This is slightly off my original topic but it applies to the same group of people, so I'll add it lol. With the Facebook especially integration, do you all have concerns about privacy and the safety of your members, having personally identifiable information out there on your forum?
Well I have non-commercial sites, so I'm more worried about the privacy of especially minors and people signing up because of Facebook using their real names, having their personal information available thus to unscrupulous people.
I'm very cautious about running a site with too many social networking facilities and am only really willing to use a few features. My concerns are about privacy and how easy it can become for people to expose themselves. We've all seen it on facebook and other social networking sites ... we have the minutaie of people's lives spread through our news feeds which when linked to their profiles can be searched, found and indeed used against them via employment opportunities. I certainly don't want that on my sites!! I think many people say too much on sites - things they perhaps should say only to close friends they trust. We're losing that sense of caution and allowing our privacy to be invaded.
Yes, I have a facebook account but do not use it to befriend every individual I meet online. My friendships are those I'm friends with in real life and catching up with old school friends etc. So for me social networking is an extension of my real life and has a great value.
Running a site myself has a different purpose to facebook or other social networking sites. I want people to make friends and I want people to discuss and give opinins on issues. I don't want them revealing things about themselves that could compromise their privacy. So social networking on my sites is about limited features whilst discussion and opinions takes precedence.
I use my facebook account to log in here, but don't think my personal information is therefore available to people. I'm sure anyone here will tell me if it does!!! On my own sites, if we use fb integration for logging in, then I will be nagging people to retain their privacy!
As a user, I won't register on a lot of sites unless they have Facebook Connect. Gives me a consolidated login across multiple sites and if a site abuses my information, I can block a lot of it at Facebook. If I need to change my information, I should only need to change it in one place as well.
My generation started on a BBS. The one I belonged to had 8 phone lines that you could call into to connect to the host PC with BBS software installed. Forums was to me, a logical evolution of the BBS software.
Today's generation grew up, or are growing with, social networking features. It is all they know, and they have expectations that you either can meet and succeed with, or fall short on, and fail.
Change is good, but at the same time, scary, as you are taken out of your comfort zone.
Lawrence, it's so interesting because you have encapsulated something about generations and expectations of online life. I've been using forums since the mid 90s when we barely had graphics let alone all the other things available today. There's a huge change taking place and whilst some of us who are older are embracing change, our needs shouldn't be forgotten either when software is being bought. I have the luxury of being old enough to be able to afford software, run sites etc. I'm not alone. I sincerely hope that XF take the needs of all generations into account and that if social networking in its fullest form is built into software, it can be turned off for those that don't want it. I'm hoping that's the case because if it isn't I would have a problem being a customer.
I really respect your comments and think you've sort of captured something I couldn't nail - thank you!
I agree with you. Admins need to be able to turn on or off these features: Call it Generation Customizations, I feel with todays generations they do neet to be available in XF, and for those who just want a forum, can easily turn them off,