Planning for the future

  • 2005: Friendster? Whatever happened to that site? Does anyone use that anymore?
  • 2010: Myspace? Whatever happened to that site? Does anyone use that anymore?
  • 2015: Facebook? Whatever happened to that site? Does anyone use that anymore?

Make the future happen!


Where you grew up

Pete Sam McPheeters and I are the same age. We didn’t know each other growing up. He grew up in New York, and I grew up in Wisconsin. We didn’t meet until about 1991, when his band was on tour and came through town, and then again when my band was on tour and we played together in D.C. It was a good show… A memorable show.

There was no World Wide Web back then… I didn’t connect with Sam through some social networking site. We met people in person, bands went on tour, people traveled, we published zines (think blogging, but on paper, delivered by the USPS.) And most of all, we had some degree of privacy. I mean, if you wanted someone in New York to see a picture of something, you had to get some film developed, and either mail it to them, or put it in your zine and hope that somehow they got a copy. It’s weird to think publishing was to a small, select audience, instead of, you know, to the entire world, as it is now.

So Sam and I are of the age where all the stupid stuff we did in our youth was not put up for all to see on Facebook, or Twitpic or some other web site where in less than 5 minutes your embarrassment can be shown to the world. (At least, it wasn’t then, but thanks to the future, it could show up, right now, today!)

Sam McPheeters In Screwed by Search Sam touches on the topic:

I know now that there is an angry, overweight black woman lurking over everything I do. Her name is The Internet, and she will not rest until every self-inflicted pie strike has been chronicled, archived, and exposed for all to see.

We didn’t grow up online, but we’re here now, and we’re the last generation who can say that. Kids today are growing up used to living their lives online. It’s completely normal. In fact, when I met a college kid a few months back who didn’t use Facebook, everyone thought he was a weirdo.

It’s obviously your destiny. What can you do besides accept it?


AI Battle Bots

Battle Bots!
download the large one (consider it cc:by)

Years ago I worked with this crazy software developer who was always talking about these AI Bots he wanted to write that would battle each other with logic. Basically, the idea was (as I understood it) he would program one bot to have an opinion on something, and another bot to have a differing opinion, and then have them converse with each other to see who would win the argument. Of course in his early tests no one ever won the argument, as AI Bots are very good an arguing and one would never be defeated by the other.

Nowadays you don’t need to write any IA Bots to accomplish this… All you need is:

  • A Facebook account
  • Friends with strong opinions who like to argue

Now just post something on your wall, and hope that your friends see it, and start to argue with each other. You may need to make it controversial, but even this is not a requirement.

Once it’s posted, just wait for the replies… Hours of entertainment!


Reclaim What’s Yours… Take Back Your Data!


The BarCampMadison folks are gearing up for August 28, 2010, and they’ve got something called Google Moderator in place to gauge interest in topics. I’d never heard of Google Moderator, but you see, I’m learning already… way to go BarCamp!

I’ve proposed a session titled “Reclaim What’s Yours… Take Back Your Data!” (You can vote on it if you like.) The idea is such… We spend a lot of time putting out data into other people’s streams, be it Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Delicious,, and on and on… Our input makes these sites exist, and really, what would they be without us, the users, the contributors, the lifeblood of these sites.

Call it “user generated content” or “Social Media” or whatever… The fact is, you are probably creating content and giving it to others. Does that data still belong to you once you post it on those sites? Do you have the rights to it? How do you get it back? That’s the topic… That’s the problem… I have a few solutions, but I’m guessing others do as well.

That’s my idea…. What do you think?


BarCampMadison: How Social Can You Get?

I finally decided on a session for BarCampMadisonHow Social Can You Get?

I’m hoping to look at the typical “social networks” like Myspace and Facebook, but also look at how sites like Digg,,, Flickr, and others leverage social networking to enhance what they are already offering.