Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

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Facebook and the Question of Ownership

February 16, 2009

This is not as frustrating as sitting through an English lit lecture on “authorship” but it still managed to cause a minor stir today:

Posted yesterday by Consumerist, Facebook’s New Terms Of Service: “We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever.” – this article picked up on changes made last Wednesday by Facebook on their terms of service agreement with their users. Basically they are saying that they own all the stuff that we users upload: pictures, video, blog posts, comments and messages… etc. Websites like Mashable reposted the article and started surmising what this means for us end-users and why Facebook hasn’t been forthcoming with this change, Facebook: All Your Stuff Is Ours, Even If You Quit. And really, why were they opting instead to change the terms of service quietly, choosing to wait for the oncoming blog-storm to roll in?

So obviously, once the story broke yesterday, it started a flurry of indignant tweets and retweets on Twitter. I first picked up the story early in the day when just the Consumerist story was floating around, but as more and more people retweeted the news, bloggers began writing and by the end of the day, Facebook decided it needed to respond. Facebook: Relax, we won’t sell your photos | The Social – CNET News

I love that CNET cites the impact Twitter had upon Zuckerberg deciding to write this post: Facebook | On Facebook, People Own and Control Their Information. Apparently, Sasha Frere-Jones of the New Yorker, a prominent Twitterer, deleted his account, along with other prominent bloggers and Twitterers in boycott of the poorly handled change of TOS. This kind of response to the TOS prompted Zuckerberg to address the change, but many point out he’s not apologizing at all, and asks us to trust that he and his company are going to be honorable about it all. Social media and tech site Mashable summed up the controversy and Zuckerberg’s response pretty well, Facebook Responds to Concerns Over Terms of Service.

I, for one, would love to see more specific terms of service written up as an olive branch to skittish end users. I just got back from Disneyland and want to put up my photos. I’m holding back. I don’t like the new terms of service, and while I appreciate wanting to safeguard content that users put up, I’d like more direct wording in the TOS about what they WON’T do with my content. All of this adds to a broader debate on the issues of ownership in the digital age- a debate that grows more interesting with every passing day and new development online.

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In a related point, I love how useful Twitter has been in making this into a story and pushing Facebook to respond. If the news reports on this tonight, it will be as more of an afterthought, and that is one of the many fascinating features that I love about Twitter.

UPDATE @ 5:53 PM: Twitterer @Mashable passes this article along: What Facebook’s revised terms of use mean for your content | Jacobson Attorneys: the new media law firm, a legal mind parses out the information on this subject.

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Saving My Livejournal

January 14, 2009

What’s not “about to fall apart” these days? We were discouraged from giving gift cards at the holidays because businesses are filing Chapter 11 right and left, people are moving banks because of rumors that a financial institution is about to fail, and it seems that nothing right now is stable enough for us to trust in. Economic forecasters say this recession will last through the third quarter of this year, and we’ll probably not feel any upturn until 2010.

So with that in mind, it shouldn’t shock anyone that LiveJournal may be in trouble too…

LiveJournal, after many management changes, is again having problems LiveJournal deletes ‘about a dozen’ jobs | The Social – CNET News. It’s not a surprise, since many of the most stable institutions are having problems, that LiveJournal is as well. There is even rumors here and there that LJ may shut down for good due to recession problems and problems keeping up with the newer blog sites and social networks.

I’m new here on WordPress, but I’ve been on LJ for years, and I’ve tried to maintain my journal, even as our friends migrated onto greener e-pastures. Sites like WordPress have already started advertising LiveJournal specific import tools so you can relocate your journal to a more stable host LiveJournal Migration Made Easy « Blog « WordPress.com.

So I started looking through the options for downloading my journal, just in case. Since moving here and seeing the above WordPress bulletin, I started looking to make an xml file of my livejournal posts. I found a lot of good Mac download clients for LiveJournal (I settled on xJournal). But sadly, I soon realized that any client making an xml file would only grab my posts. No comments.

The comments, for many present or formerly hardcore lj-ers, was the REASON we loved LiveJournal. I mean, CRAP, my goddaughter would not be alive if it weren’t for the discussions that happened in the comment sections of livejournal. Friendships, family, drama, encouragement, good jokes and great stories unfolded in the comment sections. That is a hard thing to let go of- to realize seven years could soon disappear without any archive.

But that brings me to my great discovery!!!

LJBook (Turn your blog into a PDF Book)!!!!!!

This site is a free service that will take your livejournal, no matter how big, and turn it into a book: posts, comments, all security levels, even archiving the moods and music for a given post. The pdf is nicely laid out, and you can set it so it starts a new post on a new page, and it preserves ALL THE COMMENTS. You can archive journals, or whole communities. If you have a LiveJournal, you just need to log in to your journal on their site, select the conversion preferences, and make sure you’ve converted your journal from the old format: Change Old Encoding Settings. Go to that page and if your livejournal has mainly been written in English, select Western European (windows) and hit “Save”. LJ Book will be able to convert your journal and ALL the comments therein into a lovely pdf book that you can download to your computer, and print even (the site recommends Lulu.com)

Anyway, I’m here now, on Facebook, Twitter, and so while I still use my livejournal, I’m on it less and less. I’m just glad that I know the years of journalling and community formed over the comments there will be archived now.