their information laid before god knows who, I guess that is up to them."

    A couple of posts may have given you the wrong impression here. FB does NOT spam people. Big companies like Google and Facebook are not the sources of spam email. Spam comes from tens of thousands of small companies scattered all across the globe. And they don't get your email address from big databases, except in very rare cases of hacking. They get email addresses by scanning all the web pages on the Internet and looking for anything with the right format (a block of characters followed by an 'at' sign in the middle followed another block of characters with at least one '.' in it). So to find out what has made you spam-worthy, go to google and enter your exact email address wrapped in quotes. Then search. Your email address, Alan, appears on three web sites. And it only takes one! It's nearly guaranteed that your email address HAS BEEN harvested by spammers. And that, by the way, is why email addresses on the NavList message boards are "masked". Google and Facebook DO run small advertisements on their sites, which is very different from spam, and those ads are targeted based on their analysis of your marketing demographics. That's nothing new. If you want to worry about something, what's more distressing is that Google has begun targeting its delivery of news headlines based on what it knows about you. That's Brave New World territory.

    And Alan, you added:
    "Also the concept of Facebook Friends strikes me as strange, but then possibly I'm overly suspicious."

    Yes, I agree. It is strange. It's the cuteness factor that makes it a bit obnoxious for many of us. They should have a setting that lets us replace the word "Friends" with "Contacts". Functionally, that's all they are --contacts. But most people actually like the cuteness factor, and it's a big draw for Facebook. So I think we're stuck with it.

    I should add one more thing. One of the founding principles of Facebook, and one of the things that is helping it take over the world is also a long-standing principle of NavList: we prefer to have people post under their real names. A very large number of interactive web sites have recently implemented "facebook commenting" which requires people who want to make a comment to use a facebook login. Their words are then tied to their facebook identity. There's a huge debate on this going on right now. Visit Google News and search on "facebook" and "authenticity".


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