Clay Shirky's posted a nice little analysis of the evolving user-interfaces for social network services on Many2Many. The thing he nails down really tight here is that negotiating friendship is something we're actually pretty good at -- until we're asked to port representations of those relationships to the digital realm. Computers are best used to do stuff that's hard or boring (repetitious counting and sorting, for example) and, IMO, it's a bad idea to ask them to take something that's neither hard nor boring and make it a little of both in the service off some ill-defined reward. By which I mean: I already know who my friends are, and it's not hard to know that; but exposing an exhaustive list of my nuanced social relations is damned hard, and none of the YASNSes offer me any serious benefit for doing so.
[N]ow [Orkut has] added this linear scale of friendship that would be laughed out of a freshman sociology course, and then they say tell me the data is private. Of course it's not private -- that data isn't for me, it's for Orkut. I don't need it in the first place, because I am a monkey, descended from a long line of such monkeys, whose main talent consists of keeping track of relationships. Measured on the time scale of our social capacity, fire is a recent invention and agriculture is still a novelty.
The "how good a friend are they" data is useless or worse for me, but useful for Orkut, because they are desperate to represent social networks numerically, which is why they keep adding things to an interface they should be subtracting things from. The problem isn't the cost or refinement of accepting a friendship transaction, the problem is that friendship isn't a transaction, something almost no social networking service understands.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]