Facebook, the social graph and peer pressure

I have stopped using Facebook months ago and following that decision I started cleaning up my list of ‘friends’. I removed from my list of ‘facebook friends’ all the people I don’t meet regularly, all the people that I don’t care about. I ended up with a very small list of close friends and family. Most of them are far away from San Francisco and don’t use Internet for anything but Facebook. I lurked on their life with a strange pleasure: I like getting pushed their updates, it keeps me close to them.

Reading this post today The Boolean Graph by Kevin Rose I realized that I may be on the other hand of the spectrum. My social graph on FB is now relevant, with only people I really care about. Their silly pictures and jokes, comments to the news make sense to me and make me feel connected to them. Unfortunately none of them is interested in using Internet outside of the walled garden: they don’t consider starting a blog or email me regularly with their silly pictures.

I’m thinking that probably I should start using FB more often again but I need a clear policy 🙂 Is this bad?

The cost of owning your social graph

With Facebook being that awful mess it is and always will be, Twitter becoming an awful mess, too, Google Plus being not really better than the previous two, App.net seems to be on the right track. A social network that is not basing its revenues on advertising but it’s selling subscriptions. Users pay $50 a year, get a service that seems not too different from Twitter but the product is not you. It reminds me of status.net and diaspora, it even supports PubSubHubbub but it’s not free-as-in-freedom software.

I support such experiments: selling advertising is not only boring but dangerous for the society as a whole. I’d rather pay to own my social graph (like I pay for this hosting+domain) than be sold.

More on Social networks: Micromanaging microblogs | The Economist.