Archive for Livre du Visage

Zuckerberg doesn’t like your name

Facebook demands Real Names, and Facebook thinks itself the only judge of what names are Real:

A young married couple from Arizona are feeling blue, having been banned from Facebook for trying to use their otherworldly last name, Avatar.

Balizar Orion Avatar and his wife of four years, Audry, of Prescott, say the popular social media site has deleted the husband’s Facebook account after having deemed his family name fake.

Balizar, who goes by Boa for short, says his father told him that when translated from Sanskrit, his full name, which he was born with, means: “May the Lord protect the king, son of light in deity human form.”

In order to prove that they have not made up their last name, Balizar and Audry say Facebook has required them to provide copies of their driver’s licenses and other paperwork.

Why, they don’t even have blue skin!

Patrick Phillips observes:

I did a quick search of Anywho.com for anyone with the last name “Avatar.” It turns out that in about a half-millisecond, the site returned pages of results, from people living from California to New York and plenty of points in between.

While I’ve never known anyone with the last name Avatar, it is definitely a valid surname. Facebook could have come to that conclusion at least as quickly as I did, but it’s likely they set some code to watch for suspicious names to automatically flag, and, as anyone who’s had a problem with Facebook knows, once the giant makes a decision, even an automated one, getting to an actual human being to rectify the situation is about as easy as winning the Powerball lottery twice in the same month.

Hmmm. I wonder if they have a Pandora account.

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Amok timeline

Facebook’s Lord Zuckerberg will know who you are if it kills him. No, wait, not him. You:

Jemma Rogers, 30, a holistic therapist, from Lewisham, south-east London, set up a profile on the social network in 2008.

Wanting to avoid annoying friend requests from old friends and strangers, she created the profile under the pseudonym Jemmaroid Von Laalaa.

But last month she got a message from Facebook asking her to send identification to prove it was a genuine name and account.

It’s that “Von.” Makes her look like one of the nobility.

Confused but worried she’d be locked out, Jemma admits she desperately tried to photoshop her bank cards to prove that was her real name.

One day later, Jemma’s account was suspended and she couldn’t get in. She emailed Facebook explaining what she’d done and sent over her real ID — begging them to let her back in. But she was told they could not confirm her identity and her account was suspended.

In a desperate bid to get the profile back, she changed her name by deed poll and is now officially Ms Von Laalaa.

“Desperate” doesn’t even approach this level of, well, whatever the hell it is.

Von Laalaa has now obtained new credentials — driver’s license, credit cards — and Facebook subsequently relented. Since she’s, you know, all real and stuff.

Bayou Renaissance Man is suitably unimpressed:

Remind me never, ever to engage Ms. von Laalaa’s services as a “holistic therapist”. With so much stupid in the air, I might never recover!

I’d hate to have that much emotional webbing tying me to a social network. Especially that social network.

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139 or bust

There is this so-called Rule of Social Media which says: “Don’t use all 140 characters. Give people room to retweet with a reply.” This rule was obviously conceived before the current version of the Twitter quote function, but it’s not something I’ve ever worried about, and neither did Lynn:

Ridiculous! Sometimes 140 characters is barely enough and you expect me to limit myself to even fewer?

I have written an amazing number — amazing to me, anyway — of 141- or 142-character tweets, necessitating on-the-fly editing, preferably without lapsing into txtspk. I get perhaps more than my share of interaction, and I have yet to hear anyone complain that my tweets are too long.

While we’re at it, this Facebook “rule” and Lynn’s reply:

Don’t Like your own post. — Do people do that? Actually, I wouldn’t do it but I don’t see how it could hurt or inconvenience anyone. So someone’s post has 4 likes instead of 3, or 1 instead of none. Is this really a problem? Sure it says something about you if [you] Like your own posts but other than that…

If FB ever gets a proper Dislike function, I plan to downthumb as many of my own posts as I can.

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At least he didn’t share it

File this under “Unclear on the concept”:

A Montana man was arrested last month after he apparently “liked” his most wanted poster on a Crimestoppers Facebook page.

