Facebook, Say It Again

Facebook. Huh. What is it good for? Good God y’all. I have no idea any more. I’m thinking about mercilessly purging my friend list.

Here’s what I want to see when I look at Facebook:

  • A short note about something interesting or amusing that happened in someone’s day.
  • A picture someone took of something interesting or amusing they saw in their day.
  • Links to things people think I might be interested in.

But here’s what I actually see when I look at Facebook:

  • Ads for things I don’t need or want.
  • Social game messages that I immediately block.
  • Photos of people or kids that I don’t know who all look much happier than me.
  • Recycled meme pictures with funny lolcat captions that usually aren’t that funny.
  • Stories that people read that they probably didn’t want everyone to know about, but they didn’t know Facebook tells everyone what stories they read.
  • Recycled inspirational sayings about life or religion or bad days at work.
  • Recycled posts that tell me to “repost this if…” I’m a) a true friend, b) a true patriot, c) a true Christian, d) a true believer in some other thing or another.
  • Recycled warnings about something like aliens or body parts in peanut butter or abused children that were all proven false on Snopes years ago but I can’t correct the poster because it might hurt their feelings or make me sound like I don’t care about abused children even though it drives me crazy when people spread misinformation without taking two minutes to question it.
  • Links to controversial articles about politics, religion, or baby seal massacre that are guaranteed to start a flame war if you comment on them.
  • Too much information about someone’s day.
  • Nothing at all.

To be fair, some people do actually use Facebook correctly. But most people don’t. Maybe I should write instructions.

Next Victim Please

It seems that E. Wayne Powell will be the next Democrat to charge incumbent Eric Cantor’s machinegun nest in the Virginia 7th District House of Representatives election. (Assuming Cantor wins his own primary against Floyd Bayne, which, you know, seems like a good bet.) (Wait, didn’t Bayne run as an Independent in 2010? Glad to see he’s still trying. Most people never return after a 7th District election.)

Happy Easter!

Easter Island

Happy Easter! To those who celebrate it. And happy … um, whatever it is that non-Christians celebrate at this time.

Cultural Fit and Ageism

I was reading a Coding Horror article by Jeff Atwood about how to hire a programmer. I agree with most of it, although he is clearly hiring his programmer to work in some fancy schmancy Internet startup in Silicon Valley, not out here in the real world of enterprises and business intelligence.

Here’s the part that irritates me when industry people talk about jobs and hiring: "Cultural Fit." To me, that basically means you’re not going to get hired if you don’t have the right kind of personality and attitude. Your skillset doesn’t matter; you’re being evaluated as a roommate more than a skilled worker.

Part of that is having dinner and talking about stuff like the culture, philosophy, mistakes we’ve made, plans, whatever.

Dinner?!? I can’t imagine having dinner as part of an interview process here in Richmond. That would seriously creep me out. The obvious exception to that is if I were going to be getting a share of ownership in the company I’m going to be working for. And that’s probably not going to happen with Capital One or Dominion Virginia Power or the handful of other large companies that hire developers in Richmond.

I can understand not wanting to hire a serial killer. But much beyond that just screams out age-ism. I’m over 40, so obviously I’m never going to be a "cultural fit" with any 20-somethings (thank god). So in an industry that is constantly bashed for discriminating against older workers, how exactly is promoting “cultural fit” supposed to dispel that illusion?

The Spam Fight Goes On

I know there’s a ton of you out there dying to leave a comment (ha!), so I wanted to assure you that I’m still working on finding a plugin to block spam bots without blocking humans. I guess I should be flattered that my site is so popular with the spammers. (Ironically, I just saw on Slashdot that spam levels are dropping.)

Spam Attacks

Okay, I’m thinking about going back to my custom blog platform. I never got comment spam on it. (At least I never noticed it. :) But now I’m looking at WordPress telling me to moderate 13 spam comments, including this gem:

“Attractive component of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to claim that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts. Any way I will be subscribing in your augment and even I fulfillment you get entry to consistently rapidly.”

This is ridiculous. I’m going to have to dig into the WordPress code and make a plugin or something to kill this stuff. All you have to do is require Javascript and like 99% of spam goes away. I think spammers should at least be required to do a little bit of work.