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Best Alternatives To the Big Name Social Media?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the use-anklebook-myface-and-pffft dept.

Social Networks 451

rueger writes "Over a couple of years I have actually found Facebook pretty useful and/or entertaining. It has certainly allowed me to stay connected with a lot of people with whom I otherwise would have lost track, and for all its weaknesses it was handy for sharing links and such. This week, though, the privacy escapades have pushed me (and a lot of other people) over the edge. If Twitter's 140 characters aren't enough, LinkedIn is too business-oriented, MySpace too ugly, and Buzz — does anyone even use Buzz? What social media options are out there for all of those non-uber-techy folks?"

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Twitter's 140 Characters (5, Insightful)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978696)

To me, the 140-character limit of Twitter is more than offset by the conciseness of the information it thusly transports. I find it actually very stimulating to be limited to 140 characters. Forces you to think a little longer before you post.

As Goethe once said: Sorry for writing this long letter, I didn't have time for a shorter one.

But in any case, you can combine Twitter with a Blog and use that if you really think you need to say something longer than 140 characters, then post the link on Twitter. Posterous is an excellent site for that.

And to those who still think that Twitter is the place where people tell you they're having a sandwich -- you are obviously following the wrong people. It is the most efficient information engine I have ever seen -- and many other things beyond that.

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (2, Insightful)

jjoelc (1589361) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978722)

It is the most efficient information engine I have ever seen

Yep.. it burns through a lot of work, and produces a lot of noise pollution and hot air. All because you were too lazy to walk to the mailbox.

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979054)

All because you were too lazy to walk to the mailbox.

I'm genuinely not sure what you're suggesting. Sending letters to friends?

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979092)

I sure hope he's not talking about sending physical letters. I've tried it once and the lag was incredibly high.

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979202)

The only personal letters I've ever written were to Father Christmas, then to various old relatives after Christmas/New Year. For some reason Santa never got a thank-you note :-(

So far, I've received one personal letter.

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (2, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979260)

is that counting birthday cards or no? If you've never gotten one piece of legitimate, personal snail mail then I pitty you. But, as my sister says, 'write a letter to get a letter'. She's big on real mail... and emily post. Marriage has ruined her punk-rockitude. :-/

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (3, Funny)

uniquegeek (981813) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979114)

RFC 1149, or its contemporary, RFC 2549, would be better. Get with the times.

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (4, Informative)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978788)

Ob PA: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/4/23/ [penny-arcade.com]

It's all I ever think about every time twitter is covered by the popular media or NPR or whatever. And it unnerves me tremendously that I can't twack the anchor with a wet trout wrapped in a printout of that comic.

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978938)

Hehe, this one [penny-arcade.com] is what I think of.

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (3, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978820)

...Sorry for writing this long letter...

Hope he writes it slowly. I don't read very fast.

Twitter's 14 Sockpuppets (0, Offtopic)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978978)

To me, the 140-character limit of Twitter is more than offset by the conciseness of the information it thusly transports. I find it actually very stimulating to be limited to 140 characters.

If only we could impose the same limit on Erris, gnutoo, ibane, and the rest of the gang [slashdot.org] .

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (4, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979032)

To me telling strangers or vague people everything all the time is giving up my privacy. If people are interested, they can ask me and perhaps I answer, but I just do not see the point to give out information all the time for no apparent reason.

Perhaps there are people who had a diary when they where young. It was to write to yourself, not so much to show others. And then suddenly you are older, moved a few times and re-read them. It is then that you notice how uninteresting it all is.

So if you want have people get in contact with you, set up a web page and let them google you like you google them. And if they only look on Facebook, then they are interested in adding a friend to get as many as possible, not about finding you.

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31979144)

So why did you tell us your opinion on this then?

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31979104)

A good site for college students (since Connectu is down and no longer available) is http://www.inkampus.com/ [inkampus.com]

Re:Twitter's 140 Characters (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979206)

Forces you to think a little longer before you post.

You have got to be kidding.

awesome! (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979302)

"Sorry for writing this long letter, I didn't have time for a shorter one."

You sir have made my day!

IRC (5, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978700)

I just idle on IRC instead.

Re:IRC (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978762)

Word.

Buzz sounds like the ultimate social media platform, with images and a fast url tracker and everything. But I can't get any of my friends and relatives to actually use it. I suppose it would help if it ever came out of beta.

