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. The real world doesn’t work like that, I have real friends, family, casual acquaintances, people I like to keep up to date on but who I’ve never met, and people who like to follow me but who I don’t know.
Many people have declared email to be dead in the past, and they’ve all been wrong. The typical play has been from instant messenger advocates, and most recently from Facebook. But, while these options have been a valid all-encompassing solution for teenagers and students, I haven’t met a single serious modern IT user whose life isn’t still driven primarily by email. There’s a reason that Outlook and Exchange are such consistent cash cows for Microsoft, and so many business people own Blackberrys.
I, like many people, viewed the Bing marketing video last week, which promised not to create a search engine, but to create a ‘decision engine’ - if you winced at this blatant attempt at the ‘game changing switcheroo’, congratulations, you can join me on the ‘jaded technology observer’ bench. Despite my distaste at having to swim through the murky waters of marketing blurb in this video, the demonstration looked pretty nice - showing how the ‘decision engine’ picks out flight details, product reviews and other things out of your search terms and provides context-sensitive recategorisations such as price and specifications of digital cameras if that’s what you were searching for etc.
As I just announced on the OGRE site, I was really pleased to find out today that we’ll be participating in Google Summer of Code 2009. This will be the 4th year running for us, and it wasn’t at all a given that we’d be accepted again this year - even though I think we’ve been a good mentoring organisation for the past 3 years, there are always new organisations wanting to get onboard and there are a finite number of places, so I wouldn’t have gotten my panties in a bunch if we’d been passed over in favour of letting someone else have a go this year.