Think LinkedIn is Free? You Got Sold!

privacyIt seems every social network overextends its privileges with users once a year if not more. In the past the culprit has most often been Facebook, changing its Terms of Service and upgrading its platform to create just a bit more vulnerability for its users. It’s become an almost humorous pattern of overreaching only to retreat slightly in reaction to inevitable user outrage.

Today LinkedIn pulled a Facebook.

LinkedIn launched its own social ad network, which utilized users images and profile information in advertisements that would be served on the site, presumably to their contacts. LinkedIn really should have seen this coming — a few years back when Facebook did the same thing it experienced a user backlash.

What’s the fuss? Social network users expect the opportunity to select whether their likeness is used for profit. In both Facebook and LinkedIn’s case, users were initially opted in to the ad programs by default.

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Opportunity Gap: Does it Exist in Schools Near You?

los angeles schools pro publica opportunity gap

Pro Publica has published a database that makes it easy for you to compare your access to quality education and at what cost in an effort to provide insight into the opportunity gap demonstrated by economic difference in the classroom.

The data for L.A.-area school districts indicates that the higher the percentage of students who get free or reduced-price lunches the lower the percentage of students who take at least one AP course. For example, 76 percent of LAUSD students receive free or discounted lunches and 16 percent take at least one AP course. The data flips, however, for Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified: 1 percent get free/reduced priced lunch, and 41 percent take at least one AP course.

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Mirror.me Reflects Your Online Social Identity

mirror.me is the latest web app to mash up a user’s Twitter data and spit it back in beautiful tag clouds, graphs, and pie charts. My profile is both a flattering and — I’d say — accurate representation of my various foci and communities based on a sampling of my Twitter friends, followers and the content of my tweets.

Go to Andy Sternberg's Mirror.Me Reflection

Mirror.me is a Champaign, IL-based start up and may be the best looking twitter tag cloud mashup since tweetcloud itself. What do you think?

Namesake.com Invites You to Talk About Your Passions

namesake.com invites

With Twitter becoming more and more of an echo chamber and LinkedIn lacking in conversation what it offers as a networking tool, it can be difficult to find a place on the web to provoke frank conversation, receive honest feedback, and develop professional relationships for co-creation.

Namesake, a Los Angeles-based startup, is hoping to fill that void. Founded in January 2010 by entrepreneurs Brian Norgard and Dan Gould as a place for professionals and creators to match ideas with opportunities and resources, Namesake.com is still in private beta (to get in now http://nmsk.co/gRsIvp).

Based in a small office in the Hollywood Hills, Namesake is the third startup for Norgard and Gould, who previously cofounded NewRoo, a content aggregator acquired by News Corp in 2006, and Twitter advertising tool Ad.ly.

As a Namesake user, you can build a profile with a full bio and embedded video, or choose to keep it simple. Users can follow conversations passively, participate, and initiate their own. Conversation activity on the site streams in real time on the main page.

Questions and topics recently active in conversations on the site range from the Peter Thiel-inspired “What is it about the world that you know is true that everyone else doesn’t understand?” to “…here’s my washed, dried Beef round top round steak, what shall I do with it?” and “Anyone got tips for staying active in social media… while still being productive & getting tons of stuff done?”

Namesake also features live chats, one afternoon for example, author and USC Marshall faculty member Dave Logan is leading a conversation on tribal leadership. A live chat earlier that day featured LA-based serial angel investor and BetterWorks founder Paige Craig.

Try Namesake out for yourself — get in while it’s still in beta by visiting http://nmsk.co/gRsIvp.

Originally posted May 26, 2011 at LAist.

Interview: AOL’s Debbie Menin on Branded Content, Online Video and how Social Media Influences Marketing

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