You can't have it both ways

I just had a good friend send me a video that they had posted to Vimeo with the caveat that I not share it elsewhere. A public video. On a video sharing website.

This isn’t the first time such things have happened. I’ve had other friends tweet out “Having beers at Zeitgeist with a bunch of my friends. Come join us!” and then get angry when a person they didn’t “invite” showed up.

An here we are, the insanity of social norms being transformed by social networks before our very eyes. Somehow it’s acceptable to post a public video on a video sharing website, but not kosher for me to post that link in a chat room. It’s okay to post a public invite that’s disseminated to hundreds or thousands of people on a public service, but not okay for someone you don’t like to show up “uninvited”. And this is the inherent bullshit that’s being woven into social networking. You can’t have it both ways. You’ve got to think before you post every detail of your life to the internet. You have to have thick skin. You have to be okay with who you are and what you do as a person.

Because you can’t have it both ways.

Cross posting is bad for the internets

With services like del.icio.usTwitterPownceTumblrFriendFeed, etc. there has been a rise in something that I consider highly insidious – cross posting. Cross posting is the exact opposite of post aggregation and should be discouraged and, in my opinion, treated as spam.

  1. It increases noise. I’m following you only on Twitter for a reason. It’s not so I can get pinged every time you post something new to one of the 30 social sites you’re on. It’s so I can get your thoughts, musings and annoyances in little 140 character pieces throughout the day.
  2. It hurts usability. Not only do I have to log in and take action on Twitter or, but I also have to go and log into Pownce or Facebook to see what you really posted.

I’ve unfollowed people that actively practice this (including a good friend whom I’ll leave nameless). I don’t have any problems with posting the same thing to two different networks. Just don’t automate it and don’t make me jump through hoops to get to the end result. 

UPDATE: I also hate it when people automatically tell me where they are on Twitter via the billion different location services. If I really care to stalk you I’ll follow you on Brightkite, Dodgeball, etc. 

UPDATE: Updating your Facebook feed with your Twitter status isn’t too bad with the exception that it still kind of messes up usability since my Facebook friends probably have no idea who @a is.

Don't say I didn't say I told you so

I’ve had, shall we say, heated debates with a few of my friends about the stability of Ruby on Rails. After hearing about the way Ruby on Rails handles database interactions I was fairly convinced that it would make serious scaling a huge pain in the butt. Today, by way of an interview of a Twitter developer, comes the answer I’ve been expecting:

Running on Rails has forced us to deal with scaling issues – issues that any growing site eventually contends with – far sooner than I think we would on another framework.

All the convenience methods and syntactical sugar that makes Rails such a pleasure for coders ends up being absolutely punishing, performance-wise. Once you hit a certain threshold of traffic, either you need to strip out all the costly neat stuff that Rails does for you (RJS, ActiveRecord, ActiveSupport, etc.) or move the slow parts of your application out of Rails, or both.

It’s also worth mentioning that there shouldn’t be doubt in anybody’s mind at this point that Ruby itself is slow.

I knew ActiveRecord was a pile of crap from the minute I read in their documentation that it was “only” 50% slower than going straight to bare metal. Combine that with the fact that you can’t connect to more than one database server, force indexes or do other various MySQL-specific DB foo and you’ve got a recipe for disaster once you hit a certain amount of traffic.

All your life are belong to the Intarweb

I’ve been thinking about the Internet and, especially, craigslist lately. Since moving out to Seattle I’ve relied heavily on both to form new friendships and find new things to do. This is a brief list of how the internet has affected my life recently.

  • The whole reason I moved to Seattle was because I met Brad, the proprietor of, LLC found me via an article I wrote.
  • My closest friends in Seattle are Garren, John and Andrew were all met in one way or another through craigslist.
  • I’ve disc golfed, snowboarded, ran, walked, talked and drank with numerous people I’ve met from craigslist.
  • I’ve gone on a few dates from craigslist. I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say dating in Seattle sucks.
  • I’m going to Sasquatch with a girl who just moved here from Florida and was looking for a ride.

It’s really staggering now that I think about it. There isn’t a single person that I can think of that I interact with daily here in Seattle that I didn’t meet online somehow.