Google restores Bill Cammack site (UnGoogled Blog Day 04)

Giving credit where it’s due, “Google Search Quality” has restored BillCammack.com by July 22, 2008, less than four (4) days after I cleaned up the infected section of my site and sent in my “reconsideration request”.

Bill Cammack Google Search Restored 080722.jpg

Actually, this is four days spanning a weekend, so, technically, two BUSINESS days. I applied for reconsideration on Friday, and billcammack.com appears in Google’s search results as of Tuesday morning. Rather commendable, IMO. πŸ˜€ I don’t know the way any of this works, but this may be the first spider crawl of my site since I sent in the request, informing them that I had removed the text that got my site removed in the first place. That’s exactly how I think it should be done. Not some kind of immediate reinstatement process, just “Please check again on your next crawl. I’ve fixed the problem. Thanks”.

Before I went to sleep last night, I had noticed I started getting hits from Google, but my site itself wasn’t available. Hopping out of bed just now, I noticed lots more Google hits and checked “Bill Cammack” and “Bill”, and I was back in position.

As far as I can tell, the “Google Search Quality” system worked fairly and swiftly in this situation, and I really couldn’t ask for more. πŸ™‚

Having said that, living without my > 1,000 pages being searchable on Google for ~ 4 days, when being indexed in Google has been “a part of my life” every day for the last two years has prompted me to consider some new things when it comes to “site promotion” and “viewer/reader awareness”.

The first thing I’m going to do is start a mailing list. My Cousin Richard has wanted to start up a RealFans.TV mailing list for the longest, but I felt that we were doing enough with our community site and our Facebook Group. During this “Google search blackout” for my site, I supplemented my usual traffic by informing people directly via social media outlets when I posted something new. I figured that instead of sending random updates to places, I’d do like Chris Brogan and Jason Calacanis and create my own email list. This way, searchable or not, I have a way to quickly inform people who are interested about what’s new with the site, what’s “old” that I’d like to bring back to people’s attention or what’s coming up in the future.

I also need to build a static section to my site which is representative of more than my video editing work. While it was good to have my resume and my Flickr set still available, it really was a vastly incomplete representation of my internet presence.

Anyway… I’m satisfied (not that that’s important πŸ™‚ ) with my Google disappearance/reappearance experience. I think the process worked fairly and efficiently, and I’m REALLY GLAD it didn’t take WEEKS, as they mentioned in their correspondence. Not because I NEED to be indexed in Google, but because I’m used to it, and it was a strange feeling for the last couple of days, posting stuff that I knew wasn’t going to be indexed.

Well… On With The Show! πŸ˜€

back story: 1) “What if YOU get removed from Google?”
back story: 2) “Whose Fault Is This?”

Life Isn’t Fair

OK Fellaz, let’s get down to brass tacks here.

The way “dating” is set up in patriarchal society, it’s up to YOU, as the guy, to run the show. YOU kick it to the chick, she decides whether to give you some or not. You make the money. You make the decisions. You’re the “head of household”. No matter how much this society tries to make you into women, you’re *NOT*, so get over it and handle your business when it comes to chicks.

Having said that….. Since it’s YOUR responsibility to pull the chick, it’s YOUR responsiblity to be FLY! That’s a slang term meaning VERY GOOD in general, but in this case, we’re talking about your overall presentation. We’re talking about how you look, how you act, what shape you’re in, how ambitous you are in your career, how you handle your money… Top to Bottom, you have to be better than the next man if you think you’re going to get the rap to some chick.

LIFE. IS. NOT. FAIR.

You are not ENTITLED to a girlfriend.
You are not ENTITLED to have any female friends AT ALL.
You are not ENTITLED to have sex with a chick even if she likes hanging out with you.
You are not ENTITLED to have instant messenger text or video chats with chicks.
You are not ENTITLED to responses to your emails or direct messages.
You *ARE* entitled to….. *NOTHING*. πŸ˜€

All men are NOT created equal. We may have been born through the same process, but some of us have distinct advantages over others. Go look up Alpha Males, Beta Males and Omega Males. If you’re a natural, chicks just like you and that’s that. You can do whatever you want, such as write blog posts that talk yang about males and females AT THE SAME TIME, and you will still have girls attracted to you just by walking in the door. Life Isn’t Fair. πŸ˜€

The problem with Omega Males is that they refuse to correctly perceive themselves as the bottom of the barrel. They think to themselves “That good-looking, in-shape, well-educated, friendly, gregarious, charming, well-spoken guy over there can get girls…. so can I!” BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Wrong.

