Quit Facebook, Diaspora, TED

The Facebook Man. Facebook is celebrating its ...
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I have been searching for a good bookmarks manager for a long time, and mostly for keeping websites I eventually wanted to write about. I resorted to writing down web urls meant for CyberScribbles on the backs of envelopes, on scrap paper, or anything else I could find at the moment. Then, I would either promptly a) lose the scrap of paper, or b) be unable to decipher my scribbles. Well, I think I have found my answer to unruly bookmarks.

Not wanting to jump onto the social networking bandwagon for the past (how many?) years, I made it more difficult for myself to prepare these columns. Until now. I hope. I use a browser add-on named Diigo (www.diigo.com) to help me keep track of things. Years ago I tried Stumbleupon when it was new upon the scene, but I did not like how it worked. Then I tried a few different “personalized” home pages that totally disappeared when I upgraded my browser(s). I did discover Netvibes a month ago, and while it could be my home page, I still use Yahoo. Did you know that the majority of people use Google for their home pages? Nothing wrong with that. But let’s get on with my week’s worth of web discoveries, shall we?

Quit Facebook Day (www.quitfacebookday.com). Yes, it’s a real website and quitting day was set for May 31, Memorial Day. Some 34,000 former Facebook subscribers vowed to cancel their accounts. That is a meager number out of 450 million users, but at least some people care deeply about the issue of privacy. It’s good that people protest the use of their ‘data’ by commercial interests. I feel for them. I’ve been a Facebook holdout due to sheer stubborness. And I guess that makes me miss out on all the “good stuff” Facebook users share. If you are worried about the security of your information posted on your Facebook pages, then you can vow to quit. Log on to this site and make your vow public. Then head over to Diaspora.com.

Diaspora (www.diaspora.com). Since the troubling news about the inadequate security at Facebook, a quartet of young and very smart software programmers has unveiled their open-source social networking alternative to the behemoth of cyberland. Diaspora’s inner workings are built differently, so your data is stored in a “seed” that keeps things separate from how Facebook stores your data. In un-geeky terms, Diaspora makes that nasty data mining business hit a brick wall. Or, at least that is how I understand it. Now, how do you get the word out to 426 million Facebook users to make the switch?

TED (www.ted.com). I’ve mentioned TED here before, but in case you missed that column, I’m reminding those of you who are looking for more than cute kittens and puppies or scantily-clad models that TED offers to nudge your brain into full engagement. Give it a spin, because you will find at least a few (probably many) presentations that will expand your mind and present to you a new world view. I just caught part of a talk by Harvard law professor Jonathon Zittrain on the positve effects Twitter can have on us all. I also watched a 17-minute slide presentation by photographer Taryn Simon, who has captured pictures of places and things mostly off-limits to the rest of us. It was on TED that I learned that for a long time Playboy magazine put out a Braille edition (hear the laughter in the auditorium, from the men in the audience). Alas and alack and of course,men: just the text was converted to Braille!

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on June 9, 2010.

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