The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MyFaceSpaceBook

I was talking with Hoade the other day and found out he's on MyFaceSpaceBook (it wasn't easy to find that link—heck, the whole site is maddening, but more on that in a bit) and he convinced me that I too, should jump off the bridge with the rest of the lemmings and get my own MyFaceSpaceBook page.

Good XXXXXXX Lord! Was I the last person on the planet without a MyFaceSpaceBook page? People I haven't thought of in years suddenly popped up on my computer screen. People like Naomi Peyton neé Dominguez—we played the elder Kirbys in You Can't Take It With You when I was a sophmore in high school (she was a junior at the time). Or Jae Kim, a fellow high school classmate from '87. And so on. High school, college, just about everyone I knew from the past twenty years or so is on MyFaceSpaceBook.

But I'm finding the site very difficult to use, mainly because it keeps defying my expectations of what a social site should be, despite not having any real preconceived notions of what a social site should be. For a site that supposedly exists to connect people up, seeing what the site has to offer when you aren't a member is impossible. And even when you are a member, you often times can't see much of anything on a person's profile, which makes it difficult (or at least, I find it difficult) to determine if the person listed is who I think the person listed is.

I suppose it's set up to protect privacy, but I come from a tradition of an open Internet, where everything you put up on a website is meant for public consumption. So this “lock everything down” mentality is alien to how I work on the Internet (even back at FAU, I deliberately kept my computer files mostly accessible—if they were important, I would restrict access, and I deeply resented when the sysadmins of the Computer Science and Engineering Department reset permissions on my files to prevent anyone from reading them, multiple times! I don't need to be protected from myself, you know?).

It also reminds me of a walled community, much like AOL or CompuServe in the 90s. Mediate the users experience; give the user limited options; one-stop shopping as it were. I'm not thrilled with MyFaceSpaceBook, but I doubt I'm their target audience. I run my own webserver (and have done so since 1994 when I put up my first website) and do not have to suffer the whims of some large faceless company (only the whims of a small hosting company, who will personally deliver any lawyerly threats to my doorstep for me to take care of).

I'll probably still use the site (much like I use my LiveJournal account) to keep up with friends; it's just not my primary home on the Intarwebs.

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