…or location-based, or whatever you wanna call it. point is, you will soon be able to share your location with all your “friends” – according to the nytimes “bits” blog. that’s cool, of course – if my facebook friends can see on my profile that i’m in town for a few days, maybe they will call me up and invite me for a beer. writing this feels kind of like reading old science fiction – duh, this is just SO 1999. but of course, even though we’ve had google latitude, foursquare, loopt, gowalla etc etc for a while, the value of this kind of connection only really materialises if all your friends are on – and the one place where they all are, is facebook.
on the other hand, that is actually where they all really are, also the ones who you might not want to know where you are.
like your boss, if you called in sick to skip a meeting and then went jogging in the park. or to pick something more legitimate, if you are interviewing for a new job at the headquarters of your employer’s main competitors. of course there will be privacy settings to control who can see your location, but then again, if you block people they might ask you why. and besides, the complexity of facebook’s privacy settings is a chapter of its own.
facebook seems to be betting that this ever increasing complexity of privacy versus public is something we are getting used to and are willing to struggle with. (actually this is a direct quote from a facebook executive interviewed in norwegian daily dagens næringsliv – paper only). they may be right, or they might not – at the very least, the incredible way in which google messed up their “buzz” launch indicates that this is a risky business for everyone involved – users and producers alike.