I Can’t Help But See It…

This cropped up on a friend’s Facebook wall because they had gained a badge on Fitocracy a social network for fitness buffs.

I can’t help but see that as the beginnings of a Goatse…

I’ve Joined Fitocracy  myself, but at the moment I have 0 points because their sign up form is retarded and created two accounts for me one for the login that I provided and another when I tried to connect it to Facebook to import my contacts…

That’s why I’ve not got any points, not because I’ve not been doing any exercise… Honest…

Is Liking Something On the Internet a Meaningless Gesture?

It occurred to me just now that one thing that FaceBook and Google+ do that Twitter doesn’t is have a mechanism to show passive approval of something. On FaceBook you can “Like” a post and on Google+ you can “+1” it, Twitter has no equivalent. On Twitter you can either comment on a post by replying to it, or you can share it by retweeting.

I think the like is an empty gesture, it holds no meaning, and it serves only to boost the ego of the poster, also it’s prone to ambiguity, if someone posts a status update saying something like “My dog died today, he was a lovely hound” and someone likes that what does that mean? does it mean that you like the fact that the dog died or that you are being sympathetic to the person for their loss?

If you are being sympathetic and all you can be arsed doing is clicking a button then you are a pretty lazy, a person who was actually sympathetic would say something passing on their condolences, if you like the fact that their dog died because the dog ate your hat well maybe you shouldn’t be sharing that fact.

What do people think is liking a status update an empty gesture?

Note: I’m not talking about liking things on services like Pinterest, StumbleUpon or Last.FM where your likes are actually stored, that’s more curating things you like rather than silently expressing that you agree with/approve of a statement.

Social Network Privacy + Bonus Rant…

I’ve noticed a few stories cropping up over the past week of employers requiring candidates to give them access to their social networking as well as coaches demanding that athletes friend them so that they can monitor them.

While I think this kind of behaviour is deplorable, and to be honest if an employer asked me to sign in to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn or whatever in the middle of an interview I’d walk out as that is not that kind of organization I want to work for, I’m not sure why people don’t see the simple way round this:

Just have two Facebook accounts!


One that is private and has all your pictures of the sordid acts you perform on barn yard animals with custard at the weekend and another account that shows you as an upstanding citizen.

It’s not rocket science…

Sure curating the account might be a bit of hassle, but it should be easy enough to friend a few people and just leave the account to fester, then when they ask you why you update so infrequently just tell them you don’t really use social media. Unless you are going in for a job at a marketing firm as a “Social Media Guru” this shouldn’t affect your chances one bit.

By the by: If you do describe yourself a “Social Media Guru” though seek help, chances are you aren’t. You are a toss pot. This is a completely different rant, but following hundreds of people who are “Social Media Gurus” and posting nothing but articles about increasing your follower count, or maximising your follower potential, or anything that has nothing to do with anything but social media does not make you a guru, it makes you a retard. Having 90,000 followers on Twitter all of whom describe themselves as “Social Media Gurus” just means you have your head firmly shoved up your ass and are participating in the worlds most social and pointless circle jerk.

I’m not going to pretend that I know everything there is to know about social media, in fact I acknowledge that I don’t know much about it, but it’s painfully obvious that having 10 followers who actually care about the content that you are posting and retweet it is more valuable than living in an echo chamber that is a hundred million “Social Media Gurus” waxing lyrical about stuff no one cares about.

Anyway like I said this is a rant for another day…

I’ve ditched Foursquare

Let it never be said that I’m not Fickle… My last post was singing the praises of location based social network Foursquare, but I’ve now gone and un-installed it. Why? For a number of reasons:

1. It was killing the battery on my phone.

Partially because I was using it to check in all over the place, but also I think the Android Foursquare client may have been a bit of a battery hog, there is no mechanism to tell is how often to check for people near you so I assume it does it fairly frequently. I’ve not got firm numbers for how much battery power it was using but before I installed Foursquare my battery was lasting till 10 or 11 PM at least, with Foursquare installed my battery sometimes died around 4PM. It might be pure coincidence, and it might just be because I was using the phone more to check into Foursquare, but I need my phone to actually keep in touch with people and having a dead battery has a tenancy to get in the way of that.

2. It was becoming a bit of a pointless obsession.

I may not have OCD but Foursquare was making act like I did, I had to check in everywhere, I would frantically hunt for the correct location entry for wherever I was, the need to check in became over whelming. I’d get annoyed with myself for forgetting to check into places after I’d left them. All this for what, to maintain a list of places I’d been, for no one to read? To get a bunch of points and badges with no real world value? To be the virtual mayor of some random place? it’s a bit pointless really, I was gaining no real world benefit from my check ins aside from having met up with one friend, who I could have just as easily have texted and asked if they wanted to meet up.

3. I don’t know enough people on Foursquare.

I think I know 4 or 5 people who live in Glasgow and use Foursquare, the rest of the people I know are scattered all over the world. I will not likely be in a position where knowing their exact location is useful to me, unless I  am actually visiting them, in which case I should know where they are.

4. It only works if people actually use it.

Foursquare only works if people actually check in everywhere they go, looking at my contact list it looks like most of my contacts joined the service checked in once and then forgot about it. I suspect that many many people have done that, I’m joining their ranks.

5. It’s a Hefty invasion of privacy.

As I said in order for Foursquare to work you have to check in everywhere you go, I don’t want people to know my every movement though, in fact I’d rather that people didn’t know any of my movements. So there is a conflict between wanting to use the service properly and the service it’s self being at odds with my privacy. Given the choice of using a pointless social network and having my privacy I choose my privacy.

Anyway thats me checking out of Foursquare hopefully indefinitely…

I Couldn’t agree with this more

I found this while randomly browsing a friends Tumlr blog, it’s so true though, sure you can update your Facebook status to raise awareness of breast cancer, and make people go and have regular check ups to ensure that they don’t have it. But cryptically posting the colour of your pants, or where like to leave your purse it going to do diddly squaut for the effort to finding a cure.

Donating money to cancer research however, or actually going down the path of being a researcher and working on cancer research will make a difference. I’d like you to think on that.

If you want some inspiration have a look at Mairead‘s story, she was diagnosed with a rare bowel cancer and her friends set themselves a goal of raising £500 for cancer research, so far they have raised almost £9,000. You can go to their just giving site and donate some yourself, but that money goes towards finding a cure. £10 donated to Cancer Research is better than a million Facebook updates.


Image via BobCesca Posts Stuff