Monday, March 23, 2009

Social Web sites face transparency questions - Boston.com

Another timely reality check – see the full article 

Transparency is an important question for social Web sites as they plot ways to grow and make money. How much of their copious amounts of user information should they make available to advertisers who want to reach certain types of customers? Already, for example, Facebook and News Corp.'s MySpace let advertisers target users by characteristics like gender, location or interests. The challenge will be how to please advertisers without creeping users out.

Of course, you can't please everybody all the time. Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, thinks social media sites are in a trial and error phase, hoping to figure out what their various stakeholders will tolerate.

"Right now, it's much more of a free for all," he said, "because the rules aren't clear."

Social Web sites face transparency questions - Boston.com

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