Tag Archive for Twitter

Dear Social Networks, Please Stop

Dear Social Networks,

Please stop thinking you know better than me what I want to see. All I want from every social network is to see the all the posts from all the accounts I follow in reverse chronological order. This was, when I visit, I scroll from now back to then – where ‘then’ is the last time I visited – and I see everything.

Your curation algorithms are terrible. Just because a bunch of my friends are continually commenting on the same conversation doesn’t mean I want to keep seeing it, day after day, especially when I neither liked nor commented on it the first time it appeared in my feed, nor the second, nor third, nor fourth, nor… you get the idea.

Why is a post from three days ago at the top of my feed? And why doesn’t a post from an hour ago by my own wife not show up at all?

Facebook is the worst. They keep trying to shove “Top Stories” down my throat, and I keep having to manually switch to “Most Recent”. And then they broke most recent by deciding that if a friend of mine likes a post from another friend of mine, the event of the liking is more recent than an actual post by a friend, even when the post that got liked is days or weeks old. But at least switching to “Most Recent” on the website is pretty easy. Doing it on mobile is just difficult enough that I’m fairly certain I’m the only one who does it. Meanwhile, all my friends are using “Top Stories” and the text post I just made is shown to none of them. However if I post a silly photo or share a dumb meme, everyone sees it and I get dozens of likes and comments.

My block list on Facebook is epic.

No, really. If you are a friend of mine and share a post from a radio station, and I see it, I’ve just blocked that radio station. I have hundreds of radio stations blocked. Why? Because they are radio stations and not a damn one of them posts anything about music or concerts or anything remotely close to what they actually do. They post silly photos and dumb memes. Blocked!

I also block most of the games. I play games in lots of places, and Facebook isn’t one of them. I tried it for a bit, but they all sucked, full of clickbait and hunting for whales, and requiring you to spam your friends or friend people you don’t know just to get ahead. Blocked!

And we won’t even get into all the pages that are either satire or just shitty. I don’t have the time or the energy to decide if I should be angry about that White Supremacist Soccer Mom page or if it is supposed to be funny. There really isn’t a difference in my book between being a racist and pretending to be racist for laughs. Blocked!

And even with blocking all of this garbage, I still can’t see all of the posts by my friends. I still run into “Well, I posted in on Facebook, didn’t you see it?” No, Facebook, I didn’t see it. You suck.

I considered jumping ship for Instagram, and I sort of have. I mean, I post things to Instagram and then they get shared to other networks via IFTTT. But Facebook bought Instagram, and recently they Facebooked Instagram’s feeds. I open the app and I see a photo posted 5 minutes ago. Great! And the one after that is 48 minutes ago. Then one from 2 hours ago. Then one from 2 days ago. Hmm. Followed by one from 6 hours ago. And one from 10 minutes ago. What? One from 1 day ago. Then one from 4 hours ago. So I pull up my following list, pick someone at random and see 3 photos posted in the last day, none of which were in my feed.

Ugh.

But there is twitter, right?

Place is a goddamn cesspool. And it’s also a fire hose. People post dozens of tweets a day, and if you follow too many people there simply is no keeping up. And you can tell lots of people feel this way. They seem to pop in, say something, then maybe spend a few minutes reading, retweeting, and replying. If I get on there once a day, it would literally take me two or three solid hours to read everything from the last 24 hours.

But I said it was a cesspool too. What I meant was that there is such a tiny barrier to entry, and anyone can publicly tag anyone, so there is an inordinate amount of people posting hate, and not just hate, but directed hate, directed right at other people, and all those mentions are notifications. And there are no consequences, so it just begs for more of the worst element.

Does good stuff happen on twitter? Sure! But if you can’t afford to have someone filter it for you, it almost isn’t worth it. Unless you aren’t a target. If you aren’t, keep your head down. You don’t want to become one.

Google+ … an also ran at best. Sometimes I forget it’s even there.