Levi Charles Reardon was arrested April 24 after he liked his photo on the Cascade County Crimestoppers Facebook page, according to the Great Falls Tribune. The newspaper reportedly captured a screenshot of it before Reardon revoked the like.

Something like this, in fact:

Cascade County Crimestoppers screenshot

Reardon, 23, who is accused of felony forgery after he allegedly stole a wallet and cashed forged checks, was then apprehended by police without incident, the newspaper reported.

I’m just trying to imagine the facepalm he did after realizing he’d just Liked his own mug shot.

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Could’ve been anticipated

You remember Tiffany, the singer, right?

This is a perfectly serviceable cover of the Tommy James hit, if maybe a tick or two behind the 2007 version by the Birthday Massacre. I bring this up because I wandered onto Tiff’s Facebook page, Tiffany (The Singer). (Extra amusement value: I got the link from Debbie Gibson.)

And I bring that up because if you start looking for Wikipedia hints and you type “Tiffany (singer)” thinking that well, it’s Tiffany (The Singer), you may well end up here:

Stephanie Young Hwang (born August 1, 1989), better known by the stage name Tiffany or by her Korean name Hwang Mi-young, is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She is a member of both the South Korean girl group, Girls’ Generation and its subgroup, TTS.

Of course, I went looking for some of her stuff, and found this solo track:

Our Tiffany, if I may be presumptuous for a moment, could sing that.

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A soap opera in the making

The story here is very likely hilarious, in a contempt-for-the-deluded sort of way:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Is there anywhere I can get a fake name change certificate?

Not enough backstory:

I need to get back on to Facebook. I either need a fake name change certificate, fake number, or fake marriage certificate. I only need it because I have no ID.

If at any time you thought you had the worst life ever, here’s the only counterexample you’ll ever need.

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A little slow on the meme there

I found this floating around a Facebook page I am alleged to have liked:

Attempted meme: Bought a penis enhancement device on eBay, bastards sent me a magnifying glass

Regular readers will know that something like this has already happened, though it happened some place other than eBay.

And is embiggenment truly an enhancement? (I suspect all the guys, and perhaps some of the girls, are nodding Yes.)

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Passing detest

Not the official Facebook Dislike iconOne can only hope:

[Thursday] during a Facebook Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg, the head of the social network said the company is mulling over the addition of a “dislike” button — a thumbs down to go with that ever-present thumbs up, reports Business Insider.

“We’re thinking about it,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s an interesting question.”

The problem with a dislike button could be bullying or shaming other users, Zuckerberg notes, though it would work for when people wanted to express themselves but didn’t want to comment or use the like button. For example, when someone posts about losing a beloved pet — you want to show support without typing a message, but “liking” the death of a pet can feel just … weird.

Still, I’m keen to see this button put to use, if only because I know I will put it to use with great vigor.

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Old yarn, updated stretch

The best satire is sufficiently plausible to persuade all but the most cynical of us. Some of us, I fear, are insufficiently cynical:

[T]he rumour that Facebook will be charging users to use the service is NOT a hoax according to the National Report. It is reported that their will be a fee of $2.99 per month for users to use Facebook. However, there is an option to keep your Facebook account and use it for free for 1 hour per week. If the person exceeds that time limit, they will be charged .49 cents per minute. This is ridiculous!

Says the National Report:

Jack Phillips from DeQuincy, Louisiana told reporters that he is not happy with Facebook’s decision to implement a new monthly fee.

“I can barely pay for my girly subscriptions as it is, now this Zuckerberg character wants another $3 a month out of me? Well I don’t think so bud,” Phillips said. “There’s free news out there that I get all my learning from, like The Epoch Times. I know their stories are not real, some fancy word called ‘satirical’, but they makes me laugh. Sure, their grammar and spelling is just God-awful, but I like that; it makes me feel smarter.”

That passage, about halfway down the article, should have given it away. And if it didn’t:

To order your monthly subscription please call the 24-hour Facebook hotline at (785) 273-0325. Discounts are available to those who pay for an entire year at once.

Trust me, Zuckerberg can afford a toll-free number, and even if he couldn’t, he wouldn’t use a local line in Topeka, Kansas, especially one that’s billed to the Westboro Baptist Church.

