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I'm really really bad at remembering names, and only marginal about remembering people. If I meet you just once, and we end up talking for a while, I'm likely to remember most clearly what you do and have done. Only marginally your face. And your name? Maybe after we've met 3 times, I'll remember.

One of my ongoing projects is my address book file. Currently, it's just a text file, but it's in a regularized format, and I will eventually write a script to convert it into vCard format, and into FOAF format.

One rich source of digestible content for the address book file are social networks. I've been pulling in data from LJ, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, and LibraryThing.

I've been noticing that different social network have different cultures and norms for contact information, intersection to the realworld, and intersection with other social sites.

LJ is decent for "other site intersection". People often fill in email addresses, and their userids for AIM, YM, ICQ, and Gtalk. Most of those IDs map to profiles on those systems, which can be mined as well. But getting a real name out of an LJ profile is hit or miss. People almost never fill that form out correctly, using it instead as an avenue for some sort of catchphrase or personal artistic expression.

LJ fits very closely with my own brain's way of remembering people, by their narrative. That's probably why it's my own current preferred social site.

Getting anything out of MySpace is Hard. It is the worst of the silos, it never wants to let you out, and so has very few structured methods for having outbound links. Even a person's flist has almost no useful information. MySpace users collect "friends" the way that grade school kids collect Pokemon cards, warez dudz collect cracked games, and crazy old ladies collect sick cats.

The basic technology of, the manipulation by the corporate owner of, and the evolving cultural norms of MySpace have created a near perfect storm of transient identity, simple narrative, and adolescent expression, with all the reality and depth of Hot Topic.

Facebook is very nearly the opposite. It doesn't allow pseudonyms, and binds hard to the user's realworld identity. For most users, their realworld name is right there in their profile. That the signup process and the process of friending someone involves a roundtrip and authorization to a hardware token (specifically, a cellphone), and that being "friended" requires confirmation by the target strongly signals and enforces that cultural norm.

LinkedIn is also at that high level of realworld identity binding. It's been fun wandering around LinkedIn, finding old coworkers, and adding them to my network pool.

Flickr and LibraryThing are interesting cases. Instead of having a do-everything silo as their business model, they instead focused on one particular passion that some people share (photography and books, respectively). They built their social network infrastructure because they needed to, not because they wanted to.

They are very much like LiveJournal in a way, just like I can learn a lot about someone by reading their narrative, one can learn a lot by looking a person's library, or photo collection.

As the various solutions to the distributed social graph get off the ground, more and more single passion sites like them will bloom, because the expensive barrier of harnessing interpersonal network effects to drive growth will be much lower, as the social network is a resource to be drawn on, rather than an annoying and expensive database technology and marketing outreach problem to build yet again.
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
It looks like LJ/6A is screwing up, again.

And then they are screwing up against by trying to ignore it, while their employees ridicule and insult their users.

How long before their blow-dried CEO posts another "we screwed up" message to [livejournal.com profile] news? But thinks that the only screwup was being slow to talk, instead of having actually screwed up, or of saying how they are going to avoid repeating the screwup in the future.
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
I have some posts to write and publish:

My trip to Boston and to BiCamp last week.

My going to Little Red Studio yesterday evening.

Why I feel like crap today. That probably won't be a post, but it's still true.
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After reading this, I'm doubly pissed that I payed the money two years ago for a Permanent Account. But on the plus side, that means that 6A will never get another penny from me.

I'm second to few in my support for Capitalism with a capital C. However, there are some things that I think are better done when they user-owned. Banking, insurance, HMOs, sports teams, marketplaces, and now I will add discussion forums to that list.

LJ does have some commanding advantages over the pure blog model. Non-geeks can start one them up, and then use some very advanced features, like multi-person posting (we call them "communities" in LJ-speak), SMS, voice, photo, storage. It is resistant to DDoSing and to the slashdot effect. It is disaster resistant. And the friend-list and friend-filter functions are great features.

It's possible, in theory, to build a distributed decentralized LJ-like system, but getting it off the ground and past critical mass, to where the bulk of active LJers would migrate over, would be an Interesting Challenge.

It would be slightly less difficult to use the codebase to get a competitor off the ground, and structure it as a user-owned co-op, and maybe pulling in the other LJ-clones. But doing that, and again getting it past the critical mass problem would still be an Interesting Challenge, and outside my skillset or interests.

If I had spare bigbux burning a hole in my pocket, I'd buy LJ out of 6A, and then set it free, in such a way that it wouldn't be able for it to sell itself into slavery again. Sadly, I don't...
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I'm slowly rolling thru my flist, removing some people. Not because I'm "rejecting" anyone, it's just that the thing has gotten unwieldy. If I drop you, please don't take it personally. If I don't, don't consider it passing some sort of test. Please, no drama. I hate drama.
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
Someone has written the GreaseMonkey script that I was thinking about learning how to write Greasemonkey scripts so that I could write it myself.

It's called ljwho.

It creates a tiny little icon after someone's username on LJ. If you cover the mouse over it, you get to see their "real name", and if you click on it, you can set their "real name".

The "real name" is stored locally on your own machine, and you can set it to anything you want, it's not shared with anyone.

This is extremely useful for me, since if I don't know you really well, I have trouble remembering the mapping between "person" and "lj name", and this helps a lot.
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
Pictures of my LiveJournal Friends )
Try out this Meme
Brought to you by NardVille
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
I just spent some time dinking around with my LJ configuration. My "notfamily" filter needed some fixing, there were a lot of people in my flist who werent family who werent on it. So I fixed that. I've also added a lot of people who have friended me to my flist. (There are a few who I have no idea who they are, and we have no lj friends in common, so I didnt add them.)

With this many lj friends, I may soon have to start using the "Default View" feature.

Many of the people I know have an "eros" filter. Sometimes I've thought about setting such a thing up, but I don't know how comfortable I would be actually posting something that would need it. Not really for my own sake, but for the privacy and propriety of the other people such posts would be about. So far the "notfamily" filter seems to suffice.
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
LJ has an "official" SIP/IAX2 gateway now, for making VoicePosts.

In the past, the only ways in were via the PSTN gateways (aka "ordinary telephone numbers"), and the GizmoProject gateway at sip:ljvoicepost@proxy01.sipphone.com or sip:17476267097@proxy01.sipphone.com (use "**7476267097" from FWD).

Now that LJ has an open gateway, if you have VoIP SIP softphone (FWD.Communicator, Gizmo, SJphone, LinPhone, X-Lite, Windows Live Messanger, Apple iChat AV, etc etc), or an VoIP ATA that can "dial" an IP number, or an IAX client (such as IAXcomm or Asterisk), or a "connected" PDA (WinCE devices, etc, (maybe with additional 3rd party software)), you call "dial"


or to


If you have a Cisco ATA18x, you can probably dial it as "1**204*9*177*24#". If you have a Sipura ATA, you can probably dial it as "1*204*9*177*24*5061#". There are similar dialing strings you can use with other ATAs and VoIP hardphones.
fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
LJ is full of cool little things. Like this.


fallenpegasus: amazon (Default)
Mark Atwood

September 2017

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