Social Networks for Private People

If you like communicating with your friends and family online but also like your privacy, Glassboard might be a viable alternative to Facebook. As stated on their home page, "Glassboard has no privacy settings — because everything is private. It’s that easy." Those in your selected network can share as per a 'normal' social network, but without the exhibitionist posing for the rest of the world. Other recent options in this space include everyme and Path. Because, let's face it, when boiled down to essentials, you are just an abstract piece of potential advertising revenue for Google or Facebook, whatever the high flown rhetoric used to sell such services. 

Deserting Facebook

If the recent successful launch of Google+ (with its simple privacy controls and intuitive interface) has you reviewing your allegiance to Facebook, then an escape route is available. A guide here leads you down the path to liberating all of your Facebook data. If only having a social profile did not mean having to leap into the arms of a major corporation... 

Museum of Me Me Me

You choose: this site embodies/showcases all that is good about social media, all that is creepy and intrusive. Intel logs in to your Facebook account, siphons up your name and all of your images and some of your friends' images as well, then displays them in a virtual museum, accompanied by soft, uplifting music. The whole exercise is technically impressive and emotionally manipulative. You are supposed to feel moved as the faces of friends and family float past and memories are triggered and massaged. In privacy terms, this site performs a useful service: reminding you how much of your personal life you have fed into a commercial service, and how much that service knows about you and your preferences.