Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking’

The online social-networking world is having quite a stir. Google+ just went live for the public. Facebook is its usual know-it-best smug self, rolling out features that no one really finds necessary, or even useful. And, would you know it, Diaspora’s still out there, somewhere.

Google+ may be all the fuzz, but its insistence on a Real-Name policy is sort of pouring cold water to an otherwise promising challenger to the FB empire. Of all things they could have learned from Facebook, smug arrogance should not have been it!

Speaking of Facebook, the love-hate relationship it has with its users continues to drone on as its recent “upgrades” angered more than a handful yet again. Facebook is on its toes, implementing more and more features it thinks will make the user experience better. Well, sadly, their idea of better is skewed.

The timing of these rollouts also raises the question of whether or not they’re only doing it in the face of real competition with Google+ opening to the public. It’s just too much changes to be just “coincidence.” It would be ironic, though, that instead of keeping members from migrating to Google’s offering, these inadvertent changes will actually drive them to do just that!

Then, finally, we have Diaspora. The ambitious project aiming to unseat FB in the online social networking arena. It started more than a year ago. The guys behind the project raised funds, with a target of $10000. Donations came pouring in, and actually went up to about $200k. But after all this time with not much heard about it, I was thinking the project died a silent death.

Until they sent emails just this week, with the subject:

Diaspora* means a brighter future for all of us.

The email details how they’re still working to get invites out this October, and how the concept of pods work.

Good that they’re still on board after all. But frankly, at this point, with not only FB to contend with, they may have missed their window of opportunity! Still, good luck to them.

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The Facebook Funk Phenomenon

Posted: December 26, 2010 in Blurbs
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In a previous post, I was contemplating whether or not to create a new Facebook profile. Well, I jumped the gun and currently have over 150 “friends.” I admit fb has its appeal, and its really a convenient way of re-connecting with people you knew from way back when.

But often I find the urge to hide a particular post, or in some cases, a particular person. I get that people are vain, and the novelty of the virtual bulletin board has people wanting to share more and more about their lives. However, there is such a thing as sharing too much information. And quite frankly, sometimes people, we just don’t effing care!

Games… Ah, FarmVille, the virtual piece of land you tend incessantly to grow crops and herd weird-looking farm animals. And Mafia Wars, the escape hub of the Dons wanna-be’s. These are but a few of the countless social-network-based games that promise you a fun experience while eating up all your time. At some point in my previous fb account, I spent more time playing games like these than I want to admit. Now, no more. If I ever see a post generated by one of these facebook games, click goes the mouse button. Game hidden. Ha, take that Zynga!

Friend requests… Once in a while you’ll get that invite from some person that makes you go, “Do I know you?” Sometimes you actually do, but often, you don’t. What I do is go to the potential friend’s page and see which “friends” we have in common. If that doesn’t help jog the memory, it’s only a matter of asking around who that person really is. But if I don’t see a common friend in there, sorry potential virtual friend, you’ll forever be waiting for that confirmation that will never come.

Then of course, the opposite can happen… You find someone you think you know, send them that little invite and wait around for them to confirm. Generally, I send out invites to someone who is at least an acquaintance. Funny thing with facebook, if you send out an invite for a friend, you get their posts in your newsfeed, *even if* they haven’t confirmed you yet. So if I see one post from them but no confirmation, no worries, they’ve probably just overlooked the request. But if posts come day in and day out with no confirmation in sight, it’s high time to cancel the invite. Surely, I’m the one waiting for a confirmation that’s never coming this time around.

It’s fun to know what your friends are up to, at least on a general basis. It’s even helpful in maintaining that fragile bond called friendship. But when people’s vanities overtake their sense of reason, I find it very tempting to remove that person from my newsfeed, and I have a couple of spammers already on my list. Opinionated? Great, post one and be over with it. But flood my wall with incessant whining and you’re on the list, buddy. And, for the love of all things holy, not all your friends need to know you went to this or that place at this or that time. Are you so vain that you think everyone needs to know your whereabouts all the time? Really? You think you’re that important?Turn that damned feature off, it’s really annoying!

When your posts are a play-by-play account of what YOU did today, maybe it’s time you turned that computer or phone off and lived your life, truly lived your life. When you’re with friends, and you’re tweeting or posting how much a blast it is you’re having hanging out with them… just stop and think. Are you really? Are THEY?

A new player in the browser pool has been announced. Introducing RockMelt, a new approach to web surfing and social networking.

The browser is in its early beta stages, and trial is by invitation only. I haven’t tried it out for myself yet, but it’s interesting how this new kid in town fares against its more traditional competition when it’s finally released to the public.

RockMelt

Want to give it a go? Point your browser to http://www.rockmelt.com/ for more.

It is amazing how facebook has become the giant social networking site it is today. Just a couple of years ago, it is a mere alternative to the then popular MySpace site. Now MySpace is a has-been, desperately clinging on, but still bleeding out users month after month, while facebook user base has surpassed 500 million users just a couple of months ago. Now, how many of those 500 million accounts are duplicates I have no idea.

For most of its recent success, facebook has been under fire from the technosphere for the frequent and oft confusing privacy policy changes. With each policy changing behind the scenes, user settings were changed to an opt-out scheme, making more and more private information public, unless specifically set by the user each time a new privacy policy is rolled out. Zuckerberg even went to the extent of decreeing that no one cares about privacy anymore, that user information ought to be public by default. Oh, the arrogance!

As you may imagine, this has drawn more flak towards facebook, and Zuckerberg’s flawed rationalization has been called out and scrutinized point by point by technology and privacy pundits. As my own little way of protesting, I have at first disabled my facebook account. After months of having gone by without it, I decided to just delete the account altogether.

Meanwhile, the world caught on with the popularity of the networking site, with users usually unaware of the issues regarding their online privacy. They’re just happy to connect to their friends and families, eager to put up the most mundane of their daily activities as their status messages, elevating the traffic usage for all facebook users to a level the world has never seen before. Of course, this has also led to the occasional too much information shared, and the perpetual barrage of vanities and at times profanities.

Having been on the outside looking in for a while, I still wouldn’t want to be a part of this franchise, at least not wholeheartedly. I am still skeptical, what with every other site sporting the now ubiquitous “Like” button.

But, and here’s the dilemma of it all, facebook has now grown to be the default online meeting place, used by many in keeping track of their friends and loved ones. Its greatest faults also its biggest strength, people are being drawn to it in droves. There are the occasional YM! or MSN users around, but more often than not, even dates are coordinated through wall posts. Instant messaging, email, and text messaging notwithstanding, a single status update alerts everyone in your circle of whatever the heck it is that you want to get sent across.

So now that I’m moving on to a new job, is it time for me to re-connect to keep in touch with those I’ve left behind? Is it worth all the trouble?