Thursday, May 27, 2010

Alternatives to Facebook -- what are the options?

Maybe you've just had enough. Perhaps your profile's been hacked, or you can't sort out the byzantine privacy settings options, maybe one of your "friends" mentioned a sex organ in status their update, (Once was enough to get me to "unfriend" you...) Or maybe you just long for something different.

Well dear reader, before FB Quitting Day May 31, 2010, here are some of your choices. Old and new soc nets (social networks) for your review.

Diaspora - the latest new, new thing. It's the sweetheart start-up developed by four charmingly geekalicious young lads from NYU and crowd funded by Kickstarter. It's not actually a social network yet. But they're working on writing the code to make it an open source alternative. They aren't the first ones out there per this link I found. (However to be honest, the Linux, Apache, MySql and Php talk starts to get a bit too techy for me and my brain melts just a little. Anyone care to enlighten me?)

Friendster - 'Memba them? I first heard of them in 1994 and even then it was a little late to be an early adopter.

Then there's Whspr, another recent entry into the soc-net-o-sphere which I mentioned in last week's Noo Yeek column.

Posterous - is a blog/soc-net hybrid you can see mine here. I know it's a bit light on the content, I'm just trying it out.

Ning is an option that I have used for an alumni network or maybe Orkut, a soc-net that is integrated into your Google-verse.

And another exile from soc-net Hipster-ville that might get a resurrection from the Facebook "diaspora" (oh those boys are clever name choosers!) is MySpace which seemed to loose steam and members once it was purchased by Rupert Murdoch.

I doubt people will leave LinkedIn or stop using Twitter due to privacy concerns since those are more readily controlled in terms of whom they broadcast to and yes, while Twitter isn't quite a social networking site, (really microblogging) it is a soc-net tool.

The meta narrative is privacy online. What is is, who controls it, how is it filtered and layered? Clearly the cows have long since left the barn, so it's really verbum sap sat. Everything you post on FB (or the internet) becomes part of the whole. They know a lot about you, because you give it to them, everyday. As one of my Facebook status updates read this week, "all your Face are belong to us".

Thank you Hank Grebe and for such a great image.

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