Networkitis : Skin disease or gourmet food?

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Like that game? Gauging the merits of online social networks can be just as fun.

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Space Vs Face
Migrations are afoot, users flocking on masse from the gawkiness of Myspace to the more elegantly structured social capacities of Facebook. There’s much to love and hate about them both though. The wikipedia entry for News Corp reveals what an enormous media empire Rupert Murdoch has been building, most recently adding the Wall Street Journal to the collection, alongside the US Fox network and newcomer MySpace. Everytime you send or receive a mail via Myspace rather than say an email account, Rupert’s cash register tinkles just a little bit. That mohawked zebra and anarchist film collective from Texas that just logged in to send you an important bulletin about their activities ( which they could’ve done on their own webpage ) has just made one of the world’s largest media empires a little richer. Myspace’s terrible design, interface bottlenecks and buggy code have been beaten to death already, so let’s leave it. But where are people going?

Facebook – a leap from one private pond into a better designed but even more private pond ( only members may view and participate, and Google doesn’t index any user-created pages on Facebook ). It feels more legitimately what an online social network should feel like. Some reasonable ways to filter the noise and tune into the activities, conversations, interactions and media creation of your friends. And it works really well, it’s killer feature being the ease at which a user can oversee activity in their network of friends, and join in when inspired to. Not so cool is that this information – created by you, by me, by users, shared conversations and media, is effectively owned by Facebook, walled off to the outside world. For some, that’s a comforting level of privacy, for others it is something that will have to be improved on with the next social network that everyone will jump to.

(The Facebook is stupid. Don’t do it kids : http://www.ihatefacebook.com ).
( All your widgets are belong to Facebook )
( Facebook is the new AOL )
( Slap in the Facebook : It’s time for Social Networks to open up )

As Krish sees it : “We need a decentralized social networks based on open standards. After all, what we have in Facebook or Myspace, are our friends. They are fruits of our time. We should be able to take them anywhere we go at any time we want. We needed a Microsoft to understand the importance of open source and open standards. Probably, Myspace and Facebook (to some extent), will provide us the “Microsoft” of the social networking world.”

OpenID.net is one such “open, decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity”, that aims to identify people on the internet the same way websites do with a URL, allowing people to use their OpenID to sign into many places, and eventually I suppose to transfer their social networks with their identity as they go.

And yes, lots of add-on applications are being built for Facebook, as a result of their offering their code and a programmers kit to the public, however annoyingly a lot of these also require installation from both the giver and receiver to be used. Fine, if someone on Facebook wants to bite their vampire-ninja-werewolf-superhero-zombie fangs into my neck, buy me a virtual beer, give me a shoulder massage or interact in some other weird way, go ahead and let them do it. Just don’t require me to have to click and litter the side of my screen with yet another icon. Just let them bite me.

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  1. Pingback: { { { { - - Sky Noise — ]]] » Document » Pitfalls of Sharing Video Online

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