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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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delirium happy
It has recently been brought to my attention that people are using Facebook to play Scrabble. This causes quite a quandary to me. On the one hand, I've been vehemently resisting having anything to do with Facebook, with its walled-gardenness, its proprietary programming language, its encouraging of superficial social interactions, and its occasional spamming of me over AIM saying "come join!"

On the other hand, I love Scrabble. I used to play about 4 or 5 times a week back when I was at school, and it's one of my all time favourite games of any form. Personally, I like playing Scrabble at Scrabulous, but the only person I've yet to convince me to play there is shehops, and I get the feeling more people would be willing to play me on Facebook. As such:

Poll #1082224 Scrabble

Check the appropriate

I would like to play you at Scrabble on Facebook
I would like to play you at Scrabble not on Facebook
I have no interest in Scrabble but cna't resist tickyboxes

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Where's the "lol facebook. i like scrabble but you'd just kick my ass. so i'll skip, but you're still awesome" option? :D

jc and i used to play scrabble (or Literati as its known there) over at Yahoo! That was pretty fun. ^_^

It was deliberately left out on the grounds that I positively want to encourage people whose asses I can kick to play me :D

(I never liked Literati as much as proper Scrabble. The tile distribution, letter values and bonus square placement wasn't as good.)

You forgot the leftpondian spelling. That's what really bugs me about Literati. That and the applet misbehaving.

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I bow to your superior knowledge on such things. For obvious reasons, I have no actual first hand experience of facebook aps, and was only going off what I had read (what, you mean that not everything on the Internet is accurate and true?). I stand corrected, thanks. :)

Does that mean that the Scrabulous app can be played (against the Facebook-using masses) without a facebook account then?

I looked both at Facebook's Scrabulous app and at the Scrabulous website, and it looks like a no (I didn't see it mentioned). They really, really should integrate the two, IMO. Maybe something to suggest to the developers.

The spamming I'm less happy about, and the "Put in your AIM account and password and we'll fetch your buddy list and link up your friends" is a horrible, horrible thing that should never exist in the world.
Amen to that. I didn't know about the AIM spamming, but I do remember seeing an option to "put in your email address and password, and we'll rifle through your contacts to see whom we can add that you haven't already!" I was in shock.

Yeah. It's the same thing on AIM. "Put in your AIM account details and we'll go through your contacts, add anyone who's already on facebook and spam anyone who isn't yet." Grrr.

I do that regularly for my Gmail contacts as it happens, it's an increasingly common practise. Faceboook does it well, it gives you a list with pics of everyone it finds, and then you can select or deselect people that are actual friends.

Idiots that use it to spam their entire addressbook, and then spam everyone not already on Fb, are stupid, especially if they've got a massive contacts list, but if you do it selectively, which is encouraged, I have no problem with it.

The converse are people like Rapleaf that automatically spam your addressbook-to their credit, Fb doesn't do that.

I still prefer LJ, and remain of the opinion that Fb is partially what LJ coud've been if Brad hadn't dropped many many balls about 4-5 years ago, but they now work as a good complement, which is nice.

@rho: Link to my profile is on my LJ profile, and I've got about 10 games of scrabulous ongoing in Fb currently, not had time to keep the turns going regularly but yes, Fb works for this sort of thing because it has everyone, and you don't need to register at each new site, you just install the app and get a link in your sidebar (which you can move to above the fold).

I doubt I'd even remember to go check scrabulous.com daily, but I do check all my Fb stuff nearly as much as I check my friends page.

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An IRC channel that I frequent has recently become swamped with people playing the Facebook Scrabulous app thingy. As a militant social networking refusnik (I prefer the antisocial networking tools of IRC, email and the world wide web), this has left me feeling a) somewhat left out b) like a Mornington Crescent newbie, overwhelmed by people discussing their racks, irritable vowel syndrome, whether things are in the dictionary, and so on.

I'm not sure what to do about this, as, like you, I quite like scrabble (though I am terminally bad at it). I didn't mind when Facebook was simply a system for not letting you see people's photos and meetup plans, but this is positively annoying.

The obvious question here has to be "Is there a Facebook Mornington Crescent app?" One rather feels that there ought to be...

Indeed. Not that that would be a good thing, the scrabble situation's bad enough.

No, no, everyone should play MC on the York Server.

Umm, is there still a York Server? :)

Oh, well, everyone should play MC on it anyway, even if it doesn't still exist.

Didn't we find some software to play it over the net at some point? Or am I imagining it?

Yahoo Literati, mostly.

Ah, I seem to recall an independednt app, but it looks like I may have been thinking of a dream or something. That's worryingly not uncommon.

As a militant social networking refusnik


What definition of SN are you using there? Because any sane definition I've seen has Livejournal on the list of most succesful SNs.

LJ is a blogging platform SN with damn good privacy controls, YouTube is a videoblogging SN with mediocre privacy controls, Fb is an expandable SN with crappy-to-non-existent privacy controls but with a much bigger userbase and some very useful features.

