May 30, 2008

Powned! Getting Nasty about Nasty Business

I don't know the whys and wherefores of law enough to know if the scam mike describes on TC tonight is legally a scam or not. I know I've fallen for a couple, and I'm not the only one. Sure we are online regulars and should know not to click the BIG YES and instead click the teeny-tiny 'no thanks,' but every now and then, there's a disconnect and we enter into the quagmire of clicks, getting powned.

I personally paid for that scamified ringtone/download service for TWO YEARS without knowing. What does that say about me? I'm a financial goofball. Still, have you seen where they bury that on your phone bill? We have a bundled ATT bill that's like 26 pages. One little line item slips in and it can take a long time to catch it. I figured the bill went up by $14 because the bill ALWAYS seems to go up. We ended up getting some of the money back, but not all of it.

Considering Intelius the company Mike has investigated is getting ready to go public, I hope the fact that he's got a big mouth comes in right handy and gives the powers that be some pause.

Nassty business.

UPDATE: - Jain's Son has his say on TC.


May 29, 2008

I like that friendfeed's a backchannel

On the other hand, I'm sorry to disappoint all of those calling for friendfeed comments to be pulled into the larger web, but I happen to enjoy the back channel short bursts of comments on the feeds in friendfeed. It is the perfect medium for wit and snark. Lord knows we need some more of that around here before this entire talkosphere turns into snoresville.

So leave friendfeed alone.

I say it's not such a big deal if people have to get off their asses and walk over there when twitter is down. Satisfying an addiction can take a little work. If you want to complain about the extra effort, go chop some wood or water the horses or something.

Friendfeed's like a viewing booth at a porn shop, except with comments. Okay, not exactly. But kind of. You have your rooms if you're into that. Otherwise you can watch all the goings on, and if you're moved to respond, well, the platform is all yours.

oh they're gonna love me over there now.


May 28, 2008

SezWho? My Blog Life in Comments 2001-2008

For as long as I can remember in the land of blogs, technology experts like Shelley Powers told me not to give control of my data away. Serious technology folks host their own stuff, and usually on their own servers, because they don't like to leave chance to chance--and because they know how.

I'll cop to the fact that It's a pretty dumb idea to have stayed on blogspot so long. Honestly? That's the trap of a closed system. Once you invest enough of your time and energy and passion into it, the barrier to change is about as high as the sky. Maybe higher. The relationship becomes sort of a 'the devil you know" dance, and you're not leading.


As I've written before, I like Blogger as blogging software. But I wish I would have left blogspot for my own hosted site long ago. On BlogSisters I solved illusion of hosting with web forwarding. But still, all of that content is on blogspot.

It's not like I haven't taken warnings about the risks of putting my content in the hands of third parties seriously. I have. But it has always been 'not quite seriously enough.' There are other must-dos competing with my time.

As the noise level escalates and Web 2.0 companies come and go, I see more clearly the argument for keeping ownership of my data whenever possible. It's a hot topic for social media and comment users lately.


Take my comments here on Allied. Some of us were doing comments before most of the blogs on Techmeme tonight were born, and before most Web 2.0 CEO's could drive.

In the early days of blogging, if you wanted comments, you had to stay up until 2 a.m. and sign on to get an account on YACCS within a given 1 hour period. If you weren't lucky enough to get your login during that window, you had to wait until the next day. And after enough users were on the system to create headaches, YACCS said, No More.

YACC's creator, Hossein, was a one or two man shop - Remember, these were the days before flush funding and social media conferences. Having YACCS comments in those days was being a REAL blogger, because commenting tools were hard to come by. It meant you cared enough to stay up late.

After some years, I think about 2004, Blogger got pretty good comments of its own, and I was getting a lot of YACCS comment spam. Hossein decided to stop supporting YACCS and it was time to make a switch, so I turned YACCS off and turned Blogger comments on.

That worked pretty well for a while, but before Google's first big Blogger upgrade, I started getting MORE comment spam, tried moderating comments for a while and hated it (remember - this was before OpenID, before comment registration, and when CAPTCHA didn't even work well) and so I decided to turn Blogger comments off somewhere in 2006 and replace them with Haloscan.

Why Haloscan? Because Shakespierce used Haloscan, and I wanted to be kewl like Tony. No really. I'm serious.

