Things said online

I was recently interviewed by a PhD student about my Internet usage habits, which got me thinking about how I started blogging, and before that how I built my own website, and why, and how that's influenced my interactions on/with the web today.

Just a few quotes/links for my own reference:

1. A quote from dooce in a recent New York Times Magazine story "Queen of the Mommy Bloggers" (which was published after I was interviewed):
"... she [dooce] made a promise to her family. “I will never write anything that I wouldn’t say to your face, with 50 people watching,” is how she describes the agreement. And that has been her rule ever since."
I've often phrased my own rule of thumb as being able to live with what you write, by which of course I meant being able to live with what you publish. I like the more specific wording of dooce's, though.

2. A couple of weeks ago when Facebook Places was rolled out to Singapore users, a friend wondered out loud on Twitter about why he should bother with Foursquare anymore. The habit of logging one's geographical location notwithstanding, I noted to him that I wouldn't want all my Facebook friends knowing where I am.

I forgot to add that I had cribbed Lucian's Foursquare policy: "You need to be someone I'd walk up to and say hi." Which I've often rephrased as: "If I'm in a bar or cafe, it'd be cool if you walked up, said hi and maybe even asked to join me (and whoever I'm with)."

3. Last week I downloaded and started using --- quite excitedly --- Momento, an iPhone app that imports your social media feeds and allows you to maintain private journal entries (with images) as well. The best part is that the entire database can be exported in .txt format, so you're not locked into anyone's proprietary system (enough of that, Facebook).

I used to journal by hand in pre-Internet days, and even off and on after blogging became easy. Momento seems like a good way to mesh the private and the public, without having to duplicate from one to the other. Plus it's good to have a backup of all this stuff in .txt format, for times when one might be stuck behind a firewall (or cut off from the Internet by an unrelenting government).

4. This week I started experimenting with Greplin, a search engine for stuff in the cloud --- social media, Google Documents, Gmail, etc. TechCrunch sold me on it, and at least Greplin's privacy policies are comprehensible to the layperson (for now).

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At 2/24/2011 11:28 pm , Blogger Brandon said...

Facebook allows data export now.


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