Archives For FriendFeed

Lost Message

October 28, 2008

Alex Scoble today proved my point in raising the issue of civility on FriendFeed.

For the record, I didn’t say Alex was stupid, I said his hate the rich meme was (and scary, weird and far to the left…which it is), other than that he’s been a great member of FriendFeed and I’ve enjoyed following him. That he can’t separate a disagreement on one topic says far more about him than it does about me. Honestly though, it does make me sad: to this point, I actually thought pretty highly of him, even if we do disagree on taxation policy.

FriendFeed and Politics

October 27, 2008


That’s not just the logo color of FriendFeed, it’s also the political slant.

Blue though in the US sense, not the rest of the world, where blue is actually the conservative color.

Mark Rizzn Hopkins announced Friday that he’d had enough and was quitting FriendFeed. The reaction was mostly negative.

I don’t agree with the criticism. If I was Mark, I would have quit sooner.

Mark did make one mistake though: the reason he gave in his post wasn’t a good one. The Obama birth certificate story was being pushed by an anti-semitic loon that a good number of hard right-wing sites had disowned. It had also been disproved many, many times. But hey, sometimes we call it wrong, and not everyone knows all the facts leading up to it. Hell, could have been me making the wrong call there. The Obama birth certificate story polluted Mark’s general issue, which is a shame, so lets ignore it.

Politics on FriendFeed has gotten nasty at times, and even stupid. Most of the nasty stuff did start on the right, at least among the threads I followed or posted. I even blocked a few people along the way. But finger pointing in one direction isn’t fair when it should go in both directions, because some of those preaching intolerance can be intolerant themselves.

Then there’s this really weird…or should I say stupid hate the rich meme that’s come up of late, driven in part by Alex Scoble. If you ever wanted to prove that Obama supporters are socialists, read Alex’s stuff. Dumb stuff, like the rich are only rich because they already have money, and should be taxed so they are equal, or people shouldn’t be allowed to make interest on money because that’s not a productive use of money.

Scary stuff, and far to the left.

I shouldn’t generalize because most people are reasonable, it’s just sometimes they get caught up in a myopia of thought that they can’t see the middle line.

Here’s a great endorsement for Obama today from Middle line, explains the weaknesses but argues why on the balance he’s the better candidate. Similar message we’ve heard from some on the right who have endorsed him as well. These are arguments I can relate to, and many people in the middle will as well.

The thing is, it’s wrong that Mark felt the need to quit FriendFeed; not wrong that he did it, but wrong that people couldn’t be more accommodating of his point of view and he felt his only recourse was to quit.

I don’t agree with Mark on everything, but we agree on far more than we disagree. I nearly unsubscribed from his Google Reader shares last week because he shares and reads the same stuff I do. I know for example that his leanings are Libertarian (like mine), but he’s a little clouded by the socialist rhetoric pointed at Obama. If I was 10 years younger I know I would have made the same calls Mark does.

Don’t lynch Mark for his decision. Consider it an opportunity to improve your discourse and respect towards others. Yes, some on the hard right go over board, but you will always be better placed taking the high moral ground of civility in response. And remember, the truth is sometimes in the middle.

Darren Rowse at Problogger has a great post up today where he asked “10 Prolific Bloggers” to share advice on how they make their blogs more conversational, although the question sent via email read “How do you foster conversation on your blog?”

9 out 10 bloggers talked about tricks in posts, such as being controversial, asking questions at the end of posts, and engaging with readers in the comments.

1 blogger wrote about Disqus and FriendFeed, and the need to make commenting as easy as possible, and facilitating conversations where people want to have them.

If you guessed I was the odd one out, you’d be right 🙂

I don’t disagree with the other 9, and there’s some really good advice there for new and even experience bloggers, but I presumed most of what they say is a given. To my way of thinking, if you write good content, the comments will follow. But if you make commenting easier, and you facilitate it on sites such as FriendFeed (and you can import those comments in + allow users to post directly to FriendFeed from your site so it’s a WIN/ WIN), you increase the odds that people will comment and participate, and with both, you increase the chances that comments turn into long and interesting conversations.

Or maybe I’m just wired differently 🙂

I haven’t used since I wrote this post in June noting that were not joining the industry wide National Day of Silence. I still think, as a CBS owned company, they are not community players and really not worthy of being lauded by many in the space.

However, everyone has kept using them. A bit like Twitter I guess. You know they suck but they offer the best package…well in Twitter’s case until perhaps recently.

So I’m back on and I feel like I need a shower to clean off the dirt. Ultimately I hate missing out on things and Pandora’s still georetarded so it is. Not for the on-demand stuff (Grooveshark + Seeqpod does a better job of that) but for the customized radio side. That, and is supported in FriendFeed 🙂

Re: this, Rage against the machine 🙂

On a more serious note, simple rules: Twitter for Breaking, Goog Reader for reading, use aggregators like Techmeme and others to pick up the stuff you miss.?Ǭ† Now if only I could sort email….but shhhhh, we wont mention that dirty word today.