So what about Facebook?


Facebook was my first introduction to social media. But now that I’m tweeting and blogging (and oh so much more social-media savvy), I suddenly don’t know what to do with it.

At first, Facebook was what I used to keep in touch with real-life friends (and get updates, like it or not, from I-met-you-once-why-did-you-friend-me friends, not to mention the I-last-saw-you-in-grade-3-and-you-didn’t-like-me-then friends). Twitter and blogs were where I hung out with this cool gang of smart, sassy, bloggy-peeps.

(Nothing like buttering-up your audience, eh? Give a girl a comment?)

But it didn’t take long for these worlds to start colliding. I started meeting other bloggers and tweeters in real life. I started wanting to connect to places like the Fishbowl and Losing it in Ottawa via Facebook.

When I started blogging, I thought a lot about privacy. About whether I would use my name – first? Last? A believable pseudonym? An obvious screen name? And what about my kids?  I had to deal with more than my share of bullying as a kid and, quite frankly, the thought of cyberbullying scares the bejeezus outta me. So even though I try not to say anything about my kids that might embarrass them later, I also try to make sure that nothing I say online could ever be linked to them. Especially when I start blogging about my underwear.

But back to Facebook. I figure I have 3 choices. I could:

  1. Just relax already, use my real name everywhere, and stop worrying about it. Stop worrying? Not likely.
  2. Change my name on my Facebook. I hear that’s what the kids are doing these days, to avoid having employers base hiring decisions on something stupid they did in a bar once.
  3. Create another FB account, for my ‘online life’. Kinda leaning this way, but worried will just complicate things.

Do you keep your online & offline lives separate? How many facebook accounts do you have?


Zemanta Fail


Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...

When I started this post, it didn’t look anything like it does now.

It usually takes me several days to work through a post, from first draft to complete rewrites to editing, editing, and more editing. And when your writing time is carved out of stolen moments (sleeping baby? quick! type!) and fraught with interruptions (“cookie pweeze. COOKIE pweeze. COOKIEEEEE!!!”), it can take a very long time indeed.

Which is why a tool like Zemanta, which promised to take care of some of the niggly details – like finding relevant pictures and links for me while I focus on content – looked so very promising.

It is also why, when I installed it and my next Losing It in Ottawa post suddenly disappeared, it was very, very frustrating. Kick-and-scream-and-cry frustrating.

Days worth of stolen moments, gone. And on a post with a deadline.

As is my wont, from time to time (ok, pretty frequently), I vented on Twitter. I didn’t send my tweet to Zemanta, but they noticed it anyhow. And replied. Impressive, no?


Here is the conversation:

I had to do a double take. Surely I must have mis-read their comment. Surely they were saying something about their next version, not mine.

Seriously Zemanta? A chuck on the shoulder and a “you’ll do better next time”? No mea culpa, no link to where I could report a bug, no placatory freebie? I didn’t expect a freebie. I didn’t expect anything. I sure as hell didn’t expect this.

My first impression of Zemanta was really rather positive. It installed easily. It was free. I could see that it was going to save me time with the finishing touches. But rule number 1 in software development: do not lose the user’s data!

Rule number 2: if you do, don’t try to tell them you did them a favour.

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