Category Archives: facebook

If Facebook actually happened…

A fine take on what would happen if Facebook was actually real.

Nice one – courtesy of The Wall, coming soon to BBC Three.

Facebook and Lacy Bitstripped

Courtesy of newly-launched and very cool Bitstrips.

Facebook and me getting booted out

So Facebook and I might be over. Really over. I am currently engaged in an email “discussion” with them about their attitude to online identities which I consider naive and not very well thought through.*

They disabled my account two weeks ago because I was not using my “real name”. Apparently. Although who made them the all-seeing, truth knowing entity who can decide what a “real name” is and what is not, I have no idea. The email address I signed up with does not tell them what my real name is, nor does any other information I gave them when I registered. I only give over that info online a) when I am buying something or b) when I am writing as a journalist.

Anyhoo. It all started when my profile page was borked for about a week. It happened suddenly after adding an application. No idea which one did it, but I could see and do everything else: update my status, participate, play Scrabulous, add my Three Little Words and so on.

I just could not see my profile page. I ummed and ahhed about emailing them because I knew they might have an issue with my online handle (which is not this one, but is my original one from c. 1994).

I eventually caved in and emailed them. Sure enough, the reply mentioned nothing about what the problem was, just that they had disabled my account. “Fake names are a violation of our Terms of Use”, they proclaimed. It is not a fake name, I argued, but my online persona.

I can detail our argument when I am not so tired and angry. But here is an abstract of my response:

This is not a fake name. This is my online handle/identity. I completed my Doctorate in online communities, young people and identity in 2000 and believe we have the right to present ourselves in different contexts – on and offline – in ways of our choosing. Choice is the key here. Most will choose to represent themselves with their real names, others will not. I know several people in the public eye who are given this choice by Facebook.

my point there was why are they so arbitrary about this? At what point do you have to “become” a brand? What about pen names as someone pointed out to me?

and so on. Anyway, this is now an important point of principle about the blurring line and choice of who and how you are in public, in private, and in that liminal space online. What I have realised however is: I really don’t need Facebook and they certainly don’t need me. And I am blogging again. That’s got to be a good thing right?! ;0)

*We have already seen Facebook make several booboos around this in its very short life. Like this. Oh and let’s not forget this. Ahh the follies of youth.

Seesmic, my new addiction.

Happy New Year (Hogmanay!!) all you people.

Damn you Seesmic. My latest obsession. It is pre-Alpha release and thanks (I think) to Dotben for sending me the invite. There are two very good reasons why I should not be on there but I won’t share them with you here.

It is basically micro-video-blogging. It is instantaneous, easy, compelling, addictive, fun, performative, playful, personal, public, easy, welcoming. It is essentially video banter and if I worked from home I would never get anything done.

It makes me feel a lot more connected and closer to people than Twitter or anything else. The Seesmic team – based in SF – also do neat little edits, shows, of the best of the last 24 hours (see the NY one above) which I like. This is something I think is really needed. It adds an extra incentive to participate for some too, I imagine. Makes it somehow even more personal.

Oh, I have also been chucked out of Facebook. More on that later, which is why I have been in search of a replacement. I really should get some kind of hobby which does not include sitting in front of screen doing really quite daft things until the wee small hours.

Hmm…

Born in 1970s Norway?

I just joined the “Unlike 99.9% of the Facebook population, I was born in the 70s” network”, only to find that once you get past page 1 or 2 of the profiles, everyone seems to be from Norway? Wasgoingon?