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Practicing safe check-in

Practicing safe check-in

February 17th, 2010

Here I am inside fm_generate_button

Life is a beautiful thing, but all good things come with some risk. From an early age we are taught to look before we cross the road, to buckle up when we drive a car and to wear suitable protection when practicing our love technique. We believe Brightkite (and sharing our location generally) is also a wonderful thing with many social benefits. Without wanting to sound too maternal, we thought it might be useful to post our thoughts on how to practice safe check-ins and posts.

  1. Think about who your friends are.

The culture of other social networks is that more friends and followers suggests that you are more popular. We think this is silly. With Brightkite, we suggest that less is more. With Brightkite, you pick who your friends are, and only your friends can see the posts that you post to Friends.

Do you want your mom or your boss to know where you are at 2am? Think about your friends as the people who you want to share your intimate social life with – the people you’d invite to a party.

Note that Brightkite is different to other social tools, in that our friend system is asymmetrical. When you say Lucy is a friend, she can see your private posts, but you can’t see her posts unless she says you are her friend. Just because you invite her to your party, doesn’t mean she has to invite you to hers.

  1. Don’t post your home address

If you post from your home address, then people know where you live. That also means they know when you are home and when you are not. We strongly suggest that you don’t post from your exact home address (choose the city or intersection rather than the address). If you do post your home address, definitely only post to your friends (see above).

You can also post with no location at all, if you have some important news to share, but its not tied to a place.

  1. Consider the audience for each post

One of the core features of Brightkite is the ability to choose the privacy for each post. If you are in Starbucks at 11am with your boss – post it to everyone, why not? If you are dancing on the tables at 5am on a school night, consider posting this to your friends only (see above – think about who your friends are).

Brightkite is designed to let you get more out of life – to spend more time with friends, and have more face time and less screen time. We’ve built rigorous and flexible privacy settings to allow you to do this safely. Just like everything, use your noggin and a little bit of common sense and all will be good with the world.

Uh-oh. Need a morning after pill?

Sometimes, we all make mistakes. If you realize you’ve been foolish, then you can go back and delete a post. Be careful though, if you’ve shared to Twitter and Facebook, then there is no way for us to pull it back. Use delete as last resort.

If you think there are ways they we can improve our privacy settings, or you have questions at any time, please let us know.

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Posted by lanky at 3:14 PM in Uncategorized

Comments (15)

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+1

Jason

  • 349 weeks ago

"Uh-oh. Need a morning after pill?"

You stay classy, lanky...

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0

wendy (srndur)

  • 349 weeks ago

I made a predominant amount of my friends on BK under the 1.0 version that allowed me to have Trusted Friends for exact location. I miss this. This more accurately describes my Real Life. It seems that you're asking me to use your social network but don't be social.

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eric

  • 349 weeks ago

I liked the Trusted Friends idea too.

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Dan

  • 349 weeks ago

I third the Trusted Friends reinstatement. Or at least default privacy's for each place.

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+1

AndyMP

36p

  • 349 weeks ago

I'm on the side of bringing back trusted friends. I don't think an extra tier of "friends" would conflict with any of the existing privacy settings but actually enhance them.

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dominik

  • 349 weeks ago

How about a button "Delete all check-ins at this address" or "Set all check-ins at this address to private"?

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lanky

  • 349 weeks ago

Thanks everyone for their ideas and comments. We'll revisit both place privacy/deletion and trusted friends and see if we can work them into Brightkite in a way that is easy to understand and use. Thanks again

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+1

srndur

12p

  • 349 weeks ago

thanks lanky. It really was one of my favorite features and it was unique to Brightkite. I used it often to soothe the friends that were leery at check in sites. plus, it's a great feature for friends/family to report in for each other but no one else. Thanks for listening.

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Hannes

  • 348 weeks ago

Great Article - that's what I tell people all the time. Nice to read this on a services page. On Gowalla it's even worse, there almost everybody shares his home and checks in everytime he gets there.

About the comments: I didn't use the "trusted Friends"-Feature. But I liked it very (!) much.

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How Location Based Services are Responding to Pleaserobme.com | Checkin Blog

[...] Brightkite: Practicing safe check-in [...]

Location Based Services & privacy | UK Gadgeteer Website

[...] it? Well, first of all, it’s well worth reading these articles (here from FourSquare, and here from Brightkite), but in essence, here are some key [...]

0

Eilla

  • 348 weeks ago

I miss Trusted Friends! I thought Friends, Fans and Everyone is gonna be like that. It's a very useful feature and customize the Privacy settings a lot more. I vote to bring Trusted Friends back.

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Baralbaiter

  • 348 weeks ago

Awesome, this is really helpful, thank you, especially that some people nowadays are getting really location-phobic.

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Sara Foster

  • 305 weeks ago

(sorry for the double post mods!)

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roofing atlanta

  • 302 weeks ago

So many people get themselves in trouble with Facebook, and Twitter. They don't realize that everyone they have befriended can see there posts. That's why my number one social networking sites. DO NOT post things you will regret, such as parties, talking bad about someone, or anything in between. All good positive posts, unless you're talking bad about the weather.

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