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At the bottom of this data mine

Much is made of Facebook’s iron grip on all our personal data. Will Truman suspects the presence of oxidation, if not necessarily metal fatigue:

You’d think that the algorithm would say “Hey, he’s commented on this guy’s statuses repeatedly, so this is probably someone whose feed he’s interested in.” But not really. It thinks I really need to know what’s going on with a high school acquaintance who now lives in Connecticut, but not the person who has tagged me in posts twice in the last month.

This is one of the reasons I get less paranoid about their collecting information on me. They seem to be utterly incompetent on what to do with even the obvious parts.

If Zuckerberg offers to buy NSA, then I’ll worry.

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Social shoes

The canonical Explanation of Social Media, up until now, has involved donuts: on Twitter, you’d see “I’m eating a #donut,” while on LinkedIn, it’s more likely to be “My skills include donut eating.”

Now I like donuts as much as the next guy, maybe more if the next guy has an impacted sweet tooth, but I don’t write about them very much. By comparison:

The shoes, incidentally, are by Gianvito Rossi, stand 4.3 inches high, and run $1135; they’re from the ’14 Cruise collection.

Ms Mallet came to Zindigo from Neiman Marcus, where she was the senior fashion director.

(Via @PatriotsOfMars, whom you may know under another name or two.)

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This violates at least two rules

And the first two, at that:

Fight Club Facebook page

They’ve changed the page style slightly since then, but rules are rules.

(Dodd Harris saw this before I did.)

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Out of my Facebook

I’m sure this situation has come up rather a lot:

Social networking added an entirely new morass for employers to navigate.

Should you permit employees to friend one another? (You don’t really have a choice.)

Can you prevent it if they elect to? (Unlikely.)

Can social media policies limit what they say about their workplace on social media sites like Facebook? (Not without potentially infringing employees’ right to discuss working conditions.)

Can you use their social media activity as the basis for firing an employee? (Probably not a good idea.)

My own Facebook policies, to the extent that I can have any policies down here at the bottom of the org chart, are simple: I do not friend anyone I work with, and I turn down requests if I get them.

On the other hand, I have no such rule on Twitter; I figure that none of these folks have time to wade through my tweetstream. I have exactly two followers from the shop, both in my department. And I’m pretty sure I haven’t tweeted anything relevant to work that they haven’t already heard in person, perhaps several times.

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Idle threat

Perhaps you’ve encountered this box before:

Fake Facebook warning

This one, however, was a fake, and I knew that before I knew the links were going to some wiseguy using a French address, based on the following observations:

  • It was sent to a mailbox not associated with Facebook;
  • Subject line was “Your messages will be deleted soon beggar”.

So, my fake-French fake-friend: Bitez-moi.

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What a neat idea

A friend of mine posted this to a listserv:

A local news broadcast is asking viewers to post comments on the station’s Facebook page about their strangest Google searches.

You know, I should try something like that one of these days.

Oh, you mean searches I myself have conducted? Not on your life.

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From the As If files

Something styling itself “Facebook Spy” had the temerity to send me this:

chaz, we have detected that your profile was viewed by following user:

Nickname: SquigglyNoodles99
Gender: female
Possible age: 27 years
Last view: 14 minutes ago

There followed a t.co link which of course I refused to click, and come to think of it, why would a “Facebook Spy” send out a link shortened with the Twitter shortener?

Be assured, future spammers, that no 27-year-old woman on the face of the earth is going to be looking in my direction.

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@fmail

Remember your facebook.com email address? Well, forget it:

Facebook’s foray into email ended Monday, when the social media giant quietly retired the email service that many users didn’t even know existed. Users received a notice saying the @facebook.com email addresses they deployed are going away.

“We’re making this change because most people haven’t been using their Facebook email addresses, and we wanted to make it easier to view all your emails in one place,” the message read.

Yeah, sure. I’ll believe that when they delete the “Other” message folder.

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Although it may be cute, it’s just a substitute

Smokey Robinson has his reservations about social media:

Legendary Motown singer/composer Smokey Robinson thinks texting, Facebook and Twitter have a real hold on young people. “Social media is out of hand,” he told us recently at the National Association of Music Merchants convention here, where he was awarded the “Music for Life” award.

