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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Friday, July 19, 2024

5 stages of data privacy grief

Author: Mark Dixon
Monday, April 23, 2018
7:37 am

Do you want some tasty ice cream?  I think Tom Fishburne nailed the essence of why people put up with social media intrusion into their personal space.


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New Stuff on the Blog

Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
5:18 pm

About a month ago, I began in earnest to renew my commitment to blogging.  Since then, I have been much more diligent in posting to this Discovering Identity blog.  Yesterday and today, I made a few long-overdue adjustments to the structure of the blog.

I added the following buttons so visitors can more easily post links for individual blog posts to Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, with the option of using Buffer to delay the post to a later time if desired:


You can now link to the social networking sites I pay attention to via icons on the sidebar:


A couple of months ago, I started sharing some photos on SmugMug.  The SmugMug photo bar in the right sidebar gives you a glimpse of some of the photos I have shared.


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Experiencing the Best Social Network Ever

Social Media
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, July 19, 2012
10:12 pm

Thanks to Bonkers World for capturing in a nutshell the social dynamics I experienced with my colleagues in a week-long training event in Santa Clara, CA:

Thanks to infosecurity.us for passing this along!

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Are We Social Lemmings?

Social Media
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, May 17, 2012
1:57 pm

On the eve of Facebook’s big IPO, maybe this Nonsequitur view of things is appropriate …


The Dreaded Exclamation Point!!!

Humor, Social Media
Author: Mark Dixon
Saturday, October 8, 2011
7:27 am

Do you suffer from the malady of Exclamation Point Excess in social media?  I do!  But  I had never realized the effect of it all on Eddie the Exclamation Point, until today …

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The Growth of Social Media

Social Media
Author: Mark Dixon
Saturday, September 3, 2011
6:12 am

Did you know that Facebook has a population of over 600 million registered users – trailing only the nations of China and India? The following infographic from Search Engine Journal is a fascinating study of the growth of Social Media over the past few years.

The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic

Source: The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic

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Collective Intelligence and Global Democracy

Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
4:26 am

I was intrigued with the following two tweets that appeared in my Twitter stream this morning, only three tweets apart in the stream:

From @newsbrooke: RT @johnmitchinson: ‘We could be on the cusp of a whole new global democracy” Another must read from @newsbrooke: bit.ly/mSXx0k

From @gartner_inc: Creativity, Social Exchange, & Collective Intelligence will Make the Future Better than past. gtnr.it/omppJE #GartnerPCC Summit.

The first referenced Heather Brooke, who spoke about the role of social media in the UK riots

There are always going to be new ways to communicate and a democratic society shouldn’t be afraid of that. That was the whole purpose of the First Amendment [to the US Constitution]. Free communication was never the enemy, it was the liberator. …

We could be on the cusp of a whole new global democracy, where individuals have incredible power or we  could become a global totalitarian society where all of us are under surveillance at all times.

The second tweet references a speech to be given by Matt Ridley at the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit on September 21, 2011:

Matt Ridley argues that for most people in the world, the future is going to be inexorably better than the past for the following reasons. 1. Despite recessions and wars, human society has been getting wealthier, healthier, happier, cleverer, cleaner, freer, kinder, more peaceful and more equal. 2. Though we repeatedly expect this improvement to cease, yet it keeps defying the pessimists. 3. There is a reason that this happens – through exchange and specialization, a process that allows us to work efficiently for each other in an increasingly interdependent way that creates a sort of collective intelligence.

The two phrases that caught my attention were “global democracy” and “collective intelligence”.  I agree with Ms. Brooke that social networking does enhance the democratic voice of the people, and can be a powerful influence against totalitarianism.  The same phenomenon will contribute to our collective intelligence as we share ideas.   The challenge and opportunity is to sort through all the noise and ultimately find truth.

Back in 1995, following the advice of Stephen R. Covey, I established a personal mission statement.  One line in that statement is “Enhance Human Freedom through Global Electronic Communications.”  I like to think that my small participation in social media will indeed contribute to human freedom through sharing ideas in the ever-expanding network of people interconnected with global electronic communications.

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Facebook or Twitter: Friend or Stalker?

Humor, Social Media
Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
5:32 pm

From the Geek & Poke archives … if she won’t friend you on Facebook, you can follow her on Twitter.

Geek & Poke - Facebook or Twitter

Isn’t that stalking?

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How Much of Your Profile Data Can Your Social Network Share?

Author: Mark Dixon
Monday, June 13, 2011
4:21 pm

An interactive “Provider Guide” provided by JanRain shows what personal profile data maintained by popular social networks is available to applications that connect to these networks.  It is not surprising that Facebook offers the most information; LinkedIn is second in terms of available profile attributes.

With these many attributes about subscriber identities available through published API’s, it isn’t surprising how the stock market placed a huge premium on LinkedIn, and will presumable do the same with Facebook.  Perhaps the most valuable attributes are the connections to other people – friends on Facebook, contacts on LinkedIn.  The Network Effect arising from the interconnectivity of all those online members triggers extreme value momentum, particularly when all those relationships can be exposed to third parties.

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What is more valuable – linkages between web pages or between people?

Identity, Social Media
Author: Mark Dixon
Saturday, June 4, 2011
12:50 pm

I was intrigued by a headline I read this morning, “How Facebook Can Put Google Out of Business,” by Ben Elowitz (@elowitz), co-founder and CEO of Wetpaint.

Elowitz started by stating his admiration for Google:

Google LogoI used to envy Google and the vast digital empire that Schmidt commanded.  Google had one of the most intricate monopolies of all time. It had the most impressive dataset the world had ever seen; the most sophisticated algorithm to make sense of it; an audience of a billion users expressing their interest; and more than a million advertisers bidding furiously to reach those consumers at just the right moment.

What’s more, it had captured the ultimate prize: increasing returns to scale. Only Google could spread such huge R&D costs among an even more humongous query volume, all while offering advertisers the chance to reach most of the population with one buy. Google had earned its success.

However, he as concluded that Facebook offers more inherent value than Google, and can beat Google at its own game:

FacebookWhile Google has amassed an incredible database consisting of the fossilized linkages between most Web pages on the planet, Facebook possesses an asset that’s far more valuable—the realtime linkages between real people and the Web.What does this mean, and what are the implications here?

Well, in a nutshell, Facebook has stored a treasure trove of distinctive data that, if fully utilized, could put Google out of business.

I’m not astute enough to predict whether Facebook or Google will win, but I believe Elowitz has identified an important distinction between the inherent value of linkages:

“linkages between real people and the Web” [and, I might add, linkages between real people] –  primary Facebook value


“linkages between Web pages” – primary Google value

Relationship WebWe call linkages between people “relationships”. In my previous post, each line on my LinkedIn connection map represents a real life relationship. Some of my Linkedin relationships are closer in real life than others, just like some of my Facebook “friendships” are closer than others.  But they are real.  They do exist.

My real-life relationships represented by Facebook or LinkedIn have inherent value to me.  Both Facebook and LinkedIn provide real value to me through the services they provide.

Google has proven that there is great business value in “linkages between web pages”.  I believe companies like Facebook and LinkedIn are beginning to how to business value can be derived from “linkages between people”.  Google is clearly trying to catch up in the relationships business, where Eric Schmidt admits they have failed.

It will be interesting to see how they, and other companies of their ilk, will continue to succeed for fail in business as they leverage (in a positive sense) their understanding of my relationships, hopefully without exploiting (in a negative sense), the private information I entrust to them.

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