tobyaw: (Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 04:18pm on 02/11/2012 under , , , ,
I like paying for services that I use. I like being a customer who, hopefully, is valued by a company whose product I enjoy. That is a healthy, honest relationship.

I also like using free services. I truly appreciate people putting time and effort into developing free software, into making free-to-use web sites, and all other forms of volunteering. Their actions make this world a better place.

What I hate, however, is software, services, and media that is funded by advertising. There is an unpleasantness in a company seeing the users of its products as assets to be sold to advertisers. Where I am a user, but somebody else is the customer, there is inevitably going to be a conflict of interest. And if one follows the money, the conflict will always disadvantage those who aren’t paying.

I have been happy to pay for online services; with paid accounts on (amongst others) LiveJournal, Flickr, Github, Spotify, and more recently, App.net, I am happy to deal with companies that (to one extent or another) treat me as a customer.

I am much less happy with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Google — companies with desirable products, but that give me no opportunity to be a customer. These companies gather vast amounts of data on their users, and develop closed systems that fail to play fairly with others, because it benefits their real customers — advertisers.

Facebook gives us a convoluted privacy system that encourages over-sharing, and introduces user-hostile features like sponsored posts and Facebook email addresses. Twitter gives us sponsored tweets and buggers about with third-party client software. Google are just evil.

These companies should offer a premium product. They should accept a few pounds a month from users who want to turn off advertising, who want decent API support for client software, who never want to see sponsored content, and who want to be treated like a valued customer.

In the mean time, I’m happy to be a customer of LiveJournal (through all its ups and downs) — that is why I keep blogging here — and am happy to be trying out App.net for microblogging. I like app.net’s attitude, and their up-front desire to take money in return for providing a service.

https://alpha.app.net/tobyaw
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
LiveJournal released some new features this morning, which triggered an outpouring of reactionary unhappiness. The same sort of thing happens whenever Facebook adds new features, changes page designs, or tweaks its security model. I suppose many people react badly to change. Personally, I like the software I use to be in a state of constant development. New features must be tried: some will work, some won’t, but I’d prefer to be using a blogging platform that is trying to improve itself, rather than one that accepts a state of decay.

The crux of the objections seems to be that LJ users can choose to cross-post comments that they make to Twitter and/or Facebook. Since anything I write as an LJ post or comment is mine to do with as a wish, I see no problem with this. However, LJ’s implementation, which can reveal a link to and title of a locked post, could do with tweaking.

I’ve turned on the new cross-posting functionality to see whether it works any better than my existing solutions of twitterfeed (which worked reasonably reliably) and Facebook's Notes import (which often imported LJ posts days late). How appropriate, to try cross-posting with a post about people being cross about cross-posting.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
LiveJournal released some new features this morning, which triggered an outpouring of reactionary unhappiness. The same sort of thing happens whenever Facebook adds new features, changes page designs, or tweaks its security model. I suppose many people react badly to change. Personally, I like the software I use to be in a state of constant development. New features must be tried: some will work, some won’t, but I’d prefer to be using a blogging platform that is trying to improve itself, rather than one that accepts a state of decay.

The crux of the objections seems to be that LJ users can choose to cross-post comments that they make to Twitter and/or Facebook. Since anything I write as an LJ post or comment is mine to do with as a wish, I see no problem with this. However, LJ’s implementation, which can reveal a link to and title of a locked post, could do with tweaking.

I’ve turned on the new cross-posting functionality to see whether it works any better than my existing solutions of twitterfeed (which worked reasonably reliably) and Facebook's Notes import (which often imported LJ posts days late). How appropriate, to try cross-posting with a post about people being cross about cross-posting.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:47pm on 10/06/2010 under , ,

I started playing Farmville on Facebook last October, when Kate told me that she needed another “neighbour”. I soon became obsessessed with gaining XP. It sustained my interest for a surprisingly long time, but in early May I gave up. Kate, on the other hand, was keen for me to carry on, particularly as an extra neighbour is good for completing cooperatives.

So for the past few weeks K has been playing Farmville with both my account and her own account. And I also appear to be playing Treasure Isle. My Facebook has a life of its own!

location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:47pm on 10/06/2010 under , ,

I started playing Farmville on Facebook last October, when Kate told me that she needed another “neighbour”. I soon became obsessessed with gaining XP. It sustained my interest for a surprisingly long time, but in early May I gave up. Kate, on the other hand, was keen for me to carry on, particularly as an extra neighbour is good for completing cooperatives.

So for the past few weeks K has been playing Farmville with both my account and her own account. And I also appear to be playing Treasure Isle. My Facebook has a life of its own!

location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 07:46pm on 02/05/2010 under , , , ,
I like my LJ posts to end up in Facebook, as a different group of my friends read there.

I’ve tried the LJ “Facebook Connect” cross-posting functionality, but that only works for posts made through LJ’s web interface (emailed posts or posts from client software don’t end up in Facebook).

I prefer to use Facebook’s note importing function; it will (or rather, should) import entries from an RSS or Atom feed. This has worked fine for me in the past, but appears not to work any more. When I add my LJ feed for importing, it pulls the latest entries into Facebook, but doesn’t then import any new posts I make in LJ. Does anyone else have any success with this?

And in a similar vein, are there any sane ways to get new LJ posts automatically twittered?
location: KY16 8JY
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 07:46pm on 02/05/2010 under , , , ,
I like my LJ posts to end up in Facebook, as a different group of my friends read there.

I’ve tried the LJ “Facebook Connect” cross-posting functionality, but that only works for posts made through LJ’s web interface (emailed posts or posts from client software don’t end up in Facebook).

I prefer to use Facebook’s note importing function; it will (or rather, should) import entries from an RSS or Atom feed. This has worked fine for me in the past, but appears not to work any more. When I add my LJ feed for importing, it pulls the latest entries into Facebook, but doesn’t then import any new posts I make in LJ. Does anyone else have any success with this?

And in a similar vein, are there any sane ways to get new LJ posts automatically twittered?
location: KY16 8JY
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 10:47pm on 12/11/2009 under , ,
I’ve been playing FarmVille on Facebook recently. I haven’t had much time for Facebook apps until now — primarily I’ve used Facebook for planning BBQs and social lunches — but Kate ‘needed’ another neighbour on FarmVille. So I got dragged in. Then I got competitive.

I suppose it gives me something to do while Kate watches Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.

I also picked up the Wiiware Contra Rebirth, which is amusingly hard in its retro way. I’m not dreadfully successful at it, though.

Kate, Andrew and Mary are off to Richard’s party in Wales for the weekend, so I’ll be having fun with Beth in their absence.
location: KY16 8JY

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