September 2014 archive

Just testing that status updates do appear as they are expected to do.

Just testing that status updates do appear as they are expected to do.

R.I.P. Orkut, The First "Social Network" Many Of Us Used

Orkut logoI find it somewhat ironic that as many of us play with Ello, the newest social network to catch our attention, today marks the end of Orkut, one of the first "social networks" that many of us used. Google has shut it down, and the Orkut home page now is the home to the "community archive" of many of the group discussions that happened there over the years. A Google support page has more information about the shutdown - and how to export your data if you want to save it.

Orkut was quietly launched in late January 2004 ... ten years ago ... and I can dive back into Advogato where I used to write in those days and see that:

And... then that's pretty much all I seem to have written about Orkut... outside of a post in 2008 about Orkut planning to use OpenSocial (remember OpenSocial?).

And that's somewhat symptomatic of what happened to Orkut... other sites and social networks emerged that captured more of our attention. As the Wikipedia article about Orkut notes, the site became for a while a huge community for users in Brazil and also India... so huge in Brazil, in fact, that the site wound up ultimately being managed by Google's office in Brazil (and this is undoubtedly why the "community archive" appears in Portuguese).

But for many of us outside those regions, we moved on. Some to Friendster and MySpace... then to Twitter in 2006... Facebook... and tens of other social networks that are now lost to history... (ReadWrite has a nice timeline about the rise and fall of Orkut, including how Facebook overtook Orkut in Brazil in 2012.)

When Google announced back in June that Orkut would be shutting down today, it had been so many years that I couldn't even easily find my account on Orkut. With all of Google's various "accounts", there were a bunch of "Dan York" accounts... and my Orkut account wasn't among them. Obviously I'd missed that point in time when Orkut users were supposed to link their Orkut accounts to their Google accounts.

Still, it's worth pausing for a moment to remember Orkut. It was the first time that many of us dealt with "friends" and "fans". It's instructive to read this rant from danah boyd, venting my contempt for orkut... the whole "social networking" thing was so brand new in those days. Friendster was around, and a few others, but not many. Danny Sullivan's piece from that time is a good read, too.

And sadly, we never really got the "protocol for networking the social networks" that David Weinberger thought might arise (although there have been many attempts (recent example, the "IndieWeb", although that is more about linking publishing sites than true "social networks", but there is a 'social' aspect to it)).

R.I.P., Orkut ... you had a good run... and you helped introduce many of us to the concepts that would become simply part and parcel of the "social" world in which we live today.

UPDATE 1 Oct 2014 - Interesting infographic about the history of Orkut: Bye bye Orkut – A Look back into the History of Orkut

You can hear an audio commentary on this topic on SoundCloud:

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TDYR #175 – R.I.P, Orkut

As many of us play with Ello, the newest social network to attract attention, I take a moment to remember Orkut, the first "social network" many of us used way back in 2004... and that was shut down today, September 30, 2014, by Google... Read more: Also posted on Ello, of course:

TDYR 175 – R.I.P Orkut

TDYR 175 - R.I.P Orkut

As many of us experiment with Ello, the latest social network to attract interest, I pause for a moment to remember Orkut, the first "social network" site that many of us experimented with way back in 2004 ... and that was finally shut down by Google today...

(also experimenting with posting an audio file via Known out to SoundCloud and other sites)

Watching ‘Known’ Grow… via Github

KnownIt's kind of fun "watching" the Known publishing platform grow - and growing it is... each and every day in terms of new features and functions. Known, as you may recall from my recent post, is a new publishing platform available in either a hosted platform ( or as software you can install on your own server. Last week I wrote about why Known and the "Indie Web" are so incredibly important.

But the cool part about Known is that like most open source projects it has an open issue tracker... in this case Known uses Github. The overall Github account is ("idno" was the original name of the project before they changed it to "Known") and you can find repositories there for the main Known source code (/idno) as well as various plugins that work with Known, themes and other materials.

But it is the "issues" that I find most interesting. If you go to:

You'll see all the currently open issues along with the ensuing discussion. Perhaps more interestingly you can see the closed issues at:

to see all the great work the Known development team has been doing.

Being a Github user, I have "watched" the idno repository and chosen to receive email notifications when there are new issues or new posts about issues.

