Privacy Practices & Policies in Online Social Networks

This research is really insightful and relevant to so many people. Well done Joseph Bonneau & Sören Preibusch at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge.

From the abstract of the paper:

We have conducted the first thorough analysis of the market for privacy practices and policies in online social networks. From an evaluation of 45 social networking sites using 260 criteria we find that many popular assumptions regarding privacy and social networking need to be revisited when considering the entire ecosystem instead of only a handful of well-known sites.

One of the more interesting things in this research is this amazing world social networking map listing the popular social networking sites in each country.

Social Network map of the world:

Here's a summary of the results for those of you interested. The following is a ranking of the most popular social networks by their 'Privacy Score'. Bebo scores best (quite fittingly) while Badoo (unsurprisingly!) is last of the lot.

Facebook is frustratingly middle of the pack when one would have expected it to have led by example.

On the other hand, Linkedin ranks second, which is impressive and probably one of the bigger reasons why it is the most popular business network on the web.

1 Bebo (0.7)
2 LinkedIn (0.7)
3 Gaia Online (0.69)
4 Habbo (0.66)
5 meinVZ (0.65)
6 Xanga (0.65)
7 Last.fm (0.64)
8 LiveJournal (0.62)
9 PerfSpot (0.61)
10 Ning (0.59)
11 Plaxo (0.58)
12 Windows Live Spaces (0.58)
13 Imeem (0.55)
14 Facebook (0.53)
15 XING (0.52)
16 Classmates.com (0.51)
17 CyWorld (0.51)
18 Orkut (0.51)
19 MocoSpace (0.49)
20 Twitter (0.49)
21 Yonja (0.49)
22 hi5 (0.48)
23 MySpace (0.48)
24 Hyves (0.47)
25 BlackPlanet (0.46)
26 Eons (0.46)
27 Imbee (0.46)
28 Experience Project (0.44)
29 Flixster (0.44)
30 Friendster (0.44)
31 NetLog (0.44)
32 Kaioo (0.43)
33 Viadeo (0.41)
34 Nexopia (0.4)
35 BuzzNet (0.37)
36 Bahu (0.35)
37 Multiply (0.34)
38 MyYearbook (0.33)
39 SkyRock (0.31)
40 Impulse (0.3)
41 Sonico (0.3)
42 Tagged (0.3)
43 MyLife (0.28)
44 CouchSurfing (0.26)
45 Badoo (0.23)

For more details, to download the research paper and the summaries, please visit this page.

An MBA makes some music

So Chris Theo, my classmate on the Cass MBA and an avid blogger himself (including a co-writer on this blog) just made a song and shared it with the world.

Just thought I'd share it with readers of this blog as an example of the creativity this recession is inspiring!

Photos from Wind Farms around the world

So I looked up flickr and found a group dedicated to Wind Farms. You can find it here

I took the geoFeed and put it on a Google map and the results are below. Maybe I should upload some of my own pics of Wind Farms in Karnataka and upload to this group!

View Larger Map

Global Trends in Wind Power Generation

I'm quite interested in green, sustainable ways to generate electricity and think that wind power is one of the best possible ways to do that. Looking at the Wikipedia article I managed to pull some statistics out and make some simple graphs that show the world's top 10 producers of wind power and the trends for each country.

Some interesting trends here already:

  • The United States has already become the world's leading producer of wind power, overtaking Germany in 2008.
  • China's increase almost matches the US and it is set to overtake Spain in 2008.
  • India's progress is perfectly linear - a case of planned strategy?
  • Many other countries one would expect to see doing more are way down the list or missing from it altogether: Brazil (as a fast growing economy), Japan (second biggest economy in the world), South Africa & Russia are completely missing, with no installed capacity (South Africa might get its first wind farm in 2010)
  • Egypt is the top African country on the list, at no. 23, followed by Morocco at no. 31.
Right, all this is fine - I'm not surprised that China and India are in the top 5 wind power generators as they are growing so fast that I suppose they have to tap every possible avenue. However, perhaps some credit is due to them both for encouraging investment in this area. They didn't sign Kyoto and are averse to agreeing to binding emission targets at Copenhagen (related news article) later this year, but clearly if things progress this way then they will be much greener economies as they develop.

