UPDATE: Facebook Beacon – Maybe Not SO Transparent

12/7/2007: UPDATE – this week Facebook issued an apology and users can now opt out.

The advent of social media has had everyone throwing words around such as transparency, interaction and sharing. But the hoopla this week over Facebook’s Beacon suggests that the world is not as transparent and willing to share personal information as many business executives had hoped. Apparently the extent of how “social” consumers are willing to be is still a mystery to the business world.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Facebook announced Social Ads earlier this month, as well as the launch of Beacon, “a new way to socially distribute information on Facebook.” Beacon is “a core element of the Facebook Ads system for connecting businesses with users and targeting advertising to the audiences they want.”

With public outcry and petitions galore from Facebook users, the company has backed down a little and is now offering users the option to publish or not publish the information in the “stories” feed. It seems that all the social media fans are not willing to be quite so transparent as having their online shopping behavior become news to their “friends.” (Shocker!)

A universal opt-out has been unclear to-date, although Charlene Li of Forrester Research just published official word from Facebook that “Adding Beacon-generated stories will require an explicit opt-in by the member. Before, if the member did nothing, the story would appear.”

There’s always a catch to free services, friends – Facebook has just taken the online advertising model a bit too far. Duncan Riley of TechCrunch does a good job here of dissecting exactly what this means to users. We haven’t canceled our Facebook accounts – yet – have you?

PerkettPR speaks with Mark Pascarella, CEO of Gotuit at TechCrunch Boston

TechCrunch Boston was a great place to meet new people and to connect with old friends and clients, like the focus of today’s blog entry and interview, Mark Pascarella, CEO of Gotuit Media, a former client and sometimes project partner of ours. We’ve been big fans of Gotuit for a few years now and loved hearing about the recent successes they have been experiencing in the mobile space with the NFL Fantasy Football application through Sprint, their recent selection as Streaming Media Magazine’s 2007 Reader’s Choice Award for “Best Search and Indexing Platform” and their very impressive work with Sports Illustrated and Fox Reality Channel.

Check out our interview with Mark to hear more about what Gotuit has been up to, and why they came to network at the TechCrunch Boston MeetUp.

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Sarah Wurrey Dishes on PR, Technology and Social Media from TechCrunch Boston

More from our TechCrunch interview series. Today’s subject is Sarah Wurrey, who writes for BlogString.com. Sarah shares her opinions and insights on PR, social media and technology – and whether or not traditional media will be overrun by the blogosphere.

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PerkettPR TechCrunch Interviews – Sarah Meyers of PopSnap

We continue with another interview from TechCrunch Boston. Today’s subject is Sarah Meyers. Sarah is a very ambitious, intelligent and admirable woman who had an early claim to fame for sneaking in to one of the earlier TechCrunch MeetUp events in Silicon Valley – and getting booted. The next year she was invited personally and has since gone on to grace the videos, blog posts and more of many infamous social media and technology pundits including Justin.TV, Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs), Robert Scoble, David Berlind of ZDNet and more. She is often found with a video camera and microphone, interviewing and recording various emerging start ups, conferences, events and more – and has been called her own personal TV channel.

Sarah is building a great brand for herself with her insightful and consistent analysis of the tech market. She is a great example of how today’s social media can help you build a brand – and eventually a company – around nothing but your own hard work and tenacity. Keep up the great work, Sarah!

You can watch Sarah live at her lifecast or keep up via her YouTube Channel or new videocast company, PopSnap. Or, if you prefer print, read her blog.

For our interview with Sarah, click below. (Apologies for the dark qualities – our videographer failed to show up so we had to work impromptu with our digital cameras!)

Thanks, Boston – TechCrunch MeetUp Success!

We are recovering from a busy week that culminated in the TechCrunch Boston MeetUp last Friday. We are very proud of the way the event turned out – in addition to helping the TechCrunch gang plan, promote and secure sponsors, we participated as one ourselves and also helped launch two new clients, Moola and Mzinga, at the event. Among the sea of people we met a lot of intelligent, enthusiastic and zealous Web 2.0 entrepreneurs. From those still in business school to old clients and colleagues we hadn’t seen in years, it was a wonderful place to connect with the Boston tech community.

Some of our favorites – in addition to our own clients, of course – were Punchbowl, SnapYap, UpNext and Mogility as well as individuals, bloggers and reporters including, of course Mike, Heather Harde and Erick Schonfeld, Sarah Wurrey and Nate Burke of BlogString, the infamous Chris Brogan, Scott Monty, John Puskarich of Bountii, Wade Roush, David Cutler (who got Christine Perkett to do her first Utter!) Julia Roy, Amanda Mooney, Chris Herot, Brian Costello and Matt Hillery, Tracy Brady of Referral Key, David Aronoff, Kate Castle and Chip Hazard of IDG Ventures Boston, Sangita Chandra and Jason Potts of Chronicle/WCVB-TV and many, many more. Thank you everyone for attending, chatting and connecting!

In addition to Twittering updates from the party, we spent a good deal of time in the lit-up PerkettPR Lounge – interviewing attendees about what they do, why they were attending the party and what they thought about the tech market’s future. We will feature these interviews over the next couple of weeks. Img_2287

Today we begin with Mike Arrington – we wanted to know what he thought of Boston and the tech market in general. One of his most interesting comments was in regards to the Boston tech community and how we should self-organize more to connect and support all the entrepreneurial spirit in the city. At PerkettPR, we’ve seen more of this happen as we continue to get involved in the social networking community here and expand our relationships both online and off. It’s been a great experience meeting so many intelligent people who are passionate about technology. We look forward to continuing the dialogue in many ways in 2008 – in Boston and beyond.

Click below to see Mike’s interview.

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