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Big Brother Friends Facebook 82

storagedude writes "Clara Shih, who created the first business app on Facebook in 2007, is back with a new venture: Hearsay Social, which makes Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn more palatable to corporations by adding features like SEC and FINRA monitoring and compliance and analytics. Conversations are monitored around the clock, regardless of where employees access pages from — work, home or mobile — and workflow tools let companies approve or suggest content before it appears. Those features appear to be making financial companies a little more comfortable Facebooking, as State Farm and Farmers Insurance are two early customers. Shih is backed in the new venture by veterans of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube."
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Big Brother Friends Facebook

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  • Oh Yeah... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:19AM (#35102644) Journal
    This is what "free" as in "free market" is supposed to look like, right?
    • No. The "free" in free market actually refers to the right of the customer to exercise his/her Pro-choice decision of which company they want to deal with (or not).

      For example I chose to exercise my freedom to boycott Comcast TV when they raised their prices from $30 to $70/month and give my money to instead.

  • In the article there's no mention of monitoring employees conversations, SEC or FINRA..Am i missing something?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Check out Hearsay's Facebook page, where they discuss exactly those three things: []

    • Re:Wrong summary? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jarnin ( 925269 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:31AM (#35102714)

      Shih said the service is particularly well-suited to companies that have franchises and branch offices that want to provide a local flavor to their Facebook content, but also must comply with corporate rules and leverage content from corporate and other users in the system.

      In other words, they get to approve all comments made on not only their facebook page, but any of their local franchises, or the local users of those franchises. So if I go to my local McDonalds and get crappy service and decided to later post that on the local McDonalds facebook page, the corporate office AND the local franchise would have to approve my message before it was displayed for others to see.

      • by mvar ( 1386987 )
        Thanks for clarifying this. The summary gave me the impression that this is an app that companies can use to monitor their employees conversations
      • My corporate blacklist keeps growing:
        State Farm
        Farmers Insurance
        Google (under new management)

      • I don't see where they talk about monitoring customer comments and the like. They're monitoring *employee* comments to the *corporate* website. WTF is the problem here? I own a company. I setup a company Facebook page. I'd like to make sure that my employees do not post illegal or damaging information on my company Facebook page. I can't stop you form making negative comments on your personal page (I could conceivably fire you if I found them, but that could happen anyway). I can't monitor customer c

  • by c0lo ( 1497653 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:20AM (#35102656)

    State Farm and Farmers Insurance are two early customers

    The biggest incentive was the presence of FarmVille as new market niche, but until know not enough support for the employees to create a coherent sale pitch for this segment. Now, this is possible... loud an clear... mooo!

    • Excellent... I can't wait to buy insurance on my virtual tractor and fake crops in FarmVille.

      Can I get drive-by insurance in Mafia Wars as well? :)

  • Employees will just create multiple profiles. Idiot companies can monitor the public one, while the alter egos come out and play at night.

    Stop trying to monetise, captilalise and otherwise sodomise both social networks and your employees and return to a culture where performance is rewarded instead of babysitting braindead employees.

    • by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:58AM (#35102862)

      That's the whole idea. You don't want you sales rep using their personal facebook page for your marketing and mixing it in with their drunken adventures in Bangkok. You want them to use a facebook profile just for their work - but now you run into compliance issues since what they say is clearly said as part of your company.

      And the sales rep likely doesn't want to have all their annoying as shit clients as friends on their personal facebook page either. So win-win.

  • by Manip ( 656104 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:40AM (#35102758)
    I've been concerned for a while now that my corporate overlords haven't had enough access to my personal life or to monitor me during my personal time. I have already given them access to GPS on my phone, my personal e-mail, and my Facebook account - so I would be happy for them to automate this so my wonderful employers can, at a click of a button, see me every minute of every day, and so we can both work together to prevent negative thoughts or words that might impact my performance or more seriously the companies image.

    I would also like to thank my boss, Mr. Smith, for allowing me to post this message to /., I realise it was expensive for PR and legal to sign off on its wording and I will work to pay back the costs it incurred the company (by having them take it out of my pay each month).
    • by gox ( 1595435 )
      You know, you don't have to work there... In this case at least, your enemy is your drive for "success". If we all could balance pursuit of immediate monetary/emotional gain with other concerns, there wouldn't /be/ corporate overlords.
      • by celle ( 906675 )

        "If we all could balance pursuit of immediate monetary/emotional gain with other concerns, there wouldn't /be/ corporate overlords."

        That might have true seventy years ago when the public was more spread out and independent and law wasn't written to support corporations outright but it's not so much now. People have moved to the cities that just can't function without corporate support(privatisation). We're largely dependent on corporations now, need examples: fcc net neutrality decision, all the various cor

    • by pnuema ( 523776 )
      This all has to do with SEC regulations covering communications with clients. If you are a broker, and you tell a client a stock will go up, you have committed fraud. The SEC requires ALL communication with clients be monitored for this compliance. If you are adding clients to your social network, by Federal law your employer has no choice but to monitor that communication - which is why at my last job for a brokerage firm, IM and webmail were forbidden - even though I was in IT. If my employer did not full
  • Big Brother? What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:49AM (#35102800)

    FTFA, all it sounds like is a workflow system for controlling what can be done through a company's official presence(s) on Facebook. For example, it allows managers to moderate both employees handling those presences and other Facebook users trying to post on their wall, etc.

