Reinfeldt's Facebook gaffe

The Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, speaking to students at the The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) on "The New Swedish Model: A Reform Agenda for Growth and the Environment":

It is a pleasure to be here at LSE. Anybody who wants to study globalisation should start at this institution. I believe you have the highest proportion of international students in the world.

And you are smart.

I am told that you borrow four times as many books as the average UK student. Obviously you do not spend too much time on


Ouch. Better not encourage anyone to spend time getting their heads around the future (global) means of distribution, or what those may look like... (via Media Culpa)

A Swedish journalist's axis of evil: Facebook, MySpace and Gmail

The privacy issues connected with how these popular services collect and store their users' personal information for commercial purposes, make Swedish journalist Hanne Kjöller suggest we boycott them (via Media Culpa):

Kjöller writes (in Swedish): "Too old? Probably. I don't see the point with the website Facebook. But there are others who do. Business men and American terrorist hunters for example."

By the way, isn't that a strange phenomenon? Leading journalists that write negative articles about new media technologies that they don't understand, but understand well enough to bash on a prime location in the paper. I suggest that you either get a better understanding of the technology/service/website first, or refrain from writing about it all together.

Anyway, I think that the age factor might, unintentionally, be where she hits the nail. According to a study by Pew Internet "two-thirds of teens with profiles on blogs or social-networking sites have restricted access to their profiles in some fashion, such as by requiring passwords or making them available only to friends on an approved list." In other words, young people who are savvy online networkers are aware of the risks with being too open and act accordingly.... (read the full post over at Media Culpa).

I must admit I'm sceptical towards the trend that Kjöller questions myself, or some of its faces anyway. Being restrictive about how much information you leave for anyone to access is sensible, but if the service provider is able to pass on all your information, restrictions on access or not, to third parties, those restrictions don't help you much.

Is it a problem that people use the information you leave behind e.g. on MySpace to decide if you are in target group for razor blades or Barbie dolls? Well, yes and no. Age (being a minor or not) is one consideration, and who the service provider can pass the information on to (if it can be required to pass it on to the government) is another...

I wouldn't call it an axis of evil, far from, and if we should boycott Facebook, MySpace and Gmail on this rationale, we should, in the interest of fairness, start by boycotting Google.

Web 2.0 guru Tim O'Reilly has said that contrary to what most people think, Web 2.0 is about controlling data that people leave behind on the web and about the databases that are created as a result of this (in this Wired article, I'm paraphrasing him here).

I'm a bit uneasy about such a scenario, or some of its possible implications. It's great to get spot-on recommendations from Amazon, but, ultimately, I'm scared, perhaps a bit paranoid, I'll end up Scroogled...

Schibsted's CEO questions Murdoch's acquisition of MySpace

While writing about Norway's recent Facebook Fever, I was reminded of one part the presentation of Norwegian media group Schibsted's 1st quarter results that really stood out for me, which, racing from one job to another as I was, I had no time to blog right there and then:

- In only eight months, Norwegian tabloid VG built what is today the country's biggest social networking site with more than 300,00 users, said Kjell Aamot, CEO of VG's parent company Schibsted, when he presented the media group's 1st quarter results earlier this month.


"When you see what we achieved in such a short span of time with two employees and relatively limited resources, it makes you question Murdoch's acquisition," he said, and added that half (!) of VG's traffic today comes from VG's social networking site, Nettby. 'Obviously, this is something Schibsted will be doing more of,' said Aamot.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you might remember that I've been curious about how much of the traffic to Norwegian tabloids VG and Dagbladet, is generated by their social networks, readers' blogs etc. Therefore, last time I looked at this, I only looked at unique visitors (UV) to the different sub sections of the online papers. Now the number of UVs for Nettby is radically improved in the three months past (daily updates here), but the fact that half - or at least half, as some guys at VG Nett told me - of the news site's page impressions comes from its social networking site seems to support the recent social networking strategy of certain corporate players, like Cisco and Reuters.

Of course, considering the rapid growth of Facebook, some might say that Nettby's quick success only goes to show how fickle social network trends are, but, as they would, representatives from VG/Nettby have denied that Facebook is a threat to Nettby, arguing that the average age profile of the latter is younger than that of the former.

Your newspaper isn't MySpace, should it be?

What happens when media organisations and others are scrambling to get on the social media bandwagon without really understanding what they are getting themselves into? A lot of the time it all goes pear-shaped, so we need those debates about what is actually worth getting involved in, and how to go about it. On the heels of the discussions about newspaper blogs and BBC blogs, Invisible Inkling (via Martin Stabe) asks if a newspaper should attempt to be a social networking site, and provides a good summary of different answers. "Let’s figure out how to both give and get value out of online conversation," he says.

Update: a case in point? Conde Nast launches to compete with MySpace (via Bloggers Blog)