“Social media is running rampant,” he says. “We could get to the point where without those phones or iPads or whatever kids are texting or typing on, they (young people) won’t even know how to communicate, how to sit down and have a conversation with each other verbally.”

Robinson, who either wrote or co-wrote such classics as “My Girl,” “Tracks of My Tears,” “Shop Around” and “I Second That Emotion” for both Motown performers and Robinson and the Miracles, does say he’s comfortable with technology. His Windows Phone is his lifeline, and he’s all over Facebook and Twitter himself. But that’s just for professional reasons.

Well, you know, we gotta dance to keep from crying. (Which is a rarity: a Smokey song that he didn’t write.)

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An awful lot of interpolation

Apparently Facebook can now tell, or at least guesstimate, the object of your affections:

Though 27% of Facebook users don’t list their relationship status at all, only about half of those people are single, according to a Men’s Health article. If you’re one of these users committing the crime of omission, Facebook’s team of “in-house sociologists” has been researching ways to find you out…

If you’re “friends” with several of your other half’s co-workers, family members and friends, for example, Facebook may deduce that your only mutual link to these profiles is your assumed wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend. Researchers said they had a high success rate in correctly guessing someone’s romantic partner by this method.

Will Truman contemplates what this may actually mean:

This opens up a potentially crucial role for Facebook in the human social domain. You know what I always hated about relationships? I hated trying to nail down where exactly things stood. I’ll bet there is a lot of potential here for Facebook to tell you. Or they can at least give you a heads up. “In case you were unaware, statistically speaking, you are in a relationship with Suzie.” It would be a very helpful pointer for the unaware.

Of course, you could decide that you don’t want to be in a relationship with Suzie at all. And you can say “Facebook! You’re wrong!” But you ought to make sure that Suzie thinks that Facebook is wrong, too. It could have a real positive social impact of making us have the very important conversation that some are too good at avoiding.

There are several potential Suzies on my “friends” list, and I can tell you exactly where I stand with all of them: nowhere.

And while this situation may be disheartening, it bothers me less than the possibility that Facebook may select a Suzie for me and put her name on my wall — or worse, her wall — for the whole world to see.

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An idea whose time will never come

Endless scrolling. Facebook does it; it’s an option on many Tumblr themes.

Browsers don’t seem to like it; people whose business it is to count page views don’t like it. Who actually likes this, and why?

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You call this social?

The social media evidently have it in for Rob O’Hara:

When I post new posts on robohara.com, notifications get posted to Facebook (via the FacePress plugin) and Twitter (via WordTwit). When I need to update both Facebook and Twitter at the same time, I’ve been using TweetDeck.

Over the past week FacePress, WordTwit, and TweetDeck have all stopped working. Cheese and rice, man.

It started with TweetDeck, which forced an upgrade and then informed users that the new version no longer supports Facebook. Essentially that means that TweetDeck now only supports Twitter. That’s stupid. If it only supports Twitter, then why would I use TweetDeck? The entire point of TweetDeck was that I could funnel multiple social streams into one single interface. If TweetDeck only supports Twitter, then I’m not sure what purpose it serves. From now on I’ll just go back to using Twitter’s default interface. TweetDeck has been deleted.

The reason TweetDeck did this, of course, is because Twitter bought it and didn’t want to expend any development time supporting someone else’s API, especially Facebook’s. (Early versions of TweetDeck even supported MySpace, fercryingoutloud.)

While troubleshooting TweetDeck, I noticed that my last couple of blog posts didn’t get posted on either Facebook or Twitter. Apparently, over the past week both sites updated their APIs, causing older plugins (like the ones I was running) to stop working. Facebook said, “update your plugin”. I checked the FacePress website and was informed that the plugin hadn’t been updated in three years. Greeeeeeeat. After an hour on Google I found that Jetpack for Facebook offers the same functionality — I just didn’t know it because I’ve been running an older version of Jetpack. After upgrading it, I was able to link robohara.com with Facebook once again.

