Social Media and SL

SocialMediaReport
Image Source: http://www.convinceandconvert.com

Yesterday I was going through my old SL links/bookmarks and went to visit ASNers.  Apparently the site no longer exists.  Not a surprise, but then I became curious what other SLers are using for social media.

I used to have them all – Fakebook, Tweeter, ASN, Plurk, and a few others, but I don’t use them anymore.  I suppose I have a love/hate relationship with social media.  I love how connected it can make you, but I hate how most of the companies actually work.

I refuse to use Fakebook (see here and here) for SL or RL.  I don’t agree with the policies and practices of the company, so I don’t use them.  I kept using other sites for awhile, but I ultimately decided that it was too much of a time waster – not enough benefits for the returns I was getting.

I was curious, though, what everyone else is using.  Fakebook, Tweeter, Plurk, and Flickr I know, but is there an alternative site out there?  I did some searching and found Avatarbook and Onlinker – are there any others I missed?

Now I’ve Done It

FB Photo Dimension
Maybe I’ll remember the dimensions this time! 😛

Yep, I’ve gone and created a Facebook page.  😛

So now I can (hopefully) keep better track of SL goings on – I am ‘liking’ pages and joining groups and sending friends requests like mad!

(If you’re on Facebook, find my page here.)

Now I need to get busy doing stuff to fill it up. 🙂

I have a week break before things get back to normal busy in RL again, so I thought I’d take advantage of the extra time and do some of those things I’ve been meaning to do, but never seem to get around to doing.

Facebook page – check.

New curriculum – check.

Current classes – check.

Dancing – check.

Photography – check.

Social Media Certification – working on it!

I’ve been busily grid hopping to different events (did everything open in October??!!) and I have a ton of boxes to open and sort.

What fun!

I’m trying to finish Octoberville, and then make my way over to the Peatonville Asylum.

And, though I’ve sworn off most gachas, the TAG! gacha event is open, and I have to at least go check it out, right? 😛

AND  – I managed to win the Fallen Gods gift from their Fortune Teller machine.

Woohoo!!

Social Media Time Suck

PennyHelp
Image Source: giphy.com

Ok, I admit it.

I’ve become addicted to social media.

There.

I said it.

Help me.

I used to have a life.

Seriously, though, social media has become a huge time suck for me.

(My life is fine, by the way, don’t worry.)

I’ve been trying out different social media platforms and trying to figure out which ones work best for me.

Some I like, some I love, some I absolutely loathe (I’m looking at you, Facebook!).

The Twitter

I love Twitter, though I’m not all that adept at using it yet.

I constantly forget to tag people (with their @ names), I can never think of a good hashtag for tweets, and I’m still trying to figure out lists.

I use TweetDeck to schedule tweets for my blog (is there a way to do that BEFORE the post is actually published?) and I follow quite a few SL hashtags.

Of all the social media I’m currently using, I think Twitter takes up the least of my time.

It’s easy to skim through and read what I find interesting and skip over the rest.

I can scroll through on my phone whenever I have a few spare minutes and I’m all caught up.

Facebook

I hate Facebook.

With a passion.

I get that it’s a nice tool to stay in touch with people.

But I just. Can’t. Even.

Nope.

I realize that I’m probably costing myself traffic by not having a FB linked to my blog.

I’ll deal.

It’s just not worth the hassle and the worry of getting deleted.

I could set up a page, I suppose, but then I would still have to use Facebook.

Which I hate.

So.

Nope. 🙂

Google+

I actually like Google+, though it is a bit confusing at times.

I was reading through my Google feed the other day, and my oldest said, “Mom, you still use Google+?!”

Like I’m old or something.  -.-

I like the ease of following other people.

I’m still experimenting with groups (or communities, or whatever they’re called), but I like it.

I have my blog posts published to Google, though I don’t get a lot of traffic.

That’s probably because I don’t spend a ton of time on Google+ either.

Other than my automatic posts, I don’t really comment a lot.

If I did, I’m sure my interactions and traffic would go up.

Flickr

I LOVE Flickr.

I also HATE Flickr.

It’s so confusing, and they are constantly changing things.

When I first joined, they had just done away with the ‘Pro’ accounts and everyone was complaining.

Now they have begun offering ‘Pro’ subscriptions again, and everyone is complaining. :/

I’m not going to spend the money for Pro, because I don’t see the benefit.

$50 a year for unlimited storage, no ads, and access to stats?

No, thanks.

