I come across so many great conversations, ideas, and resources all over the web every day. Here are some of the most interesting things I’ve found recently (as of October 18th). You can join the conversations in the comments, or click through to the original posts to find what others are saying.

To follow more of the things I find online, you can follow @amysampleward on Twitter (which is just a blog and resource feed), or find me on Delicious (for all kinds of bookmarks).

  • Advertising Lab: Farmers Insurance Insures Farmville Farms – The “real world” and the virtual world are coming ever-more integrated! Do you have insurance? “Saw this blimp on Farmville’s spash screen today. It turns out that “The Farmers [Insurance] in-game integration will use the likeness of its Farmers Insurance Airship, a 246-foot long Zeppelin. When players place the Farmers Airship on their farm, they receive free “wither protection” for the crops on their virtual farm. In a nod to the security that Farmers Insurance offer its customers, this protection means players crops won’t wither for the 10 days of the promotion.””
  • Photographs, Digital Rights & Social Media Events | Geoff Livingston’s Blog – Geoff shares a recent example of his attendance at an event where he was photographed and his images shared. Do you have examples on this topic, has this happened to you? And where you stand on the discussion of copyright, digital rights, online content sharing and intellectual property? Really looking forward to hearing your responses!
  • Facebook in Online Privacy Breach; Applications Transmitting Identifying Information – WSJ.com – “Many of the most popular applications, or “apps,” on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people’s names and, in some cases, their friends’ names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.”
  • Lasa launches Big Society online survey – “The charity Lasa is conducting an online survey, called Big Society, Big Deal? Lasa’s research will explore what third sector organisations in the UK think about the coalition government’s Big Society policy, how they think it will affect their funding and change the way they work with other charities. Charities wishing to take part in the survey have until 5pm on Wednesday 27 October to complete the questionnaire, which aims to discover whether the Big Society policy represents an opportunity or a threat to the third sector.”
  • Social Media –– Revolutionary Movement or Enabler of “Slacktivism”? : Center for Social Innovation (CSI) – “Many of us enjoy a good debate, and there’s an important one playing out on our doorstep. Some people say we’re in the midst of a revolution where the new tools of social media are reinventing social activism in vital ways. Others say that social media is a fad that does little more than enable “slacktivism”—that is, engaging in activities (mostly mouse-clicking) that make you feel like you’re doing good but actually amount to very little real change. Where do you stand?”
  • SXSW Interactive Festival Non Profit Scholarship Program | SXSW.com – “The SXSW Interactive Festival brings together an eclectic mix of technologists, new media industry professionals, creative thinkers and marketing experts to launch new ideas and solutions into the marketplace. Attendees find inspiration, new business partners, and learn new concepts to take their work to the next level. For 2011, SXSW is proud to add a new scholarship program to make it easier for non profits to be part of the excitement of March in Austin.” – I am so happy to see this scholarship and hope that it ensures more nonprofits are on stage, in the hallway, and part of the vibrant conversations that SXSW is so known for!
Great reads from around the web on October 18th
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  • Anonymous

    Here’s the response from TechCrunch to the Wall Street Journal series:

    “All anyone is talking about today is the series of articles that the Wall Street Journal has written about a “Privacy Breach” at Facebook. Front page above the fold stuff, all the fruit of a “Wall Street Journal investigation.”

    We’ll put aside the fact that no mention was made of the Wall Street Journal’s sister company and Facebook competitor MySpace.

    So what’s the big deal? The big deal is that most people in tech, let alone the general population, have no idea what the article is even about.”

    Read the full post here:
    http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/18/fear-and-loathing-at-the-wall-street-journal/

    • Heather villyard

      After reading the blurb above, I went to my FB account to locate my applications. It took 15 minutes for me to find the access point to deleting applications.

      My favorite part was the message delivered when adjusting privacy settings:

      “Use the settings below to control which of your information is available to applications, games and websites when your friends use them. The more info you share, the more social the experience.”

      • Heather villyard

        This is also interesting:

        “If you turn off platform, you’ll be disconnected from all applications and websites. That means friends won’t be able to use them to interact with you, and information and settings you’ve saved may be permanently deleted. To disable all applications at once, click “Select all.”

        I’m actually nervous after reading this!

        • Heather villyard
          • Anonymous

            Hey Heather-

            Thanks so much for sharing your process with us here! I’ve seen that message before as well and know that facebook as a company uses the premise echoed there, that “the more you share the better the experience,” in much of their development strategy and belief of the web. That just means that we need to be all the more aware of being in control of our own content and where it may be shared as facebook will always default to public for us.

            Thanks again!

  • Stumbled upon your blog, really like the articles you have posted. I especially liked the social media article. It is crazy how in such a short time, social media has changed the way organizations market themselves.