    How is that "big brother?" That's almost like calling Slashdot comment moderation a form of Stalinist repression (when we all know, that label rightly belongs to Digg)

  • I'm someone who's only been to Facebook a few times, due to Google searches taking me there. I understand that it's a social site for people to post information about themselves and communicate with friends who use the service. I don't understand it when I see a product saying "Come visit us on Facebook!". Is this just a glorified web page? Why not just put up a website for your company, and let people link to it? Maybe it's like software APIs or something, where the company's Facebook page is a sort of wra
    • I'm someone who's only been to Facebook a few times, due to Google searches taking me there. I understand that it's a social site for people to post information about themselves and communicate with friends who use the service. I don't understand it when I see a product saying "Come visit us on Facebook!". Is this just a glorified web page? Why not just put up a website for your company, and let people link to it? Maybe it's like software APIs or something, where the company's Facebook page is a sort of wrapper that makes their interface match that of other Facebook users?

      Its all about communicating with customers, and getting new ones. If you can get a customers to friend you what you post shows up on their wall and when
      they friend you it shows up to all their friends. So the idea is very simple, get a bunch of people to friend you, send content out them and then get them to bring in
      their friends.

      Honestly with the size facebook is I would be worried about any company that was *NOT* on facebook.

      • by AchilleTalon ( 540925 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @10:35AM (#35103148) Homepage
        You forgot to mention it is all about gathering personal information on customers rather than just communicating with them. Unless you consider communication is a one-way thing. Companies with a Facebook page can pump all about you from your profile and knows about your friends and possibily more depending on how you manage your personal info.
        • This is true. I work for a marketing agency and leveraging facebook user data is of utmost importance to our clients. You can take some comfort in knowing that our clients don't know what to do with that data once they get it. They have a database somewhere that says you like Miller High Life, and carrots. Some execs pat themselves on the back for gathering this data, then they forget about it.

          Honestly, what we have observed time and time again is if a company uses their facebook page to actually engage the

      • "Honestly with the size facebook is I would be worried about any company that was *NOT* on facebook."

        Did they close their Second Life and Myspace account first?

    • Companies like it, because it is a platform for exposure to a _lot_ of people, with a minority of companies using it as a web presence.

      Users like it, because it's a central hub for various services: status updates, friend connections, image hosting, music liking, video sharing, relationship statuses... just what lusers gravitate towards.

      Its problematic, for example, to the point where I can't find out whats happening around my city anymore, without resorting to FB (I don't most of the time). We need FB to s

    • I have a hard time understanding why large companies do it, in spite of what the other posters' answers to you.
      What I do get is that for SMALL companies, FB is a very affordable way to host a site and be guaranteed a lively guestbook. Compare that to how IT costs go up when you have entire GUIs to design, maintenance, downtime SLAs, databases to user-populate/de-spamify and so on... no wonder even some large companies that have done all that on their own end up burdenening their potential watchers with ads

  • You can, like I do, create TWO profiles. one that is my professional profile, and one that is my private profile. my private profile does not have my name or any of my real info linked to it, and it is kept separate completely, I'm not even a friend of myself!

    And if I wanted to out my company for doing bad things, I'd create a third unconnected account to oust them on. So this system they are making is only good for getting the stupid people, and give corporations a "nice fuzzy feeling"(tm) they get when

    • I expect thats what most companies want, one profile that has your family and college buddies and one that has you friended to work people. You do work stuff from
      the work profile. I think that what we do for those people at my office who are on facebook for customer relations.

    • I did this myself, and somehow facebook connected the dots because it keeps recommended that I friend myself.

  • The Real Big Brother(tm) checked into Facebook a long long time ago. They signed in as "Accel Partners investment group".. *walks away casually*

  • Before you all jump on the bandwagon, this is about monitoring and being involved in the workflow of company accounts, not controlling what employees say on their personal accounts. I cannot see anything bad about this and in fact when I first saw it yesterday I thought it was a nice business idea.

    Effectively it is for companies with local branches (like a franchise) where head office wants some control over the official social media accounts of their sub-branches or franchisees. It means branches can run their own social media marketing, but head office can be involved in the workflow to ensure it fits in with corporate policy and marketing.

    I'm sure its open to abuse, but what isn't?

  • I love the split personality of Slashdot.

    Company accused of insider trading – claims it will take months to recover the e-mail. The tragedy!

    Company wants to monitor employee’s conversations to monitor of insider trading [and because the SEC, FINRA says those records must be kept for 7 years.].and is lambasted.

    Talk about a double standard.

    I know a couple of brokers who would like to use social media to keep in contract with their employers but can’t. Now, I am troubled that because everythi

  • how would I go about convincing my employer that our accounting form would benefit from being a part of these social networks?
    • accounting firm....not form
    • Are you big or small?

      Throw a seminar every 6 weeks or so. A little coffee, some cookies, a little FUD – which is easy with the current tax code. Hey – in 2 years you are going to need to report every transaction over $200 to the IRS. Changing rules on your car. Etc. By the way, if you keep receipts we will do the heavy lifting.

      Draw in new customers, retain old customers. Network with stock brokers, estate lawyers, print shops, etc. Accounting firms is a weird combination of 1. application of kno

      • We're fairly small...26 employees, 6 of whom are partners. I'm the first IT guy they've had in 90 years of business and I just started a couple months ago. I'm trying my best to incorporate new technology to set us apart from some of the other guys in town. When you think of accounting services, you don't think of technology but I think current and potential clients would like to see us leverage some of the e- services out there. At the same time, of course, we need to be able to convey stability and give p
    • You could pitch a marketing scheme based on facebook questions.

  • ...from ever having to work at places like those.

  • Could someone explain the "it's-like-alabama-for-everyone-else dept." tagline?

    Yes, I know my state sucks in a lot of ways, but I have a bad feeling I didn't get the memo about how it's sucked lately.
  • If the measure of success in our society, is to work for corporations that would treat their employees like chattel, then I'll always be proud to be a "loser".
  • Now if only someone could make it more palatable to me.

    And in a related note, given all the current buzz about The Social Network cleaning up at the Oscars, am I the only one around who thinks that movie completely sucks ass?

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.