cruisingwithgunhead replied to your post:Social net worth of social networks

Have you tried Ello? Development currently seems to be in limbo, but they seem like what you’re looking for.

Thank you for your input. Indeed,  I tried Ello since I had the luck to secure an invitation very little time after having heard of it. I was really excited by the clean interface from an aesthetic point of view, but I found it confusing from a practical one. Cooper said something funny about double-action pistols, that they were a very good solution to an non-existing problem. I feel mostly the same about Ello. It reminds me a bit, in the spirit, of weheartit.
It seems to me it’s mostly Tumblr for people with thick black frame glasses. One thing I really liked was the possibilty of having in fact two dashboards, one for signal, the other one for noise (but you can implement this thing in Tumblr by having secondary blogs).
I like their commitment to privacy, but… they’re doing it wrong. Anything centralized is porous and fragile, and susceptible to be fucked up by jockers or bad guys. 
But apart from that, it suffers from the same trouble than the other alternative systems – why use it and not Facebook, or Twitter, or WordPress, or Tumblr, or Pinterest, of Flickr, or Weheartit, or Delicious, or Hautetfort ?

cruisingwithgunhead replied to your post:Social net worth of social networks

Have you tried Ello? Development currently seems to be in limbo, but they seem like what you’re looking for.

Thank you for your input. Indeed,  I tried Ello since I had the luck to secure an invitation very little time after having heard of it. I was really excited by the clean interface from an aesthetic point of view, but I found it confusing from a practical one. Cooper said something funny about double-action pistols, that they were a very good solution to an non-existing problem. I feel mostly the same about Ello. It reminds me a bit, in the spirit, of weheartit.
It seems to me it’s mostly Tumblr for people with thick black frame glasses. One thing I really liked was the possibilty of having in fact two dashboards, one for signal, the other one for noise (but you can implement this thing in Tumblr by having secondary blogs).
I like their commitment to privacy, but… they’re doing it wrong. Anything centralized is porous and fragile, and susceptible to be fucked up by jockers or bad guys. 
But apart from that, it suffers from the same trouble than the other alternative systems – why use it and not Facebook, or Twitter, or WordPress, or Tumblr, or Pinterest, of Flickr, or Weheartit, or Delicious, or Hautetfort ?

Social net worth of social networks

What I like about Facebook. or should I say – what I liked about Facebook, is the easiness of communicating with people, mostly friends (I only coopted people I met at least once in real life – with very very very rare exceptions) or like-minded acquaintance. I was able to mute the most obnoxious of them on my timeline, and keep a very dense and interesting flux of information on various subjects I have some interest in. Organizing things was made a breeze through the various tools Facebook gives to its users.

What I didn’t like about Facebook was the mix of biographical documentation and memory hole (have you ever tried to find a relevant information you saw two weeks ago on your timeline?), the overloading of cool informations/depressing news about the state of the world, and the establishing of a time-consuming morning routine. I got away from Facebook for several months last year, but didn’t destroy my account since I was willing to stay in touch in an easy way with my friends.

The change of rules about intellectual property was the last straw. I have conscience that Facebook, as a free service, like Gmail, Tumblr or Twitter, get something from me (mostly data). i was quite annoyed by the casual spying on my internet browsing, but I was really minding the superceding of my creative-common licensing covering all I’m publishing (and I have a very broad approach of licensing – I like more to see something I made in the wild than to be quoted). To be clear – I don’t really care that Facebook could be using my “work”, or even attributed to itself : I’m mad at the idea it could prevent anyone to do the same.

I didn’t really like Facebook alternatives – the grotesque Google+ (highjacking all Youtube accounts… what a classy move…), Myspace, Ello, Diaspora… I tried them all, and didn’t see the point. They were maybe cuter, clearer (I’m not speaking of Myspace, that was a long time ago), but they just couldn’t compete with Facebook for the sheer mass of users and its excellent – if cluttered – tools it’s providing.

What I like about Twitter – once again, i should say “what I liked” but I wrote this as a draft before closing my account – is the variety of channels of informations and the various very interesting people I was following – something akin to Google+ but without the applesque sense of entitlement that go sidelong with the use of Google+. I really like the capacity of interacting with those people, that mostly weren’t acquaintances.

