Category Archives: socialnetworking

“It’s all Ze Frank’s fault”

Indeed, yes, as Rachel C commented on my post below, the Colour Wars of Twitter* are indeed All Ze Frank’s** fault. See his explanation which he just Tweeted.

Seems it is a leftover from Summer Camp, an American phenomenon of which I have been eternally jealous. Let the wars begin. GO OFFWHITE!

*I refuse to spell it the wrong way.

**I interviewed him once at TED Global. Always regret not having published it. He was lurvely.

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Lily Allen’s embeddable widget

Lily Allen has a new chat show coming soon the BBC Three and it is attempting to do things differently in the spirit of Lily’s love of social networking.

The website is going to iterate as the show gets closer, and it has released an embeddable dynamic widget so that social networkers can stick it on their profile pages. This means they will always get the latest videos, and they will be able to vote on which bands should feature on the show each week. There is also a production blog, and of course Lily has her own Myspace presence.

Now, I would love to show it embedded here but for some reason the code won’t let me. It only seems to want to display the terms and conditions. I shall have to figure that one out. But go check it out for yourself.

It follows the philosophy of being where people are, so having takeaway content at its heart is key.

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.