February in Review

Georgia: What about the privacy issues that relate to ads? Because there are a lot of people saying “yeah, it’s great that I have ads customized to me, but I don’t know if I necessarily want you guys pulling stuff from my status updates and using that for advertising purposes” or potentially, you know…

Georgia: Do you think those concerns could affect Facebook as it tries to position itself as a bigger company? Do you think people may kind of back off a little bit and be like, “I’m not comfortable with this”, or…

Gerlich: I don’t think so. I think we’ve become immune to a lot of the advertising anyway. When we’re on Facebook, we’re not actively searching for something, we’re searching someones. It’s social interaction, not queries.

Drumheller: First of all, probably depends on how prominent it is. If it’s off to the side… You know, again we’ve gotten really good at ignoring ads in apps. So I think we’ll continue to ignore those if we want to. There’s always going to be people who won’t be comfortable the more they become aware of data-mining, so they could decide they want to disengage from Facebook. But they’re going to have to decide to disengage from a lot of things because all these web sites are data mining, so… I think this process is more… people become aware, they might make some decisions to disengage somewhat, but they just can’t disengage from everything.

Georgia (Narrating): I had one last question for Gerlich concerning a certain type of advertisement he mentions on his blog as an example of how far Facebook still has to go.

Georgia: There was one question I had for specifically for you, Dr. Gerlich. I know what it is because I looked it up, and you mentioned it in the interview, but I realized I didn’t really explain it. Can you tell me what the — [ Giggle. ] What the Beardo ads are, for the readers?

[ Everyone starts laughing. ]

Gerlich: [ Chuckles. ] The Beardo!

Gerlich: It’s like a crochet stocking cap… face mask, but it looks like a beard. You ever seen one of those goofy circus performers who puts honey on their face? And then they let the bees out and the bees all stick to their face? That’s what it looks like. It’s gross! You can just Google Beardo, they’ve got a web site, I think it’s out of Canada…

Gerlich: But this is is like, it’s like… like a fashion statement for bank robbers everywhere, you know, “Wear one of these things!”.

[ More laughter from Drumheller, Gerlich and the interviewer. ]

Georgia: If you liked this story and you’re interested in more social media news, please visit nickgerlich.wordpress.com or the MediaBuffs web site, mediabuffs.org.

Georgia: That’s it for this week and this month! Did you like the episode? Did you hate it? Either way, go to theprairienews.com and let us know. Or you can find on Facebook at theprairiewt or on Twitter at The_Prairie. You can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave us ratings and comments there.

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About Georgia Romig

Georgia Romig is a web assistant for The Prairie. She has been contributing since 2006, became a staff reporter in 2007 and an editor in 2008. Her job is to maintain The Prairie web site and social media outlets. She is a Graduate Student majoring in Communication. You can contact her on Twitter, Facebook or by e-mail.

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