Orcmid's Lair status 


On Facebook: Just a Little Bit Pregnant

Grudging and Limited Acceptance of Facebook

I still don't like Facebook. 

  • I don't like how it works.  For example, I just typed an 1883-character message that it didn’t tell me was over the 420-character limit until I had typed all of it and then attempted to “share” it.   Clearly, Windows LiveWriter, where I am now, is affordance for me, just as MediaWiki is my preferred vehicle for wiki-organized material.
  • I don't like the way the Facebook organization stumbles blissfully into iffy business practices and remains indifferent to the uproar each new excess provokes.
  • I don't like how I can't organize my attention very well.  I don’t want to keep my eye on Facebook.  I find the river incoherent and discordant.  (I am learning that Disqus comment streaming is more distracting but I solve that by shutting off e-mail tracking.  It is unfortunate that they make it an all-or-nothing choice.  OK, nothing it is.)

I first reactivated my account because I wanted to lock up “orcmid” as my name there.  Lately I have begun maintenance on the account because I have acquaintances who are devoted to Facebook as their social-connection point.  If I want to see their pictures, find a way to contact them, etc., I need to maintain a Facebook logon.  That is part of the viral nature of Facebook, of course.   I'm trying to stay just a little bit pregnant here and it is very awkward.

Having Presence Without Attention

Today I noticed that if I want to be social-network-visible the Facebook devotees among my acquaintances, I must maintain a Facebook presence by which folks can at least find where my attention really is.  I want to offer them Facebook presence and connection to where my attention and efforts are placed, without demanding that I also put much attention on Facebook itself.   Ideally, Facebook friends can see into my public world without leaving Facebook.

I started by figuring out how to disengage from Facebook applications and then look for ones that make my preferred locations available on Facebook too.  (That’s how I found out that I must de-authorize applications that I no longer care about, not just remove them from my Facebook page.  Another “there they go again” moment.)

My Twitter stream now appears on my Facebook stream.  My Pandora profile has been there all along.  Reviewing Pandora showed me how seldom I listen to Pandora these days: I didn’t realize the desktop Pandora fixture was an Adobe AIR application until it asked to update when I checked it just now.  It works better than my large random play list in Windows Media Player and I’m back.  Windows Media Player is still my favorite for album play and all of my AmazonMP3 downloads.

My Flickr Photostream, Photosets, and new Flickr Posts now show up on my Facebook profile page.  I used the My Flickr application because it works well enough with only read-access authorization to my Flickr account.  I had wanted to use Flickr Photosets but that one required authorization to updated Flickr; I am not prepared to risk so much.

I wanted to have my blogs appear on Facebook too.  I thought they had in the past, but I can’t find how I might have done it.  The most appealing application, NetworkedBlogs, has a complex authorization process requiring me to add a script to my blog-page template (just as Technorati does).  I wouldn’t mind updating the templates, but that immediately moved having blog presence to a back burner.

I suppose that I might want to find a connection between Facebook and LinkedIn as well, just to complete the picture.

FriendFeed is so far lost in my history that it’s of no interest whether I can have it visible on Facebook.  And now that not only I but Microsoft itself have abandoned Soapbox, I have some blog pages that deserve to be updated.  Orcmid’s Flying Kyte is still operating and available on my Facebook profile and I should make better use of it. 

I have nothing on Windows Live to connect to Facebook.  My Windows Live usage is entirely on the desktop applications.  I have abandoned Windows Live as a social presence and I should decommission Orcmid’s Live Hideout at some point.   The sharing of contacts is not something I want to do, probably because Microsoft Outlook remains my hub for connectivity with contacts and it is not a list I would share into the cloud.

That’s the status of my effort so far.

Oh yes, then there’s FishBowl client as an alternative interface (thanks to Wendy White).   Not sure I need an easier way to root around in Facebook, but I will check if it make my presence maintenance better.  Or is this indeed the road to perdition?  Stay tuned.

Dealing with Expectations of Facebook Friends

I have 11 friend requests and I don't want to connect them and establish an expectation that this is a place where my attention can be obtained.

I haven't found a good way to explain that, and I must remember to put whatever explanation I do use in a computer note that I can copy and paste instead of recreate each time.  For the form letter part.  Then I can add just whatever personal part I want.

In case you are wondering: If someone wants my attention or would like to be more connected, I recommend Twitter direct messages to orcmid.  Directs arrive in Twitter (if I'm online), in my e-mail (whether I am or not), and on my cellular phone (likewise).  E-mail is my preferred medium because of the asynchrony and absence of message-size limit.  Also, I am not paced by my inbox.  I check for new mail only when I am ready for it.

For folks who want to chat, Skype works best for me (and I am orcmid there too).  I can also do audio and video (see, I really am in my robe and pajamas) over Skype.  If you are the linked-in sort, you can find me there too.  I don’t multi-task all that well, and paying attention to open chat windows is not a strength for me.  I find asynchronous connectivity and the written word preferable, with Twitter being expedient, not immediate, for me.


Yeah, I've not figured out what to bother doing with Facebook either. It may be politically incorrect with the Web X.0 crowd (whatever we're up to), but I'd rather that everyone just had one social media stream, to which I can choose to subscribe or not. The people whose technical/business opinions interest me tend to be the people whose hobbies and personalities I find interesting, and vice versa.

So I just use Twitter these days. A significant percentage of my regular contacts do the same, although I'm not sure whether it's a majority or not, and don't care in any event.

