piranha: red origami crane (Default)
salon has redesigned their website again.

did they fix the abysmal comment system? nope; it's actually even worse. did they make content easier to reach? nope; it's harder. is the typography better? nope. is the design at least innovative? nope; they hired a print designer to do it, and consequently it does not pay attention to what works and doesn't work on the web. fire-engine red right next to black and white? *gouges out eyes*. it's not the worst i've ever seen, but it's bad enough to make me write a special user stylesheet for opera, something i usually no longer have to do since web design has become so much better in general.

i can't bitch to them, because i can't get a comment posted. so i'll bitch here. because what's worse than the bad colour scheme, the disappearance of content as i liked it, and the multitude of errors resulting from lackadaisical cross-browser testing, what's worse is that in an attempt to be hip, salon now pipes in facebook recommendations in a side column taking up nearly as much space as the article column.

so i am reading glenn greenwald's indictment of the complicity of federal judges in the torture of innocent people, and right next to it, the wisdom of the facebook crowd recommends to me:

Gay porn’s most shocking taboo
Dunham: “Girls” sex scares men
Nike (still) likes big butts
Zooey Deschanel makes my teeth hurt
When porn meets real motherhood
Porn is coming for your daughter!

WHAT...THE...FUCK. if i wanted to see the inanity on facebook, i'd use my derelict facebook account. i do NOT want to see that on salon. get that invasive, datamining, and juvenile stuff off my screen!

(but hey, the paramour survived the gall bladder surgery, so that makes up for many, many shitty redesigns.)
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
apparently i already have invites, yay! no idea how many, so first come, first served. comments screened so you can leave me the email address to which you want it sent.

remember, this is in alpha as yet, so there are things that won't be working, and some might stop working temporarily. it's quite functional though from what i can see; the twitter interface is dead easy and works just fine.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i just wrangled an invite to diaspora -- anyone else here on it yet? they're still in alpha; when they go into beta there will be lots of invites as i understand it.

just in comparison with facebook and google+, i liked it as soon as i signed up: no gender boxes to tick that give you 2 or at most 3 options! you get an input field and can write what you want for your gender. and you can pick as your identity whatever the hell you please; two things that make me very, very happy. it has "aspects" instead of circles; they seem to work the same way. you can connect to twitter, tumblr, and facebook as of now.

furthermore, i can export my contributions in xml. there's a photo service app, cubbi.es, attached that i haven't tried yet, and i can also download all my photos -- thanks for making it easy to go cross-platform with my stuff.

in the long run what i really want is one place where i can connect all those services. i am disinclined to check N social networks every day, and some i don't want to check at all (facebook, and now google+), but i want to maintain a presence there so i can connect with the people who primarily use other sites. ideally this would be dreamwidth because i know the peeps who run it, like them, and want to support them. but i am not sure how that fits with the plans here; i'm out of the loop and need to try catching up.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
the *poing* just sent me this in IM, an article by clay shirky written in 2003. why did i not see this before? it's quite brilliant.

some of us have seen those effects several times over.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
in the ongoing search for software that makes the whole social networking experience more bearable because even on my new monitor i am running out of space for keeping tabs open to all the sites on which people hang out, i've come across friendfeed, which aims to collect all ongoing information on the blogs, photos, videos, music, twitters, books, etc etc that people whose lives you're interested in are sharing. it's aiming to be a super-aggregator, plus it allows commenting on the site itself (i gather that's how it wants to build its own community). at this point there are 33 different sites/interfaces from which it collects up-to-date information -- any RSS feed (which includes LJ and its newer clones since we all have one), flickr, picasaweb, twitter, youtube, facebook, amazon wishlist, librarything ... new ones seem to be added at a steady clip.

even better, it actually create a feed itself, so you can read it in your favourite aggregator, or embed it in your igoogle.

it's all still pretty raw, but usable, and i am gonna watch it, and try to participate to make suggestions for what i would like to see (filters!).

my favourite thing at this point is that until y'all create an account over there and aggregate your information for me, i can make "imaginary" friends where i can do it instead. that's really useful.

thanks much to [livejournal.com profile] geekchick for the pointer. my feed is open and you can find me at pleochroic.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
got my ravelry [1] invite today. decided to go with the newer trend in handle; pleochroic. i don't really feel very piranha-like these days, and i've grown tired of the sound of "pleonastic", but i still contain multitudes.

that's just what i needed, a new toy to explore. ohhh, they have a wiki! (i am still totally thrilled by wikis.) but honest, i did need to catalogue my stash, yup, yup.

