Yes, I have a myspace account.
No, I won’t friend you on facebook.
A few months ago I joined facebook long enough to figure out that it was the same damn timesink that myspace had become,
and quickly deleted my account despite the number of friends on facebook that seem content
sharing their personal data with whoever it is that
funded facebook’s startup, not to mention their surfing in real time.
Turns out my paranoid nature wasn’t unwarranted. Facebook creeped me out even
before I watched this, and I’m curious to see what turns up in the current facebook lawsuit.
Unless the time required to sign-in, post to, and maintain profiles across each network is reduced, it will be impossible for most users to participate in multiple sites for very long.
- Steve O’Hear
I started with Tribe.net back when it was novel and seemed to promise to put me in touch with others vibing along
on the same wavelength. Now my tribe profile sucks rss feed off my personal blog, and who knows what
freaky asshole’s been following my scatterbrained musings. I rarely even sign in to my profiles online, (although I have made an exception for Whitechapel)
as I’m lucky if I find the time to respond to emails with the writing and production schedules I continue to
impose on myself. I’m in the full-blown throes of what’s being called
Social Networking Fatigue, which any day now I’m sure will be covered on an advert for zoloft.
The general expectation is that consumers ultimately will settle down with one or two social networks and that they will become a feature incorporated in more and more sites.
- Ellen Lee
At least, that’s what the social network experts believe. Even still, I find that I simply don’t have time to keep up with one social network, let alone several. Some of my friends are still
using dial-up to get online, and find it impossible to sign into a social application that’s routing widgets, feeds, and advertisements
from the four corners of the net. Asking them to check my tribe/facebook/myspace page is cruel to begin with, and in no way convenient. Plus Facebook has this thing about identity issues that the blogosphere could care less about, further evidence that there’s more going on with Facebook than just a place to socially network. On the other hand, I built my blog so that I can post via phone and read it via phone, because I don’t believe I should be tied to a desktop or even a
browser in order to communicate globally. Facebook requires an account just to read other people’s posting (in geek talk, it’s a walled garden.)
Metasocial Networking (like ex.plode.us) probably isn’t the answer even if it does sound cool. The blogosphere was a fully
functional ad hoc social network based not on pre-existing social ties but on merit and quality of information, and as such it is a
robust and highly valuable source of up-to-date information. With new users coming online daily and established bloggers
tinkering around with social network applications, there’s bound to be growth in the various novel approaches to the same
underlying question – driving traffic and click-through rates in a monetized fashion.
There’s this odd thing about the economics of “Web 2.0.” It’s very convenient for the people who own all these companies. Because basically, they set up a thoroughfare and then people pay to provide the content that they then pay to experience.
Thank you, but no, I don’t need a platform built for me. I’m happy with my mutans.blogspot.com,
and I’m even happier with a functioning blogosphere outside the walled garden
of Facebook, et al. With the right feeds and the right links I can easily make a single spot for anyone to access
my public thoughts, and if a person is unable to email me directly or respond with their own blogpost about my comments, writings, and ideas
then they’re probably incoherent jabbering fools who’d just be wasting my time with network marketing schemes, sketchy giftcard offers, or
the latest ringtones.
Ironically, the only piece of social software that is really scaling well is blogs. Of
course, the reason that’s true is because the blogosphere is mostly distributed and so
the political bloggers seem completely unaware of the food bloggers and the
mommy bloggers are completely disconnected from the emo kids. Only on
Technorati does it all come together and create a massive headache because how do
you really rank apples and oranges? Luckily, the vast majority of bloggers aren’t
concerned about rank; they’re just blogging to hang out with their friends.
- Danah Boyd
Although that’s not the only use for blogging. Perhaps some social networking sites are
simply underhanded ways to keep tabs on civilians, but at least one blogger is deliberately using
his blog to inform the government of what he’s doing all day long, everyday. Hasan Elahi discovered
he’d inadvertently wound up on the terrorist watch list, and was featured in a WIRED article a while back:
He realized the best way to keep the FBI off his back was to go totally transparent — so he started photoblogging everything he does, all day long, to establish a constant alibi.
Ultimately, the problem is this: social networking sites are good for the companies and the advertisers (and possibly Big Brother). They used to be good for the individuals when they were first introduced, but
now it’s become little more than a new way to spam the end-user with advertisements.
I started my myspace account as a joke, a little worm eating into the heart of Murdochspace, and toyed
with ways to enable the clueless to overpopulate the servers with spambots, life coaches and MLM schemes.
Along the way I picked up an absurd number of ‘friends’ to the point that my friends list
is completely unmanageable – add to that the long load times since every page requires my browse
to load a flash advertisement for ringtones, surveys, or dating sites and myspace becomes a horrendous timesuck.
Malene Charlotte Larsen, who’s been stressing the
changing definition of ‘friend’ that has arisen
in the wake of these networks, has recently pointed out a anti-social networking trend.
I for one couldn’t be happier.
Putting aside the need for humans to procreate, I can’t help but wonder: are we creating a social system to communicate with each other at a distance because the reality of creating and
maintaining that social networking face-to-face is, well, scary? Do we not want to pick up the phone and tell five friends we want them to come over for dinner and a movie, so we instead
throw food at them and tell them to watch something we previously watched and liked?
- Jason McCabe Calacanis
Perhaps the day will come when we realize these social network applications aren’t making our lives easier, they’re balkanizing our personal interactions for the benefit of ‘old media’ advertisers. To date the only social networking site I spend any time on whatsoever is the advertisment-free Irreality, and that is only because
I’ve met half the people on there in person via esozone (and at least people on irreality are attempting to confront this decaying definition of ‘friend.‘) As for now, if you want to get in touch with me, do it. Don’t invite me
to Bebo, send me an email.
Or just join one of these Antisocial Networks and leave me the fuck alone: