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Friendster boredom

May 30, 2003

In reply to my little “Friendster rant”:http://www.nonliteral.com/archives/2003/05/30/wheres_the_love_baby.html of yesterday, “Marc”:http://blogs.it/0100198/ (who I wish I could figure out how to trackback) asks the question:

“Hey Chuck – whatever.  What sort of social scene do you think you WOULD participate in?  Gaming?  Intellectual discourse?  Community activities?  Church Sports?  Where does cyberspace meet meatspace in your universe?”

Any… All… That isn’t the problem, not so much anyway. 

After I signed up for Friendster, going through my address book to send invitations, I pretty much divided everyone up into friends who I thought might respond, friends who were very unlikely to, and business associates who probably wouldn’t appreciate it (or would consider it spam). 

I sent invites to the first group, got four signups, and apparently they’ve either not pursued it, or haven’t had any luck getting invitees of their own. 

So where does that leave you?  You can’t go out exploring the rest of Friendster to see if people you do know that you might not have thought of have signed up, and you can’t go out searching people outside your network on common interests.  Or at least I haven’t figured out how to do either of those things.  So for me that pretty much leaves things at a dead end.

What I’d kind of hoped for was perhaps a generic tool for building and searching communities of interest—perhaps like a dating site, where everyone puts themselves and their interest on display and can field messages from folks with similar interests, but without (necessarily) the dating aspect.  (Not that I’d pass up a date 🙂

So far, I haven’t found anything like that…

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Doing me a favor…

May 30, 2003

<ring!>

<ring!>

_Hello?_

Hi!  I’m with Blah-Blah Roofing, and we’re going to be in your area…

_Did you say “Blah-Blah Roofing?”_

Yes.  And due to the recent storms, we’re going to be in your area…

_What’s the phone number there at Blah Blah?_

XXX-XXX-XXXX… As I was saying, we’re going to be in your area and we’d like to come out and…

_You do realize you’re calling a number on the Texas No-Call list, correct?_

I don’t understand.

_I paid a couple of bucks to the State of Texas so I don’t get calls like this. Me and Blah Blah, we don’t have an existing business relationship, so you can’t call._

Oh, we’re not trying to _sell_ anything—we want to give you a free roofing insp…

_It applies to gathering information that will or may be used for later sales, also.  If you’re going to be making a lot of calls today, you might want to get that straight—it could be just a bit expensive for you._

Listen, we’re trying to do you a favor here…

_Tell you what.  I’m just finishing filling out the online complaint form—would you like to give me your name so I can put it in here?_

_That way, when they come out to fine you for the violation, they can make sure to talk to you personally and you can explain why they’re wrong._

<click>

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Bound to joy

May 30, 2003

“The Yeti”:http://www.greeblie.com/theyeti/ (on his new site, and with a much more readable font!), in his own inimitable way, opines that “one major problem with relationships”:http://www.greeblie.com/theyeti/arch/011239.html today is that many women are caught in a dichotomy of wanting “chivalry” and yet wanting to resent it if they get it.

I think he’s got a serious point, at least as regards many women.  Of course, the gate swings both ways—a lot of men are just as confused and resentful over this whole mess. 

Trying to “make someone happy” is just as futile and frustrating as “waiting to be made happy”.  Both spring from a concept of trying to find something externally that only happens internally.

Reminds me of the story about the guy one night who came upon a drunk on his hands and knees under a streetlight, looking around frantically…

“What are you looking for?”

“I dropped my contact lens”

(much mutual futile searching ensues)

“Okay, let’s try this differently – where _exactly_ did you drop it?”

“About a half a block that way.”

“So why are you looking here?”

“The light’s better here.”

—-

He who Binds Himself to a Joy

Does the winged life destroy

He who kisses the joy as it flies

Lives in Eternity’s sunrise


— _William Blake_

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Celery + Gravity = Art

May 30, 2003

Getting an early start on Friday, here’s “a study of the effects of celery on loose elastic”:http://www.lileks.com/institute/frahm/art1.html—an in-depth look at 50’s pinup artist “Art Frahm’s”:http://www.lileks.com/institute/frahm/indexmain.html propensity for drawing cuties with bags of celery whose panties just happened to lose their fight against gravity at a most inoportune time.

Reasonably safe for work; less than one could see on a network television commercial, but still a weirdly entertaining look at the product of a guy with a veggie fetish and a talent for sketching…

Gotta love the Internet…

(via “ErosBlog”:http://www.erosblog.com/ which typically _isn’t_ safe for work)

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Where’s the love, baby?

