Facebook: the Sniper

Be wary as you travel the various plains of Facebook timelines as you will no doubt, if you have not been already, the subject of a sniper.

A sniper will hide in the tall grass and wait for their victim, when they engage with you it is by means of clever comment to your posts or by a subtly worded post of their own. The effect is still the same, however, you have been taken down by their superiority.

The Facebook Sniper is a perfidious breed, often greatly intelligent, insightful and witty they hone their skills not to engage, support and encourage but to destroy. They seek to balance some level of negative self-esteem by seeking superiority over others.

Their attacks are clever, always tilted to sound reasonable, balanced and above all passive, but the this is just a ruse. In truth it is an assault, intended to rile while providing the sniper with sufficient cover to hide. They draw you out to their killing ground where they can claim a justifiable kill. If you engage with a sniper it will look as if you instigated the assault and they will rally others to watch their kill.

They are a player of tiny games, seeking to lift themselves high by standing on the corpses of their kills, do not engage with them, you will lose.*

* An interesting note should be made that by publishing this post I am in fact doing approximately the same as the Facebook: Sniper myself in that I am drawing out a certain type of person into my killing ground. This realisation demoralises me slightly yet does not stop me posting 😉

Being the Content Owner

Resolutions

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. (So that’s a bizarre start let’s see how I tie that into a talk about content creation.) I don’t do them, I think that they are mostly a waste of time. In my entire life I have met very few people who stick by them, so they seem to be a whim, a whimsy, a pipe dream, unrealistic.

That doesn’t mean I don’t like resolutions. Leigh makes them each year, but they are goals that she thinks through, and gods bless her she tries her damnedest to stick by them. She tries so hard that she will often complete them in a different year, keeping at that same resolution until it is done.

I am not like that. I will fail if I do a resolution that way, my attraction and enthusiasm will quickly wane. I have to think a bit more about any resolution I do. Often it takes me into mid-January to do so.

Which is why it was part way through January 2013 before I realised I wanted to be the content owner and not just the content producer and that would be the challenge I faced in that year.

A Bit More Context

In 2012 I was using Instagram quite a lot and really liking it. I enjoyed taking snaps and sharing them with my slowly growing audience and engaging with the others I found on there.

When Facebook purchased them I cared little as to me the services were already integrated and it meant little. Then there was a small perturbation, a changing of the rules which meant that the ownership of images gained a new meaning. Facebook didn’t take away ownership, however they did alter the potential display and usage. This made me close my account as I felt it was a freedom I didn’t want to lose.

However it got me thinking. I shared lots on Facebook, flickr, Twitter etc., and all of this was in the realm of less-owned. All the material was in a grey area that was becoming murkier as the services themselves evolved.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t blaming these services or having a knee-jerk response, though at first there was enough of that particularly angsty state, I was genuinely concerned at my position.

I wasn’t the content owner anymore, just the content producer.

Being the Owner

I like producing content and I have no issue with sharing that content as much as i can. I guess I am a cheerful self-promoter and attention slut. But, sharing original content, and owning original content have now become a mixed field with shifting boundaries and I wanted to make it very clear what material I owned, what i just produced (releasing some control) and that which I shared (which I know I would have the least control over).

So I became a content owner.

I started in January last year a ritual of only producing material to my blogs (of which I have several) and then sharing those links to the social media networks. Any material shared directly to the sites would be items i had little to no care in regards to the ownership. I wanted to produce less original media, or long text, that was published in an original context to these sites.

It is the reason I first decided to PAY for Flickr, so that I more closely control my output.

This was most relevant to pictures of the kids and family. I didn’t want to be in a position where they could be used as a part of a ‘fair usage’ terms of service agreement that I had no control over.

My blogs, except for the Tumblr account, are all self-hosted so the ownership is very clear, the material is now under my ownership and remains there. The allowance for the sites to use them is only b the nature of them being linked and appearing as a context-relational thumbnail. I have moved from producer to owner.

Creative Commons

This, by the way, does not contradict my belief in open sharing of content. I still love the idea of Creative Commons and Open Media. I admire those people who produce great content to share with others and have relied on them for much material that i have used in the past.

I still produce content for these sites as well.

This was about choice. This was about taking back the control and the ownership instead of unwittingly handing it to others. If I appear to sound like I am either criticising those sites, or people who are happy to share their material on those sites it is unintended. i think it is a choice that you make, a decision. I just make my resolutions slowly and I try to stick to them.

