Friday, August 18, 2006

remind me: why i hate social networking s/ware

okay, so friends send me these invitations from time to time. i received one from a friend to sign up to WAYN (where are you now) --
I sent her the standard "if i´ve got your e-mail that´s enough for me for us to stay connected, and if i ever need to track you down: there´s google". well, in spite of that little "aviso", i thought to go along and see what WAYN was all about. And yes, as soon as i´d gone through the standard first page re sign-up, the very next page rang: import your contacts. well, of course, import contacts, that´s why you use the service after all. but wait, here´s the irritating part, as soon as you import contacts, your contacts are also automatically sent an invitation to join the network. i guess that´s convenient. but what if i want to be more selective, and more especially, do not want to annoy friends with a silly e-mail soliciting a sign-up? Qstn: how do I get my contacts into WAYN without incurring the hassle-factor of the solicitous e-mail that that entails? Well, folks, you can´t have one without the other! And WAYN indemnify themselves with the following little bit of fine print:

Import your contacts Hotmail, AOL mail, Yahoo!, or GMail and invite them to join WAYN. This will help you to keep track of each others whereabouts. By inviting your friends you are confirming that you have obtained consent from your friends to send them an invitation.
(My emphasis)

Well, that´s a fine how-do-you-do.

Anyhow, what I did find impressive was that when choosing South Africa as home base, the drop-down list for the provinces was complete. Ditto for if I chose Spain as home base. That attention to detail I found notable. Anyhow, my rant is not about WAYN per se, rather that these services are just always a pain because
1) I always forget/misplace my username/password combo because I use these kinds of services so infrequently, since
2) they are a pain to keep updated (hey, it´s a pain keeping the info flows updated that i already have: my homepage; blog; flickr)
3) they connect you potentially to friends-of-friends but somehow that never realises

oh, one more thing that i found troublesome: WAYN allows for you to track your travels. So, I can log upfront where I´ll be when. I have some serious misgivings about that. It´s one thing for me to post stuff of trips online after the event, but for anyone in the greater public to have some kind of upfront view of my travel agenda... I don´t think so! Ain´t gonna happen.


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