Got Tech

The Buzz

Be Social

On the Hill

Home » Be Social

On Facebook: Is health different?

Submitted by on April 26, 2010 – 11:04 am7 Comments

When Facebook announced its new Open Graph functionality at the F8 conference last week, the first thing we did at our office, obviously, was rush to Pandora to see what kind of music our coworkers were listening to that we could make fun of them for. (By now, most have heard of or experienced Facebook’s new controversial feature rollout, which effectively “extends its tentacles across the internet” with a universal “like” button. Check out the comments from the Washington Post’s chat for reactions to their implementation).

Let’s face it – it’s semi-terrifying that our music choices – choices that for many are personal – could be accessed by everyone we are “friends” with on facebook (or, if you have a public profile, anyone can see what you are listening to). And without us knowing.

It led us to thinking about our own sites, and how we could - should? – implement the new features. We began with these inalienable truths:

  • Health is extremely personal
  • Trust is crucial to us and to our users

And one question:

  • Does this help people looking for answers and support?

And ultimately, this philosophical debate (which we have often):

  • Is health different?

Is health different? It’s something we discuss often as the online experience evolves. It’s certainly more private than music. It’s definitely different than finance, though there are connections with that online experience as well. Could you imagine logging on to your personal banking site to see what friends had invested in?

How about logging on to a health site to see content your friends had “liked” regarding health?  Would you feel like your privacy was compromised? Has anyone seen (either successfully or not) the facebook features on a health experience?

(By the way, if you’re really creeped out by what Facebook has done, here’s how to disable the feature.)

Google Buzz


  • Lisa Emrich says:

    This was an interesting move for Facebook and for the sites which are participating. Like many of my FB friends, I immediately disabled the feature on my profile.

    Questions I have regarding HealthCentral and Facebook include: how has the community embraced the new FB login/registration option and the offer to “share” comments, answers, or posts on their FB profile?

    Even as a writer here, I have not used either feature and have to repeatedly decline. I do, however, have links to my Shareposts automatically appear on my FB feed through the networkedblogs feature. I have the same going on with my Twitter account using Hootsuite.

    These seem to be enough automatic sharing for me personally right now…and I’m probably more open than most just simply judging from the vast amounts of personal information I share weekly on HealthCentral, my blog and elsewhere.

    I’ll be interested to see how HealthCentral navigates these ever lengthening tentacles of various social networking platforms, including Facebook.

    Good post. And I came here by way of my Facebook feed. :)

    Brass and Ivory blog

    • Lisa – thanks for your comment! In terms of the facebook sign-on, it’s a great idea for a post and I’ll write up something soon about the popularity of it.

  • Korey Gallo says:

    Hi! I found your site accidentally today, but am really pleased which i did! It’s not only entertaining, but additionally straightforward to make use of compared with lots that I’ve viewed! I was trying to discover what theme you’d employed, – anyone have clue? I’ve utilized a similar overall page layout myself, but discover that your internet site loads a lot more swiftly, although you appear to have a good deal additional material. The only issue I’ve had is by using the header, which seems less wide that the actual page in Opera v8.0, even though it appears OK in IE as well as in firefox it can be time for you to swap! Excellent web site, incredibly tidy job, and a excellent inspiration for my simple attempt! I’m going to be looking to improve my own internet site and will certainly visit again soon!

  • website says:

    ne réfléchir pas les ennuis. Les boulet illusoire sont plus compact à ale que les vrais.

  • Paul Bywater says:

    Normally Are normally Diet ‘s an really affordable and flexible food regimen product suitable for induced the boycott . endeavouring to quick and as a result subsequently conserve a vibrant lifespan. shed weight

  • My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on numerous websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard excellent things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  • I genuinely enjoyed reading this site, this really is fantastic blog.