I’m quite ambivalent with the 140-characters limit, which I found a bit artificial but was also a way to work with words – and sometimes it reflected on my posts on Tumblr, since I needed to have a maximum compatibility with both formats, because of automated publication on both networks. It wasn’t that evident a social network, since it’s hesitating between microblogging and link dissemination. But the possible interactions, use of tags, retweets, favourism and commentaries have a sort of nice fluidity and bring it closer to a true if soft network.

But of course, it got almost the same defaults than Facebook in term of timeline flooding, memory-holism (even if it’s easier to search thanks to its openness to Google) and spying. I found advertisement more obnoxious than on Facebook, because of their sneakiness, hiding between tweets, read before being processed as ad, not information, instead of being part of a template you could just don’t look at.

About advertising, I read an article a week or two ago about newspapers angered by adblockers, and how those little add-ons were ruining their business model.

Then because of several events in France I tried to read newswebsites, and now I’m looking at you, *Le Figaro* and *Le Parisien*. Seriously, your websites suck, big time. They’re just a nightmare of obnoxiousness, with awful pop-ups, automated refreshing of the page (I think that could concern *L’Express* or *Le Nouvel Obs’*, I’m not quite sure), a word-to-ad ratio that I thought was only reserved to stupid glossy fashion magazines, and a navigation that was bordeline CIA-cruelty (i.e. you want to get hold of the page to scroll the article down, so you click on some empty part on the side and, *voilà*, you’re back at frontpage) and incredibly stupid mandatory thirty second-long clips before almost every news video. To end this sidetracking, I made the solemn promise to all editors that make me lose my time this way that :
1. if I ever need to read your newspaper, I will stole it. I will give money to people that steal newspapers and magazines to read them ;
2. I will boycott every product (and the corporations that make them) that want to rape my brain ;
3. I will drink champagne for every title that go bust because the State can’t give it enough money to survive, since you’d alienated most of your readers long time ago, and quality French press just designate today a way to make coffee.

Back to social networks – in the end, it didn’t make much sense to keep Twitter when I shut down my Facebook account. There are of course some people I’m missing the feeds, but two weeks after closing accounts, I don’t really care that much (and when I’m bored, I still have the possibility to sneak on some accounts without having to be registered).

My main concern still remain information overloading. From Instapaper, The Eletric TypeWriter, BoingBoing, various specialized websites or blogs, podcasts, books or shows, it’s really easy to have access to data, more or less editorialized. And since I’m on the web since twenty years now, I’ve got some well-polished search-fu and I’m able to sort out what I need. It’s the only thing, for example, I find great with spoof newswebsites (like The Onion) – they’re injecting some critical thinking, more or less willingly, into their readers. The really difficult thing is to find great curators (in order to spent efficient connected time) and having conscience of the danger of tunnel vision (e.g. falling in the confirmation bias trap or involuntary bending a Weltanschaaung through misinformation).

This is why I only clang to the most awkward of all networks, an accidental one, a place where I know only a few people (even if some friends got Tumblr accounts, they’re not that much into it and tend to neglect them – I can give names, if you really want) but where i can microblog without format limitation and in the same time get a feed of shiny and witty things I care about.

It’s probably not as efficient as Facebook or Twitter in more than a way. For exemple, a lot of means of communication are mostly hacks – or when officials, seems to have been an afterthought. It’s only lacking in the data releasing – it’s relatively easy to get an archive from Google, Twitter or Facebook. Why aren’t there any solution for back-uping one’s blog outside transfering it to WordPress.com ? It’s a bit disappointing.

The message system is awful, without a “sent” folder and the mix between “asks” and “fan mail” that doesn’t bring me anything valuable.

What I don’t really don’t like is the lack of way of commenting a post without reblogging it. That’s very personal, but I’m not a curator, and it feel disruptive to reblog somebody else work, and weird to reblog something mine – it’s bordeline noise.

Replying to a post is possible, but awkward. It seems there are a lot of solutions that were implemented by different teams in competition and they went in several directions without consulting the others and weren’t able to integrate said solutions in an harmonious ensemble. And boy ! are ergonomics poor ! Hoover a profile pic and get a third of your screen blank for the time the profile insert takes to load, in my case about 20-30 seconds, which is a quarter of eternity in Internet time (I’m using Chrome or Chromium depending of the computer I’m using – and they both enjoy the same lag).

