No group chats

That’s the new rule I’m trying to follow.

People are different. Some like being at the center of the widest possible social circle, others just like to keep up with a big social circle. And some, like me, prefer fewer but deeper social connections.

Group chat, like much of social media, is designed for the first two groups. Not just because they’re the heaviest, most reliable users. But also because number of connections (or followers, friends, or people in groups) is an easy metric to calculate and promote.

Depth of those connections is not such an easy metric to devise. And it is naturally capped. It’s hard to have real deep connections with more than a handful of people.

As I continue to clear the noise in my life, this is one more area where I’m making changes. I want a handful of deep connections, and reduce the noise from the many.  Continue reading No group chats

Attention economy – a monopoly, and my dues

The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?

Sean Parker, ex President at Facebook

We’re living in an attention economy, and Facebook is the (almost-)monopoly firm.

This also answers:

  1. Why I don’t use Facebook and WhatsApp?
  2. Why I’m not as active on Twitter anymore?
  3. Why I’m not proud of still being moderately active on Instagram?
  4. Why I’ve given up watching TV, at least for the time being?

If it’s an attention economy, then I want to be paid for my attention. And a dopamine shot isn’t a worthy currency for me.

Free speech vs hate speech

Where’s the line?

There’s that famous quote:

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it

Evelyn Beatrice Hall

My issue here is about what happens when, what you say is to exhort the mobs to take away someone else’s right to speech, life, or dignity.

Does your right to free speech still supercede others’ rights to speech or life?
What if you’re actively supporting, for narrow financial reasons, someone who promises to take away others’ rights to speech or life?

Where is the line?

2008: Quitting Facebook.

Facebook Logo

I saw when Facebook went from being yet another social network to being the social network. I remember then, them launching ‘apps’ on Facebook. I correctly guessed that the apps would lead to an explosion of not just the social network, but also activity (noise) on my timeline, and of intrusions of privacy.

If I had been ‘in’ the game then, I’d have doubled down on Facebook/apps and made money. I wasn’t in the game then, so I did the next best thing – I quit Facebook.

The phenomenon that is Boston Globe’s Big Picture…

The phenomenon that is Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog.

  •    Started by someone with an eye for opportunity and good photographs.
  •    Powered on by the community with hundreds of comments and thousands of shares on each post.
  •    Turned into a closed network by a marketing maven who thought of harnessing the community info by linking in FB’s comment engine.

I discovered the blog sometime in 3rd quarter of 2008 (that’s the earliest share of that URL I can find in my rss). My visits to that treasure trove reduced a little after Alan Taylor, the good fella who started the blog, left. I stopped visiting completely, in frustration, after they removed the blog’s own commenting system and instead introduced the Facebook engine. Having quit FB in 2008 and being glad for it, I wasn’t going to join that waste of a site just to comment on BP.

Visited the blog again today after ages. Was happy, and sad. The feeling was similar as that when you visit your old school. The building, the memories, even some of the teachers are still there. But there are new guards at the gate now, who tell you, you no longer belong there. That love-longing-belonging-outcast feeling :(

[Feeling sad now. Don’t know if it is about the BP Blog or about the school I can never visit again]

It’s 5:30 AM and I’m still awake Spent…

It’s 5:30 AM and I’m still awake. Spent half the night reading on greader and, just as sleep started to envelope me, got an invite to Google+ in my mailbox. For the last hour or so been creating my profile and testing out the features.

Like it so far, perhaps this will become my alternative to Facebook (quit 2.5 yrs back) and Twitter (been inactive for almost 2 months now).

Thanks Harry prah!

P.S.: Missing my Nexus One even more, what with the G+ app on android.