Facebook is Both Online Advocacy Tool and Online Advocacy Target

December 3rd, 2007

Some news on the social networking front: more online advocacy providers are getting into the Facebook Application business, with Grassroots Enterprises releasing a new tool today that will allow organizations to run Facebook advocacy through the company’s online activism system. Grassroots has competition in the social networking world, since Convio already has a tool that connects their advocacy module with Facebook.

Facebook has also been a target lately of online advocacy rather than just a conduit for it: MoveOn.org and others have been smacking the company upside the head over its Beacon application, which shows on your profile and news feed the products you’ve recently purchased from participating vendors (hmmmmm, wonder why he needs all that itch cream?). After running into significant user opposition (organized in part through a Facebook Group, of course), the company has switched Beacon from opt-out to opt-in, meaning that users must now choose to use rather than have it installed automatically.

Before we get too much into the social networking weeds, take a look at this Sunday Post piece on kicking Facebook addiction. Burnout has been a real problem for plenty of online communities in the past, and I suspect that a lot of inveterate Facebook and MySpace users will eventually choose to live more of their life in private — particularly after more people get zapped for things they say or do online. Update: See also this Bivings Report piece on integrated Facebook marketing and advertising.


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