I’m never going to use 1TB of the storage I get for free, and I rarely (if ever) see ads on Flickr.

I don’t generally use the home page, which is where the ads are located, I use the People and Photostream tabs.

And stats?

I personally think stats are a joke on Flickr.

I did some research to see if I could determine what counted as a ‘view’ for Flickr, because a lot of blogger apps want a certain amount of views.

Basically, any photo that appears in my people stream gets a ‘view’ from me, even if I skim right past it and don’t click on it to look at.

That makes no sense to me – I didn’t click on the photo, so I don’t get why scrolling past it counts as a view.

Plus, people ‘repost’ their photos to get additional views.

It’s too easy to game your stats, so it’s not really a benefit I want to pay for.

That said, I am totally in love with looking at other people’s photos/art.

I could spend hours drooling over photos (and often do).

Avatar Social Network

I like ASN.

It’s got all the good stuff from Facebook, without all the bad.

They don’t care what my name is.

I could be Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock, and that would be just fine with them.

I’ve met some really lovely people through ASN, and I enjoy using it.

It’s probably another platform that I am not utilizing to the fullest.

I think I need to develop a ‘system’ for using social media a tad better to help drive traffic to my blog.

*Adds that to to-do list*

I don’t generally log into ASN every day, because the app doesn’t play well with my phone.

But when I do log in, it feels a bit like coming back home. 🙂

Reddit

I must say, I really don’t care for Reddit.

The whole site is just – ugly.

Really ugly.

It’s like being confronted with a giant wall of text every time you log in.

I love to read, but – no.

Also, it’s a bit like the monkeys running the circus.

Every ‘sub’ has different rules, and you can be banned without warning.

(I’ve never been banned, of course, because I’m so nice and friendly all the time. 😀 )

It was all just too confusing, too overwhelming, and really, mostly useless to me.

I followed several SL subreddits, one of which has been inactive for over a year.

The two that were most active were basically just another place for people to post the same blog articles I was already reading elsewhere.

So, sorry Reddit, you didn’t make the cut.

Maybe next time. 😛

KoinUp

KoinUp is a photography sharing site, kinda like Flickr, but for virtual worlds.

There are quite a few SL photographers sharing their work on KoinUp, and I’ve found several that are just amazing.

I find KoinUp less impersonal than Flickr.

Since I do use Flickr, I try not to upload a lot of the same photos to KoinUp.

A lot of my extra dance show pics, for example, get put on KoinUp.

Or just random photos that I take.

It’s pretty easy to like/share photos, and everyone I’ve met so far has been really friendly.

KoinUp has a feature that lets you upload your photos to KoinUp and Flickr at the same time, though I’ve not used it.

I was also able to set up an RSS feed for KoinUp on my feed reader pretty easily.

I’m still trying to figure out if that’s even possible on Flickr.

If you know of a way to set up my Flickr ‘groups’ photos on a feed, PLEASE HELP ME!

KoinUp even has a way for you to sell some of your digital art, if that’s of interest to you.

I’ve not explored that option, but it’s nice that it’s there.

Second Life Social Network

This is a new platform, so I’ve not spent a ton of time on it.

It looks, at first glance, pretty much exactly like Facebook.

Which has led to some users questioning whether they are going to get in trouble for that.

They have said that they are working on changing the appearance, but for now, it pretty much works and looks just like Facebook.

Only, you know, you don’t have to use your ‘real’ name.  -.-

If it gets more popular, it would be useful.

I’m still waiting to see how Germany’s fight with Facebook over pseudonyms goes.

If Germany wins the fight, it might lead to a change in policy over at Facebook.

I’m not holding my breath, mind you.

If you like Facebook, you’ll probably like SLSN.

If you’re on SLSN, add me, I’m lonely and I need friends. 😀

SLUniverse

This site is probably one of my biggest time sucks.

It’s also, many days, just soooo depressing.

I probably should stop reading the PRS threads (Politics, Religion, and Society).

I’ve always had a rule that I don’t discuss politics and religion with friends and acquaintances.

I guess I thought it would be safe to do that on the internet.

ROFL smiley  <–  me, after reading the sentence I just wrote.

What was I thinking?

I mean, I want to stay informed and be good citizen and resident of the Earth, but, you know – people.  -.-

It’s nice to be forewarned that armadillos carry leprosy.

But I’m not sure I want to get into all the gory details of ‘Why GWB was the worst president in US history,’ or ‘Christie says teacher’s union deserves a punch in the face,‘ because articles like these tend to make me wish I lived on another planet.

