Social Media

Dec 09

You don’t always have to share

The past few weeks on Twitter and Facebook, I’ve been privy to the rejection of my friends. They post things like “Coworker had a party. Invited everyone in my department, but me.” How are they finding out about these affairs? Through social networking.

One year, a coworkers hosted a holiday party at a local restaurant. She only invited the administrative people in the office. I was an administrative person in the office, but I worked for the district. I was not invited. That did not stop her from sending out the email to her ‘admins’ list which I was on. At the bottom of the email it said not to tell me because I wasn’t a branch worker. It also said not to mention it to her bosses. Unfortunately, the way the email system was set up, the team and branch managers were automatically cc’d on emails sent from her. She had no idea.

While I was not hurt at being sidelined for this event since I didn’t like that coworker anyway, her team manager was pissed. She then spent the next 3 weeks making all the admins miserable because she was excluded.

It’s great that these services have made it easier to keep in touch, to let friends know what’s going on, but for whatever reason people forget to filter. Maybe they forget that they’ve “friended” coworkers on these sites or perhaps they just have no idea that a coworker is following them on Twitter.  All the same, when there’s a private event happening, I’ve never understood the need to share that information.

Even before the advent of social networking it was just awful not only to see friends feel down because they weren’t invited to things, but to hear of social events from friends that I was not invited to. What’s the point of sharing that? Or rather, why say, “We had so much fun at David’s house last night.” as opposed to saying, “Oh, we had dinner with friends.”

My husband and I know this group of people who have been friends with each other for a long time. They take trips to San Diego, Tahoe or Vegas together. They have never once invited us to go along. That doesn’t stop them from talking about it. And over the years, I wondered what was wrong with them they’d do that to someone. After awhile, I just stopped talking to them. To me, it was clear that we weren’t considered “real” friends.

During the holiday season & especially with so many people using Twitter and Facebook to update their statuses, it only makes sense that you don’t post, “Getting ready for dinner party @soandso’s house. I love my coworkers!” or “Last night’s party at @coworkers house was wonderful! Thanks for inviting us!” knowing full well that there were coworkers who were not in attendance or invited. After all, think of how you’d feel to learn you were excluded from an event.

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Aug 09

I’m not leaving the Internet just because FriendFeed will be gone

It’s clear that FriendFeed as it stands most likely will not continue in the long run. I mentioned to my husband last night that the general feeling of FriendFeed was akin to those last two weeks of high school as a senior.  Yes, that includes people who ignored or insulted you all of sudden expressing great sadness at the possibility of missing you. (I told y’all I am cynical)

Needless to say that while there is some sadness, there is also great relief. I won’t have to hide photos of scantily clad women, iPhone apps or LOLcats. But I’ll also miss out on varying viewpoints and experience of others. Conversations on topics I didn’t know I had interest in, introductions to cool things and websites. There are some people who are incredibly private and I know that I will not be allowed into their circle on other sites. I am the same to an extent. I keep sites like Facebook, Netflix and LinkedIn off my social media radar.  “Faboo Mama” allows me to be a little more open, yet still have parts of my life private. There was some overlap on FriendFeed that I didn’t always enjoy, but managed to ignore. [looks at husband who shared a little too much, IMO].

The point here, is that even though FriendFeed may disappear into the Wayback Machine, we are not. There will be another site. There are other sites.  Below is where you can find me if you are so inclined:

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Aug 09

My self-serving thoughts on Facebook acquiring FriendFeed

friendfeed-facebookI got back from swimming today, opened the laptop and a flood of ‘OH NOES!’ rained down on my feed. Facebook has acquired FriendFeed. In the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t rate, but as a FriendFeed user, it’s pretty big. Congratulations to the FriendFeed team.

FriendFeed is one of those sites that just does it right. I’m not 100% pleased with it, but it’s easy and straightforward to use. There’s no guessing at what does what. And it’s easy to manage your content. I use FriendFeed as a Twitter search. I use it as a micro-blog. I use it as a profile introduction. Most importantly, I use it for conversations. The conversations I have on FriendFeed would *never* happen on Facebook.

I do not make it a secret that I detest Facebook with a passion. It’s one of the clumsiest and stupidest user interfaces I have ever seen online. There’s no way to track your comments, there’s no rhyme or reason why this link leads to that page. Even privacy features to loaded under layers and layers of crap. And while Facebook has lifted many features from FriendFeed, they still did it wrong. It is my hope that the FriendFeed team unburdens the Facebook mess and brings innovation to the site.

What does this mean for my FriendFeed account? will continue to operate normally for the time being. We’re still figuring out our longer-term plans for the product with the Facebook team. As usual, we will communicate openly about our plans as they develop — keep an eye on the FriendFeed News group for updates.