See how adoption works? The Kewl Factor is a powerful thang.

SO Here I am again, and Haloscan is being difficult where Blogger's new templates are concerned (you've been seeing that error message for the last HOW LONG now?), so I'm turning Blogger comments back on.


The good news is, I can turn Blogger comments back on and STILL HAVE a custom service that does more than Blogger lets me do with comments. I can get a universal user profile and comment tracking across social media. And instead of giving away the data, it stays where my comments live, with the rest of my content.

That's because I installed SezWho, which is not a comment replacement system, like disqus, but a conversation and reputation-driven universal profile. It is known for working across all kinds of social media -- including wordpress, drupal, and Blogger blogs; phpBB forums; etc. -- and for having a layer of semantic intelligence that tracks reputation over time. With open API's, it can do pretty much whatever the web decides it should do.

By turning comments back on with Blogger and adding SezWho, I don't think I'll be looking back three years from now and seeing the kind of SPAM that's piled up because my commenting service (as YACCS did) had to shutter its doors, but somehow left a window open for spammers to slip through.

Second of all, I'll have access to conversations that no matter what happens to the third party service provider. They'll live with the rest of my blog content, not on some other site somewhere else. I'll be able to keep my blog's conversational legacy, not wish that I kept it.

Third, as menopause progresses and I become even more forgetful than I am this very minute, my SezWho Universal Profile will give me a web-wide view of conversations I've participated in from wherever I am. Now, I wish I had a Universal Profile for my offline life. If only.

Fourth, Trackbacks work with SezWho, and that's a plus because with Blogger I could never seem to get trackbacks to work no matter how many times someone said: "Could you use trackbacks please?"

Well I've already given more reasons than Fred Wilson's Three Reasons in this post, and if he can do a shoutout for a company he's funding, then I can tell you why I decided to try SezWho as a mere flack.

Now back to our regularly scheduled conversation.



perhaps the best term for stubborn ass I've ever heard

In the new book What Happened, President Bush's former press secretary Scott McClellan decides to stop covering up for his former boss, and eloquently expresses his version of life in the administration.

He utters one of the best descriptors for Bush's particular kind of flawed thinking that I've ever heard. He calls the President's particular kind of pig headedness a "detrimental resistance to reflection."

How accurate of a phrase is that, and how many people do I know who have fallen lockstep into a pattern of thinking that denies subtleties?

Never look back, only ahead. Never peel back the layers, go with your gut. This, I think, is the single biggest flaw, and a poison that has now invaded the cultural personality of conservative republicans, and much of America: an unwavering commitment to disallowing what might be gleaned from nuances and the cadence of things.

That is his legacy - It may be the death of us.


May 27, 2008

i think i predicted twitter in 01

see #1. @ev, you're welcome. And now...My 2001-penned blogging predictions, just because:

December 20, 2001

Blog Predictions for 2002

Some iteration of instant messaging and chat functions will merge with blogs for folks to talk amongst themselves--taking 'blogback' to the next level.

More idiots will begin blogging, annoying the hell out of blog pioneers and increasing the velocity of insult hurling.

Doc Searls will announce the first blogger wedding mid-year, when friends who met blogging decide to tie the knot. The conception of their first child will be bloggerized. RageBoy will be all over that shit.

More celebrities will jump on the blog bandwagon.

RageBoy and Winer will go at it again, likely using biological and chemical weapons this time. There will be no winner, but lots of memes.

Corporations will get wind that employees are blogging during work hours and issue anti-blogging policies.

Smart companies will get wind that employees are blogging during work hours and imagine the possibilities.

A major motion picture will feature a character who blogs. The character will be a psychopathic alcoholic intellectual head case.

The part will be offered to Jack Nicholson, who will turn it down because bloggers don't get cute chicks.

Some company, somewhere, will take Gonzo Marketing to heart and underwrite some blog, somewhere, somehow. Please.

Community blogs--or "party blogs" like Gonzo Engaged--will grow in residents and in numbers, morphing into their own form of blogging. These forms will separate from one-man blogs, which will lean more toward journal and journalism than community.

David Weinberger will stop blogging again, only to start again in 2004.

muffled LOLing may ensue.