The first thing Omega Males need to do is realize their position in life. It’s like going to Alcoholics Anonymous. Unless you admit you have a problem, you’ll never go for treatment. The first step is admitting that YOU’RE WACK! … Say it with me now… “I am wack”. See? Don’t you feel better now? πŸ˜€ NOW we can get to the part where you attempt to overcome your deficiencies. See, by thinking you’re the same as guys that women actually WANT to talk to them, you’re doing yourself a disservice because you’re not trying as hard as *YOU* need to in order to pull a decent female. Then, when the chick cuts off communications with you, you try to blame it on her. You want to say she’s fickle or a tease or she led you on. Let me let you in on a little secret…..

Chicks in general are non-confrontational. You would think that’s a good thing, but it isn’t… not for YOU. It’s good for guys that girls WANT, because you say “let’s get out of here ;)” and she says “ok” and it’s on and poppin’. The problem for YOU is that she never wanted to talk to you in the first place. She saw you come in the door. She saw you on the dance floor. She saw you post up in her area. She saw you looking out the corner of your eye to try to gauge if you’d be successful in rapping to her or not. She knew what you wanted when you asked her what time it is or if she’d like to dance. She knew you were going to try to get on. She knew you would ask her for her number…..

This is where the non-confrontational part comes in. She will do one of three things. She will inform you that she’s not going to give you her number, she will give you a fake number or she will give you a real number.

If she tells you “no” from the get, she’s going to have to listen to you whining and trying to change her mind.

If she gives you a fake number, she takes the risk that you will call her immediately and realize that you connected to Pizza Hut. More whining from you and trying to change her mind. On top of that, she looks like an IDIOT because she “doesn’t know her own telephone number”. Now, she has to either tell you “no” or give up the real number.

If she gives you the real number, it’s still a trap. πŸ™‚ There are only two ways you can call her. With or without Caller ID. If you call her with your number blocked, she’s going to let it go to the machine, because she DOESN’T know who’s calling her. If you call her with your number showing, she’s going to let it go to the machine because she DOES know who’s calling her… Or, to put it another way, she knows it’s not anybody calling whom she actually picks up the phone for.

All paths here lead to frustration. The only way around this is to realize that YOU’RE WACK and start on the road to self-improvement. Let’s look at what you can do to make yourself less loathsome to chicks. πŸ˜€

Improve your vocabulary. Go research the difference between “their” and “there”, and “your” and “you’re”. If this chick accidentally has a kid with you, she’s going to want the kid to be SMART, not STUPID.

Stop using primitive tactics to try to pull her. By using the same AMATEUR skillz that get you on with short-bus girls at the club, you’re demeaning the woman you’re kicking it to. She can’t believe that YOU believe you’re going to get on with such garbage. She feels low-rated and is less likely to give it up, so figure out how to step up your game, playah.

Stop trying to hide your kids. This is the United States of America. It’s very easy to find out that you have kids…. and a wife too, for that matter. Stop faking the funk. If you’re trying to get some on the side, “man up” about it. You might get turned down off the bat, but at least she respects you for not trying to get over.

If you’re *BITTER* about everything, KEEP. IT. TO. YOURSELF! πŸ˜€ Nobody’s interested in what you think you’re entitled to or how mad you are that you don’t have what the next man has. Suck it up, put a SMILE on your face, and show the chick a good time.

Go. To. The. Gym. You want to be in GOOD shape so that she’s HOPING you take your clothes off instead of DREADING the concept. πŸ™ You don’t want her to start singing the Fat Albert theme song when you emerge from the bathroom in your boxers.

