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August 4, 2009

Don’t Ask and Don’t Tell Facebook

The military is trying to devise policies to govern how our service people use social networking sites, according to a story by Julian Barnes in the LA Times. The article implies the Pentagon accepts that military folks are going to use these sites, and there may even be some good that will come from it, but the military is concerned about security. At the moment, the Marines have banned accessing Facebook, MySpace and Twitter from government computers, to make sure there’s bandwidth for more pressing military needs.

Not that anyone asked, but it seems to me that the military would do best by treating social networking sites simply as another place service people will be gathering, just like in coffee shops, living rooms, and bars, and should therefore be training them in the use of social networking sites, with clear penalties for violating security guidelines. Which may be exactly what the military policy is heading toward.

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May 14, 2008

Zenzuu: The social network with a one-track mind

So, I was chatting with the driver of the limo my hosts in Las Vegas kindly supplied for me. When I said that I write about technology, he told me about his startup. It’s a social network that he’s confident will knock FaceBook and MySpace off the map. So, when I got back home tonight, I took a look. The Zenzuu explanatory page consists of a 6-minute video right off of late-night cable.

The pitch is that if you check into Zenzuu 30 times per month, they’ll give you 80% of the ad revs. And if you sign other people up, you’ll get a cut of their ad revs. All of which is fine, and reminds us of the absurd amounts of money we users generate for the social networks we use. But Zenzuu is so focused on the revenues that the video doesn’t mention a single feature of the site.

The fact that all the ads on the site are for Zenzuu itself pushes it over the edge into self-parody.

By the way, would you surprised to learn that Zenzuu’s privacy policy seems to suck, although I’m not sure because it’s in a font designed by and for squirrels.[Tags: ]

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