Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Google+ Comment Integration

So Google have integrated G+ comments with Blogger comments.

This is something I've been wanting for a while. Closer connection between my blog and G+ is valuable in so many ways.

OTOH, I can see how dangerous this road is. G+ is going to eat my blogs. Very conveniently, I'm sure.  I'll value every step of the way. But will I find, in a year or two that there won't really BE blogs here at all? Just my profile on G+. As much of a Walled River as Facebook? (Big question ... will there be an RSS feed from it?)

I'm troubled by how much I'm dependent on Google. I can walk away from Amazon and Facebook if I want. If I need to I can leave LinkedIn and Twitter. But everything I do (and have done) is deeply intertwingled  with Google.

Of course, at least I have my home page. My own address on the web that I control. An essential for the contemporary cybercitizen. I even have several WordPress blogs, but they're specialised things. My 3 real blogs : Composing, Smart Disorganized, Platform Wars are all very much Google properties.

Again I turn my mind to whether I should do something about this?


Local outfit Criolina repped on Generation Bass.

Update : listening to their free album. Good stuff.

BTW : DJ Oops (who's behind this) once remixed one of my remixes of 2 Finos e um Grave. To be fair he saved it from a couple of weaknesses. A fine touch with the compressor managed to beef the bass up to a considerably more respectable level than my feeble effort. OTOH he lost a certain poly-rhythmic chaos to the rap that I considered a feature rather than bug.

US Government Obsessed With Housing Prices?

Facebook Export

So after a couple of hours, Facebook sent me a link to a zip file that contains a rather nice plain html facsimile of my Facebook profile page. Contains the few pictures I uploaded and comments on them. A list of my FB friends' names (and a couple of email addresses where they were available) and the not-very-interesting archive of all the private messages I've sent and received. (Most of which are just co-ordination).

I'd say they did a good job of this. It's probably even possible (theoretically or someone may have already written the script) to import this into another YASN.

What's missing, of course, and the major value (from my perspective) of what I put into Facebook, is the huge amount of writing and discussion I've had in comments on other people's threads and in particular in various groups (including secret groups).

I knew I wasn't going to get this. And think there's a good rationale for it. But it's kind of sad too. 

Looking to what else I can recover and how.

Super Monetization

Very interesting video of Jaron Lanier promoting the idea of a fully monetarised web (all information should be charged for) as a reinvigoration of an economy that works for the middle / professional class.

My notes on ThoughtStorms.

ps : Music heralds, as always.

Facebook Export

So, I've found that Facebook do have an option to export some of your data (including pics).

Let's see how it does.

Monday, April 29, 2013

International Workshop on Document Changes

This is striking. The first international workshop on document changes. You can see that this is actually a big issue. Probably some very interesting work going on there.

Exit Planet Facebook

So, this is the last straw. I'm leaving Facebook.

I've been too caught up, not so much talking to real-life friends (which FB is useful for keeping track of) but having discussions with various interesting online people and groups.

This is ludicrous. Most of these conversations could be had anywhere. We used to have them on blogs and wikis. Or on Tribe. Or Slashdot.

We don't need to give this power to Zuckerberg and Facebook. We shouldn't have let our social AND intellectual lives get enclosed like this.

I've been saying this for a long time, of course. But this time ... I mean it. I've logged out of FB. I haven't deleted the account yet because I want to make sure the message I sent to all my FB friends doesn't disappear too. But I'm gone.

There's also a deeper problem, which I may have mentioned before. I think Facebook has essentially reinvented TV. It's an absolutely lousy medium for thoughtful discussion. Long comments are truncated to a couple of lines. Your actual content is squashed into a narrow column between acres of adverts / chat and infrastructure and is unceremoniously flowed off the page as quickly as possible. Facebook's design is ruthlessly optimised not to let you talk and listen but to keep you titillated with NEW items. Little hits of stimulation (an easily shared new image / meme;  status from a DIFFERENT friend you hadn't thought about in the last 10 minutes.) etc. All your emotional / personal connection to people is harnessed to keep you fixated on an overwhelming flux and your response to little more than automatic "likes" and "forwards".

The patterns of Facebook interaction are as disinforming and dis-empowering as the mindless channel hopping that TV promoted.

Marshall Mcluhan was right: the shape of a medium swamps its actual content. It's time to say no this perverse refinement of the flow internet and look for something that enables productive networking, thought and discussion.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hackney Goes Global

Bruce Sterling on the highlights of SXSW :
Even a neighborhood from London: Hackney. I was super-impressed by that: Hackney. Hackney! That is unheard-of global ambition by a district of a town. It’s like South Austin had it’s own presence at the London Olympics.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

BBC Admits Misleading Video

Sometimes it's a slog to try to get the country's leading public service broadcaster to actually, you know, do a bit of public service by correctly educating people.

Three cheers for Conrad Jones for going through it.