I left Facebook about a year ago and have been using Twitter as my primary social tool ever since. At the heart of this decision were my main gripes with Facebook: **Facebook misrepresents relationships ** It’s clear that Facebook was designed by a young person with borderline Aspergers. Relationships are black and white, you’re either a Friend or you’re not, and they’re symmetrical - information has to flow both ways.
I’ve never really liked Facebook, as regular readers of the blog will be all too aware of, but I’ve been a user of it in the last couple of years, mostly at the cajoling of friends. During this same period of time I also started using Twitter, a service which I was also skeptical about initially. Previously, I’d always relied on my blog, forums and official sites to do my interacting, and I wasn’t sure I needed anything else.
It’s now almost a year since I decided to try using Twitter, specifically to post about Ogre development work I’m doing and other Ogre-related things (well, most of the time anyway). Seeing as I totally deride the concept that it’s a good thing to share the inconsequential, tedious minutae of your life with the internet and view it as the absolute pinnacle of sad, narcissistic behaviour, joining Twitter was a hard sell.
There’s one problem with having a relatively public presence online, even in such a niche that I’m in, and that’s how to deal with unsolicited friend requests. I’m a happy user of LinkedIn, I have a Gamertag you can see on the right hand side there, and I’m also a reluctant and infrequent member of Facebook. As well as letting people who know me connect, it also means that on some occasions, I get friend / contact requests on these systems from people I’ve never heard of before.
I’m a bit of a grump when it comes to a lot of the Web 2.0 startups of recent years. I still dislike Facebook - originally it was just an in-principle reaction based on their rather irritating child-CEO and his ability to attract vast amounts of investment based on a business plan made entirely of arm-waving and wet tissue paper, but now having used it for a while, I dislike it on its own merits.
I came across Tim O’Reilly’s post entitled Open Source and Cloud Computing today, and I was pretty happy to see that his thoughts reinforced what I was saying a couple of months ago about how I thought isolated, corporate-owned islands in the ‘cloud’ were not a beneficial model for the Internet long-term, despite the short-term convenience in today’s society. I was also very interested to see from his links in that article that some in the open source community are already forming plans to address it.
To my everlasting disgust I finally caved in and signed up to Facebook today. My singular reason was that a friend of mine has just moved to North America (to complete his years-long transition to the dark side) and he’d stated his intentions to publish most of his personal stuff there rather than blogging about it, so with much grumbling I now have a placeholder account to let me peer into that little den.