miss_s_b: (Blogging: Mod hat)
OK, so I can see straight away that some of the links are repetitively worded, but I think that's because they've come from a Delicious to twitter to pinboard feed and that's a lot of steps to expect something not to get borked in.

I quite like that the Instagram posts come through labelled "Instagram" so you know where you're going... Lets see what happens tomorrow morning, shall we?
miss_s_b: (Mood: Oh dear)
So today I discovered that, having been going downhill as a service for a while, Delicious have started to add adverts into RSS feeds. Like the lovely Mr Ducker, I consider this a dealbreaker, and have therefore moved over to pinboard and deleted my Delicious account.

There may be a couple of feed burps and some formatting problems and such as a result of this over the next few days. Andrew's wonderful "feed links to your blog and autopost them" app works with pinboard as well as Delicious, so links should still come through, but I don't know if they will behave the same with regard to link text and comment text and such. I guess we'll just have to find out! Anyway, if something looks odd, don't feel shy to let me know and discuss among yourselves in the comments as to whether things look the same sort of odd for everybody :)
miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Fangirling: Columbo)
If you send me a friend request for foursquare I won;t even know any more, because after several attempts to delete, deactivate or otherwise remove my account I have now set all emails from foursquare to automatic delete.

Sorry about that.

If you DO see me checking in on Foursquare, it ain't me.

(obviously I am also still not doing Failbook either)
miss_s_b: (Default)
So the currently in vogue moral panic is internet bullying. First twitter, and now ask.fm have become the focus of the old media due to tragic events of varying description. What is it about the internet, ask the commentariat, that leads to such disgusting behaviour?

I've got news for the commentariat. It's not the tool, it's the users. A certain number of people have always been bullies. People have always written - and received - poison pen letters, some of them anonymous. People have always been pushed into suicide, scared and alone, because of the behaviour of their peer group. It's tragic, it's disgusting, and it shouldn't go unpunished. But it's not new. The only thing that's different about the internet is that now everyone who turned a blind eye to this sort of behaviour when it was happening before is now forced to admit that actually, it DOES happen, and it happens lots.

Worst of all, somebody has actually done some research (I know! Imagine! RESEARCH!) into problem behaviour online (in this case the community around a specific game, but I'd be amazed if it doesn't scale up) and discovered that most of the bad behaviour comes from people who, most of the time, are perfectly civil and friendly. It's almost as if, I don't know, we're all humans, and sometimes we get angry and blow up at each other? Like, big bad bogeymen don't exist, and actually it's a lot more complicated than that. Who'd have thought? This means that even (say) Suzanne Moore or Richard Dawkins aren't actually evil. I know, that's a big idea to take in. Take a minute.

Most of the people who bully others online don't do it because they are evil, they do it because they have very little power but they want to exercise what little they have at the expense of someone else because other people are always exercising power over THEM dammit, so they're going to do it too! Or they haven't considered how the person on the receiving end will feel, or they think it's funny, or they're bored, or a combination of the four. Exactly the same as all other bullying ever.

Now, the reason this concerns me, and the reason I am writing this post, is that the old media consensus that this is NEW and ONLY HAPPENS ON THE INTERNET and SOMETHING MUST BE DONE TM seems to be gaining some purchase among otherwise sane people. Few people seem to be thinking about why the old media are so keen for this narrative to take hold, and why they are particularly pushing it now.

Now this is just speculation, and might qualify me for a tinfoil hat, but who has the most to gain if the internet in the UK becomes regulated? Can it really be entirely a coincidence that this moral panic has come to the boil at the same time as David Cameron has reheated his plans for internet censorship? First he wanted to apply it to porn, but then all sorts of other websites got added to the list... And strangely the people with the most to gain from regulation of the supply of information are making a huge hue and cry about how the internet is bad and evil and Something Must Be Done TM. I smell something, and it's murine.

I don't condone bullying, and I don't condone mob "justice". But bullying and mob justice are not confined to the internet, and restricting online content for all of us is not in the interests of anyone but the existing media power blocs. If we want to stop bullying we have to create a society in which bullying is not a tool to gain social status. We have to make it less advantageous to bully and more advantageous to be nice. It's not going to be easy, and there are no quick fixes. The Quick Fix of internet regulation will not solve the problem, and the media who want us to believe that it will are not our friends. Let's not drink their kool aid, people. Please?
miss_s_b: Abby Scuto says Awesome (Feminist Heroes: Abby Scuto Awesome)
I see that circumstance has given you an opportunity to restructure. While I am sure you will feel the loss of Count Packula keenly, it would be a shame if you did not treat his departure as an opportunity for reform, particularly of what happens below the line. I'm sure you are aware of the dissatisfaction many of us feel with the way comments are run on LDV. But I'm not here just to whinge! I'm here to propose solutions.

