Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

09 Feb 2005, 14:55 p.m.

My Folksonomic Tag For 43 Things: Deceivers

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2005 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

My colleague Katharine Mieszkowski wrote about folksonomies a few days ago. She mentioned the group goal-setting site 43 Things. A reader told her to look into the relationship between 43 Things and, a huge company with a big interest in collecting personal data. She wrote up her findings: the 43 Things site did not mention anywhere the fact that Amazon is the only investor in "The Robot Co-op", which produces 43 Things. Pretty misleading.

Check out their privacy policy.

Business Transfers: As we continue to develop our business, we might sell or buy additional services or business units. In such transactions, user information generally is one of the transferred business assets but remains subject to the promises made in any pre-existing Privacy Notice (unless, of course, the user consents otherwise). Also, in the unlikely event that or The Robot Co-op, Inc., or substantially all of its assets are acquired, user information will of course be one of the transferred assets.

"Unlikely"? Again, misleading.

Anyway, today I see the Robot Co-op has blogged about their relationship with Amazon and has called the Salon article a distortion. How in the world is the article a distortion? First they start making a deal with Amazon. Then they launch their site that doesn't mention Amazon at all. Then they blame Salon for the article that they won't even link to (maybe because it has an embarrassing quote from a Robot Co-op officer: "Nobody's supposed to know that"), and say the Salon article distorts the story. Who's doing the deceiving and distorting here?