Social Media

September 24, 2011

I was all set to blog a few thoughts on religion and morality the other day, and instead found myself engaged in trying to figure out what the %@$#% was going on with Facebook.

Seems Zuckerberg decided we all needed a new “experience” so he took away the “Recent News” option from the News Feed and made everyone put up with his algorithm’s notion of what we were likely to find interesting; also he added a ticker-thingy on the right that shows you everything your friends do, things they like on the walls of people you’ve never heard of… A whole lot of my friends have been spending untold hours trying to figure out how to undo or bypass all this or if it’s finally time to migrate to Google+ (which co-incidentally became available to the general public that very day).  On top of that there’s a new FB Timeline thing in the works, which some of my friends find exciting but others see privacy problems with, as usual…

So I went on Google+. I hadn’t been  planning to, because it seemed more complicated, with asymmetrical relationships (“circles”) rather than just mutual “friend”ing, and would take time to figure out; moreover it will undoubtedly take some time before it acquires a sufficient population and level of activity to be really competitive with FB. But I figured, if I’m going to have to climb the learning curve like Sisyphus anyway whenever Zuckerberg decides to change everything, why not try out the alternative.

Sure enough, G+ is more complicated, and doesn’t really have anywhere near the level of activity of FB; but I’m supporting it anyway, because at least it means there’s competition. All social media are probably trending in the same overall direction but at least I don’t want it all controlled by one visionary megalomaniac. Sure they’re all out to make money, they’re all using us as bait for advertisers, but plain greed you can at least negotiate with; visionary megalomania, not so much.

I see one drawback is I can’t have WordPress automatically send my blog posts to G+ like it does with Twitter and FB; I’ll have to link each item individually. It seems WP wants to, but Google’s grand vision is against automated postings. Oh well.

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2 Responses to “Social Media”

  1. kitchenmudge Says:

    I’m still waiting for anyone to tell me what FB does that’s useful and couldn’t be done with twelve year-old technology (email lists, listserves, freebie personal web sites like WordPress).

    • allogenes Says:

      What is useful for you is for you alone to determine. Usefulness is a relationship between a thing and each individual’s set of desires and needs; it will inevitably be unique for everyone.
      Personally, even with all of the annoyance Zuckerberg causes from time to time, I find FB has enriched my life considerably; it’s gotten me back in touch with people from different phases of my life, it gives me lots of amusing and sometimes useful information about what’s going on in my friends’ lives and the world at large. Perhaps I could have all this without FB but it would take a lot more time and effort, and might not even occur to me to try. Since writing the above post, I have found that several of my issues with FB have been resolved – the “recent posts” option is back, I no longer notice the ticker thing, and Timeline seems to be on hold pending further adjustment which may alleviate the concerns some people had. Meanwhile there’s nothing much going on that I can see on G+, but then again it took FB several years to build up a sufficient mass of activity for me to find it interesting…


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