America, I’m coining a term*

There are digital natives and there are the digimudgeons.

The digimudgeons are already over the internet.

They were clicking and dragging Geocities sites before most people even had dial-up in their own homes.

They joined Facebook when it was a college-only site. The signed up for Twitter in 2007 before their bosses and families were on there.

They miss Television Without Pity and Google Reader.

And they are pretty sure the social web is destroying the fabric of reality.

*I googled and in true digimudgeon fashion, this term has already been coined.

Dear Google, I don’t give a crap about your April Fools pranks but I do actually give a crap about useful services

Listen.

I don’t hate fun. Really, I don’t. I have even been known to HAVE fun every now and again. I encourage it. Within reason, of course!

But this is getting ri-frickin-diculous.

That link that you probably hovered on but did not click is a roundup of all the April Fools pranks Google staged in 2013 alone.

I realize that Google is a global ginormamegacorporation that employs tens of thousands of people, so it’s possible that the total percentage of work time spent on a dozenish fairly elaborate pranks does not amount to much.

But as someone who has been mourning the death of the internet I used to love since Google started powering down Reader in late 2011, watching a dozenish cutesy fake marketing campaigns pop up every April 1 now just makes me grumpy. Think of the brainstorming sessions devoted to coming up with silly April Fools ideas. Think of the teams that were created or leveraged to push those pranks forward. Think of the art direction, the storyboarding, the scriptwriting, the illustration, the plotting, the self-satisfied back patting once the pranks were posted and started getting hits.

Meanwhile, an actually useful program that many people rely on and like and would love to continue using isn’t getting the time of day from Google’s well-intentioned pranksters. They are too busy eating their free lunch on their indoor playground and dreaming up hilariously useless fake stuff to devote brainpower to so that people will get a quick chuckle on April Fools Day.

You know what, Google? You are not The Onion. I don’t need you to make me laugh. You are not Martha Stewart. I don’t need you to add whimsy to my everyday interactions with the world. You are not a DVD. I don’t need you to put Easter eggs everywhere. You are a company that makes tech products and experiences. I expect you to do that and really effing well since I pretty much let you log all the data about my life that you want, around the clock, and you use that data to make BUTT LOADS of money.

So stop f&*%$ing around with this fake April Fools crap and bring Reader back or make something better and more useful for once.

Spam comment of the day

The bots have discovered sarcasm:

That is a super-peachy-keen post. Thanks for really blathering on like that! Seriously, I don’t think I could have spent more effort wishing for something heavy to fall on me to erase that nonsense from my mind!

Ouch, sort of!

Shameless self-promotion: Recorded yapping edition

Remember this bit of strategic foreshadowing? No? Well, that’s why Al Gore invented the hyperlink.

So my pal Ed and I sat down and had a little chat about the social web and what a sticky wicket it is, and we recorded that conversation for posterity and for a time capsule element I will one day beam into my children’s head pods’ humor modules. My one regret is that I was having such a mouth-stuffing love affair with my honey-slathered bagel that I didn’t make some of the points I should have. Good food gives me temporary amnesia, so what? But honestly, if you read this post, you get the gist of where I’m going with my thoughts anyway.

The point is that the social web has such amazing potential for connections that never before could have existed. But I am scared about where we are headed because companies looking to get in on a good thing are hell bent on fucking it all up. The image I keep getting in my head is of an over-eager chihuahua frantically humping a human leg. You are the leg, these companies seeking to infiltrate and control are the chihuahua. They want your attention, they want you to like them, they want your thumbs ups, they want you to opt into the game, but on the flipside, they want you to play by their rules and conduct yourself 24 hours a day as if you are a roaming ambassador for them. What you do is what the company is. Your living out loud on the web means you are subject to constant scrutiny and potential regulation by your employer. Doesn’t that scare you? It surely scares me, and I have a fairly boring life and a fairly lenient employer.

Anyway, listen to the conversation if that’s your bag, and then check back. I was Ed’s guinea pig, so I’m super excited to see where he takes his project once he starts sitting down with the really interesting people he knows.

Death to theogeo

I killed my Twitter account.

I wish I could say it felt good, that it felt like a burden had been lifted, but that’s not altogether true. I feel a bit like I threw my car keys into the ocean. But that’s silly, isn’t it? Mostly I don’t feel much of anything.

Do not fret. I’ll be around!