It would be neat to have something a little more distributed, where you host most of your own data and have ganglia that connect to all kinds of other things. But it'd probably end up being like Pidgin.

I also set up a bunch of stuff that automatically crossposts between livejournal, facebook, and twitter, depending on whether I want content, exposure, or expediency. But most of my socialization still happens on our IRC channel (though even then mostly with bots :-P )

Re:IRC (3, Interesting)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978850)

I like Buzz a lot. The built-in support in Google Reader is a killer feature, and it stays right next to Gmail. Support from an android phone is also superb.

The problem being that the biggest feature of a social media service is the number of people (known to you) that actually uses it. Almost nobody is using buzz at the moment.

Re:IRC (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978962)

Therein lies the problem. "Best Alternatives To the Big Name Social Media?" but Buzz is discarded because it's not Big Name!

Re:IRC (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979174)

Second tier providers would make all the money. Walled garden is where the cash is.

Re:IRC (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31978816)

IRC is a vacuum through which sanity slowly escapes the brain. It is proliferated by sociopathic assholes and the occasional psychopath off his medication. If you want a really good example of what happens when you let the lunatics run the asylum, IRC is it. And the worst part is, even well-meaning people who come there get sucked into its cyber-bullying, cynical norm and either succumb to it or get the hell out... leaving only the most warped idiots to argue amongst themselves.

Re:IRC (5, Insightful)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978984)

All that is true... but it does also have a dark side.

Re:IRC (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979072)

Nah, most of EF/DALNet is shut down these days.

Re:IRC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31979082)

Mod +11

Re:IRC (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979248)

It is proliferated by sociopathic assholes and the occasional psychopath off his medication.

In case you didn't know, "sociopathic" and "psychopathic" are exactly the same thing.

Re:IRC (1)

bluesatin (1350681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979308)

I was led to believe they meant the same subset of symptoms but originated from different causes; Psychopaths being born with some sort of defect that lead them to their behaviour, while a Sociopath having the source from upbringing and post-birth conditioning.

tribe (1)

mr_walrus (410770) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978712)

tribe.net is still around.
been around a long time actually.

Re:tribe (4, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978838)

Adult Friend Finder. When thats down, you'll find me at MSN Gaming Zone, in the Chess rooms.

....What..?..Stop looking at me like that!

FB, MS, Tw? Yuck. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31978716)

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter? Yuck. Use the real web.

Nurf (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978726)

http://nur.ph/ [nur.ph]

I have used this on occasion. It needs a bigger userbase.

Re:Nurph (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978730)

It's Nurph, not Nurf, a slight typo there.

http://nur.ph/ [nur.ph]

"Outside" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31978728)

I hear if you visit this "Outside" you can meet other people and network with them. You can have friends, interests, conversations, etc. The whole deal.

Re:"Outside" (2, Funny)

oddaddresstrap (702574) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978896)

Reminds me of an old saying: "A long journey begins with the first few steps on the basement stairs."

Re:"Outside" (0)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979110)

Reminds me of an old saying: "A long journey begins with the first few steps on the basement stairs."

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." -- Laozi

Re:"Outside" (4, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978898)

Are you kidding? "Outside" is dangerous! It's full of viruses, and spyware all around you with their parabolic microphones and telephoto lenses... And you really don't want to have to deal with the security system. Lots of false positives that can be a real pain. Take my advice. Stay "Inside" and lock the doors.

Re:"Outside" (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979282)

What if you live in some dump where all the other people around are a bunch of dimwit rednecks or people who just want to talk about sports or something similarly inane?

That's the nice thing about internet boards, chat rooms, etc. You can find people who actually want to talk about interesting things, instead of reality TV and sports like most morons. Unfortunately, most of the time you find that they aren't located anywhere near you.

Maybe if you live in a region/country where the vast majority of the population isn't bumbling idiots, and there's no obvious way to find people who aren't, your advice would make some sense.

I don't know about where you live, but in my city, the only places to socialize offline are work, church, and bars. If you have interesting cow-orkers, that's great, but some of us are stuck with sports fans. Church is for people who are easily led into supporting Sarah Palin, and generally not a good place to meet people with intellectual pursuits, plus it can be a little awkward when they ask you about your "personal relationship with Jesus" and you tell them you think he was just some hippie spreading Buddhist philosophy, and the written stories about him are completely wrong just like any legend or myth. Bars are for people who like to drink to the point of inebriation.

