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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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i demand intuitive thinking
children of dune - leto 1
Gakked from sockkpuppett here, because for some reason it really hit me today while reading.

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others" -- Martha Graham

There is no law of conservation for creativity. It's not a use it or lose it kind of deal; don't use it and it's still waiting. So you know, do something with it.

Facebook Things

[personal profile] rivkat is talking here (briefly) about Facebook and the latest thing there on the brand new totally different filters and groups thing they introduced. And intuitive use.

At first, I was thinking it was because I was LJ/DW that Facebook was so weirdly counterintuitive and wrong for me; then a few months ago, I helped a former friend do his privacy settings (as at the time, I had been reading on nothing but privacy settings) and while he wasn't LJ/DW, or like, social networky much at all, he was a geek and a programmer and I was thrown a little by the fact that a guy who enjoys linux command line was thrown that much by the settings.

Contrast: my sisters came from MySpace to Facebook and had few transition issues. My mother was non-networky until Facebook and finds the entire thing a bastion of Spock's wisdom (disclosure: she paralled with GuildWars, but I'm almost sure Facebook came first). My son took to it like a duck to water, but let's be fair here, he's a fangirl geek's kid, so I have to measure him by other fangirl geek kids, and he's in the right age group to have friends doing it and so he must, too. He also was a user of online kids' MMORPGs and evony, so it's not like the brat was tabula rasa here.

While I get the first social networking site you use is often the one you bond with and becomes the measure by which all must be compared and everything, there's also Mr. Nearly Tabula Rasa Programmer up there who reacted to it just like I did even though he's not LJ/DW and that throws my curve. I'm not talking about those who are now comfortable with it after using Facebook for a bit, but that initial get to know you period--did it click and you got it, even if you didn't know it yet, or did you stare at it in horror and just fail to comprehend what the fresh hell was this?

With the exception of Scrapbook--which is an argument that no one should try to design things while high since I'm still way better at using it when I'm dosed with enough Vicodin to see energy trails and I am not saying brad was high, I'm just saying did no one check his pupils?--LJ and especially DW are very intuitive for me (DW even more so, but DW is a unique social networking site and I'm not sure fits on this curve at all due to both its history and its owners).

Thing is, usenet was intuitive, and so were mailing lists and interestingly enough, I went to read a post I did years ago on the transition to LJ from mailing lists through the lens of SV fandom and I'm kind of surprised to realize that all the differences are a lot more superficial in terms of how we structure interaction than I thought then. Not in like, structure, no, but in--I don't know if the word I'm looking for here is organization, but in how I think.

I'm kind of wondering, randomly, if someone from the blogosphere hitting Facebook and someone from the chans hitting Facebook to start an account the same day would have a similar reaction to it, because of their online social history. Okay, acafen, could someone thesis this already? Please? Because yes, my sampling size is small, but it's diverse enough that there has to be something I'm missing on why Facebook feels like a structureless hell of inanity before I actually have to look at my feed with a sense of growing horror.

Final Note

[personal profile] durandal sat up with me and kindly walked me through the first stages of installation of Ubuntu Server. Which means when I get home, welcome to command line hell. Where is my cheat sheet anyway? More adventures in what the hell will come later. Possibly with crying. When [personal profile] durandal won't see it.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/51052.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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You know what I wonder all the time is whether the people who picked Blackboard as the optimal web-schooling platform were A) high or B) on Facebook already.

My loathing for blackboard will known no bounds. That site is a worthless rotting carcass and using it is like choking of the fumes rising from its decay as I am forced to carry it on my back, crawling across a desert of broken glass.

I got on facebook... five years ago now oh my god. At the time, it was sleek and low on features, and it clicked for me really quickly. Now I barely can keep up with the sneaky fucking updates they fling at me. They've changed the filters? See, I didn't know this. I should just delete facebook and marry Twitter.

Twitter, I also got immediately. There's not much ABOUT Twitter to get, which is the nice part.

To throw another variable to muck up your stats: I notice that intent also makes a difference between who gets it and who doesn’t. On LJ, I notice that people who care very much about privacy tend to put more time into understanding how the privacy features work than people who arrive here and just want to get their squee on. “Filters? Comment screening? Adult content setting?” These features can seem daunting for this group of users to think about.