Now this is out of my wheelhouse, since I’ve worked diligently to keep this site and Facebook as far apart as possible, but allow me to put in a few kind words for Jetpack, which I use on all my sites except this one: it does a whole lot without making you jump through (too many) hoops.

I had to do the same thing with Twitter. WordTwit had to be upgraded and new security keys had to be generated. After going all of that, I realized that Jetpack handles Twitter connections as well as Facebook connections, so after doing all the work to get WordTwit to work again I uninstalled it and added Twitter to Jetpack as well. Sheesh.

I used WordTwit for a while, but ultimately switched to WP to Twitter, mostly because it was better about serving up error messages. And in fact, most of the errors I encounter are due to slipping time stamps — server time here never exactly matches Twitter’s server time — or a failure to rouse the gnomes at bit.ly, rather than anything related to the plugin itself.

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And you are…?

Jack Baruth recalls his early days doing that Social Media thing:

Once upon a time, by which I mean the year 2010, I accepted every Facebook friend request I got and I kept my Twitter feed public. Then I was part of three separate incidents in which my social media “friends” pulled various details of my employment, my family life, and my most embarrassing photos (which is to say most of them, really) in a couple of attempts to get me fired from my job, affect my personal life, and/or incite people in my general neighborhood to vandalize my cars/house/already-questionable lawn.

And he did what you’d probably do: backed off and went private. But this, too, has its disadvantages:

It frustrates me to no end that I can’t use social media to connect with the people who legitimately enjoy my writing — or even the people who legitimately dislike it and want to share their concerns and/or criticisms. I’ve been told to convert my Facebook page to a “fan page”, which seems repugnant. I cannot imagine that I have any “fans”. By the same token, I’d like to make a comment on a movie on Twitter without being the target of a sack full of shrill invective from somebody who’s still angry about something I may or may not have done with the wife of somebody he doesn’t even really like. You get the idea. What’s the point of being on FB and Twitter if you’re just building the proverbial walled garden?

Emphasis added.

I am able to deal with this only because I lead a relatively uninteresting life and have accumulated few detractors. (Who was it who said “Friends come and friends go, but enemies accumulate”?)¹ And I’m still, I think, fairly compartmentalized: I tend to treat Twitter as general distribution and Facebook as friends only, though inevitably there is some overlap on both ends of the line.

¹ I’ve seen this quotation, or an approximation thereof, attributed to Thomas Jones, to Arthur Bloch, and to Jayne Ann Krentz.

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Exclusive of taste considerations

A friend of mine lost her dad over the weekend, which more than meets the criteria for “upsetting.” A thread grew on Facebook, to which we all added our condolences and such, and FB responded to mine — and, I assume to those written by others — with “Send [name redacted] a gift.”

Recommended gift: a pair of tickets to see Fast & Furious 6.

I suppose it could have been worse: the guy could have perished in a car wreck. But this is what happens when corporate philosophy boils down to “Monetize All The Things.”

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Introducing Schedule FB

The IRS routinely looks at your W-2 and that fistful of 1099s. And now they’re reading your social-media accounts:

New reports brought to light by one privacy and data security expert suggest that this tax filing season the Internal Revenue Service may be monitoring social media for any clues of tax cheats.

According to Kristen Mathews, a partner attorney at law firm Proskauer Rose LLP who specializes in privacy and data security, there are reports that the IRS will be checking into individual Facebook and Twitter accounts for improprieties.

Though the agency says that it will only conduct such monitoring if a tax form raises a red flag, it is somewhat unclear to what extent it will be capable of delving into social media accounts.

You think maybe that drunken debauch in Dayton you plastered (while plastered) all over Facebook might get your expenses disallowed?

(Via this Jules Shapiro tweet.)

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Go like yourself

Old and busted: People or organizations pleading for Facebook likes. New hotness: The machine does it for you:

I bought a new Logitech wireless mouse the other day. The only installation it requires is to pull it out of the package and plug the receiver in. I already had a Logitech wireless mouse and love it, so when I needed a second one, it was the logical choice.

I noticed some very brief windows opening & closing when I plugged it in, but I figured it was my system processing the hardware.