AFK 4 realz (-1, Redundant)

notjustchalk (1743368) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978740)

"What social media options are out there for all of those non-uber-techy folks?"

How about you go outside and talk to honest-to-goodness real people for a change?

Re:AFK 4 realz (2, Insightful)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978846)

What if I don't want to travel 5,000 miles everyday to see how all my friends are?

Re:AFK 4 realz (1, Insightful)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978924)

What if I don't want to travel 5,000 miles everyday to see how all my friends are?

Just use the transporter?

Re:AFK 4 realz (3, Funny)

ProteusQ (665382) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978960)

Just use the transporter?

I thought we agreed not to tell the non-techies about this!!

Re:AFK 4 realz (2, Informative)

notjustchalk (1743368) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979130)

I guess I came across as somewhat facetious in my original message. Yet, I was only semi-joking and still stand by my message.

Visit a local community center, join a neighbourhood committee, take the dog for a walk, join your local friends for coffee, tea, lunch, movies, etc. I know enough people that've eschewed their real social lives for their web 2.0 social "life". Given the lack of privacy, the identity theft or targeting, and the sheer waste of time (how much of the time you spend on Facebook is spent solely on communicating rather than simply advertising the details of your life or, even worse, playing honeypot "games"?)

As for friends 5000+ miles away, there're plenty of IM clients for that!

Big name = other people (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978744)

Here's the problem: if you're on a social network that few have heard of, what's the point?

Isn't the purpose of say, Facebook, the fact that nearly everyone uses it? How would a "social network" without other people even work?

Re:Big name = other people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31979010)

That's exactly why social networking sites such as wayn insist on automatically creating people profiles from info which they can dig out of the net. It appears that they have million users while they are vast wastelands of nothingness.

What disturbs me the most is that wayn has created a profile from my info (name, age, work place, travel log) without my consent.

Re:Big name = other people (5, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979066)

Nobody uses facebook anymore, it's too crowded.

Re:Big name = other people (-1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979188)

Nobody uses facebook anymore, it's too crowded.

I'm pretty sure you meant to say that you and/or some of your friends don't use it anymore. Many people still use Facebook.

Re:Big name = other people (1)

RJFerret (1279530) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979132)

Here's the problem: if you're on a social network that few have heard of, what's the point?

Agreed, unless you seek to interact with those who pursue non-mainstream alternatives.

Isn't the purpose of say, Facebook, the fact that nearly everyone uses it? How would a "social network" without other people even work?

That's the problem with Facebook, it was an ivory tower that wasn't publicly accessible to your friends, now it's a marketers' morass.

To answer the original query, decide first what and with whom you wish to share, then go to the service that offers the most convenience for that/them.

That's why a communication service like Twitter is so useful, instead of being a limited social network, you are accessible via the Web, web searches, RSS feeds, SMS, email, all without people needing to make accounts or change their reading habits, and you are not limited in what media you wish to convey. (Although people typically won't be watching videos if they follow you via SMS obviously.)

The original criteria emphasizes sharing links and reading about others, I'd suggest a microblog suits that perfectly.

Missing the point (4, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978746)

The thing that makes "social media" useful is its userbase. You could never have found/kept in touch with your old friends if you weren't signed up for a service they were also signed up for. Trying to find a smaller service by definitions means it's not going to be as useful to you.

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31978942)

Mod parent up. Spurning Facebook isn't an option if it's one of your primary links to the world.

To contribute, SHARE LESS DATA. Firstname, Lastname. One professional-looking photo, one address for a forwarding e-mail account. If you've got a portfolio/public resume/curricula vitae, host it elsewhere and link to it. Forget the rest. Your friends know you. Your associates can e-mail you to get your cellular number/mailing address/whatever. You can talk to people all you want; heck, with a streamlined profile like that, you can even allow apps, since at most they'll share your (disposable) e-mail account with junk-mailers -- just be careful what you tell the apps. If you wanna be a grassroots privacy activist, make similar slim profiles on other services, and encourage your friends to move their activities off Facebook (and to adopt slim profiles themselves).