I am figuring out that on LJ, we would say “filter,” whereas on FB, we would say, “list.” And I guess then “comms” and “groups” would be the closest analogies.

Both do make sense to me but then I’ve always been a bit of a social butterfly in that in high school, I was the girl who spent every day with a different clique. I spend a lot of time thinking about where a group of people have been to try to get a sense of what they want in the present and future.

Once I got that LJ was where people wanted to participate under pseudonyms, every positive/negative reaction to interface changes made sense. (Though, I still like to play devil’s advocate.) Ditto once I realized that FB is where people want to present themselves, full name and all, but without getting stalked. (And MySpace was the place for people to be themselves until they realized they didn’t want to do that so openly and went to CraigsList to do so anonymously. )

(Deleted comment)
For context: I'm a silicon valley geek with a degree in computer science.

That said, I didn't find the facebook privacy settings page confusing. If your geek friend knows his way around virtual machines, it's certainly no more confusing than VM settings.

What I found incredibly obtuse was facebook *privacy.* Even after I'd set all my settings, when confronted with the actual UI, I felt frozen with paranoia that I really didn't know what was the visibility of anything I was seeing or doing - either for my own post, or someone else's post (say, if I were going to comment). Eventually I learned to use facebook filters (which are really just like LJ filters, except FB annoyingly makes you work a lot harder to attach them to a post). However, according to Facebook, <5% of their users ever used them. I wonder how many LJ users actually use LJ filters and how much we're the minority power users?

In this respect, I think this week's change is a big improvement, because of one change that's not getting a lot of notice: now, when I go to post an update, it clearly says "Share X with" and then a drop-down menu with a list of choices (friends, friends of friends, everyone, and importantly, all my groups). I still wish it showed the visibility of my friends' posts, but I'm a lot happier with how much easier it's gotten to specify (and be sure of) who's going to see a post I make.

I'm not sure I buy Rivka's skepticism about other people adding her to groups. That seems like kneejerk facebook paranoia to me. The only people who can add her are her friends - and it's not like her LJ friends can't add her to their LJ filters. The difference here is that she can decide to use those groups as filters too, if she wants - which might be the only thing that gives a prayer of pushing usage up beyond 5%. (I also read somewhere that if you leave a group, the friend that added you loses the ability to add you to other groups).

Oh, I was also going to say, this makes for another confounding factor. If you don't care much about privacy, facebook's interface pretty much hides it from you, making it perhaps an "easier" learning curve than an interface that makes you think about it. Whereas if you *do* care about privacy, facebook's invisibility is the confounding part.

So, is it possible that the difference in your samples is how much they care about protecting their privacy, rather than background or technical ability?

Yes, but to me, background is an inherent part of that personal policy on privacy. IE Mr. Tabula Rasa wasn't LJ/DW, but he was WoW and online (potentially, he might have been at the chans, but personalitywise it would be for mocking them), so his internet culture was mixed--his guild and those on his LAN may know his identity (local) but not all of the universe of WoW. Whereas my mother and sisters, who weren't into it until later, entered through the MySpace/Facebook custom, which has no, or very little, emphasis on either personal privacy or a strong tradition of hiding it beneath pseudonym.

So yeah, for some of the settings, the privacy issue is huge, but the way they structure everything, to me, is a problem, because just looking at teh interaction of feeds, comments, walls, and games is a Venn Diagram. I understand it because I learned it (I hae to review myself every few months) but it doesn't, to me, make sense in terms of the logical build of infrastructure for a site. To me, it's like a really bad case of organic planning--not that they didn't think ahead, but they didn't think ahead far enough when putting features together and grouping them.

I hate facebook...

I have one (it took my friends 2 years to talk me into it) but I hate it. I never know who can see what - if I post it on my wall, then everyone can see it, but if I comment back, how does anybody know? And where do I go to find comments? And why do my games keep dissapearing? There used to be links in the upper right hand corner, then the bottom right hand corner, and now they're on the upper left side... I can't find anything and I don't think the system is intuitive. Mostly, I scroll down posts on the page that comes up when I first login and play Bejweled on facebook, when I bother to login.

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