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Tag Archives: stalking

I’ve recently achieved a milestone (although I didn’t get a badge for) in my Foursquare career, checking in to places over 2500 times! Judging from my very first blog about 4sq, I’ve been at it for about 2.5 years, so that’s about 3 check-ins per day. If only I got a nickel for each check-in…

What better way to celebrate than with a map. Here’s one I built using 4sqmap:

These are my check-ins grouped by the number of unique places I’ve visited in an area. You can see that I visit many places on major arteries and many around Hwy 7 and Yonge. When I went looking for a map generator built with the Foursquare API, this wasn’t quite what I had in mind though – I wasn’t just interested in unique places, I wanted to see the frequency of my check-ins mapped.

My quest eventually led me to Where Do You Go, where I was able to build this map:

This is a nice summary of where I frequent now, a couple of old homes/workplaces and a couple of neighborhoods like Yorkdale, the Beach, Yonge/Eglinton, and Leaside. I wish there was a larger dynamic range though.

Yesterday, Facebook released two new features called News Feed and Mini Feed, and prominently integrated them into their interface. The early reaction from just about everyone is that they hate it, and makes fb too stalkerish. I don’t really share that opinion.

The News Feed is a listing of changes your friends have done recently. So instead of having to check all your friends’ pages and wonder what has been changed, you now know. Right away. I think this is where people are paranoid. For some reason they don’t want their so called friends to know when they’ve changed their profile picture, updated the groups they’re in, posted a new photo album, or added a new friend (ooh, I should add that person too). I think people have a misconception about what Facebook actually is, it’s not a website where you can tally up the number of friends you have to see how popular you are, it’s a hub to remain connected with your friends when you’re on campus and when you’re not. By having information pushed to you about what your friends are doing, you are keeping in touch.

The Mini Feed concept isn’t new, it’s like your System History in your IM, although of course, this feed is public. For the most part, it’s just a rehash of the News Feed but for a particular person. If you really, really want to remove some information from being presented (and shown in other people’s News Feed), it looks like you can manually kill individual items. But why bother?

I don’t think that Facebook will change this feature, or add some sort of global privacy setting so you can block your information from being presented. This is a feature that only works when everyone buys into it, so if you want to use fb, you will have to live with some pseudo-stalkering.