Ok, so there are certainly bigger issues in the world today, but while domestic hypocrisy is in the air this week, I thought I'd at least vent a bit about one instance of it. Social networking leader and collector of massive quantities of personal information, Friendster has fired a seemingly dutiful and well-respected employee by the name of Joyce Park, aka Troutgirl. Ostensibly she was kicked to the curb for writing about the company in her public blog. This is not the first time such things have happened. However, it appears to be wildly unjustified and the blogosphere monkeys are going nuts. I read her blog, and with some care. It is innocuous. It even demonstrates a level of commitment and professionalism that rivals Jonathan Swartz's sanitized Sun blog. She posted only a few times about her company, each of which seem safe, sane, and well, almost boring. So to my simple mind, there's either one of two things going on here. One, she was not fired for blogging and other logic is at play, or two, in an exhibition of extremely poor judgement, Friendster upper management did fire her for blogging, thus canonizing themselves in the ranks of near to mid-term wankers. I'll not venture into the first, as the latter seems well borne out by the evidence. Others agree and as a result, many are advocating that we run out and cancel our Friendster accounts. And I'd do just that, if I'd ever had one. To close on a positive, Jon Udell has written with some eloquence on the matter:
Ecologists know that life is most interesting, and also most dangerous, at habitat boundaries -- where the ocean meets the shore, where the forest meets the meadow. And in the virtual world, where the private meets the public. A healthy ecosystem requires that we colonize that marginal zone. When people get hurt trying to do that -- in the right ways, for the right reasons -- we should offer them not only our condolences, but also our thanks.
Thanks Joyce.