About Show Me First!

A sharing preview tool for Facebook

Show Me First!™ is a sharing preview tool that lets you see what you're about to share with Facebook Connect before you share it with a Facebook App or Facebook Connect.

Using the Kynetx Browser Extension, ShowMeFirst adds a "Show Me First" button to the Facebook Permission Request.

Clicking on that link loads ShowMeFirst.info into your browser so we can request those exact same permissions, get all the data we can, and display it in your browser.

It's just like the Information Sharing Simulator I Shared What?!? except it is built into your browser and uses the permissions directly from the website you are about to visit.

How?

Show Me First! uses the Kynetx Browser Extension. You can download it for your browser, here:

Why?

Facebook is the world's most popular personal data store.

It lets you seamlessly share information with websites you visit, letting you decide who gets what data.

According to Facebook (October 2010):

Facebook is helping create a World Wide Web that is based on people, rather than websites. This is a big step in the evolution towards a user-driven Internet.

This replaces the proprietary, industrial data models first built by corporations. It changes how companies, individuals, and society operate and it's going to need exploration and experiments and mistakes and solutions before we get it right.

Facebook Connect is one of those experiments. I Shared What?!? is a way for you to understand it better.

Some of us will find this disturbing and shut down Facebook Connect altogether. Others won't care because we assume that everything on Facebook is already public anyway.

Our hope is that by exploring I Shared What?!? people will learn more about information sharing and how Facebook's experiment changes the way the web works.

In particular, we hope you get a chance to see how useful a personal data store can be.

It's like driving a car

Using a personal data store to share information online is like driving a car. It's inherently dangerous. It's also incredibly powerful.

A personal data store is like our own personal space that we can take with us when we travel from website to website. It frees us from being stuck in any one service just because that's where our stuff is.

Unfortunately, it also increases our risks. We can be tricked into giving our data to the wrong party. Companies we thought we could trust might end up hurting us. Just having our personal data online opens us to risks, just as driving a car—or even living in a society with cars—increases our chances of being in a car accident.

The Internet today is like the national road system in the first decades of the 20th century when automobiles were just catching on. Personal data stores are like the personal automobile, which first found widespread adoption with the cost-friendly Model T Ford.

Some people will believe that these crazy new contraptions are deathtraps and avoid the whole system. Others will dive in before road signs and traffic rules are figured out. Many will simply wait and try it when it becomes simple and easy and affordable. And for all the innovative uses that improve our lives, there will be dangerous consequences that threaten and harm us. There will be unsafe vehicles and unsafe roads. There will be speeders and people who fail to stop at red lights. There will be car jackings and drunk drivers and foolish kids drag racing.

But in the end, it will be worth it.

We'll learn how to regulate it and we'll learn how to drive. We'll put up signs and establish safety standards. We'll teach people how to drive safely and pass laws to prevent the worst violations. We'll learn how to protect ourselves and how to protect society. We'll argue about it, debate it, and vote on it and eventually settle on mostly reasonable solutions. But, it'll never be perfect. Instead, it will be an ongoing process of learning and fixing and learning some more.

The result will be an entirely new kind of digital infrastructure where individuals are free to use their own data seamlessly at any service, as easily, and as safely, as we can drive to the grocery store today.

What can you do?

First, tell your friends about Show Me First! and our sister site I Shared What?!? The best way to contribute to the experiment is by spreading the word and introducing more people to the power and challenges of information sharing. Good or bad, people should understand what they are sharing.

Second, buy a t-shirt or sweater at our online store! Not only will this spread the word when you wear it or give it as a gift, it will support the continued development of I Shared What?!? and Show Me First!.  As a "fourth party" service, Show Me First! is committed to serving the best interests and directives of our users. And that means avoiding conflicts of interest from advertising and behavioral targeting. The only way we make money is from you, our user. And the only way we do that today is through sales of branded merchandise. So, buy a shirt. Buy Two! They make great gifts!

Third, take control of your Facebook applications. There's a good chance you've given permissions you don't even realize.

Is Show Me First! safe?

Show Me First! is a combination browser plugin and javascript application running in your browser. Our server never sees the information you share from Facebook. With the exception of your permissions and your Facebook user ID, your information never leaves your browser.

We never send any of your information to anyone.

See our privacy policy for more details.

Facebook Apps and Facebook Connect

Facebook Apps are applications that run within the Facebook website, such as Social Graph, Movies, and Mafia Wars.

Facebook Connect is a service that allows Facebook users to log in to other websites—such as CNNCBS.comDiggYelp, and YouTube—using a Facebook login, but without giving our password to the website. When we use Facebook Connect, we also give those websites permission to access our Facebook information and to use that information to customize their website for us.

Similar permissions are given to Facebook Applications when you use them. For simplicity's sake, when we refer to "websites", we also mean any Facebook Application.

If you want to see what websites you've given permissions to, visit your Facebook Application settings page.

License

The Show Me First! information sharing preview tool is free for non-commercial, personal use under a shareware license. Support is appreciated. Professional subscriptions are available for commercial use and for those who support our mission to build tools for individuals to get more out of their relationships with companies and organizations.

Copyright© & Trademark™

This entire site is copyright ©2011 by I Shared What?!? Inc. I Shared What?!?, the I Shared What?!? logo, Show Me First! and the Show Me First! logos are trademarks of I Shared What?!? Inc. All rights reserved.

Credits

Show Me First! is a project of the Fourth Party™, a for-profit collaborative dedicated to helping people get more out of their relationships with companies and organizations. We are committed to building strong fourth party services* where 100% of our revenue comes either from individual users or is collected on their behalf.

Show Me First! was created by Joe Andrieu with the design help of Yeryeong Park of Mod Design and a few intrepid collaborators.

Joe (joe@andrieu.net) spends most of his time working on his search startup SwitchBook (still in stealth mode) and is an active contributor to the VRM community. He co-chairs the Kantara Initiative’s Information Sharing Work Group with Iain Henderson of Mydex, where he authored the Personal RFP Engagement Model and is the editor of the Information Sharing Report. In his deep past, Joe founded the Internet Developers Association and co-founded the Association of Internet Professionals.

Yeryeong is an independent creative type with mad visual design skillz. She’s been designing websites since 1994 and currently teaches design and interpretive dance drama to young children.

*"Fourth party" is a term coined by Doc Searls of Project VRM to describe third party services that have a binding fiduciary responsibility to act on behalf of the individual user.