Down the rabbit hole with the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship

I had an opportunity to present at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship‘s “Social media in your organisation” course. The course is currently underway at the Quartermain Hotel in Sandton and is being presented by the Branson Centre and Bjarke Gotfredsen. I was given an hour and a half to talk (including questions) and I used that time! I found that as I prepared for this talk, my scope seemed to expand as more and more social media related legalities came to mind. It was an eye opening voyage into the myriad legal considerations and concerns that accompany social media implementations and platforms. My slides probably only paint an incomplete picture but you’ll probably get the idea:

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You can also view my slides on Slideshare.

The more I think about it, the more I realise just how much legal complexity the social Web introduces to the mix. To a large extent this is unavoidable unless your company intends disengaging from the Web altogether. The social Web isn’t just about fun and harmless sharing. The applications and platforms we use are becoming a lot smarter and are learning a lot about us. I had a slightly deeper understanding of this when I took a look at my Foursquare stats and realised just how granular that information is becoming. Consider some of the information Foursquare has about my location based activities, albeit based on my voluntary checkins and my relationships:

Foursquare stats

We had a fascinating discussion about changing privacy expectations and how location based services, alone, could take us much further along the privacy continuum towards greater transparency than we probably imagined just a few years ago. We may find that we will be using tools and services that know our many preferences: when we tend to do our shopping and where, what our friends like and which of those likes may be shared, which retailers may appeal to us, who our clients are, and so on. We may also be ok with that level of transparency because it will make it so much easier for us to find what we need, when we need it. It may also be the end of privacy as secrecy for those of us who embrace these technologies.

It was a stimulating session and I enjoyed it thoroughly! It was, after all, an opportunity to debate law and the social Web, one of my passions.

Published by Paul Jacobson

Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at @automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.

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