After reading these posts, I spend a lot of time on internal debates, on researching related things on the internet, and then the next thing you know, it’s 5 hours later, my butt is asleep, and I realize I forgot to eat lunch. :/

SLU also has some real gems, though.

Like this one:  ‘Mark Hamill gets tired of the same old autographs,‘ which is completely hilarious.

Who knew Hamill had such a great sense of humor?

Plurk

The other biggest time social media time suck for me is Plurk.

I avoided joining Plurk for a long time, because people told me it was elitist and full of snarky SL people.

I haven’t found that to be true at all.

There is some seriously hilarious shizz going on in Plurk. 😛

I’ve seen pictures of crazy, cannibalistic land-crabs (yet another reason to never go to Florida), watched others install Windows10 (their results were sadly, sometimes not as good as mine), and learned that texture thrashing makes people want to strangle LL.

A lot of the people on Plurk have been in SL forever, so I’m constantly learning something new.

Plus, some of them are just plain hysterical.

It’s like all the cute cat videos and funny memes and friends all rolled into one place.

It probably took me twice as long as usual to write this post, because I kept going back to Plurk to check on things.

PhilKissPlus, everyone uses all these cute gifs, so I have become a gif collector.

Because who knows when you’ll need a good Phil Collins gif, amiright?

😀

If you are on any of these social networks, please add me – I promise not to stalk you. 😛

Germany fights Facebook thus perhaps paving the way for using pseudonyms

I find it interesting that Facebook continues to insist that users use their ‘real names,’ when clearly, LOTS of users don’t want to. While it’s certainly Facebook’s right to set their TOS as they want, it seems to be a TOS at odds with many of their ‘real’ users.
I’ll be interested to see if this actually changes anything or not. Same song, different day.

Jo Yardley's Second Life

The Hamburg data protection authority is confronting Facebook on its ‘real name policy and telling the social media site that it can’t demand its users to provide them with a photo ID.

The German regulator said that this violates the right to privacy and in a statement (click here to read, in German) could not force users to send them copies of their official identification papers nor could it force them to change their chosen names to real names.

These real name rules have been making things very hard for people who for one reason or another prefer to use a name that is not their official one or one not recognised by Facebook.
Artists, transgender men and women, American natives, people hiding from abusive relationshiips and of course those of us with a virtual identity.

Many of us at one time or another have had our profiles deleted by Facebook because…

View original post 214 more words

Virtual Identities and Choice

Identity
Image Source: connectiv.wordpress.com

I’ve written before on the subject of virtual identities.

The topic came up again when I read about a planned protest at Facebook HQ over their ‘real names’ policy.

I also recently heard about another round of SLers having their accounts deleted.

Facebook has their ‘real name’ policy because that’s what their revenue model is built on – selling your RL info to companies for advertising.

If they don’t have your real name, they don’t have a product to sell.

If you don’t like their policy, don’t use their product.

I am continually amazed at people who complain about a policy they were aware of prior to signing up for the service.

There are plenty of alternatives out there.

One of them, which I use, is Avatar Social Network – a platform built specifically for virtual world identities.

Everyone thinks they have to be on Facebook because ‘everyone’ is on Facebook.

But you don’t.

It’s not that Facebook doesn’t understand the issue.

They do.

But if they don’t have your RL information, there is no revenue stream.

So until they figure out a way to sell your virtual/other identity, they don’t want you.

What I have been trying to figure out is a better way to manage my multiple identities.

While there are those who don’t mind mixing their RL and SL, I try to keep mine as separate as I can.

So I have accounts on various social media as Kat.

But I also have accounts on various social media for my RL.

I have a friend who works as an MC at conventions.

He has two identities, and he uses both in RL situations.

But many of the people he knows know him only as his MC persona.

They know nothing about his real life.

I know an artist who sells her work on DeviantArt, but under a pseudonym.

She chooses to keep her RL separate.

That’s really the crux of the issue – people want to have a choice.

Virtual worlds like Second Life give people that choice – to be what they want.

And while the protesters will claim that they have no choice with Facebook, they do.

You can choose to be on Facebook and follow their policies, or you can choose not to.

It’s up to you.

Tuesday Tidbits

tidbit-tuesdayI’ve been a bit busy in RL, so I’m trying to catch up on all my reading.

Some interesting tidbits I’ve come across in the last couple of days:

→LL is considering removal of the ‘Restore to Last Position’ function.

Firestorm currently allows this, but not with no-copy items.