Re:Missing the point (2, Insightful)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979162)

Eh, got a real name FB profile without a picture and on an email address I only use for "official" purposes. Got another FB profile with a fake name, that my real friends know of. I have an awesome 44 friends, surely in the top 10% of the great friend collection race. Even on the fake name, profile info is limited, no pictures of me, no phone number, and no apps allowed. FB provides me with a wonderful free service that allows me to stay in contact with friends I have scattered across the US and Europe, while I gladly screw the fuckers out of any profitable data.

Re:Missing the point (3, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979080)

The thing that makes "social media" useful is its userbase.

Indeed. But like everything else, it comes to down to implementation, yes? To steal a phrase coined by a fellow Slashdotter ...

    Twitter: a listserv for the ADD generation.

Re:Missing the point (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979148)

Mostly yes, but it could still be useful for staying in touch. You just wouldn't be able to use it to get back in touch with somebody that you'd lost contact with. But ultimately that's the trade off you make. If you want random people from years past to get in touch with you, then random strangers are going to be able to as well. It's not really that easy to find a way of getting old acquaintances without risking crazy stalkers.

fuckbuddies.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31978750)

find a local girl (or guy) that wants to fuck NOW.

Ning Perhaps or Simply Limit What You Share (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978756)

I don't know how useful this is but I joined a community on Ning [ning.com] that focused on independent rock. These communities are much smaller and it's going to be pointless to ask all your friends to join it. But if you're looking for something more tightly knit surrounding a topic you passionately love then these networks are more specific and probably more helpful.

Unfortunately they don't satisfy what you liked about Facebook but ... I mean, you're never going to find that large of a user base or platform usage. For example, I love getting Onion updates on Facebook but you won't find that on a Ning community. I also have no clue how robust Ning's privacy policy is. I'm content with just putting things on social networks that I'm comfortable showing to everyone. You might do well to just simply adjust what you put up and share and not worry about the potential repercussions. Sure it means less pictures and less bonding via Facebook but I've got real life to do that stuff.

Re:Ning Perhaps or Simply Limit What You Share (1)

WitnessForTheOffense (1669778) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978854)

Ning recently announced it's focusing on its premium accounts and leaving the free accounts out in the cold.

The only social network worth joining... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31978766)

...is the one all your friends are on. Otherwise, what's the point? Write your own if you need to. If you want to meet new people, find a site that caters to your interests or join one that everyone else is on. If you want to keep in touch with your friends, who cares which one you use as long as you agree on it.

On another note, the idea that Twitter=Facebook is alien to me. Facebook is multimedia sharing (video, pictures, short status updates, blog entries, etc.) while Twitter is just status updates and link sharing.

Blogs? (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978784)

Ideally, it'd work something like this:

If you must microblog, Twitter is fine, or find something else. Most of them can publish to other accounts, and all of them worth considering will have at least an RSS feed, if not SMS.

Otherwise, pick any free blog hosting site, or run it yourself. Blogs already provide the basics of what "social networks" do, especially if you use XFN [gmpg.org] , but even without that, what do you really do on Facebook? Announce your status, post what you're doing, reply to other people's posts ("write on their wall"), organize events (iCal works, and Google Calendar supports it), link to people you like, follow what people are doing (RSS)... ...it's possible I'm missing what social networking is about, as I don't use Twitter or Facebook, but I also don't get what it adds above the Web itself as a medium. About the only thing I can think of is automatically suggesting certain people you might know, friends-of-friends and such, but I'm guessing anything that could provide that would also provide the exact same privacy concerns.

Re:Blogs? (2, Insightful)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978878)

What facebook offers is a single point, simple, solution to all the issues you listed.

Re:Blogs? (2, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979196)

So does Blogger, so I'm still not seeing it...

...though I do see the point. It would be nice if there was a one-stop solution that actually incorporated all of the above, without the obscene lock-in. (Also without the data-mining, though it doesn't really matter so much at that point -- if you can migrate to another host and take your network of friends with you, I'd hope competition would make these networks care a bit more about privacy.)

email. jabber. irc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31978800)

Get your friends' email addresses. Email them. (Your ISP provides you with an email address; contrary to popular belief, there was email before gmail came along).

IRC and Jabber also work well.

If nothing else, this doesn't involve selling your soul to commercial interests.

Strange... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31978806)

The only way to win...is to not play.

Seriously, that's the best way to stay out of the Social Media Black Hole. Don't log in. Don't make an account. EVER. Ignore the temptation. Ignore the appeal.