I don’t like the menu system – there is more than enough space to provide most important options without having to check a menu, wait for it to load and click on a choice of action (three things : Tumblr is rather slow on my computers, I’m editing most of my posts after posting them to add tags or correcting a mistake I didn’t caught while writing – remember my main language is French, and I don’t like to use mouse/touch interface).

Since it’s so easy to customize one’s blog, I really miss the capability of customizing dashboard interface, and being able to configure it to my needs.

Staying on the interface weaknesses, I’d really like to be able to browse a blog through two more angles : the archive system is great – I really like the overview it provides, and I’d like to see something tantamount for each used tags, and I’d like a generic way to see original posts of a blog outside the “mine” tag. And seriously, we are in 2015. Shouldn’t we have the right to use more than 5+15 tags ? 

That said, it’s also easy to be whoever (and even, I’m said, whatever) you want on Tumblr and thrive in a perfect virtual universe where you can express yourself and interact with perfect strangers – having this way a perfectly tailored channel of information, customizable to the infinite from kittens gif to very specific and disturbing sexual fetishes porn, without any commitment implied.

It’s a strange but effective way to stay in touch with what’s going on (and staying culturally relevent, a thing that’s taking more and more its toll with time passing) – even if I feel regularly like Steve Buscemi in the famous “fellow kids” meme. And all that without having to endure young people’s physical presence which can quickly erode my limited stockpile of patience.

I really like the following and notes system. I strangely find it more appealling and intuitive (that little flying hearts !) than on Google+ or Twitter, even if the system itself is of course very similar. The only drawback I see if the trap of note-hunting – I hope I’m interresting my followers because of what I’m posting, as seemingly random as it seems, and not by demagogically and strategically posting things I know will attract notes (if this was the case, I would only post pictures of snowy mountains and firearms). Evidently, it’s always plaisant to watch a post getting some love and being dissaminated all over the world ; when I was using most traditional (and maybe more respected) tools of publishing, I could only have dreamed of having dozens of people seing my work, haphazardly repartited in the four hemispheres (this is also why I’m writing most of my posts in pidgin, my native language having for the moment quite a limited audience potential – in fact, I’m reserving it mostly for really bad puns).

But notes help me also to find new things to look at and eventually new people follow – I only seldom follow the advices of Tumblr algorithm. I’m checking most of the people I have a passive interaction with and all my new followers (but this is a really modest number, to be honest). I’m very very selective (in fact, I’m auditing my list at least once a month in order to cull it) I’m mostly looking for creative people, even if I chose one or two curators for each subjects I have an interest in). What is more important for me is the signal to noise ratio – if it’s bad, I tend to chose to look at those people pages outside my dashboard (another great advantage of Tumblr, this dual interface, much more effective than Facebook or Twitter ones). That’s also why, if I follow you, you may see bursts of liking notes in your dashboard. It may seems a bit obsessive, but it’s a side effect of the very low numbers of blogs I’m following and the fact that if I follow you, I find what you post interesting in general.

Now, I can’t wait to see the advent of distributed and secured social networks like the forcoming ind.ie’s Heartbeat. I can’t help but think it will help provide the market with what people want – a way to communicate, share things and stay in touch with various circles of people without the drawbacks of large-scale privacy breaches, compulsive spying, and corporate policies (“dear Facebook, boobs aren’t pornographic”) and give technologic communication a long-term credibility it’s lacking those days, between security slackness from major actors to seriously freaky citizen control by various more-or-less democratic governments in the name of national security (and French citizen got a nice Christmas gift with the publication of a new communication control law that is a Stasi’s wet dream – to the extent that for once, some editorialists are fearing about the future and the risks those tools fall into wicked hands, more than twenty years after the first alarm calls from privacy and human rights advocates).

Since I risk to be cut off the internet for some days, and I probably won’t have the time to organize something to keep this blog fed, do not forget you can explore my wonderful archives organized by your interest centers :

cars

my photographic eye

guns

music

bad puns

my adoptive country 

street art

Prepare to be amazed (ou pas) if you follow me (like most of you wonderful lot) for less than six months.