This is to keep people from accidentally losing valuable no-copy items.

However, this function is used by a lot of people (including myself!) and I would hate to see it disappear.

FS feels the same and is asking for your help.

Go to their website and leave a comment about how and why you use this feature.

Many members of the dance community have already commented, but every little bit helps!

If they can provide enough use-cases, LL might rethink removing the function.

→I follow New World Notes, and one of their writers posted an article a while ago about watching SL creators work using live-stream service Twitch.

It seems some of these creators have had their accounts suspended for streaming SL, because Twitch does not “permit Adults-Only rated games and games where nudity is the core focus, feature, or goal.”

Arguments about whether SL is a game or not aside, when the hell did nudity become the ‘core focus, feature, or goal’ of SL?

It’s certainly not the goal of my SL.

As someone pointed out in the comments, Twitch has no problem with people streaming violent video games like GTA, but SL is a no-no?

Idiots.

So, if you’re looking for a streaming service, Hitbox (Twitch’s main competitor) will happily oblige. 😀

→On the heels of this information, I came across Strawberry Singh’s Monday Meme (again, late, grrr).

She is asking everyone to make a short video and share your perception of Second Life.

Perhaps if there are as many positive videos about SL as there are trolling videos, people’s perceptions would change.

(I’m not sure this will make any difference, people being people, but it can’t hurt, right?)

→Facebook is at it again. :/

They have (finally!) released some updated information about their names policy.

And they have once again stated that profiles using ‘game character’ names (a category which your SL avatar name falls under) are NOT allowed.

You can create a Page for your character, but not a profile.

So, expect some more rounds of account deletions.

Honestly, I still don’t understand why anyone uses Facebook.

There are so many other options, including ASN, which was designed specifically for avatars.

Do yourself a favor and delete your Facebook account.

You won’t miss it.

I promise. 😀

How Much SL Is In Your RL?

Image Source:  ist.greenville.edu
Image Source: ist.greenville.edu

I’ve blogged before about how difficult I find it sometimes to keep up with everything.

I blog, I tweet, I post – there are so many social media platforms it’s overwhelming.

Zed and I had a conversation the other day about how she felt SL was slowly moving out of SL.

Back in the good ‘ol days, when a shop came out with a new item, you would get a group notice and a LM or pic attached.

These days, you get a notice from their subscribo or group.  Said notice tells you to go see the item on their Flickr page or their Facebook page.

In addition to notices, people plurk, tweet, and tumblr all over the place.

And since, as Zed pointed out, SL is essentially a fancy chat room, is it becoming unnecessary?

I’ve always had my offline IM’s set to go to my email, so I didn’t miss anything if messages got capped.

Although I resisted for some time, I now have that email accessible on my phone.

I have enough going on at various times that it became more convenient to be able to reply to people as soon as possible.

However, I find that my phone now goes off waaaaayyy too often.

If people come to SL looking for connections, is it unrealistic to think that once those connections are established, then they move outside of SL into RL?

How much of your SL bleeds over into your RL?

Do you keep the two strictly separate?

If so, how?

Facebook Petition

Morpheus
Image Source: dc-calamity.blogspot.com

I recently came across a notice in my Twitter feed that someone has started a petition to get Facebook to allow avatars to have a Facebook page.

See here for the petition.

Maybe it’s just the cynic in me speaking, but this is doomed to fail.

First – avatars are already allowed to have a Facebook ‘page.’  With a page, you can call it anything you want – whether it’s for your business (RL or SL), your stage persona, or your SL avatar name.

What people want is to have a Facebook profile using their avatar names (or whatever name they’d like to use).

I’m sure you heard the recent upheaval when several well-known drag queens took the fight over their stage names to Facebook.  Facebook agreed to ‘revisit’ their real names policy.

Yeah, right.

Now, I hate Facebook.  I’ve stated that several times.

It’s a great tool for communication.  I get that.  I just don’t agree with their policies, so I don’t use it.

People seem to forget that Facebook is a business.  What does it sell?

YOU.

Your personal information – your likes, your dislikes, and whatever other information they can collect about you.

And when you sign up for a Facebook account, you agree to all of this.  Including the part that says that you MUST use your RL information.

Sure, you’re free to disregard the rules and set up a profile using a different name if you want.

But that also means you agree that Facebook, if/when they discover that your account is not under your real name, can delete your account with no warning.

No one is forcing you to use Facebook.

If you don’t like their policies, there are plenty of other choices.

Take the red pill, people.

Please.