Friday, May 29, 2009

Marketing, Virtual Friendships and of course, Facebook

" average Facebook user with 500 friends actively follows the news on only 40 of them, communicates with 20, and keeps in close touch with about 10," according to an article at BusinessWeek. 

Going by that, and given that I have 1272 friends, it means I actively follow the news on 101 friends, communicate with 50 (and a half, heh?), and keep in close touch with 25? But I only closely follow maybe 1-3 people! But I definitely communicate with more than 50 - through status comments, quiz comments and what not - apart from wall posts. Well, I guess it's a fair generalization still.

I'm most interested to know if the researchers can really come up with algorithms to friendships, or at least virtual friendships, because I believe that is impossible. It's all just random!

Another concern for me is, how do the researchers get their guinea pigs - the people they carry out research on? Like, let's say they want to study me because I'm such a "Facebook whore", would they just get access to my information without my consent? How many people I stalked, clicking through pictures, and viewing people's wall-to-walls and what not... 

Or would they ask me first? If they do, and let's assume I say yes, does that mean I will be giving them access to my friends' information as well? Because - I think I raised this question before - who owns this data? 

Naturally, Facebook terms and conditions stipulate that the users have no rights over the information, but still, it is information about ME! And while I still own the content, the statistical information could be useful too. If anyone else has a right to view it, I should be able to view it first! I also want to learn more about me and my habits! 

Yes, after going through the Facebook principles, I think that any information that is provided to advertisers and marketers should be provided to me first.

Posted via email from nubeals's posterous

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