September 6, 2008

One Night, Two Earthquakes

A weird thing happened on FriendFeed tonight. OK, two things. First was an earthquake and I got to see everyone posting about it in real time. Not that weird, but a true expression of the power of social media/networking/microblogging - whatever you want to call it. A few hours later FriendFeed had its own earthquake. As Paul Bucheit posted:
“Vimeo changed the ids and urls used in their feeds, so all vimeo content is now showing up a second time. For unrelated reasons, some old YouTube videos are now being picked up as well (but these are not dups). The good news is that they are all very entertaining :)”

No, definitely not dupes, because these were videos people had favorited a LONG time ago - in some cases up to a year ago, I believe. And for some folks, that meant back when maybe they weren't using YouTube in a socially networked way. Back when they were saving "very entertaining" videos of a certain, shall we say, personal nature.

One of the Friendfeeders happened to find some videos that a person with a very public status surely would not have wanted anyone to know he watched. The mood got somber as all of us online at the time realized that revealing this gaffe could ruin this person's career. Yup, it was a weird night on Friendfeed, and a classic example of the dangers of open, transparent lifestreaming.

UPDATE: I went back and looked at this poor schmuck's friendfeed a few days later and realized: The guy had never posted directly to friendfeed and is clearly not an active user. He is subscribed to only three people. Only one person is subscribed to him. His feed consists of one page total with 21 tweets dating back to October 2007 and two stumble posts, plus the three errant youtube favorites. I kinda doubt if he even remembers he has a friendfeed account. But eventually that page is going to become googleable and bite him in the ass. Hard.