But then I noticed an item in my newsfeed that had been put there by Logitech sharing an item. I clicked over to see why I was getting stuff from Logitech, and right there, the “Liked” button was clicked on their page.

There seem to be two possibilities here: either Logitech has somehow taught meece to press their own buttons, or there’s a Facebook script hiding in the woodpile. (Would Facebook countenance such a thing? Would Lindsay Lohan let someone buy her a drink?)

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Some friend you are

As the kids say, +1 for this:

As a way to establish and maintain an identifiable on-line presence, I think Facebook is probably around for the long haul. I think there is research on this that says so. Facebook seems lately to have read that research, and come to a decision that it wants to move in on LinkedIn’s turf by offering people a work identity. This, I believe, is a mistake of enormous proportions. I’m basing that on a presumption that people use these tools the way I do, and that’s always problematic I realize. But I don’t want current work contacts to see me on Facebook. Maybe past co-workers, the ones who are kinda “cool.” But there is no reason to go mixing up these two worlds, and if I’m going to be pushed into it because that’s just the way the system expects me to use its services, then I’ll be on my way out too. That’s probably what’s been happening, since most Facebook inhabitants behave more-or-less the way I do.

I shan’t be pushed in this matter. I made a rule for myself about three minutes after signing up for a Facebook account, to the effect that under no circumstances would I accept friend requests from co-workers. (Mentioning this once or twice in front of carefully selected staffers has pretty much insured that I don’t get any, either.) Past co-workers, the ones who are kinda “cool” — no problem.

I can’t, of course, do a thing about Twitter other than hide the entire lot of 32,000 tweets, which is more trouble than it’s worth. And unless someone’s doing a better job of hiding than I’d have expected, I have exactly two Twitter followers from the shop.

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Argyle and deceit

Once in a while, one of those pesky “e-cards” that clutter up Facebook elicits a small chuckle from this quarter. This one, though, has definite neologism, or at least euphemism, potential:

E-card: A dyslexic hooker just offered to cook my socks for $40

(Found at Kat’s Kozy Korner.)

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Insufficiently authoritative, or something.

I picked up about 1400 visits yesterday from a Yahoo! Answers answer, which had to do with a recent class-action suit against Facebook, and the settlement thereof.

Weirdly, I didn’t get the vote for Best Answer, the massive amount of traffic notwithstanding. (Total visitors for the 24-hour period numbered 1734, the 14th busiest day here since, well, ever.)

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Where all your time has gone

And by “your time,” I suspect I really mean “James Lileks’ time”:

Every day I encounter some site I like, but rarely promote to the daily bookmark. I find this interesting. Why wouldn’t I? Because it’s a peripheral interest, and I really don’t need to check up on someone’s vintage kitchen remodel for a month. If ever. So the list of secondary bookmarks grows and grows, until weeded out six months later after a cursory revisit. Each of these pages usually has a Facebook page. Never go there. Why would I?

I am something like that, though you should probably figure that if you read it here, I don’t consider that interest “peripheral.”

What I don’t like about all of this: the fragmentation of presence. If you just have Facebook, lucky you. If that’s what you want. But if you have a blog, you should tweet, and if you tweet, isn’t there a Facebook account and a Google+ account you might want to link to that? Ought not the Tumblr be chained as well, so all updates everywhere are sprayed across all possible platforms?

Short answer: no. Slightly longer answer: there are different audiences, at least in my case, for each of these platforms. (I don’t have a presence on Tumblr.) And nothing I say is so gosh-darn important that I have to push it out to everyone who’s ever heard of me.

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Unabashery

An Australian newspaper tries out Facebook Graph Search, and says it’s “taken the pain and skill out of searching for people worthy of a public shaming.”

Among those people, says the paper, are Rebecca Black fans:

Facebook Search screenshot featuring people who like Rebecca Black

“The identity of these Rebecca Black fans have been protected. For shame, people.”

Last I looked, there were 168,383 of us, not all of whom saw her last Friday on Ricki Lake’s show. (Although the clip to watch is this one, in which she says nothing but makes some curious faces.)

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