Trusting Facebook

There’s been a lot of discussion on the web over the last several weeks on how much trust we can put into Facebook when it comes to handling private data. They’re making a play to be the primary repository of identity on the web. The hub that other web sites link off of to determine personal connections and demographics for a user. Facebook already has a huge lead in this area with 400+ million users that are using actual names instead of screen names.

It would be nice to have a place where we can set up who our friends and coworkers are as well as what we’d like to share with them. Having to recreate this network each time we want to use a new site is a complete pain. But who can we trust to store this valuable info?

Leo Laporte has mentioned in his podcasts that for some reason he just doesn’t trust Facebook as much as he would trust a company like Google to fill this role. I agree wholeheartedly that it’s risky to trust Facebook. For me, the core of this mistrust is that I feel that Facebook hasn’t yet found its truly profitable niche yet like Google has. Google makes so much money in search ads that it can afford to not make money in other areas and take the high ground when it comes to privacy and openness. Facebook doesn’t have this profit center yet to support the other areas of its business. The scary part is that the data that Facebook collects could be quite valuable. It’s really going to come down to where they decide to draw the line on how to use our data. And because this is still unknown and they’ve taken several missteps in the past, it’s difficult to really trust Facebook.

It’s time for Leo to tell Dvorack “Thanks, but no thanks”

I’ve been listening to Leo Laporte’s Podcast Network since it started and haven’t missed a TWIT in years. It’s made sense that as he’s added more specialized podcasts, that the flagship “This Week in Tech” has become more of a general tech and media show. Not exactly how I would prefer it, but I can still get the geekier stuff on FLOSS and TWIG.

My gripe though is that appears that in the last several months that John C. Dvorack has become an almost regular guest, appearing on the show pretty much every week. When Dvorack first started appearing on the show, he could tell some interesting stories about early happenings in tech and would keep things moving if the topic got too far afield. Lately though all he does is destroy any discussion that does get going. Not sure why the change happened, but he seems to only want to talk about himself and will not tolerate discussion of things that aren’t of personal interest.  His presence is completely ruining the show, to the point that if I hear him introduced I’ll move on the next podcast.

The latest TWIT is as good an example as any, every time the other guests would get into a substantial discussion on a topic, Dvorack would blunder in with some random unrelated thought that he had and derail the discussion. The beauty of podcasting is that there isn’t the time slot constraints that other mediums have, so if you find something worth discussing you can flesh it out.

I love the work that Leo does and listen to hours of his programming each week, but I’m afraid that he might have too much personal loyalty to Dvorack to see what’s happening.  I can’t imagine how Leo’s not completely burned out, but maybe as a New Year’s resolution he needs to take a fresh look at his programming and get back to basics a bit.  You just can’t lose with good guests and good discussions.