The result has been a fascinating glimpse into the development process of the team... and it's just been fun to watch how they continue to build more functionality into the platform. Great to see!

If you found this post interesting or useful, please consider either:

Why I Am NOT Always Okay Being The Product (Re: Facebook and Ello)

Shel holtz productSometimes I'm okay being "the product", sometimes I'm not. I just want the choice... and to know who has access to my data.

Today Shel Holtz published a piece on his blog, "You say I'm the product of services I don't pay for? I'm fine with that.", and after first replying to Shel on Ello and then starting to do so again on Facebook... I realized I needed to just write these thoughts down in somewhere more permanent (and outside the walls of social networks). You know... go "old school" and reply blog-to-blog like we used to do before social networks...

I certainly realize that you are always paying for services in some form, either directly in money or attention (i.e. watching an ad before seeing something) or through information that can then be monetized via some other way such as ads. I also realize there are hybrid services where you are directly paying for part of the cost while advertising (potentially based on your data) is covering the rest of the cost. This has been the model for newspapers and magazines for quite some time (and pre-Internet, of course). It's the model for TV channels now (since in at least the US you are paying for cable TV and being bombarded by ads). It's the model used for a zillion different services we all use every day.

I get that.

TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

I get that. And much of the time I'm perfectly fine with that.

I use Gmail, for free, even though I know that Google is reading my every message and mining that for data to feed into their AdWords advertising machine. Like Shel, I use some "loyalty programs" where I know that I am getting a discount on my purchases in exchange for giving them my data.

Going Too Far?

But... I start to get worried about how that data might be used by others. For instance, Facebook's new "Atlas" advertising platform launches today (see also "Meet the new Atlas") and so now ads based on our Facebook data will be displayed on other websites we visit and also within mobile apps.

To Shel's point... maybe that's a good thing. Maybe we'll see more targeted and helpful ads that we may actually want to purchase.

But... who else is learning about what we are doing and saying inside of Facebook... and are we okay with them doing so?

Maybe I've just spent so many years in information security that I'm wary. I don't expect that advertisers outside of Facebook would learn my exact information... Facebook is far too protective of the actual data (for their OWN reasons, not out of any interest in protecting me). But there are ways that information can leak... or that aggregate information can be discovered. Our web browsers and other devices can leak a great amount of information about what we are doing and what we are seeing.

I'm not 100% okay sharing all that data with others.

I guess I don't necessarily trust Facebook to be careful with my data.

Choosing NOT To Be The Product

Shel mentions network television in his post, and certainly I, too, have seen some amazing shows that came about through the support of advertising. Similarly, I'm been a long-time fan of National Public Radio (NPR) and while it does not have "advertising", per se, it has "underwriting" which to the listener may wind up being similar (just less obnoxious).

But I have chosen to NOT participate in that process much any more. Our family doesn't have commercial TV. We are a "cord-cutter". What "TV" we watch comes at us without commercials through live streaming services. We are paying for a subscription. An impact, of course, is that we don't get some of the latest shows... nor do we get the current sports games... because those are all still ad-funded.

We made this choice in large part because we were tired of all the advertising. (And there are some philosophical reasons why I think the fact that our kids are growing up without watching commercials is a beautiful thing, but that's for a different article.) I've given up on most traditional radio, too, including NPR, opting instead to listen to podcasts in my car or use Spotify (which I pay for) or other streaming services in my home office.

Similarly, I have chosen NOT to participate in some "rewards" or "loyalty" programs offered by some stores or services. Oh, sure, I'm in various hotel and airline "frequent traveler" programs because I perceive that there are benefits. I am also in one for my local hardware store because I get a discount and I buy a significant quantity of products to where I'm okay giving up my data for a discount.

But there are other stores where I am NOT comfortable exchanging my data for a discount. Either ones I don't frequent all that often... or just ones that for whatever reason I don't trust.

I don't want to be their product.

Returning To The Topic Of Facebook and Ello

Shel concludes his post saying:

Ultimately, being “the product” doesn’t bother me, and I’m not inclined to abandon a network that works for me for a new one just because it doesn’t have ads.

He is, of course, responding to the Ello Manifesto and one reason Ello is getting a good bit of buzz.

I agree that simply "not having ads" is not a great reason to move from one network to another. And I don't expect that I will abandon Facebook... I still find it useful and enjoyable.