As for the notion of people who have multiple chat windows open all day being "good multitaskers," I feel a curmudgeon rant coming on ...

I don't feel like I see that in actual practice. It seems to me that many people (especially many young people) are quite willing to miss all sorts of nuances in their communications, or even miss the obvious central themes of those communications much of the time. Some folks seem to "keep score" by how many people they can have going at once, versus how accurately and completely they understand the conversation(s) ... but that's not a "skill" that I'd care to "develop."

The same people who said the web would make books obsolete, and then said that instant messaging would make email obsolete, are now saying that things like Google Wave will make all of the above obsolete. Yep, they'll be three for three soon. And I must say, I just *love* never receiving long emails any more, that's been one of the great things about recent years. ;-)

On a related note ... wake me up when the majority of award-winning books or screenplays are written by collaborative teams of people using high-tech tools, instead of individuals writing alone the old-fashioned way. I'm sure you'll understand why I won't be holding my breath.
Dennis I wrote this after reading your blog, but of course it wouldn't let me send it to you without an account! I rest my case. So here it is by e-mail.

Hi, Dennis, for those of us who are not as computer savy and don't actually know what we are doing, Facebook works fine. I generally go to your blog if I want to talk to you (like now only of course I have to have an account and password and i don't want to have either!!! for Goggle or any of the others they list). Not into Twitter as can't stand the constant streaming........

Amy is into it a bit more as she does it from her Blackberry and they are more of a techno family. Heck, I just got a personal cell phone so am really behind the times. Plus each bit added on of technology(Twitter etc.) costs
$$ and energy and I am into giving time and dollars to what helps families and children in these tough times. Just became a board member of the Central Minnesota Sustainable Project. That should keep me out of trouble,,,, (well, at least for a little bit) Carol H
Carol, I thought you could make anonymous comments on my blog. I just used the Name/URL option to enter your e-mailed comment. I am sympathetic to the simplicity that Facebook affords for your use in staying connected with family and friends.

Now that I have my twitter tweets also going to Facebook, it will discourage my being friended on Facebook, I suppose!

(I don't normally tweet so often as when I was testing how Twitter on Facebook was working. On the other hand, my typical subject matter for tweets might not be of any use to those who do follow me on Facebook. Sorry.)

I know there is a way to have my blog(s) appear on Facebook too. That way, you could comment from Facebook (perhaps) or at least so it is seen on Facebook. I also think I would receive an e-mail from Facebook letting me know there is a comment there. This lets me not have to keep watching Facebook but I can still interact in response to communications from others among my Facebook friends.

We'll whether I become more accessible to you and others when I figure out how to hook up my blog(s) inside of Facebook.
We'll see if it will post this now that I have clicked the Name/URL box. The problem with so much of this for those of us who are not into the workings of computers, is we don't know which box to check and they always ask for other information first such as your Google account. Plus the boxes aren't clear as to what they mean. Open ID has symbols and one needs to be part of one of those for it to work. Then statements like "choose an identity" probably means something all together different to me than to you. Since I am sceptical of what I might be getting into I tend to back away and close out.
A friend Judy Foster is an English lit prof here and her blog reference is on her facebook page. I can either go to her facebook page and comment or go to her blog from there. It is all so much simpler for those of us who don't want to spend so much time with just making contact! I am certain it seems simple for those of you in the know and are aware of the security options, but for some of us it is very frustrating. After all I didn't have to know how to take apart and put together a telephone to use it!!!!!
Now see it posted , but I got a message saying it could compromise the security of the entire system!!!! Makes me crazy!!
Carol, I assure you that I find the interface for leaving comments to be as peculiar as you do. I suppose the difference is that I have found how to get it to do what I want (and as the author of this blog, I have a Google Account).

That I have to enter my UserName and Password every time is more frustrating than just commenting anonymously or with Name/URL myself. But I never learned to use those until now.

The error message is absurd, since there is nothing for you to do about it and it isn't true anyhow (or at least better not be).

Now, I want my blog to appear in Facebook and be commented just as easily as the blog of Judy Foster. I am not sure how it works from what you say. I'll look around.

When I was originally on Facebook, I am sure I found a way to have my blogs appear on Facebook. I haven't discovered the easiest way to accomplish that now. There are some things for me to try. Very geeky. My hope is that my friends who use Facebook as their avenue to the social internet will not have to lift the hood, ever.
Dennis, I can see you are way ahead of me in the techy world, but I will try to at least keep up with Carol! I learned to comment on blogspot when my daughter had a blog. I've had several people try to post comments on my blog and fail. They tell me they posted but it doesn't show up. Too many steps to go through or something.
All my siblings were on Facebook so I caved. I've gotten back in touch with a couple of good friends from high school and college and am glad for that. I've had many, many hours of my life sucked away playing Bejeweled Blitz and several other games to prove to the sibs I can still stomp them most of the time. Well, I can still stomp them in all the word games. And I can keep an eye on my oldest niece and remotely embarrass the crap out of her in fromt of all her friends. What's not to like? As long as you discount half the interface, most of the privacy policy, poor search, and a few other things, it's great!
I think there is an anecdotal lesson here about good-enough in social software. Enough of Facebook works for its viral appeal to overpower everything else. It reminds me of the time when Lotus 1-2-3 was the must-have spreadsheet software, except the social adoption angle is perhaps even more compelling.
For those of us who dislike silos, it will matter how we disintermediate our content from Facebook (and other public-facing places), but this is not an issue for most users who are quite satisfied with the service and its providing something that was never practicable for them before.
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