What worries me is what happens to my content; my comments, my entries, the crossposting I’ve done to this blog and others. Where does that go besides Google cache? There is a reason I do not have Facebook imported onto my FriendFeed stream. There is a reason, I don’t post my FriendFeed content to Facebook.

I do not want it on Facebook. If I wanted it on Facebook, it would have been posted there in the first place.

May 09

Twitter just made FriendFeed more valuable for me

In a rather strange and silent move, the Twitter honchos decided to tell you how to use Twitter. They’ve turned off the ability for you to see @replies to people you’re not following. So say for instance @shayera says something and I reply to her. Well, my handful of followers also following @shayera will see my response, but say @kspidel will not. Why? Because Twitter decided that was confusing for him.

Up until today, we had the option to see no @replies, only see @replies to yourself or see all @replies from your friends.  The guys at Twitter thinks that made you all addlepated and shit:

We’ve updated the Notices section of Settings to better reflect how folks are using Twitter regarding replies. Based on usage patterns and feedback, we’ve learned most people want to see when someone they follow replies to another person they follow—it’s a good way to stay in the loop. However, receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to folks you don’t follow in your timeline is undesirable. Today’s update removes this undesirable and confusing option.

Confused? That’s understandable and exactly why we made the update.

Now, it’s one thing to remove a serviice without announcing it. It’s yet another to pull a service without soliciting any feedback from users, but when you post a half-assed vague blog entry like that, it just makes you look like an asshole.

Luckily, for me FriendFeed does show the @replies of your friends. So I’ve been seeing @shayera’s replies to people I don’t know. This is good because not only do I get to meet new people via her interaction with them, I just may even start following them. What’s more, I may even add them as friends on FriendFeed and see even more @replies.

UPDATE from Twitter on this mess.

Spotting new folks in tweets is an interesting way to check out new profiles and find new people to follow. Despite this update, you’ll still see mentions or references linking to people you don’t follow. For example, you’ll continue to see, “Ev meeting with @biz about work stuff” even if you don’t follow @biz. We’ll be introducing better ways to discover and follow interesting accounts as we release more features in this space.

In other words, you will still now know how your friends interact with someone else. You’ll see their name in an entry, but if your friend is directly talking to that person, you will not see it. Call me crazy, but a lot of cues on how we interact with each other are based on how our friends perceive someone. If  I can’t see how my friend deals with a person how will I know if I want to follow them or not? It’s one thing to go to someone’s Twitter page and read their stream, but it’s an entirely different response to see how someone you trust interacts with that person.

Twitter would do best to put back our settings, forget about more useless features unless they’re giving us threading and groups and let allow us to modify our Twitter streams as we see fit.

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Mar 09

April 8th National Start Walking Day in Los Angeles

Despite the fact that my post on Social Networkouts went largely ignored, I’ve decided to go ahead to something about it anyway. The American Heart Association is sponsoring National Start Walking Day on April 8th.  All they’re asking for is 30 minutes of walking from you that day.  Why 30 minutes?

Taking just 10 minutes three times a day to walk will help you live longer. In fact, studies show that just one hour of vigorous exercise will increase your life expectancy by two hours. It makes sense to walk more and eat well — to live longer. (AHA)

So we are going to meet at Echo Park at 6:30pm and walk the perimeter of the park.  That way even those who can’t make it until 7pm will still be able to get some walk time in with the group.  Runners are encouraged too.  Everyone who participates will get a sticker.

Where to go:

We will meet at the entrance to the park at the corner of Glendale Blvd. and Park Ave., just south of Sunset Ave. We will be walking the sidewalk around the park, so meet up with us at any point.
View Interactive Map on
Please click through as this shows you the start point for our meetup.

What to bring:

  • Comfortable walking/running shoes
  • Water or sports drink
  • Healthy snack
  • Towel
  • Happy attitude

I am open to any other suggestions you may have.  

Please RSVP at Upcoming so that I’ll be sure to have enough stickers.  Tell your friends & family and please share this post with anyone you know in LA.

Check back here as I post videos and other health tips leading up to the big day. ?See you at the park!

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Mar 09

Social Networkouts

Image representing Gyminee as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Meetups of users of various online communities have been happening for some time now. In just the past 6 years, I’ve met women from a birth club board for lunch playdates, have potluck dinners with people from political sites, teas with online friends from gardening forums and recently met up with FriendFeed users at local burger joint. But you see the problem; it’s all involving food. I’d say that 95% of the meetups I’ve had with people has been surrounding food. ?On one hand, good food and drink are great social lubricators. Beyond the topic discussed on these sites what other conversational ice breaker is there that doesn’t seem awkward and insincere. Recently, I’ve been wondering why there aren’t more meetups of an active sort among these groups.

