Today's a funny kind of a day a day cos I woke up with a bit of an idea for this blog entry which I can assure you doesn't happen every day of the week.
Social Networking sites.
I think most of you know a bit about them and maybe you have accounts too but what do you think about them as places? Do you feel they offer you anything different than otherwise is available?
I ask because I have been asked several times by no doubt well meaning people if I belonged to certain sites or if I'd join them with those individuals as part of some group or other.
Now my experiences of sites my well be different than yours but I got burnt out by some forums by the internal politicking and also by the way some of those people carried over their squabbles from a Forum to these Social Networks even to the point of stalking them.
Call me naive perhaps but I thought the idea of a social network site was to have fun with your friends, share interests and maybe play a game together rather than returning to the school playground with the bullies.
I briefly joined one site together with my best online buddy and it was at the time quite an interesting place in that people wrote about their experiences, loves and likes in the idea that by doing this people could use this to help guide them though their own decisions. At the time a lot of deep friendships were made but then we noticed several disturbing developments.
One of the first was there seemed to be a ever increasing number of people joining up with strong sexual interests who wouldn't stop hitting on you with lewd suggestions and posting avatars with sexually graphic images.
We also noticed some seemed to wanted to base their own lives entirely around your thoughts and life which was in someways ways worse than have a copycat sister or brother even calling you a 'Guru'.
These were followed in short order by those of extreme political and religious points of view starting scraps and beating the c*** out of each other.
Then they decided to go 'mainstream' advertising in the mass media which brought in more 'odd balls'.
Most worrying was the toleration of overt paedophile groups that supported sex with children writing pieces supporting the same. As a person who worked in child protection for a period it made me sick to stomach seeing that stuff and no amount of reporting to the moderators ever really got rid of it. And for good measure at the same time they allowed children to sign up! Ouch!!!
This site was hosted and registered in the States which has very strict guidelines about sites that allow minors. Needless to say we left.
My Buddy tried Facebook but got fed up with people who couldn't handle status reports with more depth than "Bought a new handbag and going partying tonite . Whoo-woo" and unwanted male attention. Around this time she asked me to join I said what's it all about there and it was obvious she wasn't getting much from the social aspect with all it's shallowness from hundreds of so called friends. She kept the account their for the games but that wasn't much use for me cos because of my disability I can't use joysticks or mice for long which you need for gaming. Not being able to game hacks me off big time so don't even start me!
Also I was aware some folk from one Forum were regularly patrolling the place looking for folk to pick a fight with or gain friend status and then publish personal details elsewhere in their attempts to carry on Forum squabbles and unfortunately they had several issues with me even if I had none with them personally.
My Space was very similar.
We did join Tinier Me a gaming site primarily as it least it knew what it's focus was and anyway my Buddy loved dressing my character up as a Maid!
I recently joined Last FM because like Tinier Me it knows what it is - it's a music sharing site - where you share play lists, access virtual radio stations, can send friends tracks to listen to and generally widen you music tastes.
There's no silly scraps continuing on from elsewhere or unwanted attention so I enjoy getting a buzz sharing something I'm passionate about.
It might be me I don't know but when you belong to forums around specific interests like say Anime that offer PM and email links, follow the blogs of friends, can have accounts at games sites what am I missing?
You comments as ever are appreciated.