Tag Archives: facebook

I’m coming back to Facebook

Last year, I quit Facebook. No – not deactivated. A full on account deletion.

I quit it because I wasn’t using it, I didn’t like it, and I was fed up of a lot of aspects of it. I still don’t really see the point of it now, don’t have enough information to share to fill a constantly-expanding photo album, and I almost certainly won’t use it very much this time around either.

I didn’t like their embedded video system, it’s a pain to find people on it, the general search system is shite, it’s slow, it’s cumbersome, and it’s got loads of adverts on it. I didn’t like the way people copied me in on conversations I couldn’t care less about, then watched as every individual replied back to everyone. It was like a return to the shit old ‘reply all’ days of email, before people learnt how to use it properly. Continue reading I’m coming back to Facebook

Google+ vs Facebook

I guess it’s inevitable, that when people start to tell you that you’re “taking over” the Internet, that means ‘all’ or ‘nothing’. Google and Facebook both have a lot of regular users, so with the launch of Google+, this obviously has to be a “Facebook-killer”, or whatever, doesn’t it? ALL or NOTHING, world.

It’s completely stupid, some of the news reports that I’ve seen about this so far. So, given that Facebook and Google are apparently in direct competition, I suppose I had better write something about the two. Continue reading Google+ vs Facebook

Facebook dull. Twitter better.

So this morning, I received an email from Facebook telling me:

“You haven’t been back to Facebook recently. You have received notifications while you were gone.”

My first reply to this was “meh”.
This evening, I got home, and had another look at the email. Apparently I have “9 photo tags”.

Is that right? Does that mean I’ve been tagged in 9 photos? That seems pretty unlikely really.

What’s more odd is that clicking the link to see these 9 photo tags, takes me to this page.

Right. What’s that about then? No photo tags, just Facebook trying to get me to spam a load of my friends, surely? Classy.

I’m giving serious thought to completely deleting my Facebook account lately.
I rarely log in, because it is really boring.

If I wanted to keep in contact with people I went to school with, I’d have remained doing just that. And as for whether a friend of a friend likes the same films as me, I’m not that interested. Farmville schmarmville – I’ve got better games to play.

During a recent conversation with someone who hates a lot of modern technology, we discussed Twitter and Facebook. I described Twitter as an information sharing tool, and Facebook as a complete waste of time.

For me, Twitter is a way of sharing information in real-time.
Yes, there are people who are “having breakfast”, but not many. There’s a lot more “have you heard this interesting news? <link>” or “I’m watching a really cool animation at <link>” or pointing me in the direction of an interesting news story that has literally just broke. It’s constantly updating. An endless stream of instant news from around the world. It’s news one minute, it’s old news an hour later. But you can still dip in and out, because the really interesting video clips and news stories will spark debate and stick around.

Through hashtags, you can share the experience of a really interesting TV show. I can sit and watch Dragons Den, and if I wonder whether everyone thinks this idea is as stupid as I do, I can find out, via a quick search of #dragonsden, all in nearly real time.

Facebook is allegedly for keeping in touch with people you already know, but I think it’s just a big noise machine.

Remember Sarah? That hot girl at school you never really spoke to? Look – why not make her your “friend”, and go and look at all her photos.

Remember Dave? He’s got a better job than you, a bigger house than you, and he’s just spent 3 weeks having a better holiday than you’re going to have this year. Here’s 50 photos to prove it!

Remember Kerry? Well Kerry’s had 2 kids already – here’s a 150-picture slideshow of incredibly-similar pictures of them.

It’s like signing up to the Michael Buble newsletter. I might get to see exclusive galleries, and know what his favourite film is, but who the fuck cares? It’s just boring tedious photos and other information about someone boring that I don’t know, care about or like.

Yes I could do the sharing of information via Facebook, but there’s so many more adverts and other distracting shit I don’t need, and honing in on one live topic seems a lot harder.
If you’re with a group of friends and someone tells a funny joke, that’s all you need to pass on. Nobody needs to see 50 photos of how you got to the room where the joke took place, with all the individuals tagged and named.

The twitter version of someone coming back from holiday might be “Finally back in the UK. Greece hot, sunny, beautiful. Can’t recommend it enough. So what have I missed here?”

The Facebook equivalent involves a boring slideshow of 100 pictures, and having the same conversation over and over because each of them can only see one side of your wall chatter.

Several people have told me that Facebook helps keep them in touch, or organise social whatnots, but it’s a load of bullshit. There is nobody in the world who has so many good actual friends, that they literally never have time to see them in person, or call them on the phone.

The people in real life you don’t email, text or phone, are the people you can’t really be bothered keeping up with.

It’s certainly true of me.

Security and privacy online

There’s been a bit of talk recently about security and privacy.

A journalist from The Guardian stalked a girl via Foursquare, Facebook is never far from the headlines, and sites like
http://icanstalku.com have brought to light how much information you’re really giving away, while snapping photos and sharing them online.

But what if it’s too late for prevention?
What if you’ve been taking photos and sharing them online for ages, via services like Twitpic and Yfrog. What then, eh?
Presumably you can just select all your photos and delete them, no?

Well, no.
If you try and find a way to delete all your photos from Twitpic for example, you’ll likely come across this handy information.

That’s two options right there.

Neither of which actually deletes anything.

“Both of these methods are undo-able, which means that your account and photos will be restored if you login after deleting your account.”

Everything is just temporarily hidden from view.

So the only option, if you want to delete them is to do it from the main screen. ONE AT A TIME.

After every one, you get a handy popup message to ask if you’re absolutely sure, before the page very slowly refreshes, and you can attempt to delete another. Everything is geared to making sure you don’t just delete all of YOUR OWN photos.

Twitpic isn’t the only option though. Maybe Yfrog is better?
In a word, no.

In fact, Yfrog is odder still.
Bizarrely the frequently asked questions includes NO mention of how to delete your photos.

I call this bizarre, because if you go into the user forums, just look at this page:

The most popular question by a long way, is how to delete photos.

It isn’t immediately obvious how to delete multiple photos either (no way as far as I can find).

Someone asks in the yfrog forums how to remove their account, and the answer given is to open a support ticket.

They’ve made it as complicated as possible, for you to just remove your own photos.

Do you use Tweetdeck?
Unless you’ve changed the default picture uploader, you’ll be using TweetPhoto, when you upload a picture.

How to delete A (singular) photo?



Is there a way to bulk delete old photos?


“How do I delete my account?”
Well yeah…about that.
We didn’t really think anyone would want…errr…

Not only can you not just click to “delete my account”, but you’ve got to delete every photo individually.

The one saving grace I’ve found with all of this is that Twitter for iPhone (the client I (and lots of others) use at the moment, formerly known as Tweetie) has the option for custom api endpoints.

No, I didn’t know what they were either.

What this appears to mean, is that with a few plugins to WordPress, I can post photos from Twitter to my own webspace, host them myself, and have full control over them.
It isn’t immediately obvious how, but I found these instructions via Google at random, which seems to explain it.
All a bit more complicated than it should be, in my opinion.

I’m not a fan of Facebook, and we all know there are massive privacy flaws there, but services launched since (such as photo-sharing sites) are clearly no better.
Say what you like about Google, but at least I can go into Picasa and delete one/some/all of my OWN photos if I want to.

Update: I contacted Twitpic to check if I was missing an option, and see if there is any option for bulk deletions. I got this reply from them:

Still no change from my earlier opinion then.