Monday, February 16, 2009

Hold Tight, We're Shifting Our Schema Again.

Very disappointing: Facebook has, quietly and without notice, modified its Terms of Service. Now it claims legal ownership over everything its users upload to its service. I'm deleting my account there, fully aware that it has also stored everything I've uploaded to it, but I'm not contributing any more. The more I think about this, the angrier I get, but there's not much I can do about it except vote with my boots. I don't imagine there will be a mass migration away from FB, as it is an awfully convenient service for the computer-illiterate, and the alternatives (which are also free but protect your rights) are just too hard to learn.

What can you do.

What I can do is rejuvenate my own interest in this blog. I post in other locations as well (no longer on/through Facebook). My interest had waned in blogging in general just because I'm a little higher in profile, as it were, and can't freely discuss some of the things going on in my life because I could hurt friends' feelings or make my employer nervous, for example. I've started a pen-and-paper journal to mitigate this, because even if there isn't an audience I still need to give some small voice to the bile within me, but now that I'm channeling away all resources from Facebook I'll just have to be a little cleverer in what I write about publicly and can redirect that energy back to here.

I've also got a blog at Open.Salon.com--do a search for "sxoidmal" and you'll find me. I usually only wait to write something really brilliant there, however, and have recently been advised that my really brilliant stuff should instead be submitted for publication (and pay) to real magazines or print literature, so... who knows what I'll do on Open Salon. Still, it's fun.

Well, what sucks about this Facebook debacle is that there's been a recent wave of old friends and acquaintances finding me and getting in touch. I've tried to set up beacons all over the Web for people to find me, but one has to be a bit Web-savvy to begin to hit upon those, I suppose. I keep a MySpace page up so people can find me, too, but that has been considerably less successful. I'm loathe to keep an account there since Murdoch bought the stupid thing out, but it's free.

It seems that the more convenient something is, the more you compromise your freedom to use it. There's got to be a more eloquent, all-encompassing way to phrase that, because now I'm thinking about those horrid "fruit flavored drinks" that come in plastic gallon bottles, are bereaved of any nutritional content, and are cheaper than water. It's so much easier to get a bag of Doritos and a bottle of Pepsi than to plan a balanced meal, but look what happens to you if you live on Doritos and Pepsi. It makes one wonder whether the hard way to do things isn't the better way all around.

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