Tumblr? I really want to like tumblr. Except, man, I just don’t get the repost-to-comment design. If two of the people I follow are having a back and forth conversation, I don’t get one post with a conversation, I get a frame-by-frame replay of the conversation, in reverse. It’s so cumbersome.

Ello… that would almost be the right social network. It’s like tumblr but without the weird reposting stuff. It’s just a shame there aren’t more people there. Maybe I should just start posting there anyway…

Or maybe… maybe social networks just aren’t for me. Maybe I got on the internet too soon. Message boards, smaller contained communities, like the BBSs back in the day, that seems more my style. And this blog, as often as I ignore it, maybe this is where I should be, shouting into the void. In chronological order. With no filtering or algorithm. And the void rarely shouts back.

The Socialest Network

Admit it, most of you live here.

Admit it, most of you live here.

Socialest (not to be confused with Socialist) meaning “the most social”. It is how I feel lately with every website on the Internet. Facebook used the be the primary culprit. Their feed, which I always want to read by “Most Recent”, keeps trying to display what it thinks I want to read. And the default setting for new friends is to show “Most Updates”. Zuckerberg and company are trying to curate my experience, to give me the best most awesome items they can mathematically determine – which largely results in me missing everything I actually care about. If I didn’t keep fighting Facebook’s settings, my feed would be entirely populated by items people reshared that have gotten thousands of likes, but when my brother says something cool but gets only 1 or 2 likes it gets hidden.

Due to Facebook’s deluge of ads and app spam (at last count I had over 200 apps blocked from my feed), I would prefer something cleaner like Google+. But then, they are curating my experience as well. Items posted in the last few minutes appear below items from yesterday that are more popular. It’s not as bad as Facebook yet, but it is clearly moving in that direction.

With Google announcing that they are going to retire the Reader application, a place where I spend a huge amount of time reading from my hundreds of aggregated RSS feeds, I have had to go in search of a possible replacement. All of those replacements suck. Each one of them wants to try and curate my reading experience. They want to show me the stuff with the most subscribers, the most likes, the most comments, and they want to bury anything else in the back.

It’s all turning into a popularity contest.

Everyone seems to think not only that they can predict what I want to see but that I want them to. I don’t. I would like to see the things I have asked to see, and when I want to see more things I will go looking for them (which I often do – I mean, you don’t get to have hundreds of feeds in your Reader without seeking this stuff out) or one of the sources I already read and trust will recommend it to me. I read lots of personal blogs, most of which I discovered because they were mentioned or linked to by another blog. What I really don’t need is my reading platform taking my reading habits and trying to select from a database similar items. It could be nice, but as far as I am aware every one of these systems eventually gets greedy and starts allowing people to pay for a better rank or more publicity. My Facebook feed is constant suggesting posts to me of things I could not care any less about that someone clearly paid to have put in front of my eyes.

It has been said, if you aren’t paying for it, you are the product being sold. And that is the center of all of these social networks. They don’t charge you anything because they are selling you. Google+ doesn’t have ads yet, but since Google announced the closing of Reader because they could never figure out a way to make money off it, you have to assume the ads are coming because if they can’t make money off Google+ they will eventually shutter it.

I’m rambling… anyway, I guess my point is that I wish people who stop trying to sell my eyes and control what I see.

A Week of Tweets on 2011-07-03

  • Playing Portal: Still Alive for the first time. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • played Portal: Still Alive (XBLA) in the last 24 hours. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • I'm in Blakely, GA… yeah, I don't know where that is either. I just followed the GPS. #

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A Week of Tweets on 2011-06-26