If you’re NOT going to get in shape, at least DRESS WELL! Buy one of those hip-hop graffiti shirts so you look like a wall or an old-school subway car.

Watch black and white movies. Guys don’t know how to treat the ladies anymore. You have to watch old movies to receive the essence of male elegance and character.

And, the *most* important thing is to step to her “on the humble”. Do *NOT* act like you’re entitled to have her talk to you, text with you, email with you, video chat with you, dance with you, go home with you… NONE OF THAT. Just let her know you appreciate how she looks and you’d like to get to know more about her, then cross your fingers! πŸ˜€

DatingGenius

Do NOT Tamper With Your Comments!

I told my ex-girlfriend not to lie to me… I mean, she was still my girlfriend at the time, and now she isn’t. The reason I told her that was that I was catching her in small, seemingly insignificant lies. VERY VERY small lies… Not even worth telling, to be sure. I explained to her that the most important thing you have in a relationship is trust. Without TRUST, you have nothing at all, because any communication you have with anyone will be tainted… untrustworthy… disbelieved. Lying to me about small things is WORSE than lying to me about important things, because it’s not necessary. If your character can’t stand up to the smallest criticism and you feel the pressure and need to LIE, then you CERTAINLY don’t have the stomach to tell me the truth when it REALLY counts.

WHAT does this have to do with “Technology”, you ask?… Because the same holds true in many situations, *including* posting on the internet. The way a lot of blogs are set up, including this one that I’m posting to right now, after the main entry, there’s a section for comments. This is the place for viewers/readers to weigh in and let you know if they agree OR disagree with what you said, and why.

The benefit of having comments is taking a post from being a soliloquy to being the beginning of a conversation. It’s like having a lecture and then at the end, opening up the floor to any questions your audience might have. *YOU* are just as responsible for and will be held accountable for what happens in your comment section as you will be held accountable for what you post in the main entry. Just like I told my ex… (paraphrasing, hahaha) the way you carry yourself in dealing with comments can make or break your credibility in EVERYTHING ELSE that’s MORE IMPORTANT than your comments section…..

Let’s take a very simple example that everyone should be able to follow:

Let’s say you have a company that sells widgets. Let’s say your business blog is “widgetblog”, and is a blog about widgets. Let’s say you also author “personalblog”, and what you post there has NOTHING to do with widgets, and only to do with your personal life. Unfortunately for you, you can not separate these three things if people know that you’re connected to all of them. Similar to a chain, your credibility is only as strong as the *WEAKEST* link.

Now, let’s say you post that “the sky is blue”. Let’s say that several people post “I agree, the sky IS blue!” and those comments are not tampered with. What do you do when someone posts “the sky is actually grey”? This person has now added their personal opinion to the discussion that you started. Do you leave this dissenting opinion on your site so that people can see the HONEST, TRANSPARENT format of how the discussion actually unfolded?…. OR…. Do you log in as “admin” and CHANGE THAT POST so it now reads “the sky is blue”?

Let’s say you get five more “blues” and two more “greys” and even a “red”… What now? Do you log in AGAIN, and tamper with your comments AGAIN? When someone comes to your post the next day, will EVERYONE be in agreement with your position? Is that fair? Is that HONEST? Is that *transparent*?

Now, in most cases, you can get away with this underhanded behavior. There’s only one thing you have to do to maintain your credibility and look like people agree with you….. Be. Faster. Than. Everyone. Else. That. Reads. Your. Blog!

If you come to your blog, and the dissenting posts have been sitting there for an hour, consider the possibility that SEVERAL PEOPLE may have ALREADY READ THEM and will see you for who you really are and what you’re really doing if you tamper with your comments. :/

What’s the problem if you get caught tampering with your comments?…. “Trickle Up”! πŸ˜€

If you get caught tampering with comments on PERSONAL posts, your credibility is *SHOT*. You can NOT be trusted. If you can’t be trusted with the comments on your personal post, you can’t be trusted in what you POSTED either. Why tell the truth, when you could make up a convenient lie to make yourself look good? Now, your entire personalblog is tainted. Meanwhile, you’re the same person that writes and moderates widgetblog. Why should we believe that you’re willing to risk your business by allowing people to have opinions contrary to YOUR best interests? Now, the posts AND comments on widgetblog are tainted.

