People are excited to participate and connect. Many companies and services want to make this easy for us. Services such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and so many more are giving us the ability to be publishers. But you have to remember these companies are not doing this out of good will. They have motivations and they need to make money. Think how profitable it must be to own all of your information to a company. That ownership gives them the ability to sell very targeted and profitable ads because they know all about you and can serve relevancy. That is the main business model right now, but more business models around owning this information will come to fruition. The question we need to ask ourselves as individuals is do you want to own your data or do you want someone else to own it?
The point is there are implications to where and how you share. The EFF published an article about federated profiles in March. The federated profile gives you more power over the information you share with the world, your online activities, your location and many other things that could matter to you. It is better to have your own power over this data. The issue is that the notion of a Federated Social network is not the easiest to understand. When I read the article, I found the information pretty vital. I wanted to make the information shared more clear by visualizing the main points. The visualization compares a Federated social network to a company owned social network in order to make the implications easier to understand. My hope is that this visualization starts to make these very murky waters a tiny bit more clear.
Knowledge is power. Make an informed decision when you post online.