The Week in Social: The NSA are listening to you, Facebook is bad for business and Social Media Wars explained.

Is the US government listening to your Skype calls? Looks like it. Should businesses abandon Facebook? Probably. Baffled by the social media wars? Not any longer. And some decent music from some newcomers. It’s your week in Social.

The week in social: Dr Michael Wu, NSA privacy scandal and singer Collette Sheerin

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The USA is checking your Gmail, Facebook, Skype… It looks like the US government has been poking through your email, listening to your Skype chats and perusing your Facebook photos. Following swiftly from the revelation that the metadata from all calls made by Verizon customers in the US were being collected,  The Guardian has verified the authenticity of a 41-slide PowerPoint document by the National Security Authority claims “collection directly from the servers” of major US service providers. The various companies involved have denied the claim.

Americans can rest up though: a senior administration official said ‘This law does not allow the targeting of any US citizen or of any person located within the United States’.

The rest of us seem to be fair game though. Let’s see how this plays out with the privacy laws in place to protect EU citizens for example.

Facebook is no good for business. There were some fascinating speakers at the Lithium-hosted Science of Social event in London this week. Dr Michael Wu, is particular, talked about how Facebook should ultimately not be at the heart of a social strategy for businesses. Using anthropology and hard stats, Wu argues that as we have time and attention enough for only 150 relationships, brands are already on to a loser. With Facebook, people have a very powerful tool to maintain relationships with people so we have even less time/attention for brands. His solution? Brands should build their own communities and not be dependent on Zuckerberg’s.

His complete thoughts on the subject will be published shortly but you can download a preview of The Science of Social 2 right now.

Social Media Wars. Now that we have almost put our lives back together after the shocking twist in *that* episode of Game of Thrones, Hootsuite have created a handy infographic to illustrate and explain the various wars between the social media giants. Learn how House Facebook thwarted House Twitter again by blockading the River Vine and so on.

[Social Media Game of Thrones infographic via Mashable]

mp3reets: Alchemy Drive and Collette Sheerin.

Collette Sheerin is a flautist and singer/songwriter from Co. Offaly, Ireland. Elevator pitch: Macy Gray has a session in a Dingle pub.

Alchemy Drive do their own elevator pitch: ‘Leonard Cohen and Francis Bacon (painter not writer) meet in California and write some songs which are then produced by David Lynch”. Expect twang.

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Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media and product delivery for individuals and small businesses. Get in touch to see how you can make the best use of your time and energy as you put together your social media plans.