Spam is part of the System – fakeyourspace and Twitter Jacking

Any social network eventually gets abused. Digg has people paying to have their articles dugg. From a deneyterrio link, you can now fakeyourspace. From his email:

Do you wish you had hot friends on
your myspace page? Do you wish these hot friends would comment on your myspace
page? What if I told you that you could have both and more.

You can pay this site to post
attractive pictures of “˜friends’ and they will comment what ever you tell them
to. A limited time offer of $.99/month. Sign up

Now if you excuse me I am going to
go kill myself because the circles of hell are opening

I had to leave that last part in there JayMac.

And of course you have Eric Jumping the Shark for Twitter too. Nice.

Presidential Candidate Web Sites Reviewed on Slashdot

Slashdot, the largest geek oriented site in the world, has a post comparing the presidential candidates web sites.

Reviewing the Presidential Campaign Websites

Yes slashdot (also shortened to /. ) is alpha geek focused. But it is a definite lead in to NYT and the Post. So it is worth the time if you are interested in politics.  One last note – if you are not used to the slashdot site, flaming is …er… somewhat normal behavior.

Online Disinhibition Effect … or FLAME THE #$(*&)@#!ERS

The NYT has a great article today on flaming. I still view the shirky article "Group as User: Flaming and the Design of Social Software" as the best explanation of online flaming, but the new article is perhaps easier to read. From the article:

Flame First, Think Later: New Clues to E-Mail Misbehavior

…flaming, or sending a message that is taken as offensive, embarrassing or downright rude.

The hallmark of the flame is precisely what Jett lamented: thoughts expressed while sitting alone at the keyboard would be put more diplomatically “” or go unmentioned “” face to face.

Flaming has a technical name, the “online disinhibition effect,“ which psychologists apply to the many ways people behave with less restraint in cyberspace.

(Ed: link added by me).

Gift Giving and Reciprocation – Facebook Gifts

Apophenia has an interesting write up on Facebook’s gifting features.

Gifts are part of status play. As such, there are critical elements
about gift giving that must be taken into consideration. For example,
it’s critical to know who gifted who first. You need to know this
because it showcases consideration. Look closely at comments on MySpace
and you’ll see that timing matters


People want gifts. And they want to give gifts. Comments (or messages
on the wall) are a form of gifting and every day, teens and
20-somethings log in hoping that someone left a loving comment. (And
all the older folks cling to their Crackberries with the same hope.)
It’s very depressing to log in and get no love.

If you know anyone on flickr, ask them how they feel about comments. Or on a Gather writing competition (maybe vote for this one <grin>). Win or not, you WANT comments and ratings. They are a gift.

I also recommend the book Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion for an interesting review of the "law of reciprocation". Definitely relates to gifting.

Myspace is getting serious about Videos

The latest myspace newsletter has a strong push for videos. As well as some featured videos like this one. Interesting…. I guess the speculation of how they would handle the youtube integration is being answered in that they think they can keep the videos on their site. From the newsletter.

MySpace Video

Add the new MySpace Video Slider to your profile for a scrolling display of all of your uploaded and favorite videos!


BarackObama – This Campaign is About You! – with the social networking component at – is the best political web site I have seen yet. No, it does not focus on the corporate donor. But it sure as heck does focus on individuals who want to get involved in his campaign.

I know very little about this candidate. I do know from a geek perspective that he just made a very bold move.

Race, Blogging and Issues Facing the Black Community Research Links

Natalie J of KCOH has me scheduled for an interview tomorrow. It should air tomorrow night. Interviews stress me out. Public speaking? No problem. Interviews you really are completely in the hands of the interviewer and as somewhat of a detailed person I like to be prepared. I have opinions and have no problem sharing them, but opinions with facts behind them are always better.

So, to get ready for the interview on the oldest black radio station in Texas(I am a white) I have been researching work I studied while a Political Science student at Texas A&M years ago. Think 1980s. It’s been almost 20 years. So I have no clue.

I do recall perhaps the most controversial book in one of our classes read was The Myth of Racist Criminal Justice System. Numerous tenured professors argued the exact opposite. This led me to look for some recent statistics on race and crime in the USA.

