Thursday, July 30, 2009


I've deleted my facebook account!

I had a completely inactive account that I had set up a few months ago after being invited to be "friends" with a few old friends. For quite some time I've been waffling about becoming an active user of 'facebook' or getting out of it entirely. All along I've been inclined to delete the account but wondered what I'd be missing.

I have two completely separate sets of concerns.

The first thing I'm concerned about is privacy and security. I understand that, in Facebook, only people you designate as "friends" can see pictures or information about you. Nevertheless I do still have some concerns about security on the internet. After reading the posting at Betty's blog titled "Privacy and security online", and the article I found on Betty's blog concerning the Canadian Privacy Commissioner's fight over Facebook's use of its users' personal information, I feel a little relieved to be out of it.

My other concerns are more general ...

- Several of the message strings I read through were literally like reading the transcript of a phone call between friends. I was able to read a series of notes between two people trying to figure out when they were going to be able to get together for coffee! I'm inclined to think it would be easy to get bogged down in Facebook and waste too much time.

- I got far enough in my examination of Facebook to see lots of pictures people had posted of themselves and notes that they had posted about themselves and their comings and goings. The pictures were all of happy, smiling people - it was like one great big "life style" ad. A lot if it seemed awfully self-absorbed and contrived. I'm concerned about people feeling the need to present themselves in a particular light or "market" themselves. We have enough trouble dealing with the psychological damage resulting from marketing pressures already.

- I noticed that the number of "friends" was prominently displayed in each user's profile ... this explains why I keep hearing about people getting "friend invitations" from people they never really knew well. I guess you'd have to keep your "friend numbers" up! Nonsense!!

- I was very impressed with the Burlington Public Library search results. I had only heard of this kind of application of the social networking phenomenon. The Burlington Public Library page was full of very interesting and current information. I see that this would be a terrific way to get information out to the library's users. However, even searching 'Burlington Public Library' I was disappointed to come across the BPL pages' profile titled "BPL Pages Unite". There's too much freedom in anonymity maybe?!

In the final analysis I concluded that I should be able to get the information I'm interested in from other sources. I can see that networking groups could be a useful way for people with common interests to stay in touch however I still prefer more "personal" ways of staying in touch with my comparatively small number of friends!

Now that was long-winded! Looks like you pushed a button Library Lady.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I bookmarked "The Landscape Design Site" (

I added the following tags to my bookmark: Design and Combinations.

I'm certain that I will continue to use 'Delicious'. This landscape design site alone contains links to several other excellent sites. Apart from this, I saw many "tags" of interest and browsing even briefly made me aware that I could easily spend hours hunting around to see what other people have found. Essentially, a lot of hunting has been done for me! As well, it will be very handy to be able to find a web site at home and then look it up at work without having to redo the search.

When I "hunted for an URL" ... looking for 'Canada 411' ... I was able to see a list of the tags that other people had used to identify it and by following those I found many other similar search sites.

When I used the "explore tags" feature, I was happy to find that others before me had used some of the tags I used so I found even more interesting gardening sites. The other thing that was a nice surprise was finding that it is possible to hunt for two separate tags in combination to make for a more directed set of results! Finally, when I found someone else who was interested in 'plant combinations', I looked at her other bookmarks and found still more sites of interest. This is like joining a bunch of different clubs!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Blogs and Twitter and Facebook and Chat have all seemed to me to be a series of hurdles to be crossed! It'll be fun to be able to jump them all in just a few short months! The big lumpy dog is a hurdle that may take a little longer!

Big lumpy dog with ball

Big lumpy dog with ball
"How many more hurdles?"