Category Archives: EdgeWiseBlog

Our Blog Collective.

A Week Without Facebook (is like a fish without a bicycle)

[That’s a hattip to a slogan from my youth. Almost a koan, really.]

Trust me, it’s not hard to live without Facebook. Quitting cigarettes was much more difficult – and cigarettes are vile and poisonous. A better analogy might be giving up email or the phone (for some, certainly not for me).

It’s not that I’m noticeably healthier (though I have napped more). Nor have I channeled wasted hours into weight-lifting or yoga or reading. In fact, I’ve spent more time blogging in the past week than of late. That’s ironic because fewer people are seeing these blog entries and, if it were possible, even fewer are commenting. (Not a plea for a comment.)

Still, I’m happy here, back where I began, at home on my blog. Stop by again, sometime.

Status Updates

Social networking sites, such as Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook, let you use short messages to update your friends on what you’re doing, your mood, etc. Yes, a status update may say more than anyone cares to know, yet these short “Hello World!” messages do remind everyone you’re still alive.

Visitors to my three blogs may notice – or not – that I’ve incorporated status updates into the header of each blog. (On most blogs, the tagline rarely changes.)  The two of you who use RSS to subscribe to my blogs will still, er, get the benefit of these updates, which are like any other posting, only briefer. (Huzzah!)

I expect to update my status no more than once a day and as little as once a week on each blog. If you want to see all status updates for one blog, there’s a link for that. To see all updates and entries for all blogs – you glutton, you – there’s a link for that, too.

I do miss the interaction in Facebook, where a status update often elicits a response from more than one friend. Out here in the wilderness, these updates may only be greeted by the sound of tumbleweeds blowing and coyotes ululating. Do feel free to comment (just click on the status update in the header) or send email.

Why I’m Leaving Facebook

Before I leave Facebook, let me tell you what I’ll miss. I enjoy the daily contact I have with my Facebook friends. I feel a connection to them – to you – and their daily activities. At times, I feel I’m at a big party with all my friends, roaming around, listening to different conversations, dropping in and out as I please. Facebook is very different from email and instant messaging. That said, I hope each of my Facebook friends will send me email to make certain I have your address; send me your IM and Skype info, too, if you wish. Because, I won’t be seeing you around Facebook anymore. I’m not breaking up with you but with Facebook. I want to hear from you again.

I won’t miss Facebook’s stream of information that flows relentlessly, carrying important items off the page to be replaced, at time, by trivialities. Everything is equal and transitory in Facebook’s stream. But, in truth, some of what we say is more important than other things. At this point, I forget even the important things that flow away from me. The Web may be rewiring my brain, but I think Facebook is turning it to mush.

I wouldn’t be the first or last to complain about the time Facebook absorbs. If that time were all spent communicating, it might be worthwhile. I’ve enjoyed reading my Facebook friends’ experiences and their real feelings, and appreciated their comments and ‘likes.’ Not so much the polls, games, fads, and other hoops too many of us jump through. Above all, I spend too much time fighting Facebook’s gawd-awful functions. I won’t list my complaints here; I noted many of them as they arose. Remember, I’ve spent my life dealing with computers and software: I’m not easily defeated in this area, and yet, Facebook, you did it. This party I love takes place in an environment I can’t bear any longer. I’ll miss the party, but I gotta get out of this place before in makes me sick.

I do hope you’ll write me now and then. I hope you’ll read my blogs (better: subscribe to the individual RSS feeds or All Mark Considered – if you don’t know how, ask me). I especially hope you’ll see my photos. I still like sharing. You’re welcome to comment on any of these things.

I’ll be watching for the successor to Facebook. I long for a communal gathering place, but I want an oasis, not a stock tank.

All Mark Considered

It’s nice to have been noticed by mi virtual vecino, Rudolfo Carrillo:

If you like challenging content and clunky pre-Web 2.0 layout, I’ve got the perfect site for you. While the questionably formatted photographic elements may raise a few eyebrows, you can hear a real heart beating here. Dang intellectuals! Usability rating: 5/10.

I’m thrilled to be associated with “challenging content” and intellectuals. I’m glad my heartbeat has been heard. I’ll consider the source regarding “clunky” and “questionably formatted.” I’m not sure I can stomach being in the same context as Mario Burgos, however.

For the record, is my blog collective, mostly occupied by me and Walking Raven. I salt this page with thumbnails of my photos, which I wish you would take the time to see at I have other blogs, as well, including one on computer topics and another on wilderness and anything I associate with that. My pages on Chaco Canyon used to rank high in Google, though I’ve let them languish.

Take some time to look around. “Get to know me,” as Jon Lovitz so famously said. Thanks for visiting. peace, mjh

PS: Web 2.0 (Internet) The second generation of the World Wide Web, especially the movement away from static webpages to dynamic and shareable content and social networking. [Hmmm. My database-driven website with social-networking content (Flickr) may not be 3.0.]

If You’ve Wondered Where I’ve Been…

My blogging frequency has fallen off. I don’t know if that’s a relief to my 3 readers, but I’ve been thinking about this change.

There is no question that the end of the Reign of Terror by Duhbya and BushCo has greatly reduced the bile I choked back for 8 years. Thank god. I hope Duhbya lives a long life and is forced to listen repeatedly to how badly he fucked up everything he attempted. I hope I live at least one day longer so that, following his peaceful and natural death, I can join the long line to piss, spit, or dance on his grave. See you in Hell, Duhbya.

As for Obama: Every day there is some bit of news that reminds me that, just as the wrong guy can do bad things constantly, the right guy can do good things at a similar pace. Obama is undoing and fixing what he can, all the while bending the reed more to the left.

And the Republicans: It is great to watch them shoot themselves and each other in the foot. I’m happy to see them drag their feet (and knuckles) as the rest of us try to move forward. Better — far, far better — is the infighting and bickering. I hope Meghan McCain kicks Ann Coulter’s ass. And I hope Lush Limbaugh remains king of the island of the damned.

Politics hasn’t been the only topic I’ve blogged about, so the end of our national nightmare can’t be the only explanation for my shift in focus.

Indeed, finishing my second book in 6 months might have given me more time for blogging, but I loved the return to no obligatory writing and to lazing about. Curiously, the habit of writing daily did not carry forward once the final deadline passed late in January. (I turned down Windows 7 for Seniors, which I dearly wanted to write but which started with a brutal deadline. By the way, I mostly like Windows 7, which is an improvement on Vista — which I also like — but a less dramatic change than from XP to Vista.)

Last but certainly not least: I let my friends infect me with the Facebook virus. There is much that I do not like about Facebook. There are many interface problems, not the least of which is denying one the ability to edit much of the text one enters. And all the different ways of looking at FB that make it seem fragmented and disorganized. And updates that appear and disappear in different places and at different times.

And yet, Facebook has become like email, in that I look at it repeatedly throughout the day, happy to see any update, saddened when there is nothing. I like knowing about the day-to-day lives of my friends. Social Networking is a Skinner box. I press the bar repeatedly and gobble up the random bits I receive. Believe me: Facebook does not deserve the time and attention it gets. Still, two out of three people who used to read this blog now are FB addicts, too, so, it is you, dear reader, the one who has remained free, who I wanted to speak to. I’ll be back when I can and I hope you’ll visit now and then. Thanks.


PS: I still spread myself around: is my computer blog is my wilderness blog is my photo blog