Or stay behind the event horizon (4, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978912)

You can safely orbit a black hole, if you're beyond the event horizon and pick a trajectory that ensures you stay this way.

I think Facebook might be best treated this way: create yourself a profile with limited content. Particularly don't give informative answers to specific questions. Include a URL to your personal website / blog. Make that public. Make an email address and phone number visible to friends. Update your status and comment to friends periodically, feed links to content you have elsewhere through it periodically. You get most of the advantages of Facebook's visibility and keep their grip off your content and personal information.

Re:Or stay behind the event horizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31979078)

I don't have time for that shit. What a waste of time, my "friends" know my phone # and email address, everyone else shouldn't.

Re:Strange... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979158)

Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't Blink. Good Luck.

Other choices (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978814)

LinkedIn is useful for business purposes. LinkedIn offers a big hammer that discourages spammers. If someone tries to "friend" you, and you don't know them, you click "I don't know this person". After a few rejections, the annoying user loses the ability to "friend" people. The same goes for "questions"; if someone puts up a question that looks like spam, and it's flagged, they soon lose the ability to post "questions". As a result, there are people on LinkedIn worth talking to. However, a big fraction of the users are "consultants" trolling for work. Lots of lawyers, but, after all, lawyers are consultants trolling for work.

I used to enjoy Tribe, which was fun and useful if you're near SF, because many of the people doing interesting art things in SF were on Tribe. But they have near zero traffic now. A few years back, they went "Web 2.0", and they broke their system so badly that "Tribe bug reports" became the most active group. Then they decided to crack down on "adult" topics to please their advertisers, and a big chunk of their user base left. Then they annoyed their main developer, and he left. After those mistakes, I think they're down to about three employees.

Re:Other choices (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979190)

I use LinkedIn a lot, and I think you overstate their zeal against spam. Yes, it's hard to spam through the contact or question system. But it's pretty trivial to do it in the Groups system. There's nothing in the TOS that forbids spamming group discussions; the worst that can happen is that the group owner will delete your post.

I don't think this is deliberate. It's just that LinkedIn never addresses problems with their web site until a lot of people complain about them. Originally, it was pretty easy to spam through the contact system; it took them a while to start cracking down (and, more importantly, discouraging people from accepting contact requests from people they don't know).

As much as I value LinkedIn, I have a low opinion of whoever does their web design. Things are not named or organized in any sort of rational fashion. The customer support link is not only hard to find, but was actually broken for a long time.

I once sent a friend a link to a group discussion I thought he'd be interested in. When he tried to access this page, he got a permission error, because he wasn't in that group. So fine, redirect him to the page for joining the group. But no, it wouldn't even tell him which group he needed to join!

And don't even get me started on Introductions. And when you consider how basic this feature is to the LinkedIn business model....

AdultFriendFinder (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978836)

It gets straight to the point, for isn't that what Facebook is really about? Why else are half the the female pictures scantily clad and half the male pictures shirtless? Lets just be adults and cut straight through the Facebullshit.

Give up already! (0, Troll)

Phroggy (441) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978870)

If the whole rest of the planet isn't using it, what's the point? Facebook is what we're stuck with. Get over it.

Re:Give up already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31978902)

If the whole rest of the planet isn't using it, what's the point? Facebook is what we're stuck with. Get over it.

Give up already is exactly what I'm going to do. I'm giving up on Facebook.

Re:Give up already! (2, Insightful)

spd86 (1526243) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979204)

I deleted my account yesterday. Feels great :)

Re:Give up already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31979266)

you didn't. You know it's impossible to _delete_ an account.

O'Really? (4, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979026)

If the whole rest of the planet isn't using it, what's the point? Windows is what we're stuck with. Get over it.

So its ok to just bend over and take it since it is popular? What if Torvalds had this attitude? If nobody challenges the leader, then we are stuck with their mediocrity; the lack of competition will yield sub-par satisfaction. Having that kind of attitude is completely nullifies any incentive for innovation and new ideas, and stifles the chance for competition to improve what the [insert mainstream platform here] offers.

Mod Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31979256)

This is insightful well beyond the reply message.

Re:Give up already! (1)

Nukky Cisbu (1738668) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979098)

If the whole rest of the planet isn't using it, what's the point? Microsoft is what we're stuck with. Get over it.

Fixed the sentiment for you.