When you get into the personal realm in these online communities, the topic of weight loss and food issues come up pretty frequently. People share recipes, discuss what they had for dinner or talk about their time at the gym. Yet, when we get together our first thought is what restaurant to meet at or is it a potluck. Why not do something different? Why not make a meetup where we all take a yoga class or just a simple hike in Griffith Park??

At LA Metblogs, Will Campbell organized a day long through LA. I wish I could have made it but either I was busy healing or just busy. This guy Mike organized a walk through LA to celebrate his 10 years as an Angeleno. It became an annual event and last year was the 3rd year of Great LA Walk. The same day as the FriendFeed meetup, the Los Angeles Flickr group organized a photowalk around Union Station. These are all great ways to get some activity in a meetup.?

Many would suggest that I search sites like Active or Gyminee to find people who’d be willing to do an activity. I’ve tried that, but since I’m not active in those communities it’s a bit hard. ?To make it more frustrating for me is that most people who put Los Angeles in their profiles live in OC, the Valley or the west side. ?There’s nothing really local for me here in Northeast Los Angeles. The few people I’ve found in Pasadena put up posts like, “Looking for a partner for quick 10 mile trail run at 5am.” Yeah…10 mile, trail, and 5am effectively exclude me. ?

My logic in wanting to do a meetup around a physical activity has a lot to do with support. Sure, I could find a group to run with on Gyminee, but they don’t “know” me & I don’t know them. I’m sure they’ll be supportive of my efforts, but will they get my sense of humor? What if they all want to talk politics or tech while running? Whereas say I organize a Twitter/FriendFeed meetup, we all know each other from there and the activity will be more focused on fun versus getting mileage in.

Tell me. Am I off-base here or is anyone else interesting in doing something like this? Even if it’s a simple as a hike through Griffith Park ending in a picnic (more food!), that’s still more active than a group of us sitting around chatting…you know, like we do on our computers anyway.

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Dec 08

Windows Live is doing it wrong

Last week, Microsoft opened up Windows Live, their answer to “social media”.  Right off the bat, you can see why it’s a massive fail. Once you remember your Hotmail account from the mid-90s, use your Xbox or Zune login, you can see how the UI is very user-unfriendly.  Importing feeds from other services is the only thing that’s quick and easy.  However, if you want to add friends, you’re stuck with contacting them via Hotmail accounts that have long been deactivated or given over to spam.  You can also add people via LinkedIn or Facebook, but that’s only provided those resources work.  When I tested them last week, neither of them would invite contacts.  This is fine with me as I don’t want my contacts from either site on this one.

Windows Live Home

Windows Live Home

This is your Home page.  From here you can see what your friends are doing.  What you can not do is actually interact with your friends on this page. So say I wanted to comment on Thomas’ photo, I can either click the Flickr link, hunt for the photo and make a comment or I can go to Thomas’s page, make a comment there and hopes he sees it.

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Nov 08

Musings on last night’s election

the 44th President of the United States...Bara...

Image by jmtimages via Flickr

am not going to try to write a long intellectual entry on what happened last night. I can only post snapshots on we witnessed.  My feelings are still too raw.  I woke up this morning, like in 2000 and 2004, with a knot in my stomach; expecting a different outcome.  I rushed to grab my morning paper to make sure it was all real.  That today wasn’t Election Day and I just dreamt that Sen. Obama had won over 330 Electoral Votes.

It was real.

It did happen.

Senator Barack Obama is our President-Elect.

My 5 year old, who has been an Obama fan since last Spring, kept asking me this morning, “Did Obama really win?”  Through tears, I said “Yes. Yes he did.”


I spoke to some of my older family members last night.  The constant refrain was, “That young man did it.  He ran a great campaign and didn’t let anyone tear him down.  I never thought I’d live to see this day.” They reminisced on growing up in segregated towns in the South and Midwest.  One 92 year old cousin, in Arkansas wept as he talked about he had to keep his head down, just so he would stay out of trouble, “Today, I hold my head high, like Obama did throughout his campaign.”  I cried.


Sen. McCain’s concession speech, was the most classy concession speech I think I’ve ever witnessed.  Even though from July on he ran the exact same campaign Sen. Clinton did, his concession speech was exactly the one she should have given in June.


The first black President won this election without the Self-Appointed Godfathers of Blackness.  We didn’t have to see Rev. Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton pontificating on our TVs last night for the first time in my lifetime. Rev. Jackson was shown, tears streaming down his face, as he stood with thousands in Grant Park.


