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Google Friend Connect Makes Sites More Social

First MySpace announced data portability, then Facebook announced Connect, and now Google has Friend Connect. Each is making it easier to share profile information from one social networking site to other web sites (and hoping to be place you go to do that). Google’s Friend Connect was announced today.

To add social networking features to any web site, you can get code from Google (although, unfortunately, the site does not work until tonight) and pick which features you want to add. The code will allow people register on your site, invite other people, import friends lists, see who else is on the site, and post messages and reviews.

Facebook to Start Porting Profile Data to Other Sites

Yesterday MySpace announced that you can use your MySpace profile on other sites. Not to be outdone, today Facebook announced their version. It’s called Facebook Connect and it’s a good sign that data portability is catching on. Especially because Facebook usually doesn’t follow suit when it comes to sharing data (unless it’s for advertising).

Facebook Connect was announced on the company’s developer blog.

Privacy is a big concern as it always is with social networks. Free means you give up personal information so you can be on the site. If you change your mind, getting the information off could be tricky. Also, each site has its own privacy policies.

MySpace Wants to be your Profile Host

Each time you sign up for a new site you create a profile which is unique to that site. You’ve got to upload a picture and fill everything out. It’s a pain to keep up with it all, which is why I haven’t yet added my picture to my Digg or LinkedIn profile.

MySpace has launched the Data Availability initiative which can make MySpace your home base for profiles. With this new initiative you’ll be able to integrate elements of your MySpace profile on partner sites that so far include Twitter, eBay, Yahoo! Instant Messenger, and Photobucket.

Facebook Signs on to Child Protection Guidelines

It’s been nearly four months since MySpace announced a joint agreement with 49 state Attorneys General to protect minors online—and now Facebook’s finally gotten around to signing on. CNET reports (emphasis added):

In the deal, the social network has agreed to develop age verification technology, send warning messages when an under-18 user may be giving personal information to an unknown adult, restrict the ability for people to change their ages on the site, and keep abreast of inappropriate content and harassment on the site.

When MySpace and the AGs inked the “Principles of Social Networking” (which I still say should have been named “Principles of Privacy for Minors in Social Networking”) guidelines earlier this year,

Failed: Reuters Gets it Wrong About Facebook Transparency

Here’s a headline from a new Reuters article:

“Facebook users willing to let employers see profiles”

Reuters looks at a new report on Canadian Facebook users and pretty much declares that they are now happy to let employers see their profiles.

But look at the data:

Almost half of 1,200 people questioned in an online survey said they would be comfortable sharing their personal profile with their current employer, while two in five would consider letting prospective employers look at their Facebook account in addition to their resume.

Huh? “Almost half” would share with their “current” employer? Only 20% 40% would share their Facebook profile with a “prospective” employer?

How does that match-up with the headline? Maybe Reuters was influenced by the report’s author who says, “The days of getting drunk and getting all your pictures posted online, that’s gone.”

Why eBay Is Suing craigslist

The public version of eBay’s lawsuit against craigslist was filed this week, with a number of redactions (legal for ‘censored bits’) removed from the official filing, at the request of craigslist (which include the exact number of shares that eBay owns, the exact proportions of shares that others hold, etc.

paidContent offers a good synopsis of eBay’s accusations from the filing and the WSJ (which I will translate into English/a soap opera for those of us who are not financial wizards):

Twitter Traffic Up Again

If you read Marketing Pilgrim, or if you read online marketing blogs, you’ve probably heard of Twitter. It’s the rage at tech conferences and in certain communities. Outside of these circles, almost no one has heard of it. But while it may not have reached critical mass, the growth is pretty impressive.

I’ve noticed that people either haven’t heard of Twitter, have a mad crush on it, or HATE it. I asked a room full of paid search managers if they tweet, and one did. Out of the total number of people I work with (most of us do SEO or PPC) my guess is there are about 5 people on Twitter.