Plink’d-in

I’ve been plink’d.

Not really sure what to make of it. Being a thick designer, and despite numerous patient explanations by Foe; I’ve never really understood the “why” of FOAF. What it’s use or ornament actually is. What the point might be, beyond the usual quilt-making, that is.

I visit Plink after reading a couple of things about it this weekend, and by chance saw the name of someone I knew: Muttley, who also looked like he’d been dobbed-in* by others. In what sounds like a likely new-age tagline for the service – I found myself in a few clicks.

I felt unease, and a certain lack of control.

I was there not by my own choosing, but by dint of featuring in the FOAF of others. Good folk and good friends to be sure (Betteridj, Hammo, Phil… thanks I think!), but I still felt a bit funny about it. There didn’t seem on a quick inspection to be any information which would lead to immediate trouble, like email, but there was a picture of me (looking younger and skinnier, so that’s okay) so I guess it’s mostly harmless.

I still feel uneasy about it though – aside from getting onboard and embellishing my page or ignoring the thing, it seemed like I had few options. I know that some other social-quiltmakers offer little control ultimately; but I was invited to join them by my friends.

Which is the root of my unease I think. It felt like my friends 0wn3d my name.

Which I guess might be the point.

—-
* ‘dobbed-in’ erm… I dunno: squealed on I guess. Ask a brit.

0 comments
  1. Foe said:

    Ah, it’s your own naming taboo…

  2. Hmm… “plink’d”… I may have to use that.

    You know when you’ve been plink’d.

  3. Well, just by publishing a publicly-accessible weblog you could say that you’ve already revealed yourself.

    Not unlike posting to Usenet.

  4. There’s this good line of Danny O’Brien’s about weblogs which was in the old days governments used to keep files on people, and now we’re all doing it ourselves. To which my response was – and how cool is that! We’re maintaining our own files, controlling how we’re represented to the world etc. Awesome.

    This stuff feels a little too much like governments though. It’s that massive of ‘other people’ in the world carefully noting stuff down about you, talking about you behind your back, without your knowledge. Maybe the difference with Usenet and weblogs and online communities is that (for the most part) you have a sense of people’s engagement with you. When they’re talking in your direction you have a sense of it. And in fact, in order for them to talk about you they almost inevitably end up pointing in your direction one way or another because pointing to the person (by URL) is something immediately spottable and conflatable with the human. With FOAF though, you don’t have that connection. It’s this thing that happens in the background without your knowledge, permission, contribution and (often) understanding. I find it a bit creepy too.

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