Tuesday, March 17, 2009

You are all special! That's why you ride the short bus to school!

Don't you just love these little notifications from twitter when you have a "new follower"?
Doesn't it make you feel all fuzzy and warm inside?

That's cool.

Are you starting to asses your self-worth by the number of followers you have?

Do you "follow" people just so they might follow you?

Do you "follow" people just because they follow you?

That's retarded.

And if you have a script in place that does the automatic "follow who follows me" for you...
that makes you the retard that pees in the public pool.

Here's why:

The number of followers is not a score. It's a statistic. Like "minutes used on your phone plan" or "number of claimed dependents". Changing that number doesn't make you more or less cool. Changing your behavior just to change the number is stupid.

The entire "Reason D’ĂȘtre" is to post status messages. So that people who think you are interesting can see what you are doing or thinking. So they "follow" you. But: there is a limited amount of information that a human can possibly read and comprehend, at any given 24h period.

Ergo: With every additional person you "follow" the average "attention value per followed person" decreases.

In other words:
If you follow more than a few dozen people at the same time, you are a fraud.

What else would you call promising people to give attention, and then ignoring them ?

Of course, the auto-follow is evil squared.

This is telling people "You are so special to me, I will subscribe to everything you say. But I can't be bothered to read it. Or even click a button to send this message. Also, here's my affiliate link to herbal viagra."

Yes, this is my new pet peeve, because it destroys the emerging ecosystem. I have seen spam bots with dozens to thousands of followers, and interesting people with only a handful of followers. Do you see what going on here?

I do find some enjoyment in the fact that the people who are complaining most about receiving twitter spam are those who are at the root cause of it. Karma can be a bitch.

"Why so serious?" ? Because I am one of those old geeks who remembers the days that you could actually post an email address online without it being spammed to death in hours. These days, spam traffic is the bulk of all email. Can we learn from mistakes, please?

Monday, March 2, 2009

My email address was: 2:293/608.23

Yes, really.

While looking for some older post I once made, I discovered one of the first I made.
Ever. At least on the internet. It was 1995. Thats roughly a decade and a half worth of live on the tubes that google searched through, in the blink of an eye.

Impressive, but people forget that life did not start with this "internet" stuff.

Before that, I used "FidoNet". It's logo was this:

/ \
/|oo \
(_| /_)
_`@/_ \ _
| | \ \\
| (*) | \ ))
______ |__U__| / \//
/ FIDO \ _//|| _\ /
(________) (_/(_|(____/

Yes, younglings, that's a logo, from the days when a "GIF image" was a state of the art extravagance (which required switching to another application). And just in case you are wondering, that's a dog holding what we use to call a "floppy". Not the fancy-smancy 3.5 inch hard-plastic kind, but the good old "five and a quarter" slab of floppyness.

Those were the days of booting up an XT, firing up a "fancy" editor to type in your email, "packing" it, "tossing it", firing up the modem, listening patiently for it to connect (you could diagnose many connection problems by listening to the "handshake sounds"). Then off your mail went, and if you were really lucky, there was a zipped email waiting for you at your providers location. Mail was routed organically, and could take several days to travel across continents. "Discussion group" post could take a couple of days to reach everybody in the country. And attachments, although technically possible, would get you flogged by every "sysop" down its route.

The good old days... men were men, women didn't exist. Modems were big enough to stop a bullet for you (maybe even a runaway bull). And had blinking lights!

What it did not have were things like "the wayback machine", or "archive.org" to act as a historian of all these years of content. There is no way to ever find the text again of my first shy post. Or the "really funny joke" about the carrot and the nurse. Or the discussion that founded some companies are architecture setups that are in use still today.

"All the moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain."

Now get off my lawn!