Diaspora – Not Your Mama’s G+

As many of you who read my ramblings here know, I was experimenting the Google+ a while back. That didn’t turn out so well.

That’s OK, however. I’ve found a wonderful alternative. It’s called Diaspora. For Google+ refugees, it will look quite familiar. Think of it as a concentration camp (Google+) that’s been transformed into a hippie commune. Google+ is like the old TV bar Cheers, where everyone knew your name (and all your personal data, including your underwear color). Diaspora is more like an 80s mosh pit, where no one knows your name (and only know your underwear color because you chose to let them), but they’re all having a great time right along with you. ;)

TechEye.net has a really cool article about Diaspora on its site today. Here’s a wee bit:

Users are climbing on board after being tipped off that there’s a network just like Google+, only without having anything to do with Google, where you can be who you want to be, how you want to be, and still retain full ownership of everything.

Read the rest of the article: Diaspora still trying to reinvent social networks with open source G+ before G+

C’mon over and sign yourself up. I’m there. You can find me from my D* profile.

Have a fun day!

~Eric


Google Won’t Pwn Me!

Well, my experiment with G+ and social networking has come to its end tonight.

This is my last post to the stream there:

Alas, it has come to this…

Friends, Googlers, denizens of this realm we call the Internet,

This is my last Google Plus transmission. I have been here since nearly the beginning. I’ve watched this service become the sweet candy that it now is; tempting and replete with potential poisonous side effects.

I admit to always being a bit suspicious of SUPER-MEGA CORP Google. However, my suspicions were just that… suspicions. That is until I came to G+ and witnessed how a large corporate entity once again wipes its anal orifice with anything the little guy has to say when it doesn’t correspond with their business plan.

Privacy is a very important thing, folks. It’s important in your real lives and it’s important (possibly more so) here in this medium. Since the advent of the Internet, there have been those who have hunted, stalked, and bagged the weak, ignorant victims; children, old folks, silly housewives clicking on every pop-up that appeared on their screens. The wolves have targeted them all.

It’s sad that the sheep will trade their anonymity and security for a sweet taste of the candy. Just one taste, please. These same sheep are the ones who are being sheared daily by their governments, their churches, their employers, etc. Now they will be sheared by Google in its neverending feeding frenzy of data; public, private, ALL DATA!

While I have to admit it’s been fun, this little experiment of mine with G+ and my first foray into the social networking scene; I believe I must be moving on. THINK, folks. Use that mass of gray jelly in your head. Analyze all the input. Determine for yourself if it’s worth exposing your real name, personal data, life history, etc. to a giant corporate entity whose NUMBER ONE purpose for existence is to turn a profit.

Well, this is all just a matter of opinion, really. The above is my opinion. I’m no one. I’m nameless. I am pseudoynmous (maybe). ;)

You know where to find me.

It’s been fun…

~Eric

I feel emancipated. Hell, I think I’ll even switch my browser’s search engine to Yahoo.

Later, folks…

~Eric


A Closet Misanthrope’s View of Online Social Networking

Up until recently, my experiences with online social networking were limited to the rare messenger conversation or occasional IRC chat.

Since the beginning of my Internet life, I’ve leaned more toward the post/reply model of online communications; such as boards, forums, USENET newsgroups, etc. When MySpace first came online, I thought it to be silly, juvenile narcissism. My feelings toward MySpace carried over to the Facebook and Twitter crowd, once those became the “in” thing online. I mean, c’mon… follow along with Ashton Kutcher‘s daily escapades? It was obvious to this middle-aged (damn…it’s weird calling myself “middle-aged”) semi-misanthropic biker that these newfangled online things were mainly for the young attention-deficit-disordered crowd.

Hmm… well. I may have to change my views on this now. I’m man enough to stand up and admit when I’m wrong. I just don’t get much opportunity to do that since I’m rarely wrong. That being said, online social networking may actually have value for all folks out there, not just the hormonal yutes of the world. I can see the potential of the technology. I can understand now that there is a whole new world out there for young folks, old folks, business, hobbyists, technologists, educators, journalists, alien invaders, hackers, spammers, data miners, and even you.

You may have read about my previous articles HERE and HERE regarding my recent foray into the realm of online social networking; specifically, Google+. Well, I’ve been at it now for about ten days. The first couple days’ worth of my time there was utilized mostly for feeling my way around the place and looking for folks to put into my “circles”. Once I got that all squared (or circled) away, it was on to the actual interacting part of the show. Social intercourse with other human beings from all over the world. Wow! What a concept! Beats the hell out of smoke signals or snail mail, huh?

Photobucket

There is a trick to enhancing your enjoyment of social networking on sites like Google+ (G+ for short). You need to have communicative and intelligent people, with whom you share some common interests, in your circles. Why? Simply because you need them to provide you with that steady flow (the Stream) of data that becomes your focus on these social sites. What is this “stream”, you might be asking? Well, if you’re my age or older, you can think of it as that steady rat-tat-tat of the old RTTY (radio teletype) machines tapping out reams of incoming data onto that tractor-fed paper roll. Or if you don’t remember those days, you can think of the stream as the news ticker that runs along the bottom (or top) of some modern cable news channels. The stream is the heart of your online social network. It’s where the action is.

