So many people have been using social media sites, such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Google+, and many others. These sites have proven to be a great tool for many things. It allows people to find others with similar interests, in nearby areas. It also allows people to display information, pictures, and likes and dislikes for the world to see. Everyone has issues about privacy and ownership of photos. Everyone has privacy about things they say in a public forum. Everyone complains that sites, such as Myspace and Facebook, deletes profiles and infringes upon First Amendment rights. The Bill of Rights applies to the federal government, not a business, such as Facebook. Facebook has Terms of Service that one is required to read and “sign” agreeing to refrain from certain behavior. Whether you have actually read or not doesn’t matter. You are required to follow the TOS, and if your account is deleted, you can complain all you want. You violated their TOS, and your profile has been removed. Sometimes, profiles are removed accidentally, and they are completely in the wrong. False accusations have happened, and I’ve been victim of it in the past. Once the profiles are removed, they are gone. All status updates, photos, videos, and notes made on that account are gone. But, if you aren’t happy, you can always ask for a refund. Oh yeah, the sites don’t charge you. They make their money advertising. It’s just your information that they want. That’s why you get to post all your inner most thoughts for free.
I have this site that you might have heard of. You might have even been to it. In fact, if you are reading this, you are on the site. On this site, I offer a forum for Heathens in the Carolinas to be able to get on and discuss and chat (yes, there is a chatroom, too). On this site, I can offer free email addresses, host free add on sites, free subdomains, free ftp accounts, and all sorts of things, for free. I’ve offered services to Heathens in the Carolinas these services in the past, and there has been little interest. I don’t complain. I make the offer, and eventually someone takes interest. It’s like fishing. Cast your line, and wait. Every now and again, reel in and cast again. It’s only work if I actually have to do something for someone.
We also have this great forum that people can get on, and I can create groups, private groups, and private subforums for people/groups to use. The organization of the forum is much neater than that of groups on Facebook and Yahoo. As of now, I don’t know how to allow email posting, and members are required to log in to post. We have made it possible to use Facebook to log in to the site. Sure, Facebook is flashy and pretty, but not very practical, unless one wants to follow the herd. We don’t offer mindless games or “liking” of photos. But, we do offer privacy in posting information. The forum is made for the Heathens of NC and SC, and no one else, though there are a couple of out-of-state Heathens that we know well enough to have on the forum.
Whether the forum continues or not remains to be seen. It does cost money to have hosted, for now. It might not run for another year, two years, or five years. It’s there, it can be used, or it can be ignored. Facebook will probably continue to herd the masses into silliness. Instagram has already shown recently that they intended to claim possession of use photos. Instagram is owned by Facebook. Is your information private and secure? No. Any time you post online, you offer your photos, words, thoughts, interests, and dislikes for the world to see. Anyone can register on Facebook. One is required to be 13 to join, but anyone can enter a false date without proof. Anyone can register as anyone else. When you accept that really cool Swede, is that indeed a really cool Swede, or is it Agent Smith from whatever agency with a “borrowed” picture? When I approve users on the IHF forum, I begin communication with the individuals, and if I get a good feeling, they are accepted. If someone knows the person, and speaks up, the person is accepted on the forum. But, we know that every member on the forum is in NC or SC, or has a strong tie to Heathenry here in our region.
Just my thoughts…