It is truly a web!
If you think about the way the internet has grown over the last 2 decades, only one word comes to mind i.e. phenomenal. However, one adjective is just not sufficient enough to describe the rate at which the Internet has been growing. The most complicated of things is that how the accounts on various networking sites can be connected. It somehow gives the feeling that there is a lot of redundant information floating around on multiple different portals. What struck me most amazing in the last few months was when I started jotting down the different passwords of the social networking accounts that I have: Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Live Spaces, YouTube, I realized two things:
1. I have too many accounts which cross populate/share my online activity within themselves just because I have linked the accounts.
2. There is more than one way, let me re-phrase, I don’t really know how many ways there are to post an update my status message on Facebook.
Let me just expand on the latter a bit. I can update my status message from my Windows Phone, Tweet Deck, Twitter through a hashtag monitored by a Facebook App called Selective Tweets, Facebook Mobile, and last but not the least from the Facebook site itself. There are a bunch of other applications/services that I have signed up for (eg: Live Messenger) which post an update on my wall. I am just too lazy to sit and track them at the moment.
I was trying to figure out which of the accounts that I have can cross post with each other and here are some facts:
1. My WordPress blog posts are tweeted automatically which if I want can be automatically posted on my Facebook wall. (I don’t do this ‘coz I get a bit, may be a lot, of flak from my buddies for posting very frequently about SQL Server (I work on this product). Apparently some techies don’t like reading about technical stuff on their FB notifications. 🙂 Double standards… Oh hell YEAH!! But it’s one against many… So I don’t take up the battle very often.
2. My posts from Tweetdeck show up on my Facebook wall which get syndicated by Windows Live services onto my Windows Live profile page
3. My posts from my personal blog on Windows Live Spaces gets posted on my FB wall through Windows Live Messenger
4. My Windows Live Messenger profile picks up my Facebook, YouTube and WordPress activity. These are what I have configured, there are a slew of other services that I can configure which I either do not have an account with or do not want to configure. But honestly, beyond a certain point these updates are just plain noise that you ignore.
I remember a time when games like Mafia Wars, Farmville, Cafe World dominated Facebook updates/notifications which people choose to ignore eventually except for the avid enthusiasts of such games who were always on the lookout for a bonus posted by one of their friends. I have been a prey to Mafia Wars more than to any other app on FB but those days are behind me and I have moved on.
Are you feeling dizzy yet?? Well, the amount of cross connection that the internet services have these days, it is difficult to predict how a security leak on the servers of one of your social networking sites, your online world could be inline to face all sorts of virtual natural calamities. You could be looking at an obituary for yourself or a controversial post/update which you have not made or a new attraction on a website which you didn’t know existed or never wanted to admit that you knew it existed!
It’s great that the world is becoming small virtually but the huge inter-linkage between various services and sites kinda-sorta-most definitely gives me the willies because one slip-up here and virtually KABOOM!! Cleaning the aftermath would be a nightmare. So, the moral of this ranting is to use a strong password for all your online accounts and avoid having the same password for every account. If possible and if you are that paranoid, change your passwords fortnightly or once a month.