Meanwhile, you’re the owner of the widget company. Why should your character in doing business with someone face to face, shaking their hand and looking them in the eye be any stronger than when you’re posting a business or personal blog? So, unfortunately “this person is a liar” trickles UP to where you don’t want it because you didn’t have the stomach to leave your comments alone and perhaps POST A REBUTTAL? Stand up for your own statements? Explain to the dissenting commenter why you think you’re right and they’re wrong? Seriously. :/

Assuming you feel you’re prone to resort to underhanded tactics to make yourself look good in the future by tampering with people’s comments today… Here are some things you can do that will still make you look like you have something to hide, but there’s no PROOF, like when a statement that was “X” for 45 minutes, suddenly becomes “Y” merely by clicking ‘refresh’ in your browser. :/

Turn Off Comments – Your word is law and that’s it. Anybody who comes to personalblog or widgetblog will get what YOU have to say about things, and that’s it. Nobody else has any say.

Turn On Moderation – Make it so that NOBODY’S comments make it to personalblog or widgetblog unless YOU approve them. That way, when everything ends up positive, you just look like you spun the situation by only letting the comments through that you liked. This is DIFFERENT from changing people’s posts because there’s never anything negative for people to see in the first place, AND dissenting comments don’t become agreeing comments with the same person’s name on the top, posted at the exact same time.

Delete Dissenting Comments – MUCH, MUCH better than changing what people had to say from “X” to “Y” is deleting their comments altogether. That way, you look like someone who can’t handle the truth instead of someone actively cheating to make it look like everyone’s on your side in this situation.

Don’t Blog At All – Really, I don’t understand why some people post things on the net in the form of a blog with comments, when they don’t REALLY want to hear what people honestly think about what they’re saying or doing.

Maybe two years ago, I read something I thought was interesting on someone’s blog. I thought it was very interesting….. as well as COMPLETELY WRONG! πŸ˜€ I explained to her very professinally and clinically WHY she was wrong by posting a comment on her blog. Eventually, I got an email from her saying that she was going to erase my comment, and suggested (to her credit, because I hadn’t saved my post anywhere) that I copy it and post it on my own blog and link to hers.

I wrote back to her, thanked her for not deleting my post FIRST, and explained to her (in not so flowery terms) that I thought she was lame for having a web site where all she wanted on it was her opinions and people that agreed with her position. She was doing a disservice to her readers, because with all of them commiserating and rallying around the flag, it was the blind leading the blind, and they were never going to get to the solution to their problem, because they had the question wrong in the first place.

Since then, I’ve come to realize that many people post NOT to START a conversation, but to appear as if they’re an authority in something. They think that as long as they post something and nobody disagrees, they look intelligent or wise. I now realize that a lot of people use the internet to make themselves feel better or to doctor the results so as to convince themselves that they’re in the right and someone else was in the wrong.

That’s all well and good, however, if that’s the type of person you are, don’t think that people aren’t figuring you out. Don’t think that you’re getting away with tampering with comments or juking stats scot-free. Your credibility’s taking a hit, and you may find out down the line when nobody wants to buy your widgets that it’s because more people than you know saw you tampering with comments on some seemingly insignificant post and decided that your credibility as a businessperson has been seriously undermined by your personal character.

Bill Cammack Ò€’ Cammack Media Group, LLC

end of days…..

On December 31, 2006, almost 10 months ago, I decided I was going to do a text blog. I needed a title, since I didn’t want it to be called “Bill’s Blog”… *YAWN*

As I searched my mind for a title that meant something to me at the time, “Wasted Days” is what I decided was the most relevant. At the time, I wrote:

The blog is named Ò€œWasted DaysÒ€. I donÒ€ℒt know why. I just like that name. WellÒ€¦ I think I DO know why, but the reasons arenÒ€ℒt tangible right now, so thereÒ€ℒs nothing to say/print/type about it.