Graphs

The final bit of fun for you all, here is a series of graphs I produced to show the amount of material I pushed to various blogs last year. Please bear in mind that many of these are picture posts hid amongst the longer written articles. if I get bored I will do a word count and let you know how many words were produced, but that’s a job for a very boring afternoon.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 07.49.44 Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 07.50.02 Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 07.49.56 Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 07.49.35 Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 07.48.54

Facebook: the Sharer

This Facebook type is the constant Sharer. You know the time of day by the sudden rush of shares from their timeline as they push item after item onto their feed.

Often they follow other Sharer’s, they work best when they are in packs, passing the same tired item from feed to feed in a ceaseless bid to prove that they are socially savvy.

This type is not usually a content creator, if they do update their feed or supply something new it is often another bid for attention, to be noticed.

Their deep inner need is to be noticed, to be admired for their ability to spot interesting content and to supply them to a waiting crowd of admirers. They are less prone to ‘Like’ or engage by comment with an original producer of material.

At the core their is a deep inner need to be noticed or admired which they try to encourage by being the joker, the iconoclast, the modernist or the reactionary. In reality they are rarely anything but. Often conservative, dour and traditionalist the Sharer just wants to be admired, noticed and loved.

Phrase that you imagine them saying: “Look at this cool thing I found!”.

Leaving Facebook

a.k.a. Facebook can go f*ck itself

a.k.a p*ss off you over-subscribed bad medium

a.k.a. once annoyed the comments get bad but you’re still sh*t

So I’m leaving (indeed)

On a jet plane (not really)

Don’t know if I’ll be back again (hopefully never)

Hello, you might be reading this because you saw it linked from my Facebook page, you might be seeing it from Twitter. it doesn’t matter the message is still the same. I will soon be leaving Facebook.

I have a hard decision, but I have determined to make it.

I am leaving Facebook.

It’s true, I don’t completely like it but it is happening.

It is because I have had enough of this service, the launch of Places was the last straw… Well, no, it wasn’t, the launch of like button was the last straw… Well, no it wasn’t, the launch of the new security was the last straw… Well, no…

Actually, it was all of these and more. My laziness was the only thing stopping me, but now I am convinced I have to go. For all of you bothering to read this who only know me through Facebook, find me on Twitter (while I am still there – for a long while yet I think), or email me, PM me so we set up an email route, or whatever, but please stop thinking that Facebook is the route – as it is not – I have to go,

I can stand it no more.

It is a shame as I own my own name on Facebook. I have used Dopplr. Twitter and others with Facebook, I have reached people, but that dearest ones is over.

But why?

I could do a long treatise on why social networks inspire redundancy in communication skills by removing the onus to be active in pursuing ones familial network. But I am not going to.

Instead I am going to rant.

I would like to point out hate things against a certain Facebook founder who stated:

“Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”

Well f*ck you.

Harsh words but I feel harsh. What kind of w*nk statement is that? The arrogance, the sheer ignorance. What the hell has your identity got to do with your integrity? That is either a gross simplification by someone who doesn’t understand those terms or a gross simplification by someone who does understand those terms but is talking sh*t.

I think it is an easy platitude but I am going to use it:

Those who know everything understand nothing.

We can all come up with the one liners but at least mine comes from a familiarity with the actual words.

So it is goodbye!

So long, farewell (and a song from The Sound of Music) I am going. Follow me on Twitter (shadowcat_mdk) or perhaps since we are friends ask for my gmail email and if you like use Buzz.

Please don’t rely on Twitter, for sometime soon it will be gone. I will give a few months for people to filter through and know me elsewhere where I will welcome them for the loved ones they have become (for I was selective in my Facebook attachments). But then I shall be gone.

No doubt one day people will look back and say “why did he do it, silly fool, when all we have is this marvelous tool”, well because for the reasons mentioned above – and perhaps others I will add in edits to this post.

For now, use this time to make sure we stay in touch – I may not have any other contact than Facebook and if so it will be sad to lose you. Let us use email, and those other social tools I am using for this time. But, mostly to email let us be consigned. True it may not have the immediate appeal and one has to choose who to inform, but surely that should be celebrated as at least you know I mean it…as opposed to: look, you knew I was here as someone I once knew told you so and now you feel obliged to contact me…

Facebook is no longer a tool for communication, it is the monkey we feed on our social back, it makes us feel good and wanted but is still a burden to bear…

So I am going…

Just not yet. I have to let you all catch up with me yet…I have to let you all know…I have to make sure all the services that this provides are replicated or replaced…Don’t I….

Will I really go…