Tag Archives: twitter


Things happening at Bebo.

I’ve just noticed a comment in the press saying that Michael Birch, one of the founders of Bebo, has actually bought it back in some bankruptcy sale for around $1 million – if we go back in time a bit to Bebo’s peak, I think Birch sold it off to AOL for something around $850 million. That was at a time where in many countries Bebo was the dominant social networking site, this being at a time before Facebook had really started its rise to domination.

I do remember at the start of an academic year walking through one of the computer areas in my campus library and noticing one or two of the students had this Bebo site up on their screens. At that time I had not heard of it before and was curious as to what it was. Fast forward 12 weeks and we’re almost at the Christmas break, walking through the same computer area again and found an almost exact opposite situation – where there were only one or two people who did not have a Bebo window up somewhere on their monitor. It really had gone from nowhere to everywhere that quickly. However Birch then sold it off to AOL, and once they got their hands on it they did their usual thing and made a total pig’s ear of it.

The faster something rises up then the faster it can fall down, and so under AOL’s guidance it rapidly descanted into almost total oblivion and irrelevance. AOL in turn sold it on to Criterion Capital Partners. However it did maintain (and still does as far as I can tell) a sort of core number of active users on the site.

Now that Michael Birch has paid $1 million to get it back I wonder what he’s got planned for it. He can’t just re-invent it as it was, Twitter and Facebook have taken that ground away from him. So what will he do?

I think it is going to be a case of ‘I’ve no idea’, because if it was that obvious such that I could think of it someone else would have already done it, so he’s going to have to come up with something quite novel and new.

After all, it is one thing to develop a brand new site that no one has ever heard of so it doesn’t have either a good or bad reputation; it’s another thing to pick up an old site which is seen by many as a bit of a joke and to try and turn it around. On the other hand he has got a well-known brand name behind him again. We’ll just have to see what he does with it, I’m almost tempted to sign up again purely to keep an eye as to what may develop.

Internet use and data security

As we use the internet, how seriously do we take our data security?

I’ve been using the internet now for over 20 years. My first real experience involved a friend taking me off to some Unix computers to look at a collection of amazing planet / space images he’d found from (I think) NASA. This was not using a web browser (this was just as the web was starting to get noticed, my first web browsing experience was about 3 months later) but through Gopher space. However even prior to this I’d been playing around with computers for some time.

So over all these 20+ years of computer usage I’ve been infected three times by viruses, the last one about six years ago. However yesterday was the first time I’ve actually had one of my services (Twitter) hacked into. This did get me thinking a bit about control, and about how much I now have (or don’t have) over my information when actually using the computer in front of me. Even now, I’m not writing this on a word processor on my machine, but using Evernote, which automatically saves this to a server somewhere out on the internet! I’m currently using Macs, often hyped for their resilience against viruses, I also keep my software up to date with the latest patches and fixes, yet this did not stop my Twitter from being despoiled.

With the expectation now of ‘total access’ to all of your services from anywhere, school, work, home, on the train (even my local buses are now advertising wi-fi access) we’re passing across to others so much control without knowing what’s going on with our data. We all tick those boxes saying we have read the Terms and Conditions, but how many do read them, or when you do, make any sense of them. Even if your data is (supposedly) stored on a server in the EU or in the United States, what route did it take to get there. While you were tapping away on the keyboard, did the wonders of the internet direct it from your ISP through to some other country before it made its way back to your preferred data centre? If your data is intercepted en-route, who do you turn to for help!

I really do find it useful to have access to my information and to be able to do my social networking from anywhere and everywhere, but there is a price to pay for this. I just hope it’s worth it!

A long overdue update.

Time for a long overdue update.

I have discovered and learnt all sorts of things since coming across the YouTube community. (Within this ‘YouTube community’, I include Twitter, BlogTV and all those other inter-related communication networks.) I’ve met amazing people through them and been to places that I’d never have gone to. I’ve made friends of all ages and now communicate with people from all over the world. In other blogs I’ve talked about this friendship side before.

Nevertheless there is an alternative side to it.

For the first time ever, I’ve learnt to really dislike people. Up till now I’ve had my few good friends, a larger circle of general friend, those others I’d class as acquaintances, and finally those who just had no meaning to me. Within this last group would be those who I did not like. There would be no real feeling of ‘dislike’ just a more negative indifference feeling. Of ignoring, or kind of allowing for their presence but not letting them get to me. A case of accepting that there will be good and bad in life, so best you just get on with life.

However since seeing and experiencing the hostility and bickering that has gone on over the last couple of years (some – but thankfully only a small amount – directed at myself); the antagonism, jealousies, bitterness; some so petty, but so much quite aggressive and destructive, I find myself now actually learning to truly dislike others. Not just indifference, but proper dislike, of feeling ofl distaste at their presence should they be near to me. This is something that has never happened before, and is starting to reflect through to my every day life. Where before I was happy enough to work with those who I previously had little time for, now, well, as this involves work (who pay my wages and as such allow me to live life) I shall refrain from putting my thoughts in writing.

It’s a shame that this has happened, and it’s certainly making me think as to how or what I want to do with YouTube. One thing I can’t do and that’s undo the past, so I guess I’ll have to live with it, the positives of YouTube still outweigh the negatives. A matter of reminding myself that there are still some amazingly good people out there.

(Perhaps having got this overdue update out of the way I’ll post more regularly.)

Nerimon & the Internet.

I can quite sympathise with Alex Day over closing off much of his ‘Nerimon’ internet stuff. I like YouTube (& BlogTV), but things like twitter, well, now the novelty has worn off it’s becoming more irritating than anything else. One trouble for me is that it can be very fast-moving, and if you have more of a life than just sitting on the internet and having a twitter browser page open, then it’s very easy to get left behind in some conversation. Don’t look at it for a day and you may have pages of tweets and ‘half complete’ conversations to work your way through. Facebook, I just keep that because many people use it as a way of highlighting YouTube Gathering. Bebo, once very popular with the student crowd around me so having access to it was handy, but it’s fallen out of favour and I never bothered with it other than as a back-up blog channel. I quite like DailyBooth and will probably stick with that for a while.

I like the internet. I want to use it. I enjoy this sort of technology stuff. My first e-mail address, or mailbox as it was called then, I got over 20 years ago. But I want it so *I* use *it*, not to have it control and dominate my life. I guess it does dominate – I’d be totally lost without it – but I still want it such that *I* have control and *I* decide over when and how I use it.

So go for it Alex, and everyone else who wants to. Get rid of the non-essential crap that just distracts you away from life. Keep the core elements, the rest will still be here if you want to return.