I did know why I was writing “Wasted Days” at the time, however, I didn’t feel like ‘flavoring’ the blog with the reason, so I left it out. Also, the reason didn’t permeate my existence, so it wasn’t really fair to call the blog “Wasted Days” to begin with. I didn’t want to add to that unfairness by clarifying my personal meaning for the title.

As this seems to be the season for people ending things, such as blogs, and starting new ones, I was prompted to revisit my text blog, which I had long since abandoned anyway. I figured I’d wrap it up, so that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m ending “Wasted Days”, because the ‘period’ is no longer relevant, and things have morphed so much in the last 10 months (really, even the last three months) that it’s really time for something new. πŸ™‚

To me, Days are Wasted when you know there’s something you want to do or that you feel you *SHOULD* be doing, and you’re not doing it. For me, at that time of title-creation, my not-doing was that I had (and still have) a very special and important-to-me friend that lives on the other side of the country that I had never met IRL, and I knew that as inspiring to me as she was [is], that I wasn’t going to go see her.

Bill Cammack - Wasted Days
The Ghost in the Machine

This was a strange situation for me at the time, because I’m not a long-distance person. It’s basically “out of sight, out of mind”, and I’m not usually inclined to even consider girls that don’t live in Manhattan, and even then, within about 15 minutes on public transportation from my house. πŸ™‚ Nevertheless, thanks to the wonders of the internet (no… not J-date), here I was, admiring someone that I would be bugging every day to hang out if she lived within my AO [Area of Operations], but since she doesn’t, I remained here and she remained there, and my days remained wasted.

“Wasted Days” had the fringe benefit of loosely alluding to alcoholic beverage consuption, πŸ˜€ but it was really about “What would you do if you couldn’t [wouldn’t] do what you really felt like you *should* be doing?”. This is why, in December of last year, my days were wasted.

I believe the first thing I noticed was that since I was blogging, the days weren’t actually wasted, almost from the beginning. I was being creative. I was doing something I felt was interesting and worthwhile. I was also learning… Learning about the process of blogging, tagging, social sites, myspace, facebook, linkedin, ning… I was learning about editing with new software & incorporating new techniques. I was learning about compresson, flash, h.264, fps, data rates… So, once again, even though, inspirationally, the days were wasted, they really weren’t wasted at all…..

Meanwhile, I was making new friends.

Frisbee Group, April 14 2007
Bill, Grace, Rachel, Charles, Obreahny, Sandra, Mike

I’ve always been blessed with fantastic friends… the few, the elite. Ever since kindergarten, and probably before I can remember, I’ve always had my “crews”. Necessarily, as time goes on, we move from social location to social location, from Elementary to JHS to HS to College, some folks to Grad School, then to the workplace, different neighborhoods to live in, different gyms to join… There’s always the building and eventual dissolving of “crews”. The internet in general, and videoblogging in particular has now changed all of that. People are seeing, hearing and learning about like-minded individuals and groups all over the planet and making global, international alliances. This has completely replaced… for me, anyway… local interactions based on physical proximity.

Without recapping the last ten months, which has included 202 linkedin contacts, 279 facebook friends, 247 twitter followers (lots of overlap between all three), etc etc etc… (which I only bring up because it’s an OUTLANDISH number for someone like me that’s used to selecting a few CLOSE, CLOSE friends and staking our claim in the universe)… there were a couple of events in particular that really made me “sit up and take notice” as far as what was really going on and how my Days were TOTALLY not being Wasted….

The first event was meeting Roxanne Darling IRL (In Real Life). We had met via the Yahoo Videoblogger’s group and she had reason to be in NYC, all the way from her home in Hawaii. The first thing that was striking to me was that she just set up the camera and was ready to do an episode of her show Beach Walks with Rox… which now that I checked out that post, that was actually last November 9th, before I even started “Wasted Days”… Anyway… she was ready to just do an episode with no rehearsal, no talking about what we were going to discuss… NOTHING! :O … Just turn on the camera and talk to each other… I was like WHAT??? But I rolled with it, and it came out ok. πŸ™‚

That was a learning experience in and of itself, however, we hung out afterwards and had this really great, intelligent, fascinating conversation, mostly about videoblogging and “the space”, but also about life in general. As I’ve told Rox, that was the best IRL conversation I had had with someone I knew from the internet in AGES. I wasn’t aware at the time that *THIS* is the potential of the internet where people get to express themselves and align themselves with people who have similar viewpoints or even people who have opposing, yet intelligently articulated viewpoints. I knew there was something ‘odd’ (read: FANTASTIC!!!) going on, but I didn’t have enough data to figure it out.