[1] ravelry is for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, and pattern information. and network with others similarly inclined. and drool over pretty projects.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
so, i have a friend request sitting here with which i don't know what to do. it's definitely NOT the person it purports to be, *snicker*, since that person is a japanese actor whom i most definitely don't know personally.

normally i would just friend right back because i don't generally care about "real" names (obviously), and i figure this has got to be somebody who knows me from somewhere, since i am here under a pseudo myself, and i can always figure it out later. i looked at their existing friends list and i only recognize one entry, and that's a very obvious pseudo (mina de malfois). i have a bit of a suspicion who it is.

i am mildly uncomfortable about someone using as their pseudo the name of another real person. even though that person is terribly unlikely to ever really be on facebook themselves, and i know that of course multiple people can share a name (though probably not a likeness at the same time; the facebooker uses a photo of the actor). maybe this is some kind of subversive stunt, but if so i'd like to know.

so, urm. i've got to think about this. what would you do?
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
the paramour is, much to zir chagrin, the beneficiary (cue appropriate quote from"harold and maude") of my plethora of snarky comments on all those social networking sites.

idea: we start an anti-social networking site. i thought we'd make it like a nice, comfy little cave, with all sorts of privacy protection, and apps that do NOT link to anyone else. but the paramour was way ahead of me: we link everyone to everyone else, and let them sort it out, making the interface as clumsy as possible. war world peace is sure to follow.

we'll call it SlapInTheFacebook.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
the things i do for you people.

in the ongoing investigation of social networking and blogging sites in order to rip off what's good examine what they do and don't do so well, i signed up for facebook.

first impression: this is SO NOT my place.

the whole real name thing, for one. there was a time when i wasn't averse to using my legal name online, but that was before the mainstream and with it crooks found the net, and before i realized the other joys of semi-anonymity (namely how much easier it is to talk about one's experiences without embarrassing or outing those near and dear). these days i am not leaving all my vital stats, or indeed anything that isn't absolutely necessary with any specific site, because that's just waiting for a hacker to come along and take it. facebook not only wants to store all my online means of contact (which is fine), it also would like my offline ones, my phone numbers, and indeed, my credit card. in your dreams, facebook. and of course you're not getting a photo of me either.

that's just worth a guffaw. the real annoyances came when i was trying to fill in my profile. i was trying to type "vrije universiteit amsterdam" into the "college" input, and got as far as "vri" when a loud javascript clamoured for my attention, because surely i had only misspelled "vanderbilt university". it kept insisting for roughly a minute and a half, flashing at me, all the while i was trying to type the actual name of my university, which it made near impossible. the same thing happened when i tried to type in my company. are most people on facebook such lousy spellers that they need this kind of help? i like completion in some apps (LJ's scrapbook tags have good completion), but not when it is this inept.

so i added 3 friends (thanks to actually remembering lorre's last name and location, she was easy to find, and then i just skimmed her friends list for more). somebody (i presume the person who has to confirm the friend request, cause it didn't ask me) filled in when and where we met (you guys have much better memories than i). now my social timeline tells me that i didn't speak to anyone in 1995! *snrk*. i can't be sure, but i think i might have. thank you for not denying me (it would be ok to do that, btw, if somebody felt my addition threw a black mark on their otherwise professional profile -- no ego in this; deny away). i think i am probably one of three people on the whole service who's not using zir actual name or photo.

