A common concern with regards to Facebook (certainly in my experience anyway) is the lack of privacy and the amount of information which is potentially available about you to anyone who wants it.

I’ve always worked on the philosophy that if I volunteer to put information about myself on the web then I must accept that anyone may view this information, but I know there are a lot of people who want to share their information with some people but want to be able to control who can see such information.

I was very pleased to see this on my Facebook homepage recently:

Now you can use friend lists to control exactly who can see what. We’ve also added the option to share information with “Friends of Friends”. For more details, check out the Privacy page.

Your Limited Profile is now a friend list on your Friends page. All of the same restrictions apply to the people on it.

Facebook has the option of allowing people to only view a limited profile and you can choose what sections of your profile are on that limited profile. It’s now even easier to control this on your friends list so that you can easily add people to the group you would like to only see you limited profile. You could decide for example that you don’t mind old school friends seeing what you are up to now but you don’t want them to know your personal contact details or allow them to see your photos.

I’m glad Facebook has responded to the negative concerns over privacy and I hope they continue to develop ways to make people feel more in control of their information. I know when I first proposed producing a Facebook page at work, some of my colleagues wanted to join to see what it was all about but they didn’t want to have their information on the internet for all to see and were put off joining for that reason. I’m hoping improvements to privacy settings will help overcome these issues and allow more people to feel confident in joining Facebook.

Of course, Facebook still holds any information you add so there will always be that concern but at least they are trying to allow you more control over what members of the public can see.

I recently came across a couple of interesting posts about librarian bloggers (or lack of!) in the UK. I also found a similar discussion last year on Brian Kelly’s blog and it doesn’t seem like much has changed since then. At my last study school I was shocked to discover that I was the only one in my cohort of about 40 that kept a blog of any sort, let alone a library blog.

I was very pleased to see my blog mentioned in Jennie’s post, it’s good to know it’s findable at least! Her post is an excellent summary of some of the blogs she found on her search for UK library bloggers, please check it out if you’re interested in what’s going on in the UK library world. There’s also the British Librarian Bloggers group on Google which Phil Bradley set up, but sadly the group isn’t that active.

If you write or know of any other UK library/librarian blogs please feel free to leave a comment here or on Jennie’s post to see if there are others which have been missed.

It got me thinking – just how many other great blogs there are out there that go unnoticed and how do you keep on top of finding blogs which interest you?

I recently got access to my statistics from my hosting and was amazed at how many people view this blog and how many different ways they do so. I found it fascinating to discover what search terms people had searched and found links to my blog, and also wondering whether they’d got what they’d been looking for when they got here (there were quite a few recent searches for Google Calendar synching due to my recent posts on Google Calendar). Then I got thinking about how I found most of the blogs I currently read. I think most of them have spiralled out from my subscribed blogs mentioning a post from their blog or from blog comments.

Anyway, I’m waffling now but I do find this whole thing fascinating – just how findable are our blogs/websites now that there are so many out there and how do people find other useful web resources? Do people generally actively look for them or just happen to stumble upon them?

I’d heard of FriendFeed before today, but a Lifehacker post I read this morning encouraged me to give it a go.

If you haven’t heard of it before, FriendFeed is basically an aggregator of all your online social networks. It pulls together your updates from blogs, video services like YouTube, social bookmarking services like del.icio.us, picture sharing sites like Flickr and Picasa, wishlists like Amazon wishlist, etc etc! You can see in the screenshot the services is currently covers.

friendfeed

It only took a matter of minutes to register and add my feeds so I now have a nice aggregated feed that will give updates on all my different services.

I can imagine this sort of thing could be very useful for keeping up to date with what people are up to via just an RSS feed, although to be honest I don’t see myself using it very much. FriendFeed encourage you to find your friends on their website but to me that sort of defeats the object, I guess you would only have one website to visit then to see what friends are up to but you might as well add the feeds to your RSS reader (presuming you use RSS feeds).

Having said that, I’m having trouble adding my feed to my Bloglines account. It seems to work fine in Google Reader (I use this as a back-up reader), but Bloglines doesn’t recognise the feed.

Anyway, if you are interested in giving it a go please feel free to subscribe to my feed and let me know in the comments if you have a feed to share or any opinions about the service. I imagine more and more of these aggregators will be appearing to help people control their many online accounts so it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.

I recently prepared a presentation for our students to introduce them to some web tools to aid productivity. It’s aimed at people with no or little knowledge about web tools and only covers a few key resources but I thought I’d share it on here in case there are some tools people hadn’t heard about or others they wanted to share which I haven’t mentioned.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any feedback. 🙂

Yes really, I was shocked too! Knowing what a headache synchronising can sometimes be I wanted to give a big thumbs up to my synchronisation experience today.

I’ve been moving more towards working online and trying to do things through the web thus giving me access no matter where I am or what device I’m using. This is all well and good but at work we have Microsoft Exchange and we use Outlook for our mail and our calendars. I use Outlook Web Access when I’m not at my work PC and also have my mail account set up in my iPod Touch so receive my mail through that – great stuff.

As my last blog post showed however, I’ve been using Google for my calendar due to its ease of use and some of the added functionality such as sharing calendars over the web, adding multiple calendars to one screen, easy to create calendar widgets for websites, etc, etc. We are supposed to use our Outlook calendars so that others can view our availability. This was becoming a bit of a headache for me as I had my Google calendar, my iPod calendar, my Filofax (which I do still occasionally use), my Outlook calendar, and the paper diary at work so that others in the office know when I will be out.

But earlier today I noticed that Google Calendar now has the ability to synchronise with Outlook:

Calendar Sync

After configuring Outlook 2003 with my Exchange account (surprisingly problem-free), I downloaded the Synchronisation application, logged in, chose to sync both ways (there is also the option to use one as a main calendar and simply use the sync one way, see screenshot below), decide how often you want it to sync and hey presto. It works really well and makes it so much easier to have your calendar in two different places.

calendarsync2

Now I just have to overcome the problem that I can’t do this on my work PC as we have locked desktops and therefore can’t download the sync application! Never mind, it looks like I may at least be able to synchronise with my iPod Touch once Apple release the next software upgrade which includes special support for Microsoft Exchange.