It's just my desk, so there's no telling what you might find on it.

Social Network Privacy: Is it dead?

Sgrouples 1Yes, yes it is!  Hahaha!  Okay, I won’t be so cynical.  Luckily, thanks to one relatively new (or maybe just not as widely well-known) site, I don’t have to be.

My extreme dislike of facebook, and its stalking practices, is no secret.  I’ve mentioned it more than once.  So, my seemingly never-ending search for a social network that respects its users has been brutal.  However, my search may have finally come to an end.  (Doing the happy dance.)

Yes, I am anti-social (ahem), but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to share SOME personal stuff online with SOME people.  Periodically, I have a desire to share something like a funny pic of my daughter, but I don’t, except possibly via email or text.  I would NEVER post a pic of my precious one on facebook.  I’ve actually made friends delete pics of my daughter and me.  Why?  Because it’s facebook!  I know people do that and much more, and I am not judging any of them.  To each his own, right?  People share because they want to share, and I enjoy seeing their pictures and reading their posts (well… most of them).  But, if they choose to only share with their friends, the posts should only be seen by their friends.  Period.  I also don’t “check-in” at places because the number of stalkers, thieves, murderers, and slimy creeps is staggering, and all of them use facebook.  Again, no judgment.  This is just simply my choice.  🙂  But, I digress.

Clearly, I have many concerns. I want to share some things, but I just haven’t had an appropriate online place to share them… until now.

Sgrouples (pronounced ‘scruples’) was created by Mark Weinstein (founder) and Dr. Jonathan Wolfe (co-founder), and they are serious about privacy.  As a matter of fact, they actually call Sgrouples “the world’s first private social network”.  Why does this site interest me?  Because of PRIVACY!!  So, if you’re looking for a place to shout out to the public, this isn’t it.

Now, I’m not going to go into the entire this and that of this site. Instead, I’ll give you some info, and then direct you to specific pages that will shed some light on this.  But, suffice it to say, I’m rather impressed.

Sgrouples is interesting because it doesn’t have any “find friends” links… not yet, anyway.  On this site, you invite whomever you choose.  If you like, you can then create groups and add individuals according to a specific criteria.  For example, you can add all of your writer friends to a Writers group.  You can create a group just for the people you hook up with for play dates.  The possibilities are endless.  Within these groups, you can even send private messages, add docs, create calendar events, and so on. (The ability to add videos is coming!)  Users can also link to facebook and twitter (more to come) and post to those sites directly from within Sgrouples.  But remember… Sgrouples has no control over what outside sites do if you choose to link to them.

Earlier, I mentioned that I don’t upload pictures of my daughter online.  Check out what Jonathan has to say about it in this video at time stamp 2:14.  Mark and Jonathan have a lot to say about online privacy in this video, and they get right to it, so please take the time to watch this in its entirety.

I’ve been playing on this site for a couple of months, and it has definitely kept my interest. My next move is to invite a few more friends so we can play around with it more.  So, I’ll let you know if it stands the test of Anita.  I mean… of time.

Regardless of how great this social network may be, the internet is still the internet, so I will continue to be careful of what I put ‘out there’.  I hope you will, too.

Got questions? Curious?

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Thanks for reading!  If you give it a go, let me know what you think.

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