stef's profile looks like the grand central station of profiles, so i am gonna spend some time studying all the apps present there.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
since there are plenty of people reading my journal who're interested in discussing what goes into building a good community website, and i don't really want to send them to snigglers, nor do i want to turn my journal into the locus for discussing this (since this isn't just about what i want), i've sidelined one of my test communities for this purpose:

[livejournal.com profile] serrasalmus. membership is open and unmoderated, everyone can join and post. people who have not joined can still comment. however, only members can add/delete/change tags.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
today we have the reorganization of my flist. i removed almost all syndicated feeds. i friended some people back who actually write in their LJs, whom i recognize from somewhere, and who apparently had friended me already (i do not pay attention to that unless somebody comments). if you don't write in your LJ, i didn't friend you -- but i don't make locked posts except for downloads (and i am going to handle that differently), so it doesn't matter. i also made several new friends filters.

for the longest time i've been insisting that my friends list is my reading list; that i read everyone who is on it, every day that i actually read my flist. which used to be every day, period, and then became "every few days for as long as i can easily page backward", then "once every two weeks, kinda", and lastly "once in a blue moon", which is what spurred me on to doing this, since i am obviously not coping well enough with the size of the list. i already had separate filters for reading comms, that's easy. but i never knew how to sort people reasonably well into filters, because aside from my partners and closest friends, i don't really have preferences that stay the same for any period of time. i just did a really rough triage, into snigglers (since we're all being particularly active in talking to each other), alt.polyfolk, PLATOnics, writers, fellow smutters/scanlators, and "other". it really makes no emotional sense to filter people like that, but it's the only thing i can think of that results in several manageable lists.

furthermore, i have so far been reading RSS feeds from half a gazillion blogs through LJ's flist, which functions as a handy aggregator. but LJ's flist isn't actually a particularly good aggregator and has been stuck in this sorry state for years; after the initial addition of syndication LJ hasn't done anything with it, not even to fix the totally annoying commenting issue (the one where one is allowed to comment on LJ to a feed, but that doesn't actually go TO the feed, it just stores the comment in the LJ account, which means most feeders will never ever see it). in the meantime actual RSS readers have improved, and my usenet newsreader (gnus) can also read RSS feeds. so i am shifting all my feed reading to a dedicated reader -- gotta try out a few different ones, with special attention to how they handle comments and commenting. because i would really like to be able to keep better track of when i comment out there; i often don't go back and check for a response, and in general don't comment much at all because it feels too "drive-by".

part of why i don't comment is the annoyance of having to fill in my personal information for each damn blog, or to actually create an account on their system. therefore i'm also looking into cross-blog identification schemes such as openID, which means i'd just need to log in once for a whole slew of blogs. unfortunately not every blogging/forum system has that enabled, but we'll see what shakes out.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
sometimes it's funny how things converge -- i had started to look at drupal because i wanted to leave LJ for another platform, and, having already experienced running my own blog software and the inherent isolation that brings, thought of trying to switch to something that could potentially allow other people to join.

some LJers have already left, and some of those went to wordpress.com, where i created a blog to check out the offerings.

some people in yaoi fandom were also getting fed up with LJ, and started to create their own site to provide a haven for other yaoi fans.

at the same time, expatriate snigglers are making noises about missing their old community, but don't feel returning to what it is now would work.

so now i am a beta tester on the new yaoi site, which uses wordpress MU (multi-user), i am a member at wordpress.com to check out their service, i have extra motivation to play with drupal, and i can compare those without having to install wordpress MU myself. also, i have access to a largish userbase whose comments about it i can read and consider.



Jul. 13th, 2006 16:04
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i have a standard vox invite to give away to the first comer it's been claimed. (this allows you to create your own blog; i think the original starter invites that just allowed for creation of a reading account are gone). need valid email address (point at userinfo or some other place i can easily find it if you don't want to post it here).

also, if you're on vox and i don't know it, let me know. i am not currently doing anything with my blog there other than play to explore the service, though i am considering using a dedicated blog for books or gardening, and it might become that. or not; i am also looking at wordpress.com for the purpose of evaluating it.


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renaissance poisson

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