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Glad to have you here but remember, you could be spending your time more wisely. Family, friends, maybe even your job if you are really pushed for something to do. David also writes the Building Our Home Blog as well as the wildly popular Dave’s Mindscape

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Voyeur to Vandal?

An interesting quote from Stephen Fry No Comment “The fact that I will have turned off my website’s comments facility or moderated it into effective silence is even now driving some of my readers (a tiny minority I’m happy to think) insane.”

"Peeping" through the window of your computer is expected, even encouraged.
Some hosts invite you to comment or criticize (whether they read your input is another thing). Some sites let anyone with half a mind to post, post.
But what if you feel compelled to offer your opinion and the inconsiderate designers have not included a soapbox for you. What indeed.
Stephen Fry of Jeeves and Wooster, Last Chance to See, and followed by over 2 million tweeters, http://twitter.com/stephenfry is now pushing Pushnote beta.
I read the PCWorld article about Pushnote beta, which on first read might lead some to believe that those with half a mind to post could salute or slam the person/product/website on the website whether or not the site allows comments. It was obvious, from the comments by the readers, that they believed this was the point of the software. Say it ain’t so.
It ain’t so. Ya can’t just graffiti on someone’s site, unless you’re a cracker/hacker.
Pushnote beta, not to be confused with the PushNote app for the iPhone, is a browser plug-in that allows people to comment on what is on a site. The comments are available to other users of the plug-in. They are not posted on the site. Reminds me of StumbleUpon where you can comment and recommend sites and randomly Stumble across sites based on your interests and the recommendation of others.
Pushnote does let you cross post to Facebook and Twitter but does not rank or recommend sites so you are on your own there. It does have links to The Web and Hot Pages which are pages that have been commented on.
If you have a site you could join Pushnote and see what people are saying and posting on social media, assuming it catches on with the masses. The downside: You can’t edit or delete comments, your own or other’s. The upside: At least you know what is being said and maybe address any valid concerns.
You say you neither read nor write comments as a rule. Hmm.
Is the average Joe going to sign up for an account, download and install the plug-in (which gave me some little trouble in Firefox but worked after updating the browser) so he/she can praise web content or will the majority just be slamming sites and other users?
So far the comments on StephenFry.com have been mostly positive with 3 4 votes for Stephen for Prime Minister or Pope.

For people who still use the Post Office Lake Nipissing postcard