1, The number one most important thing I would suggest is to follow the advice given in this article on the Online journalism review. If the author of an article isn't prepared to engage in the comments, there is no point offering comments on that article. I don't propose to retype Robert's article here, but I suggest you all read and digest it.

2, Please, please, PLEASE enable comment subscription. If you don't enable comment subscription the only people who are going to return to the comment threads are the combative arseholes who obsessively hit refresh to see if whoever they want to attack has replied so they can attack them. This does not foster a positive commenting experience.

3, You should read Anil Dash's article about how to foster a positive comment space, digest it and implement it. I think Anil's comment that if you allow arseholes to foster you're an arsehole yourself is possibly a bit harsh, but the advice he offers on how to stop arseholes fostering is sensible and easy to implement, and most importantly it works.

4, Don't be afraid to wield the banhammer. If a person came into your house and behaved the way (to take two random examples) jedibeeftrix or Simon Titley do, you would not put up with it. Lib Dem Voice is all our house. Don't be swayed by the free speech argument; you're not affecting someone's freedom of speech by banning them from LDV. They are quite free to go and set up their own blog and scream abuse at you from there. Freedom of speech necessarily involves the freedom to ignore and/or respond however you wish.

ETA 4a, If you wield the banhammer, do it publicly, with reasons. This way everyone knows what the rules are and how they will be applied. Vituperative trolls will see that they won't be tolerated and eventually stop bothering to comment at all. This will make life immeasurably easier on your moderators.

5, It's not about whether or not someone uses their real name or a pseud - Simon, bless him, is ample proof of that - it's about how they behave towards other people. If someone is constantly aggressive and arsehole-ish that's going to put other people off. Active moderation will need to be strong in the beginning, but people will eventually get used to it and you'll find you need very little moderation once it's bedded in. I can't remember the last time I had to delete a comment on here, but that's because I have always, consistently, had positive comment policies and been clear about them. The best thing is, because all my regulars are comfortable with what my policies and comfort zones are, on the rare occasion an arsehole does turn up, my regulars generally deal with him or her before I even notice they are here.

I expect this post to cause some controversy. I also expect it to not make a blind bit of difference. But I feel better having put it out there.


miss_s_b: (Mood: Kill me)
  • Autoplaying music or video. I tend to have lots of tabs open, and it's very annoying if you can't tell which tab the noise is coming from.

  • Flashing/scrolling text, especially if it's an advert.

  • Pop-ups, especially ones that are
    1. Advertising;
    2. Excessively needy - "sign up to my newsletter! Go on, PLEASE!", and/or
    3. Have the close button in an unusual place or an unusual colour
    Seriously, if you're GOING to have needy pop-ups, it should have a HUGE red "bugger off" in the top right hand corner...

  • Articles spread across multiple pages. The New Yorker is a particular offendor in this regard.
This list is not exhaustive. I bet you lot can think lots of stuff to add to it, can't you? Any really good ones I shall edit in and credit you.
miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b: (Default)
I'm going to put this simply, so that everyone understands. If this bill passes, Peter Mandleson will have the power to cut off YOUR internet. Not just your home internet, but your work internet, your school or uni's internet, ANY person or body's internet, because someone who uses your connection IS SUSPECTED of downloading copyrighted software. There's no court, no burden of proof, no appeal. Your entire family's internet could get cut off because your kid does something stupid. Your entire workplace could get cut off because of that one dude in sales.

This, like many other new Labour laws pisses all over the principles our legal system was founded on: innocent till proven guilty, punishment should not be collective for a single person's crime, beyond reasonable doubt, etc. etc. etc.

This bill is going to be pushed through in the wash up. That means no proper debate, no chance for further amendments, nothing. It WILL become law if we don't do something.

Now, we Lib Dems have done what we can. At our spring conference over the weekend, we bitchslapped our MPs into realising that this is not a good plan and they ought to vote against it. But there's only 63 of our MPs. There's nearly 600 of the other buggers. So we, as a country, as constituents, ALL OF US, need to write to our MPs and tell them that we don't like this. 38 Degrees have put up a webform for you to do just that, if you don't want to do it yourself. It takes 2 minutes, literally. Please go and fill it in.

My March sponsor is Mark Reckons, and he wants you to write to your MP about this too.
miss_s_b: (geekiness)
... is a website which searches for your given search term across several search engines, along with positive, negative, or ambivalent phrases. You can try it for yourself here. It doesn't return any results for me :(

  • lib dems: 89.1% negative
  • The Liberal Democrats: 76.1% positive
  • The conservative party: 78.1 positive
  • The Labour party: 87.9 positive
  • The Tories: 88.5 positive
This has made me giggle. Especially the first one.

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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