I wanted to do one final check, a comparison of installed wind power capacity to the GDP of each of these 10 countries. I took the figures (again) from Wikipedia and stuck to the IMF list. I took the GDP in PPP as Wind Power is not generally meant for export and I thought it might provide a cleaner comparison between countries.

Right, so this is even more interesting - rather than comparing the share of wind power in total electricity generation (which is a bit skewed when comparing developed to developing countries), this comparison yields results that I think show which countries are MOST interested in generating more wind power - and indicate investments relative to their Gross Domestic Products.

Denmark, Portugal, Germany and Spain have clearly established themselves as leading proponents of wind power.

The rest follow in a bunch with India leading the wave, which I think is an incredible achievement given that the Indian economy is only half as big as China's and a fraction of the United States'.

Now if only China, US and India can accelerate quickly enough to overtake other wind power producers it would form a perfect innovation adopters graph :-)

Related Pages:
Cop15 - the conference at Copenhagen later this year
NYTimes article on differences between the Indian and American points of view
Neil Cavuto@Fox News on Hillary Clinton's apology to India over carbon emissions

Projects at Cass

So we had two main projects during our Core General Management Program - a Strategy Project and the Emerging Markets Consultancy Week (in Poland).

I just realised that I had given some feedback about these earlier and its on the Cass website here. I'm posting it on this blog for better visibility.

My team did the strategy project for Fortnum & Mason. Here are my comments on that.

“It was exciting to work for such a quintessential British brand. Besides it being an opportunity to apply our analytical and creative skills in a real business context, this project outlined some of the many challenges traditional businesses continue to face in a fast moving world. This project was also unique because relatively early on in the MBA, it offered us the opportunity to understand the application of theory, not just through a published case study, but through a journey of discovery. Finding an interesting company, identifying its challenges, getting the stakeholders' views and brainstorming, were aspects that magnified our independence as strategy consultants and made it an amazing learning experience.”

We also spent a week in Poland, consulting for an engineering design company. My comments on this project below:

“One of the more interesting aspects of globalization is the cultural understanding it’s brought into the core of managerial activity. Poland is a relatively new member of the European Union and Biproraf, the company we consulted, had recently been acquired by a large Italian company. This brought several variables into play that really enhanced our experience. We saw first hand how several trends - including the emigration of skilled labour, increased M&A activity and the intersection of European culture in a country with some of the least diverse demographics in Europe – were affecting Polish industry.”

My team's work was clearly helpful as is evident from this comment by Pawel Orlowski, Chairman of Management Board, Biproraf (Gdansk 2008)

“Although the team of consultants from Cass Business School had a very limited time, they successfully managed to provide a detailed analysis of our company as well as an overall transition strategy that integrates KTI Poland with BiproRaf, suggesting some useful steps in order to execute this aim. The students worked hard and we are highly satisfied with their project and the results of their analysis. Some of their suggestions were very interesting and we’re planning to implement them. For instance, the report highlight the views and concerns of our employees and we now understand how important effective communication among our team is, so we’ll concentrate more on this in the future. We’d like to congratulate the students on their success and look forward to hosting another group from Cass Business School in 2009.”

Any questions please post as comments. Thanks.

Cass MBA for you - Just a snapshot

10K run to sponsor MBA scholarship

Four of us from the class of 2008 are running the ASICS London 10K run this Sunday the 12th of July to raise money towards our 'class gift' - which is to raise £10,000 over a period of 3 years to sponsor an MBA scholarship at Cass Business School.

We'll be running past some of the most famous buildings in London so hopefully that will provide some more impetus to finish the run in a good time!

Please help our cause by donating at: http://www.justgiving.com/Cass10K/

Thanks very much.