The second event was in January, 2007 @ Andrew Baron’s house, which I have labeled as Rocketboom Party Photos. I don’t remember what the genesis of that party was, but I don’t believe I even had *MY* camera with me that night… Which shows how long ago it was, because I ALWAYS have my camera now. πŸ˜€

At some point, I saw Bre Pettis, whom I recognized from Jonny Goldstein’s show on Phovi.com, “Reinventing Television”. When I walked up to Bre, I introduced myself and started to explain something about myself (that I don’t remember) to him, and his reply was to look at me oddly, as if I had amnesia, and he said “…I know who you are”.

Now, this was somewhat shocking to me, because I considered myself a spectator of Jonny’s show. Until that very point in time, I hadn’t given a single second’s worth of thought to the possibility that people that I didn’t specifically personally solicit to check out my site might have done so. I CERTAINLY hadn’t considered that someone on a show might actually research members of the “studio audience” that were there in the text chat. Whatever the actual circumstances were, I never found out, because my mind was suddenly off on the tangent of “what’s really going on, here?”. I now had to consider my interactions on the net as TWO-WAY instead of one-way, like television. To me, that situation was as if I had walked up to Chow Yun-Fat and told him that I had seen his movie “Hard Boiled”, and he said “I know who you are”. Strange, yet fascinating, amazing and transformative all at the same time. πŸ™‚

Also at that party, I recognized Kenyatta Cheese. I had had a chat with him via blog comments over a quasi-contoversial topic, and I was aware that he had no idea what I looked like, but I knew what he looked like. I walked up to him and introduced myself, and he gave me this weird look, like “How come this guy I’ve never seen before is addressing me in a friendly manner?” I went on to bring up the blog comment conversation I had had with him, and his entire demeanor changed to one of recognition and acceptance. We went on to have an extended, IRL conversation about the blog post in question as well as peripheral topics that we most likely would never have gotten into in text comments.

I still didn’t “get it” after Drew’s party. I think I considered both the Bre and Kenyatta incidents to be easily explained away as isolated situations. I wasn’t getting that people were forming actual friendships and respect for each other that had never met each other IRL. I wasn’t getting that people were learning things about me that I didn’t tell them, because I posted it on the net and they read or watched it without telling me they did. I wasn’t getting that as opposed to selecting compatible people that are within our physical locations where we live, hang out or work, we now have the opportunity to interact… A. LOT…. with people with whom we share similar likes and interests that live ANYWHERE in the world.

I get it now… At least to the degree that I can write this post and wrap up my “Wasted Days” blog. What I get is that it’s not so strange… hehe well, to me at least! πŸ˜€ … to admire my friend across the country even though I’ve never met her IRL. It’s not uncommon to make friendships with people outside of one’s neighborhood, town, city, state, or even COUNTRY!

The Days aren’t Wasted just because I’m not in physical proximity to her. There are so many other ways that people communicate and get to know each other and build respect and create friendships and all formats of relationships that the only way your days are going to be wasted is if you aren’t figuring out what YOU want to do with your own life and your own time…. and DOING it! πŸ˜€


Fin.
Bill Cammack
2007Ò€¦ The Wasted Days
http://billcammack.com
http://reelsolid.tv

Bill Cammack GSX-R NYC Night
Photo Credit: Jay Batista

Friends, Acquaintances & Contacts

Kristen “Kroosh” Crusius wrote a post the other day about what’s going on in her “Friendiverse”… her universe of friends. Her post reminded me that I had intended to comment about Robert Scoble‘s videos about how social networks’ “friends lists” really work.

