2012-12-23 Social Media this Year

I’m looking back at my blog and trying to remember the things that happened.

Google+ replaced Twitter, for all my talk about role-playing needs. For a while, my tweets were all about gaming. These days I use Twitter as an alternative to RSS for the kind of news that I might want to look into every now and then without wanting to read everything.

  1. EFF
  2. BoingBoing
  3. Techdirt
  4. Anonymous

(Although I’m following Ars Technica on Google+, so perhaps everything will end up on Google+, eventually.)

I also have a few friends on Twitter that aren’t very active elsewhere.

I’m not sure how long I’ll be hanging out on Twitter and Facebook. I heard somebody say that Facebook is for the important people you know and Google+ is for the interesting people you don’t know. 2012 was also the year I stopped using identi.ca (a free, federated Twitter alternative).

I think that in general this blog has had few readers to begin with and has lost some. There are less comments because I write less about Emacs and tech issues. I guess I get a few comments on Google+ every now and then. I have never been one to try and maximize comments, however. I’m getting what I’m aiming for, I guess. :)

In general, therefore, the blog has also lost a bit of urgency. I no longer post little one-paragraph posts talking about the movies I saw. (Before yesterday it was Cloud Atlas which was nice, but not mind-blowing; yesterday it was The Hobbit part one, which was very beautiful; I could spend hours in Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth. Today I saw Beasts of the Southern Wild which reminded me of one of the best movies in recent years, Winter’s Bone. But then it started to stretch and had some surreal elements I didn’t like, so in the end I wasn’t as happy with it as I was at the beginning.)

No longer true, apparently?

At the same time, with the ads and the privacy issues of Facebook and Instagram, operating my own blog has become more important. I still host my pictures on Flickr and I’m happy I never stopped doing that. I pay their hosting fees and hope this means I don’t need to suffer ads and privacy violations.

My blog still uses Oddmuse. It’s a Perl script that I’ve been maintaining for over a decade, now. It still works! I use the same software for Emacs Wiki. Since many people are used to the many editors of Wikipedia and the features of MediaWiki, they criticize my choice every now and then. 2012 was no different. This time, however, I wrote a longer reply: How Emacs Wiki Works. (In fact, a separate wiki called WikEmacs was created using Mediawiki. I’m not sure how well it does.)

One of the benefits of the services I no longer like that much was that they allowed me to keep in touch with my family. My sister, my cousin and my mother in law are on Facebook. My mother, my half-sister and my half-brother are on Twitter where we all have private accounts linked to each other such that it occasionally feels like a family chat. I’ve started using Instagram as a way to tell people that I’m alive and invite the occasional comment by automatically uploading the pictures to this family chat on Twitter and to Facebook. I think it worked really well and now I’m not quite sure what I should be using instead. Rely on IFTTT?

The use of Instagram and all the ironic hipster hate online has revealed that I had already been a hipster long before it was cool!

There was also a tiny flash of activity on Community Wiki. A Facebook group for the wiki got created. Fierce editing did not resume. Wikis as a discussion medium seem to have gone the way of the Dodo. When I look at MeatballWiki, I don’t understand what’s going on. The wikis I was interested in as a discussion of social media are no longer active. Perhaps social media must be discussed using itself. I wonder where Instagram gets discused. Using screenshots?



Ugh, Meatball Wiki is full of spam.

AlexSchroeder 2012-12-26 13:30 UTC

Well, you already know but I still think wiki has a future, as pointed to by Smallest Federated Wiki. There are some flaws issues with SFW, mainly I think because not enough people are working on it, but it’s still the signpost for how wiki could evolve.

Would still love to see you and other UseMod OddMuse people look at ways to engage, even if you don’t switch over.

2012 is the year when it just became more and more clear that we need our own space and shouldn’t be dependent on Fb Tw G+ etc.

Fb Tw G+ offer two compelling things : 1) an aggregate river of stuff from people we care about, 2) really easy transclusion from various rich media sites.

We could have a distributed river architecture if we took RSS and some kind of pubsub architecture (eg. RssCloud) seriously. SFW has made transclusion protocols central to its philosophy. If we pick up on both, figure out how to get the most important things we get from the mainstream working smoothly, we can create a compelling alternative on our terms. And one of the interesting, overlooked, facts about G+ is that it showed that significant numbers of people are still willing to experiment with alternatives. As long as you can get a critical mass of around 20 people you care about to use it, G+ is as valuable as anything else. You don’t need 1 billion users. You aren’t trying to take over the world at this point, just to have a syndication discussion architecture which isn’t owned by THEM.

PhilJones 2012-12-26 14:03 UTC

take it serious :)

MattisManzel 2012-12-26 20:52 UTC

The state of MeatBall is indeed sad. Since it seems inevitable that groups disperse, I am inclined to agree with Phil’s statements favoring SFW. At least that way, ones’ content persists. DaveWiner seems to be doing some interesting stuff with what he calls Rivers. I haven’t decided to try to set that up yet because I personally just don’t have the need and so I would rather allocate my time to the Tiddly* way.

– HansWobbe 2012-12-26 22:37 UTC

I started a new wiki this year: http://lansingwiki.org/ :) With some help there from the people behind http://arborwiki.org and http://toledowiki.net/ offering advice on starting local wiki.

SamRose 2012-12-27 01:23 UTC

Social media is indeed the place where people are discussing social media. Maybe a small subset using some version of etherpad. Google docs (drive) have taken over where wiki once was strong. People have heard the siren song of services hosted and payed for by someone other than themselves.

I’ve gotten more into RDF/SPARQL myself, and thinking about how to incorporate that into online activity.

SamRose 2012-12-27 01:27 UTC

I did not know LocalWiki, with interesting minimalist look and interesting features (special about maps?).

Lately, people made good wikis with python (HattaWiki)

JuanmaMP 2012-12-28 14:46 UTC

Some of the discussion happened on the Facebook group, and I copied extracts to Community:SocialMedia and related pages.

AlexSchroeder 2012-12-29 23:04 UTC

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