Social Discovery

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Social discovery is becoming a buzzword in describing new technologies, including but not limited to social networks and mobile apps.

I see social discovery defined in two ways. The first way is applied to resources where one user finds out information about another. When you put someone’s name into a search and find them on Facebook, Twitter, their own website, LinkedIn, etc.

Social discovery in a more general way means that a user gets information about anything based on reviews, advice or other input from another user.

When you access data about another person on Facebook, you find aspects of the individual’s profile that they have made public. That is social discovery. But Facebook users can also promote causes, recommend goods and services, or share many types of things beyond their “friends” list.

When you search a restaurant and find reviews by people you don’t know, using this previous input is a kind of social discovery. Most of us don’t think of Yelp or YouTube comments as social media but they certainly are part of the “social” process.

Search this topic and you also find that social discovery tools offered to the public bring with them concerns. Every website that you have a login and password for has the possibility of social discovery for the company, their partners and advertisers and possibly other users. Some social discovery programs are considered intrusive, and as users press for the ability to guard personal information, privacy issues become a concern for the use of social discovery resources.

HTTP Versus HTTPS

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The difference between the two web protocols HTTP and HTTPS became much clearer to me this past week because it got personal.

In 2014, Google recommended that sites switch to HTTPS. The “S” stands for secure. The sites that switched over to HTTPS were mostly e-commerce sites. Google said HTTPS sites would get a bit of a rankings bump, or you could say that HTTP sites would get punished.

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol which is all about the transfer of data from a web server to a browser. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.

What’s wrong with the old HTTP?  Information passing from server to browser is not encrypted. That means it could be stolen. HTTPS protocols use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate to create a secure encrypted connection.

When you found this site you may have used the URL https://ronkowitz.wordpress.com which is where the server that hosts the site is located. But you could also have clicked or followed a link to https://ronkowitzllc.com which is a domain that WordPress gave me with my account and it redirects to the true server location. You could also find this site by putting in the URL http://ronkowitz.com. But notice that that last address doesn’t have the magic “S.” So, if you try that URL, when it jumps to the main site you will get a warning (or even be blocked) that it is not secure.

All three domains worked fine a few weeks ago, but browsers like Google’s Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have tightened the screws.

To add an SSL to the “insecure” site (and I have other domains with the same issue) will cost additional money. Security costs and we no longer have a choice.