If you don't want to be involved in any social networks online, I suggest you delete your LJ and refuse to use eBay and Amazon from now on as well.


Because as I said above, Fb is merely LJ with bells on and less geek appeal.

What definition of SN are you using there? Because any sane definition I've seen has Livejournal on the list of most succesful SNs.

Approximately "those trendy web2.0 things that are commonly referred to as social networking sites". As opposed to the traditional social networking tools such as IRC and usenet, or as you seem to be suggesting, anything used by people to interract with each other in some way on the internet.

LJ is, by any stretch of the imagination, a blogging tool. Yes, obviously it's developed a network of social networks via communities and the comments system, but when I joined it was a primarily tool for maintaining and agregating blogs. That was why I joined it, and is how I tend to use it.

eBay and Amazon are (or were last time I used them) about buying and selling stuff. Any social networking therein (is there any, beyond the feedback and review mechanisms?) is coincidental.

You'll also note that I don't actually post to LJ, mainly because I have no interest in maintaining a blog, but also because if I did, I'd want to have proper control of it. I maintain this account primarily as a means of reading protected entries.


As a heuristic, I propose the "Are you on ...?" test:
  • "Are you on Facebook/Myspace/Gaydar/etc)?" - yup, see that a lot. Very likely to be social networking tools, doubly so if it's not clear what they actually do.

  • "Are you on Livejournal?" - yeah, see that too *glares at bi community*, but compare and contrast with "Do you have a Livejournal?"

  • "Are you on MSN Messenger (or whatever they're calling it this month)?" - Again fairly common. Slightly different kind of social networking to the above, but still counts.
  • "Are you on Amazon Marketplace?" - not likely, except perhaps as a reply to "What should I do with all these old textbooks?".

  • "Are you on email?" - the sort of thing my mum would say, in the style of the previous generation's "Are you on the telephone?" (meaning "Do you have a telephone installed in your house?", not "Are you currently in the middle of a call?"). Someone familiar with the technology just wouldn't say it that way.

  • "Are you on a blog?" - Again no. That's "a blog" in the generic sense of do you have one that I can read, not a specific tool. Same would go for "the web".

  • "Are you on World Of Warcraft?" - I suppose this one's plausible, in the right context, but I'd expect it to be "Do you play?". Maybe I'm out of touch, and it's another MSG Messenger.

*Rushes out to patent MSG Messenger*

Chinese-food-over-IP the easy way.

No, the later question is "Which WoW server are you on?" :-)

I've had this open through two crashes and a very busy few days, so apologies for the summary answer rather than the full discussion it deserves.

LJ was set up by brad for the express purpose of keeping in touch with his friends easily. I joined it when a friend moved to London and asked me to so we could keep in touch. LJ was one of the first 'social networks', even from before the term was coined. On the other hand, my old MP signed up for MySpace as he wanted to try this 'blogging' thing out, and given that MySpace is becoming a music SN, and he's an occasional DJ, it's worked very well for him ( http://blogs.myspace.com/adriansandersmp ).

MySpace was built by a spam company as a dating site and has a built in blogging platform with rudimentary networking features—LJ's SN features are, for the most part, better than MS.

SN is the latest 'buzzword' within the web, and is part of 'web 2.0', otherwsie known as 'user generated content', of which blogging is a major part. Ergo, LJ is an SN, and was one of the earliest bits of "web 2.0", which was coined at a marketing conference in, I think, 1999.

People exchange messages and make friends on eBay and Amazon. Ergo it has SN features, and they're trying to build on those features (SRSLY, I have no idea why, but they are).

I have read a report that describes WoW as the largest and most succesful of the existing SNs. My primary use for LJ for the first year or so was to keep track of friends and chase after pretty girls I met clubbing.

Yes, it happens to be a bloody good aggregator, and I now use it as such, and 'blog' on here (although I've got backups on my own server), but the owners don't actual market LJ as an aggregator, despite the friends page being one of the key USPs. And a whole bunch of users will complain most vociferously if you call LJ a blogging platform, it's not, apparently, journals aren't blogs. No, I don't get that objection either.

SN is another buzzword used by those that don't "get" the net to describe it, and by marketing types to try to get normal people in. I've said elsewhere—Facebook is as userfriendly as LJ cound and should have been, and is thus picking up a huge amount of usage that would otherwise be here.

Hmm, this was supposed to be a brief comment, my apologies for rambling but still not really addressing your points fully.

But I do like the idea of MSG messenger. Not that I'm ever likely to become a convert to IM as a means of online communication, I use it at work because I'm told to...

i'd play you on scrabulous. i'm very rusty -- used to be able to score regularly in the high 300s, these days i'm sure i'd tank out around the mid-100s -- but i like scrabble, dammit.

(best internet scrabble implementation evah was the one we had on our MOO, waaaay back.)

if I had internet at home, I'd play you scrabble anytime. since i don't, well, i've almost used up my november internet café allowance (don't ask how many hours i let myself have a month, it's quite embarassing that i've used them mostly up by the 4th.) and that leaves the library.

i'm not particularly interested in facebook

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