Scholars will study the Obama campaign forever.  Not just political scholars, but in business classes, PR majors, technological studies.  Every tool out there was used, even abused if my text messages and emails are any indication. The branding was simple and consistent, from slogan to font, to color.  The business acumen of where and how to raise and spend money, would make many major corporations jealous.


Social media came into its own this election cycle. Twitter broke most stories before even blogs had a chance to write up something.  This election cycle belonged to black bloggers.  It seemed that they alone were taking advantage of social media tools, not just to announce new posts, but to organize GOTV and appearnces.  It was a simple way for them to stay in contact with their readers outside the blog and get more on-the-ground reporting from around the country.


I still haven’t received my shirts from the Obama-Biden campaign. I’m sad.


The ground campaign of Obama’s was probably the best of any campaign ever.  Speaking to friends who worked for the campaign and speaking to people who volunteered from the campaign, they all said the same thing, “This is the first election where people from DC who had never stepped foot in my town, didn’t come in to tell us how it is. They gave us ownership and listened.”


A few weeks ago, Republicans started whining about how Democrats shouldn’t have a majority because that would be dangerous for the country.  All of a sudden they despise the idea of one party controll the Administrative and Legislative branches of government.  I’m still trying to find where they were so distraught about this in 2000 and 2004.  It’s a disengenious arguement and insulting to my intelligence.  Republicans need not fear. Democrats do not govern to abuse power.  A Democratic majority will have it’s hands full rolling back and repairing the damage of the last 8 years.


Best quote of the night, after the election was called for Sen. Obama: “Meanwhile, in D.C., two guys named George and Dick have placed the single largest order for industrial strength paper shredders that Office Depot has ever had to fulfill.”


When I had heard that Fox News (!) had called Ohio for Sen. Obama, I thought I was going to faint.  When I saw that he had also won Florida, I had to sit down.  Thank you to both states.


I can only hope that we never have to hear or see the hatefulness that is Gov. Sarah Palin.


And finally, we’ll never learn what Republican voters liked about Sen. McCain.  It’s a testament to spin, that when asked the most intelligent offering was the tired, “Obama’s a socialist/radical/communist/Muslim”.  That never explained McCain’s appeal.

Sep 08

Sarah Palin’s national debut

Considering that all the speeches we saw tonight were disjointed messes, it was only natural that Palin’s speech would follow the trend.

Considering that all the speeches we saw tonight were chock full of blatant lies the records of the candidates, it was only natural that Palin’s speech would follow the trend.

Considering that Palin was a virtual unknown 5 days ago, the speech she needed to give to win over America, was not given tonight.  Instead, we got a red meat speech geared toward corporate and the fringe “religious” right.  In other words, tonight was another wasted night at the Republican National Convention.  Palin needed to introduce herself to America and assauge our fears that she was a credible pick for the VP slot.  Unfortunately, she turned herself into that friend you bring to a party who proceeds to insult everyone else at the party and their mamas.

While this made for great political theater in the Xcel Center and on TV, the reality is that instead of looking tough, she came off catty and shallow.  That’s very unfortunate and as a female, it was offensive and embarrassing.  Palin’s speech tonight put a very public and demeaning face on female executives across the country.

For someone with no national experience she touted what little experience she does have as more than Obama or Biden.  The only problem is that McCain’s experience is similar to Biden’s only less.  How do you walk that back?  How does the GOP, logically, say “Well, she has more experience than the Democrats, but not enough experience to be President.”?  How do you convince me that a person who left a town of 6000 with a $22M deficit is responsible?  How do you convince America that she’s a “reformer” when she not only asked for, but kept the earmarks McCain deplores and she lied about denying?

I wish I could be happy that the RNC finally broke it’s own cathedral high glass ceiling by nominating a female for Vice President.  But like with Hillary Clinton, it’s the wrong woman for the job.  There are many female Republicans who are not only part of the mainstream, but are smart, efficient capable females who would appeal not just to the fringe “religious” base of the GOP,  but to a wider swath of the electorate; moderate Democrats and Republicans and many independents.

As I looked in on blogs, twitter and friendfeed during her speech, I heard the same refrain from most of the Republicans, “This woman is scary.”  They felt insulted that her speech mocking Obama also mocked them for their actions.  They felt insulted that instead of telling us what they would do without lies and fear, they just repeated the GOP actions of lies and fear.  They felt insulted that because they live in big cities, they seem no longer welcome in their own party.

I want to thank Gov. Palin.  Tonight’s speech could have been very good and impressive.  Clearly, that’s not what the GOP was going for and the speeches leading up to hers proved that.  But what her speech did do was not only convince a lot of Republicans and Independents that the GOP is no longer for them, but she also energized the Democratic base.