Diaspora (5, Informative)

coaxial (28297) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978920)

Super super super early stage, but very interesting is Diaspora [joindiaspora.com] . This open source project aims to create a completely decentralized social network. It's inspired by Eben Moglen's call [slashdot.org] for us to break out of the walled gardens.

While walled gardens aren't going away, I really hope this project is at least partially successful giving people back control of their own data.

Re:Diaspora (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979270)

Reminds me of one serverless IM [sourceforge.net] (finds IP of friends via DHT; apparently also has "push message to all friends" functionality, close enough to some social services) I have to check some time. And two apparently related projects:
http://retroshare.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] http://tstone.sourceforge.net/ - and this one apparently strives to be serverless VoIP cooperating with one of the above

They seem to be largely usable. Are they actually in much use? Have you even heard about them? Yeah, exactly...

If you want to defeat Facebook (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978958)

Fill it full of noise. Make an account with a random name from the phone book. And say, "I like kiddie porn". If a million of you create just one account, you just might be able to hide in the chaff.

Just more of the same (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978988)

These social networking sites are, in the end, about making money in various ways. It may start off with placing ads, but eventually, they will not be able to resist the sale and ab/use of the data they collect about the users. If you want to do social networking that you can trust, you will have to put up your own site.

There's always FriendFace (2, Funny)

radicalbiscuit (1429445) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978994)

Current status: sensual

Privacy (1)

Wolfraider (1065360) | more than 3 years ago | (#31978996)

I don't worry about the privacy much on Facebook. I always assume that they will share my data out with anyone and everyone. That's why I don't put any private data there. I just have my name and a few basics that a simple Google search would turn up anyway.

you're working against the network effect (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979018)

the more the people, the more useful the network. the less the people, the less useful the network

the best you can do is ride a newish network to popularity. then hop off before it goes out style. then another network rises

friendster, mypsace, facebook... next is?

build your own. (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979024)

i don't use any of the social media sites... why let a 3rd party between me and my friends and family?

colo a 1U server at a data center... not that expensive, and then you can customize in ways that best fit the individual circles.

If your non uber techie but have a web dev friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31979034)

Why dont you just roll your own facebook. Make your own niche.

http://pinaxproject.com/

Depends on what you want (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31979042)

There's Tumblr [tumblr.com] , Jaiku [jaiku.com] , LiveJournal [livejournal.com] , 4chan [4chan.org] ...

Or alternatively, you could do your own research [wikipedia.org] .

Are you really worried that much about Facebook? (5, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979050)

Sure, Mark Zuckerberg's a douchebag, but most large corporations are run by douchebags and yet I still buy Cheerios at WalMart and drive a Chrysler.

Here's the thing - and don't tell anybody I told you this - if you don't put anything private on Facebook, then your privacy won't be compromised by it.

I use Facebook. I use it because most of my friends are on it. It's a nice way to stay in touch with people who I know, but most of whom I couldn't finish a single beer with and still have anything to talk about. I like these folks - they're part of my past and present - bu some people I only have very small things in common with. I also know when things are happening (a friend's play, or their kids league championship ball game), and where I have common interests with acquaintances whom I would either not interact with at all, or would take years to become closer.

But guess what - I don't put anything on Facebook which is (a) embarrassing (b) particularly personal (c) not already available with an internet search. I never Facebook while drunk (well, I don't get drunk - but you get the idea), and I don't attack people or things. I don't join "causes". I'm not a marketing wasteland, though. I've filled out my "favorite" things sections. BFD. If knowing that I'm in my 40s, like Bowling for Soup and Amadeus, and am married gets Facebook a couple of dollars in ad revenue, go for it. Kroger already knows when I'm on a fucking Diet, and CVS probably informs their spies when the rest of my household has seasonal allergies.

So, that brings me back - unless you really need something else, and are willing and able to migrate your entire friend group to it - quit your whining, be smart with your data, and surf with due caution. You know you can't trust Zuckerberg, and that's 98% of the way to keeping your information safe.

Oh - and whatever you go to will be just as bad eventually. Google can't always not be evil, and even open source projects can have a mole.

Re:Are you really worried that much about Facebook (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979238)

You actually used real data on those shopping cards? I have a couple from each chain I shop at (although I do find Aldi to be awesome for some stuff)and switch them around according which vehicle I am driving. Fuck giving them marketing for their fake ass "deals".