May 29, 2003

In “Introducing Chaos to Social Software”:http://www.docuverse.com/blog/donpark/2003/05/26.html#a530 a request for a LinkedIn connection from a stranger prompts Don Park to speculate about how “social networks” like LinkedIn would benefit from ways to make new connections “lazily”. 

These systems seem like great ideas, but like Don, I’ve found that it takes a degree of effort I’m not likely to make to really benefit from them.  I signed up for “Friendster” awhile back, and after a half-hearted cruise through my address book, managed to get four people to sign up in my network.  I guess they’re not any more gregarious than I am, since they haven’t signed anyone else up.  Since browbeating people I’ve already sent invitations to feels a little bit too much like trying to peddle mlm distributorships, my “social networking” efforts are pretty much at a standstill.

So, until folks like Don, and aggressive networkers like “Marc Canter”:http://blogs.it/0100198/ (on whose site I found the link to Don’s article) work out some sort of automagic system to drag the rest of us introverts into the social network revolution, the best idea I can come up with is to park an invitation here. 

If you’re another person who’s not had much luck (or not tried) these things – or anyone else, here’s an “Open Invitation”:http://www.friendster.com/join.jsp?invite=118623 to link to me at Friendster.  Who knows, maybe we’ll actually form a huge tightly knit community of introverts… (what’s wrong with _that_ picture?)

It’s free, it’s hygenic, and it takes about ten minutes of your time. 

What do you have to lose?

Miscellaneous Updateture…

May 29, 2003

This is just a general “state of the blog” note—I’ve made lots of changes visible recently; please feel free to leave comments on this post if you have thoughts regarding any of them…

Look and feel is somewhat improved with the addition of the “Smartypants”:http://mt-plugins.org/archives/entry/smartypants.php “DoubleSpace”:http://mt-plugins.org/archives/entry/doublespace.php and “Textile 2.0 (beta)”:http://www.bradchoate.com/past/001602.php plugins for MovableType. These are responsible for curly quotes, giving me back my whitespace between sentences (what can I say; I’m old school), and adding some nifty simplified markup to posts, respectively.  The body font was changed because “comic sans” looked goofy with smart quotes. 

The “related posts” feature on individual entry pages, which sometimes gives some odd results, has been joined by a “related posts from WayPath”:http://www.waypath.com/mt/archives/000014.html feature which also sometimes gives some odd results, just odd results from elsewhere.  Sometimes they’re insightful, other times they’re just amusing, but they always tend to be interesting.

Basic integration of “Gallery”:http://gallery.menalto.com/index.php into the site to serve as an “image gallery”:http://www.nonliteral.com/gallery is complete; now I’ve got to add some more pictures.  At least it brightens up the pages a little.

Last but not least, this is a test post being made from the new “SharpMT 1.1 beta 2”:http://www.randyrants.com/archives/000253.asp posting tool for MovableType… It seems to support all of the extended MovableType fields, but I can’t seem to find a spellcheck yet… It definately looks like it’s moving in the right direction, however.

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The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two

May 27, 2003

There are some core concepts about how minds work that are reasonably important, whether you’re developing an interface, writing, or just trying to work more effectively with yourself or others.

I first ran into The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two quite some time ago, and it’s influenced my approach to many things over time.  I just happened to run across the above link to an online version, so I figured I’d include it here.

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Now it’s bullet time…

May 27, 2003

A slow week in beer commercials, apparently—pre-summer doldrums?  The most entertaining this week is Heineken’s Matrix Reloaded tie-in, “The Waitress”.

As usual, you can see it, and the rest of the week’s notable commercials at AdAge.

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FastCGI & PHP on IIS

May 27, 2003

PHP Everywhere: Robust and High Performance PHP with IIS: Using FastCGI

“28 May 2003: In my latest benchmarks, it appears that FastCGI is faster than ISAPI also (from 10-100%).

FastCGI is highly recommended for heavily-loaded IIS web-sites running PHP.”

Ain’t that an understatement…

I recently had the experience of moving a big pipeful of traffic to a PostNuke implementation on IIS 5 / PHP 4.31. 

Fortunately, most of the traffic was during off-peak hours, as the server was getting flogged heavily with CGI starts (ISAPI PHP supposedly being not ready for prime-time yet). 

Moving to FastCGI, the same server handles the same traffic without a ripple.

Nifty.

Recommended.

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Worthy Import

May 27, 2003

Power in the Blood

Even though it’s been out for six months, the latest A3 (Alabama3 outside the US) album hasn’t made it’s way to US distribution yet.

Nevermind, it’s worth paying for the import…

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