But I find I don't trust Facebook anymore.

Granted, I never really have trusted Facebook since I started using it back in 2007-ish... but maybe it's even more the case today. I just worry about the large-scale data mining.

THAT is a good part of why I'm continuing my explorations with Ello.

I'm looking for a place where I can share information with others - and yet feel that the privacy of my conversations and data are better respected than in other social networks.

P.S. And yes, I do realize the irony that all my Ello conversations are entirely public, which means that all of them can be picked up by that other master of data mining, Google, as well as any other data mining service... very much like all my tweets can be picked up, too. That's okay right now because I'm not yet intending to share anything on Ello that I'm not comfortable being public. But I am interested in what they may be able to do in the future to allow more private conversations.

P.S. And I also realize that I'm probably in a very small minority who care about data privacy and that the VAST majority of people out there don't even remotely care about what is done with their data...

Photo credit: Shel's blog

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Verizon Wireless Hits 56% IPv6, T-Mobile USA 40%, AT&T 24%

The September 2014 World IPv6 Launch measurements came out last week showing continued strong growth of IPv6.  Verizon Wireless’ deployment edged up over 56%. T-Mobile USA is now over 40% IPv6.  AT&T is getting closer to hitting 25%. Telefonica del Peru crossed over the 10% milestone.  As Mat Ford wrote over on the World IPv6 Launch site:

We continue to see very encouraging growth in measured deployment across hundreds of networks both large and small.

And that is indeed the case!

Verizon Wireless IPv6 Growth in September 2014


Of course, not all the networks grew this month.  A few were basically flat and a couple registered declines, but the overall trend is certainly in the positive direction we would like to see – and this backed up by what we see from other IPv6 statistics sites, including Google’s IPv6 trend line that just went over 4.5% this weekend.

The reality is that IPv6 is being deployed globally – if you aren’t already making plans to ensure that your online content is available over IPv6 and your networks can work with IPv6, please visit our Start Here page to find resources tailored to your type of environment to help get started!

Tunisia Signs .TN And Arabic IDN TLD With DNSSEC

Tunisia FlagLast Friday Tunisia became the latest country to be able to offer people registering domains in their country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) the higher security and trust that comes with DNSSEC. On September 26, 2014, DS records appeared in the root zone of DNS for two TLDs:

People who subscribe to our weekly distribution of DNSSEC deployment maps will have seen in the email message that went out this morning a new bright green country on the northern coast of Africa:

Africa with Tunisia highlighted


The data files will also reflect the status of the Arabic internationalized domain name (IDN) .تونس  although the data files reference that as “xn--pgbs0dh”.

Now, it is important to note that while the TLDs themselves are signed with DNSSEC and have a DS record in the root zone of DNS, this does NOT necessarily mean that second-level domains under these two TLDs can sign their domains and submit the DS records to the TLD registries.  That “Operational” stage of DNSSEC deployment will hopefully come soon, but that is something the TLD registries themselves have to start doing.  Please read our 5 Stages of DNSSEC Deployment page to understand where these TLDs are in the deployment cycle.

What this does mean is that there is one fewer barrier in the way for domain registrants who want to sign their domain under either .TN or .تونس. At some point soon they will hopefully be able to follow our information about how to sign your domain and upgrade the security of their domains.

Congratulations to the Agence Tunisienne d’Internet in Tunisia for making this happen!  It’s great to see ccTLDs throughout Africa starting to add the security of DNSSEC – we look forward to seeing the whole continent appear green on our maps!

P.S. Tunisian flag image courtesy of Wikipedia.

I love it when a Monday morning starts with getting two blog posts out before 10 am! :-)

I love it when a Monday morning starts with getting two blog posts out before 10 am! :-)

FIR #775 – 9/29/14 – For Immediate Release

Chats with Chip coming to the FIR Podcast Network; Quick News: Why we remember content with images and video, Yahoo kills Yahoo, KitKat's Bendgate tweet eclipses Oreo's Super Bowl win, Sobo is Vine for audio; Ragan promo; News That Fits: Say hello to Ello, Dan York's tech report, is Apple's reputation damaged?, Media Monitoring Minute from CustomScoop, listener comments, Igloo Software promo, Michael Netzley's Asia Report, the last week on the FIR Podcast Network; music from Tab Spencer; and more.