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.

  • Hi Jo,

    I was going to call you but cant seem to find your number.
    I am about to send an update to fans of Warwick facebook page to tell them we have developed an opac search application.
    You wanted to know if we got anywhere with this, so I wanted to tell you first.
    Please get in touch if you would like to discuss it.
    Unfortunatey I think it is something we can only do with our own LMS and if I remember correctly you guys use Talis?

    Anyway, feel free to get in touch, would be good to hear from you, I hope all is well.
    K
    xx

  • Jo Alcock

    Thanks for the info Katharine, I’m pleased to hear you’ve got an OPAC application sorted and hope your students find it useful. Does it allow them to renew their loans through Facebook or is it purely for searching?

    Yes, we are still using Talis which at the moment is pretty behind the times although I’m informed there are some exciting new developments coming from Talis in the next year or so (I’ve heard rumours about a reading list application for Facebook which sounds very interesting indeed if it is true!).