Part I of Social Graph Based Search. 14:41 minutes.

Part II of Social Graph Based Search. 15 minutes.

And a bonus round III. 6 minutes.

I didn’t get around to writing that post because I’ve been incredibly busy for the last two months.

I think the term “Friends”, as automatically used by several social sites is an unfortunate and misleading label. This is especially true when there are no other choices. You’re forced into a binary system…. Accept or Decline… Yes or No… 1 or 0… My-Friend or Not-My-Friend. Unfortunately, as Scoble pointed out in his videos, reality doesn’t work like that. There are different levels and flavors of relationships between people. Business relationships, Family relationships, Intimate relationships, Adversarial relationships… I think linkedin has it right with the generic term “contact”. How many ‘contacts’ do you have? They’re not (your friends) by default, nor are they (not your friends) by default. Still, in linkedin, there are several types of business relationships, including people that you have worked with personally… people you have not worked with personally, but you trust whomever recommended them to you… people you have not worked with and you have no professional recommendations for, but you vouch for them as a person, so you are happy to recommend them to someone who’s looking to fill a position…. people you have no intention of recommending to anyone, but you will still accept them as a contact… people that you are in contact with specifically so you can set them up with other people….. ALL of these are thrown in together under the title ‘contact’.

Because of the misnomer “friends”, some people have selected this to mean their ACTUAL friends and will only add people that they actually know. Here, I agree with Scoble’s assertion that this is an incorrect usage of social networks. How are you supposed to expand your circle of CONTACTS or “sphere of influence” if you limit yourself on the internet to only the people you know IRL? How are you supposed to learn about new people that might have similar interests or ideals if you deny them connection to you? What’s the point of being on a social site if you’re only going to get in touch with the same people you’re already in contact with? I think that if they had levels of acquaintance on these sites, a lot more people would be connected to each other, because the categories would make sense to them. You would be able to see at-a-glance what level each person had placed their contacts on, and make a better assessment of their actual interaction with each other.

Looking at it from the other direction… It’s not fair that someone that sends you a friends request out of the blue has the exact same status as someone you collaborate with or work with or highly respect or go out for drinks with or climb mountains and eat pancakes with. Both the random person and the IRL friend are marked down as “Friend”. There’s no meritocracy. Even with facebook‘s relationship qualifiers, that’s a SECONDARY trait. It’s like having everyone in your military with the rank of ‘Private’, and you have to go to each Private and ask them what their actual importance is in order to determine who out-ranks whom. No. It doesn’t work like that. You can tell from the bars or whatever emblem on their shoulders who’s running the show and who’s going to be digging the trenches.

In the absence of actual distinctions, I think the best approach to accepting/rejecting social site “friends” is innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. It’s always a good thing when you can see the applicant’s friends list in order to tell who might know them that YOU know and whose judgement you trust. When I know certain people don’t like jerks, and those people are “friends” with someone, I’m more likely to take my ACTUAL friend’s word that this other person is cool. That would seem to go against what I was saying earlier, because what if my friend is using the same “innocent until proven guilty” style that I am? πŸ™‚ I would be accepting an untested “friend”. However, checks & balances will come into play. If the untested person actually interacts with the community, they’ll start getting “reviews” which will help you decide whether you want to keep them as a friend or not. Ultimately, the circle polices itself.

I was thinking about Kroosh’s “Friendiverse” yesterday, while I was watching Drew‘s live stream from PodCamp Philly. It’s a much more intimate format… giving personal, “hand-written” recommendations of places to go, people to see and things to do. I saw many people from MY Friendiverse on Drew’s stream yesterday… Kathryn, Eric, Jackson, Jonny, Steve, Grace, Charles… and ran into others in the text chat who were also watching the stream.

Ultimately, I’ve been inspired to focus more time & energy on the upper echelon of my own personal Friendiverse. In the game called “keeping up with the net”, it’s very easy to miss out on telling the people that matter to you how cool you think they are. πŸ™‚

Bill Cammack Ò€’ New York City Ò€’ Freelance Video Editor Ò€’ alum.mit.edu/www/billcammack