I joined mastodon microbloging service, not the rock band!

mastodonI have always been a big fan of Jabber, Laconi.ca and Status.net. All are federated services which go well beyond the centralised and even decentralised ideas. But they all were second fiddle to the centralised services like Twitter mainly down to user experience.

So I’m wondering if Mastondon will be any different? Of course theres only one way to find out, and thats to try it out.

So I am… but what is it?

Mastodon is a fast-growing Twitter-like social network that seeks to re-create the service’s best parts while eliminating its whale-sized problems. The distributed, open-source platform offers better tools for privacy and fighting harassment than Twitter does, but it also comes with a learning curve. Mastodon’s federated nature means there’s no single website to use, and learning how to wade through its timeline of tweets (which it calls toots) takes some time to adjust to.

But for anyone who misses “the old Twitter” — the days of purely chronological timelines, no ads, and an inescapable flood of harassment — Mastodon can feel like a haven

Old twitter was great I’ll be honest but its not that I long for the old days of twitter. Its just I can feel the their business model imposed from their backers/investors infringing on why I originally used twitter. There is a blog drafted which is all about how business models imposed by VC/backers/etc ruins services/products. For example Pebble, Evernote, Twitter, etc.

So I’m cubicgarden on mastodon.cloud, which should federate across to other Mastondon server instances. Feel free to say hi…

Breaking the rules of online dating with bristlr

At Silicon Drinkabout last night, I was introduced to John Kershaw who created a social network/dating site for people with and like beards – Bristlr. (yes this is the uniform dating style thing, basically for anybody)

  • Tell us where you are, and if you have a bear
  • Got a beard? We find people looking for beards
  • Want a beard? We find people with beards worth looking for
  • Send messages to people you match with
  • Your life now contains more beard love, you’re welcome

John seems to have got quite a few people on-board with no advertising or promotion. Its a interesting site and hits a niche really well.

How does it make money? Well funny enough me and John talked about this at length. Unlike most dating sites, he won’t be collecting and selling the data  of the users. His privacy policy seems to follow through on this

Bristlr

We take your privacy seriously. We won’t sell your data. That’s a dick thing to do.

When you use Bristlr, we collect a fair chunk of data about you, but it’s the bare minimum required for the website to function. All of the information is collected explicitly from you.

As this is the internet, our servers collect loads of info like your IP address and some browser details. We do use standard internet tracking and monitoring software, namely Google Analytics, to tell us about who is using the website.

If ever we need to use your personal information for any reason which isn’t essential to the running of Bristlr, we will ask for your consent.

We may disclose your personal information if we are required by law. But we would be super fucking unhappy if this happened.

There is a premium option (there always is!) which shows you the people you’ve yet to match with who have “liked” you.  But realistically, its the price of a coffee or theres the pyramid approach with a referrals..

Bristlr Matches screen

I’m signed up, giving it a try and of course you can give it a try too for free. Theres a referral if you like to enable me premium for a bit  http://www.bristlr.com/?referral=cubicgarden

Ello and welcome to no pesky ads

inspired by ello, the network

Been keeping my eye on the move to create ethical social networks which don’t take the living piss with our data. Things like Tent.io, Known and now Ello are gathering some momentum…

We originally built Ello as a private social network. Over time, so many people wanted to join Ello that we built a public version of Ello for everyone to use.

Ello recently got quite serious about its non-ad and no selling of personal data.

Ad-free

Ello doesn’t sell ads. Nor do we sell data about you to third parties.

Virtually every other social network is run by advertisers. Behind the scenes they employ armies of ad salesmen and data miners to record every move you make. Data about you is then auctioned off to advertisers and data brokers. You’re the product that’s being bought and sold.

Collecting and selling your personal data, reading your posts to your friends, and mapping your social connections for profit is both creepy and unethical. Under the guise of offering a “free” service, users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy.

We also think ads are tacky, that they insult our intelligence and that we’re better without them.

To be fair its way off being something massive, but thats what makes it interesting I feel. I’m now on the network, so if you are interested in a invite and we are friends, drop me a email or tweet…

The audience vs twitter…

Mainstream

Channel4 is known for some very interesting social experiments including something which really gets at something which I have a lot of opinions about

However before I talk about that TV programme. Let me give you my thoughts on The Audience

If you don’t know it, its basically… A bunch of people follow a chosen person for a week and help solve there problems.

People with life-changing decisions to make – from ‘should I give up the family business?’ to ‘should I have a gastric band fitted?’ or ‘should I consider fostering?’ – are followed around by 50 strangers for a week. These strangers must then agree on a decision and deliver their verdict on the path to take. For the person with the dilemma the process is emotional, sometimes difficult and often eye-opening. And the audience holding this enormous responsibility have to navigate through layers of heartache, resistance and personal revelations, as well as the nights out, kitchens and cramped offices of the people they’re trying to help.

Although I’ve not quite watched the first one yet… It strikes me as odd because frankly…

Isn’t this just Twitter???

I say twitter oppose to your social network because its people who you don’t know. The stranger advice is a well known human effect. People generally prefer to confide in the stranger.

Or maybe I’m wrong…?

I know this requires a level of transparency and openness which most people are not willing to disclose but personally I’ve had very good things happen from being so open and asking questions of strangers…

Securebook update adds real Social Steganography

After all the comments and blog posts about secure book, rob best added real steganography to Securebook.

I paid the money for the full version and will be posting some secret messages to my flickr and twitter friends in the near future.

Its clearly amazing how this project has progressed and I’m really happy to have had a tiny helping hand in making this what it has become. Now I need to run this pass some to the guys at work to see what they think. But in the mean time Rob really needs to get this in front of Schneier and Steve Gibson on the security end  and Danah Boyd and Stowe Boyd on the social tip.

I’m wondering if there is a interesting tie up with Google plus’s automatic uploading of photos and securebook’s social steganography? On #Techgrumps it was already mentioned that this would be great for those taking and sharing sensitive photos if there camera was later seized. Not only would your photos be online straight away, but they would also include hidden and secret information which you could only see if your a friend.

Social networking your filmz

My Films

The man behind Reader2, myprogs and tagfacts is in the final phase of testing Myfilmz.net. Go check it out, same login applies if your subscribed to any of his other tools and it looks to have all and maybe more features than listal.

Its based on Amazon again, which is great but means you will have problems adding brand new films just out in the cinema. But I blame IMDB (i mean Amazon) for this. When is IMDB going to open there doors to Webservices and expose a ton of Webapi's? Even RSS would be a start.

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