Build your own (5, Informative)

Darth Cider (320236) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979068)

Check out the free and open source software, Caucus [caucuscare.com] and build your own social network. I belong to such a Caucus-based community, where invited members can speak openly, and I strongly agree that Facebook is seriously limited by privacy concerns.

You could also look up "The Well" and see what communities of a similar nature are out there. Seems you're looking for something like that.

Isn't there a federated social network protocol? (2, Informative)

Luke has no name (1423139) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979094)

Identi.ca uses it, and I think the purpose is for people across different social networking sites to be able to follow each other.

Found it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenMicroBlogging [wikipedia.org]

This would ostensibly lead to a decentralization of social networking sites while still allowing people to discover other users.

Standardize? (4, Interesting)

jalfrock (982820) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979096)

Will it eventually be possible to have a social-networking standard so that anyone can run their own server, just as with email? In that case it wouldn't matter if one friend uses facebook, another myspace, a third linkedin; they would all adhere to the same standard and so which particular social-networking service you use would become irrelevant.

PS: I apologize for being lazy but I haven't thought about this at all, so there could easily be some glaring reason why it can't possibly work.

Re:Standardize? (2, Interesting)

mlk (18543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979286)

Standards are attempting to push them self into the world and Buzz supports or will support them. But what is in it for Facebook? Users on other platforms don't bring in the advert money.

The ones of interest are:
PubSubHubbub - http://code.google.com/p/pubsubhubbub/ [google.com]
Salmon - http://www.salmon-protocol.org/ [salmon-protocol.org]
WebFinger - http://code.google.com/p/webfinger/ [google.com]
XFN - http://gmpg.org/xfn/ [gmpg.org]

Reddit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31979138)

Reddit.

It is a bit tech / democratic / atheistic biased, but it works.

Wave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31979142)

It's not a social network really, but I Google Wave.
I didn't expect much of Wave, but it turns out I get way more meaningful contact out of it than facebook ever did for me.

Really... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979168)

There are a few things that don't really work with this scenario. First thing is the less people who are on the site the less useful it is. The reason why Facebook is so popular is because -everyone- is on it. Who wants to join a social networking site where you know 5 people on it? As for privacy, is it -really- that big of a deal? Generally all social networking sites will do with your info is target some ads or perhaps make it search-able. Is it -really- that terrible for the world to know that you like Star Trek and want a Core i7 CPU? Mix this all in with plausible denial if it somehow really harms you (is John Smith on FB -really- you who are John Smith?) and you have a situation where it doesn't really matter all that much. Aside from the "creepy" factor, will the information on FB really harm you all that much? Eventually employers will realize that we all have pasts, lives outside of work and it doesn't affect our work in the least. Really, if you get drunk every Friday night with friends and Monday you show up to work on time and do your work does it matter that you got drunk on Friday?

If you don't want something on FB, don't post it. Its as simple as that.

What is there on someone's FB profile (not messages or chat) that is -really- that terrible if the world knows?

Some advice from a guy over 30 (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979220)

Select the twenty people most important to you and save their names/telephone numbers/e-mail addresses in your cellphone. Thats it. dont copy people who you have not talked with for three years to you new cellphone. Call the ones who are important. Send them a new-year/christmas/easter/whatever e-mail. Normally 2 e-mails per year are enough to follow up.

Use social media with very incomplete identities to meet new people.

daytime=coffee, eve=pizza, night=beer (2, Insightful)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#31979242)

Food is social networking, too. Plus, it's 3d fully interactive real-time 360 degree hyper-real resolution with full sensorial input. It's, like, real.

buzz buzz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31979280)

google buzz is neat. For all the pissing & moaning, I find it simple, useful & consistent - unlike Facebook's myriad of changing security features, Myspace/FB feature bloat. Less is more.

disaggregate and keep it simple (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979290)

Just use photo sharing for photo sharing, microblogging for microblogging, and chat for chat, preferably provided by competitors so that the data lives in separate worlds. Use different services for public (e.g., Twitter) and private communications (e.g., E-mail). Don't enter full profile information or any sensitive information into any of them.

buzzwah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31979306)

Buzzwah.com [buzzwah.com]

No obscure social networks (2, Insightful)

shermo (1284310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31979310)

If you haven't heard of it, it doesn't do what you want it to.

chans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31979318)

4chan, etc. Fuck having "friends" online. You get better answers from Anonymous.

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