If you have fun, smart, prolific posters, like Chris Pirillo for instance, in your circles in G+, you’ll have a steady stream of interesting and entertaining (and often very useful) data to read. If all you have in your circles is old uncle Bob, the retired carnival barker who can only access the Internet for 1 hour every three days from his cell in prison, then you’ll probably be pretty starved for decent stream data. Find those interesting folks. That’s half the fun of social networking. Whether you’re looking for celebs or scientists, chances are they’re on G+ (or Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

Oh, and don’t forget to share. In other words, be sociable. Post replies to other posters in the stream. Post your own stream posts. Post pictures, music, tales of your latest bar-hopping spree, whatever… Sharing. That’s what social networking is all about. You don’t just want to be one of the quiet crowd hiding in your dark computer room and laughing to yourself about Chris Pirillo’s latest animated .gif posting. You want to be out there with the rest of those folks having fun!

Don’t be shy now.;)

See you on Google+

~Eric


A Google+ Follow-up

I’ve been at it now for about 4 days. I must say… it’s surprisingly entertaining.

It’s also damned addictive, so watch out. I’ve spent more time online this past four days than I have in the past four weeks combined. I guess humans are social animals after all. And it’s ever so much more fun to socialize from the privacy of your own home while munching chips and sitting at your computer desk in your underwear; not that I’m doing that, you understand. Although, I’m sure that some of you do.

Yes, Google+ is in beta, but forgiving a few bugs and glitches here and there, it’s a remarkably stable and enjoyable experience. As stated in my previous posting about G+, I’m definitely not a social networking butterfly. I’ve never had any accounts that even resembled social networking, except maybe my old AIM, Yahoo, MSN, and ICQ messenger accounts. I still have them, actually, but haven’t logged into any of them in years.

The mechanics of G+ can be a bit overwhelming when you first login, but eventually, you begin to see how things work and how best to set up your own personal preferences. There are already oodles of blog posts and mini-tutorials online about how best to set up your G+ settings with regards to your circles (friends groups) and privacy, so I won’t go on about that here. Just do a search (using Google, what else?) for Google+ tips. You’ll get a crapper full of great hints and tips.

Come be sociable with me on Google+. You can find me HERE.

Have fun!

~Eric


Google+ First Impressions

A disclaimer is in order here: I’m not a social networking butterfly.

I was never into chatting online or messengers, etc. Having started out in old style BBS and USENET mediums, I never did transition too well to the “real time” comm stuff. Maybe I’m just shy. ;) So, anyway… friend Securitybreach from Scot’s Newsletter Forums managed to sneak an invite out to me for Google+ today.

I just spent about 15 minutes setting it up. I have numerous Google accounts, but I figured I’d limit Google+ to just one to make it simple. It’s bad enough that I’ll have to keep track of my millions of followers each day, but to have to do it with multiple accounts would be just too much. I’m V. T. Eric Layton on Google+, in case you were interested. :)

OK, so what is this Google+ stuff, anyway. Well, it’s like Facebook with some actual thought put into its design and options. HA! That’s really not a fair statement coming from me because I have never been on Facebook, so whaddo I know? I’ve never had a MySpace account either. I tell you, I’m just not that sociable.

What can you do with your Google+ account. Well, you can chat. It seems that they REALLY want you to do that, too. That damned box keeps popping up every time I log into my account asking me if I want to enable chat. NO, I don’t. Thank you. To be fair, Google+ is in beta at the moment, so there will be strange and annoying things occurring from time to time.

Hey! Isn’t it cool to think that trivial comments you make on Google+ will be stored on their massive GoogleNet servers till the end of time. That’s gonna’ come back and bite some folks in their asses when they run for President in a few years. And, of course, there’s also the issue with GoogleNet becoming self-aware in a few years. Whaddya’ gonna’ do then, huh? No place to run. Nowhere to hide from the Googlenator.

Cute-lookin’ fellow, eh? Oh, I’m supposed to be reviewing Google+ here, aren’t I? Umm… OK, back to business then.

Setting up your Profile within Google+ was pretty straightforward. It starts out with your public profile from your email account that you signed up with in the first place. You can change some privacy settings and email delivery options from within there. Don’t forget to add* your phone number, address, and a pic of you car so that everyone from Russian Prime Minister Putin to Paris Hilton can drop in unexpectedly for tea.

*WARNING: I’m just kidding. I don’t recommend you add ANY traceable personal information to your Google+ account. They have enough of your personal info already.

Then there are those “circle” things. Circles are separate groups that you can use to sort all those millions of Google+ chums you’re going to be gaining shortly (as soon as the Facebook and Twitter servers succumb to that massive DOS attack in a few weeks – see Googlenator above).

All in all, Google+ looks like another fine way to waste away your life using minimal characters, poor grammar, and no punctuation of any kind.

fun 4 all w00t i m pwnd by google ;)

Later…

~Eric

Image credits: Googlenator – hell, who knows? I’m sure the original is licensed to Orion Pictures Corporation, but I really have no idea who shop’d this pic.


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