  • Willis, I say unto thee, what is the subject upon which you are speaking? #
  • It tickles me, probably more than it should, when I get emails from job recruiters addressed to my MMO characters. #
  • Thanks to Michael's hacked pin pads and a douche in Laguna Beach CA, I can no longer say I've never experienced credit card fraud. #
  • @Muerte_tsd Yeah, BoA caught it and called us. Card cancelled, new card coming. Just need to clean up a few details. in reply to Muerte_tsd #
  • @Muerte_tsd For example, BoA charged us an ATM fee for the fraudulent charges… in reply to Muerte_tsd #
  • guy: "I've dated way better looking girls than that." me: "Pics?" guy: "Umm, there like, uhh, aren't any." me: "Of course there aren't." #
  • Valve needs make up some TF2 ads that mock Evony. "Free Forever!" #

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A Week of Tweets on 2011-06-19

  • Playing LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • played LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 (360) in the last 24 hours. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • A nice slow Monday morning… I hate surprises, Monday, so all day better be more of the same. #
  • Anyone on Fitocracy? http://j.mp/mi91vP just signed in today, might be the motivation I need… #
  • A blog a read has made 4 posts in the last year, 2 to announce a server move, and 2 to say the moves are complete. #
  • I have 15 invites to Fitocracy, the social game you play to improve your fitness. Snag one here! http://t.co/SOKnaWd (via @fitocracy) #
  • played LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 (360) in the last 24 hours. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • First, some fun. Then, some work. And hopefully later, more fun. #
  • I unlocked 2 Xbox achievements on LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4! http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • County noise ordinance kicks in at midnight. The neighbors blast their music and shake my house until 11:59:59. #
  • played LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 (360) in the last 24 hours. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • I unlocked 17 Xbox achievements on LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4! http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • IHOP, the breakfast of non-champions. #

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A Week of Tweets on 2011-06-12

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A Week of Tweets on 2011-06-05

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A Week of Tweets on 2011-05-29

  • So… Attack The Block was awesome, and when it is released, everyone should see it. #truth #
  • And now, we wait… #

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A Week of Tweets on 2011-05-22

  • Monday… we meet again. #
  • … putting limes in coconuts… #
  • Canceled 2 days ago, I already have a 7 day free trial "Come back to WoW! We miss you!" email in my inbox. Strike when the iron is cold! #
  • Recommend me a javascript framework to learn. jQuery? Dojo? something else? #
  • Life is like a box of chocolates… delicious and finished too soon. #
  • Phone companies that lie to their customers make my job harder. #
  • The Xbox suspension/banning forum is pure comedy gold thanks to the snarky staff. http://j.mp/jyoZCD #
  • @krystman Juliet tends to be the most snarky. #
  • From this day on, our Slim Jims will snap just a little bit more quietly. Rest is peace, Randy. #
  • What the… Boondock Saints 2 is horrible! #

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A Week of Tweets on 2011-05-15

  • Is it safe? #
  • @Majiesto Finaler Destination. in reply to Majiesto #
  • Rolled out a new feature at work today. Nothing exploded. It was a good day. #
  • Stake Land needs to come to a theater near me. #
  • "That new show.. on HBO.. Musical Chairs." "Game of Thrones?" "That's what I said!" #
  • Is it Friday yet? I want to go to the concert already. #
  • Yesterday my blog had a huge spike in traffic… someone linked to my Urban Dead post on Something Awful. #
  • Internet Explorer 9 is out… you can stop using IE 6 now. Please. I'm begging you. At least go to 7, or 8, or Firefox, or Chrome… #
  • "Be the strange you want to see in the world." #
  • The problem with the heat in Atlanta is that there is no beach to enjoy it on. #
  • Tonight I will be seeing my favorite band in the world. http://j.mp/kYha89 #bte #
  • Exclusive features in a game by platform or by retailer probably make some people happy. None of those people are gamers. #
  • Well, there's a feeling in the air, just like a Friday afternoon. Yeah, you can go there if you want, though it fades too soon. #
  • Squeeeeeeeee…. http://yfrog.com/gy9ahaej #
  • Concert was incredible. It's so much fun watching people do what they love. #
  • It's party time. #

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