Ultimately, Linkedin and Facebook are apples to oranges. As Cline points out himself, people on Linkedin are in a purely professional setting. People who share information on Linkedin do so for a specific, limited purpose — to promote themselves professionally. In contrast, people on Facebook have to navigate being friends with parents, kids, co-workers, college buddies, and acquaintances. Every decision to share information is much more complicated — who will see it, what will they think, how will it reflect on the user? Facebook’s constant changes to how user information makes these decisions even more complicated — who can keep track?
In this sense, Linkedin is definitely easier to use. If privacy is about control, then Linkedin is definitely easier to control. But does this mean something like Facebook, where people share in a more generally social context, will always be impossible to navigate?
2) Mark Zuckerberg thinks everyone should have a single identity (via Michael Zimmer). Well, that would certainly be one way to deal with it.
4) In a not unrelated vein, Sunlight Labs has a new app that allows you to link data on campaign donations to people who email you through Gmail. At least with regards to government transparency, Sunlight Labs seems to agree with Mark Zuckerberg. I think information about who I’ve donated money to should be public (go ahead, look me up), but it does unnerve me a little to think that I could email someone on Craigslist about renting an apartment and have this information just pop up. I don’t know, does the fact that it unnerves me mean that it’s wrong? Maybe not.
5) Finally, a last bit on the diversity of online communities — it may be more necessary than I claimed, though with a slightly different slant on diversity. A new study found that the healthiest communities are “diverse” in that new members are constantly being added. Although they were looking at chat rooms, which to me seems like the loosest form of community, the finding makes a lot of sense to me. A breast cancer survivors’ forum may not care whether they have a lot of men, but they do need to attract new participants to stay vibrant.