Monday, March 17, 2008

Social notworking

I recently, and I have to admit, rather blithely, created a Facebook account - at the behest of one of my oldest friends. In the interest of networking, I wanted the email address of another friend, but no!, to get it, she said, I had to join Facebook, and then I could go to her page and see him, or add him, or befriend him, or message him, or do some Facebook thing, and anyway, then and only then would I get what I wanted.

Fine. She's my oldest friend. Whatever.

I signed up. (And as it turned out, I never did email the friend I thought I wanted to contact - I got busy. Funny how that happens.)

And now what? I mean really... I have 17 email addresses already. A cell phone that rings and texts and PINs and BBMs and practically irons my sheets (actually, it doesn't, but wouldn't that be nice?). Why on earth do I need another place on-line to go to talk to people? That is isolated and separate from everything else I do? Every other method of communication is going out of its way to work together - blogs, podcasts, media outlets, email, newsletters - I can even listen to satellite radio on the internet for crying out loud. But MySpace and FaceBook build frickin' brick walls around themselves that you can't get through with a wish. Can I say pain in the you-know-what?

The only reason I keep my MySpace account is to read Diablo Cody's blog - and I love her - you all know I think she's the cat's ironed pajamas, but I wish to blazes she would blog anywhere else I could get a live feed from. Seriously. I mean WTF?! Sorry, but really. Every other blog on the planet, with the exception of that other peerless example of idiotic interface and non-utility, FaceBook, offers 16 ways to Sunday to get to its content. But MySpace? Oh no - you can only read her blog on the MySpace site. They don't believe in RSS. Do you hear echoes of the music labels shrieking and moaning about downloading music? I cannot tell you how long I spent trying to figure out how to get an RSS feed out of a MySpace blog until I finally understood that IT CANNOT BE DONE. THEY DO NOT ALLOW IT. Wow. That simple. And stupid. Unreal.

So I'm stuck with MySpace, but frankly, I can't remember the last time I logged onto my Facebook page... and now I discover that to terminate my Facebook existence will be quite an ordeal. Great. These sites are like flypaper from the 50s. I'm stuck, stuck, stuck. And not at all happy about it. Do I go through the hassle of unsticking (deleting, arguing, emailing, etc.) - or do I just leave my Facebook page languishing up in the ether for all eternity, and all my "data" residing not-so-happily on Facebook's servers? Decisions, decisions. You know, networking may not be all it's cracked up to be.

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