Aug 012012
 
The world is pulling too much from me right now.
It’s time to re-adjust, re-align, re-configure, re-group, and reflect. Definitely reflect.
I mean, I always reflect … it is a big part of who I am and is a big part of the structure of my day. I spend time each and every morning in quiet contemplation on my yoga mat — some might call it meditation. Each evening I also pause before I go to bed, too, to process the day’s events, though not in as regimented a manner as I do in the morning — at night I typically do it while washing my face or as I close the book I’m reading. I try very hard to consciously make that time reflective rather than worry about or inventory what will happen the next day. I’m not always successful, but it is an active goal.
But lately, I can’t shake the feeling — an intuitive, gut, CORE feeling — that what I’m doing is not enough. This, my “normal” regular balance — plus yoga and other exercise — isn’t enough.  And quite frankly, it’s driving me crazy that it isn’t enough. (“But it’s been fine up till now! I was balanced a few weeks ago!” These are the arguments I have with myself in my head.) Indications are that I need more reflection. And wayyyyy less extroverted energy. I feel like my Vata dosha is tipping the scale a bit too much. 
This might surprise people who know me well, as I am a classic extrovert. I gain energy by being around people. I am very social — too social, some might argue, for my own good (right, Mum?). Well, this is one of those times, I guess. They are rare in my life, but not unheard of. I don’t typically do all-or-nothing. And I don’t typically cut out social activities, either. But from time-to-time I do need to re-focus. The last time I took such measures was probably 3 or 4 years ago. 

I suspect some of this has to do with my being rather unhappy about a handful of Very Specific Things happening in my life at the moment. Unfortunately, I’m not able to go into more detail about these Things right now. (Hey, you know me — as soon as I can, I will. 🙂 )  Also unfortunate is that these Very Specific Things are things I have little control of. I do know that waiting for things to change is just not working for me. And thus … rock—>me<—hard place. I don’t do so well with life stasis in general, and this kind of stasis is my least favorite. 

So. I need to re-evaluate and re-configure, and maybe just spend more time spending time. I do sense that being active on Twitter and Facebook is not making things better right now. I am not sure it’s making it worse, either, mind you. These two networks are my favorite networks for several reasons: I have close friends and colleagues in both places, I feel comfortable in them, and although they have completely different modes and I use them very differently, they both fulfill a need for me to be connected to people and to learn and to grow. I am tremendously attached to these networks and the people who connect with me in them. However, these networks demand energy from me (there’s that Vata again), and as I said earlier, my intuitive sixth sense is kicking in to LOUDLY tell me that I need to redirect that energy. It needs to be better spent elsewhere at the moment. I’m not sure where, exactly, but I do know that lately Twitter and Facebook have been feeling like they are sucking energy out of me. It is NOT normal for me to feel this way. Hence, the decision to withdrawl for a bit.

Earlier today I decided to read my monthly horoscope. I try to stay up-to-date with Susan Miller’s posts (thanks to Rae Rae for putting me onto her!), but I often miss a month here or there. Anyway, today I thought, “Oooooh it’s August 1st. I should see what’s what.” And here was the first bit:

A big, tender full moon will brighten the very start of the month, August 1. It will fall in your privacy sector, Aquarius (9 degrees), so you may simply want to sit back and enjoy your own company. You’ve not had much time to simply take it easy, sleep a bit later than usual, and simply think about your next moves, but this full moon will allow you all the time you need.

🙂

I guess I’m on the right track. I have not been 100% myself lately, and I really want to be.
Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding as I renegotiate my balance. 

I will still be reachable on Skype, email, Instagram, Flickr, my blog (remember when I used to do that?), GChat, SMS, and … old-fashioned phone. I’m not disappearing. Just disengaging from the networks that demand interaction from me — interaction that I greatly value and normally thrive on. I want to be in that headspace again, and I will be, in good time.  

I’m going to try this social network fast for a week, starting Monday… and might go longer. We’ll see. Oh, and if you’d like to join me, that’s cool too. 

[Edit: 2-Aug-2012] I decided I will respond to DMs within Twitter. At least for now. So there ya go. 

 

Jan 262011
 
Now, users’ off-Facebook activities are basically part of the Facebook ecosystem thanks to “Likes” published all over the Web. If you click the Facebook Like button on any given site, that data is transmitted to your own Facebook profile and can be promoted by marketers in ads to your friends.

This is getting ridiculous. You’d think they have learned from the Beacon lawsuit. Ever since FB linked “likes” to specific pages, I’ve been careful to only include those things I “like” that I trust; usually this means I know the people behind it or I trust the organization. But now, this means they’re using my “likes” to market those things to my friends? That’s awful. I would never want to market things to my friends, unless it was something I felt very strongly about.

Hmm… maybe it’s time to only include things in my “likes” that I think are worthy of telling all my friends about. This is completely changing the meaning of the word “like” for me.

Now it should be “Like and want you to like it too.”

LAME.

Nov 292010
 

Can Diaspora succeed?

It’s still too early to make a judgment about the project’s chances for success. There are a lot of rough edges, but it also has a lot of potential. If the developers continue to move it forward and manage to overcome some of the early performance challenges and add more functionality, I think it’s likely that it will attract a niche audience of open source software enthusiasts, privacy advocates, and Facebook refuseniks. As we have seen before with the modest successes of the similarly focused StatusNet, it’s not hard to get open source software developers to join an open source social network.

It seems unlikely that a project as small as Diaspora will ever have the visibility or appeal to truly compete with giants like Facebook, but it could still have an important positive impact on the industry by raising awareness of privacy issues and encouraging better interoperability among established social networks. It may seem far-fetched, but Diaspora (or something like it) could someday help to inspire change in the social network arena in much the same way that Firefox has helped to reinvigorate the browser market and accelerate conformance with open Web standards.

As the abuses and technical gaffes of the mainstream social networking operators contribute to growing concerns about privacy and autonomy in the cloud, it’s possible that users who are sensitive to such issues will begin to appreciate the availability of more open alternatives. Even if the open source options never gain serious mainstream momentum, they have the potential to draw some attention to the underlying issues that they are trying to solve. Diaspora doesn’t have to topple the entrenched giants in order to inspire positive changes in the industry; it just has to get a critical mass of people to start thinking more seriously about privacy issues and the right kind of interoperability.

Yeah, it’s way too early to tell if it’s going to be a hit or not. But regardless — it is going to shake things up and perk up awareness, if nothing else. Right now it’s clunky, limited, and simple, but I suspect in the coming months it’s going to change a lot. I do hope that it pressures the Social Networking (self-proclaimed) Guruz to move toward some kind of standardization when it comes to user privacy and control.

If you’re on Diaspora, look for me — adrienne@diasp.org.