Social networks: What if there's no right answer?

In recent articles I’ve talked about what’s wrong with social networking and some ways I think we might improve it. This week I saw a Twitter thread about a Facebook group with a few hundred members that was being used to organize harassment campaigns. Then came the news that private Facebook groups were spreading the conspiracy theory that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in a coma, or even dead and being replaced with an impostor.

ello again

Someone on ello writes: The problem with insisting that idealist things can’t be funded by VCs is to adopt a narrow view of the relationship between finance and invention. To decry venture capital as inherently corrupt, without proposing a viable alternative to create major organizations from nothing seems as naive as any idealism about it — that social software can be built without real money. Ello and its investors asks a favor of its users, to trust in their idealism.

No, I am not interested in joining your proprietary social network

I don’t care whether it’s ello or sgrouples or FriendFace or or whatever, I am not joining another walled-in social network owned by a single organization. I already have enough of those. I don’t care if it has a strong privacy policy, I don’t care if it has good security, I don’t care if it has no advertising, I don’t care if it will let you remain pseudonymous, I don’t care if the people who own it are really cool.

Cataloging rats

I just went through my Google Reader subscriptions, and removed everyone who hasn’t posted anything in over a year. It seems like the majority of the LiveJournal users I was following have jumped ship. Unfortunately, most of them didn’t post anything saying where they jumped ship to. Some of them are on Facebook, but most aren’t, so I suppose my notional social network just shrank. Shrank, not shrunk. It should have been “Honey, I Shrank The Kids”.


The other day I logged in on Friends Reunited. It’s a UK web site that captured the market for “Where are they now?” social networking. Every now and again I log in to check the list of people I remember from school but haven’t been in contact with since, and see if any of them have succumbed to a well-deserved terminal illness. Anyhow, I was scanning down the list of names and noticed one in particular.