Continue reading “Race, Blogging and Issues Facing the Black Community Research Links”

Raymond Gayle Interview on Code Z

Raymond Gayle, who I know, has a great interview on Code Z about his movie Electric Purgatory. From the article:

“It’s about the struggles of black rock musicians. Being black and playing rock
music is not accepted by white or black audiences. Black rockers are in musical

and then later:

“I was always a
fan of Fishbone, Living Colour, and other bands like them. I found it odd that
they never reached the level of success of, say, Jane’s Addiction or the Red Hot
Chili Peppers. …
Why does this happen?“ He went on, “Black musicians are not expected to go
outside the box.“

My favorite quote from the article has to be "To me, story will always win out. You just stay true to it and trust your gut.“ The full article is interesting – for more on Electric Purgatory go here.

League of Technical Voters Presenting in Houston

The next Houston Netsquared meeting has a great speaker! Silona Bonewald of the League of Technical Voters will be driving in from Austin to talk to us. First the event details:

League of Technical Voters Presenting at NetSquared Houston

Silona Bonewald Founder

League of Technical Voters

Tue 13-Feb-07 7:00 AM to Tue 13-Feb-07 9:00 PM

To register – sign up for the Houston Net2 meetup here. The topics are:

Join us for our February Houston NetSquared technology discussion as we speak with Silona Bonewald on her work with the League of Technical Voters
a group dedicated to promoting use of technology in policymaking and
connecting constituents and legislators alike to important voting
information through technology.

Some League of Technical Voter projects Silona will touch on:   

1) Project: Transparent Federal Budget

2) Divide and Conquer – Fragmenting legislation

3) Entity based Social network – How to make a Meta network Work and the role of Open Source and Non Profit Organizations

4) Designathon and Codeathon : Creating Open Source Software for Non Profit Organizations

Added bonus? I typically cover the bar tab so come have meaningful conversations and a brew with us at the Stag’s Head pub next Tuesday. (thanks for arranging this Sharon!)

Corporate Linking as Blog Influencer

Via Steve Rubel: Apple’s Linkblog and Its PR Influence

In the last few weeks, Apple linked to several articles
comparing WIndows VIsta to the Mac. All of them sang Apple’s praises.
Now there were many other articles that were positive about Vista
during the launch. These said that Microsoft caught up, but Apple of
course didn’t link to a single one. (Disclosure: Edelman assisted with
the Windows Vista launch.)

This is not an argument about which OS is better. This is about the
use of linking for PR. What I am saying is by linking to something on a
corporate Web site, you’re basically making a statement without
uttering a word. And that’s almost like blogging.

Emphasis added by me. Search Engine Optimization is about links and content. That simple. And a link from is pretty influential. Are you listening and linking to the folks you like to influence your PR?

Quote of the Day – Ninjas and New Media

"The major hollywood studios have taken to embracing pirates and their lifestyle. And we just saw that as such a negative lifestyle. Whereas the Ninja is such a positive lifestyle. Maybe that has lent itself to some of our success." – Douglas on Ask-A-Ninja on Forbes

I’d embed the video, but they have a cheesy "Embedding disabled by request" notice on the embed link. Way to go Forbes. But cool content nonetheless. So here is an embed of the real deal. Or at least "how do you kill a Ninja"

Friends and their damn baby pictures

What a cheesy gimmick, and somehow it works:

From: Scott Baradell (Idea
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 5:24 PM

Subject: Baby pictures

Hi friends,

I bought
a bunch of new clothes for my baby, Spin Thicket, and I’d appreciate if you’d
take a peak and tell me how cute he looks

please provide as much link-love as your heart can muster.  Did you know
that when the Grinch decided to be generous, his heart grew three sizes in one
day?  :)

Take care,

Scott Baradell

OK, besides Scott’s gratuitous link )@(#@ing, this does tie into those 2007 themes from a week ago. Self expression. Throwing links in the fark wind is one thing, developing an online reputation and personality is another.

So, Scott, welcome to my world. Now tell me, how do I hook that into OpenID so the user is in COMPLETE control of who they share with whom. And so the user maintains control. And so security is guaranteed. All the while enabling unlimited and unencumbered self expression?

That last paragraph? Nobody understood that except 1 of my 5 readers (not counting me). That? That is the usability problem we face. It ain’t gonna be easy.