About steverbose

Hello, I’m Steve Lombard, the originator of this blog and the owner of steverbose.com, my work site. I am a website designer, writer, and programmer as well as pre-press specialist. I represent an interest in simplistic Web design that returns to the fundamentals of what has worked in print for hundreds of years.

‘Like,’ ‘Repost,’ and Other Facebook Hideousness

When something gets big, someone’s gonna fuck it up. Simple. One such group exploiting the Facebook juggernaut would be like-whores. It sounds harsh, and that’s still understated: it’s not so much the person who passes this seemingly innocuous lump of shit to your newsfeed; it’s the auspice under which the lump was created. You know what I mean: “How About 900K Likes for This Military Dog?” “Isn’t This the Cutest Widdow Kitty You’ve Ever Seen? You Can’t Possibly Pass This By Without Liking It.” “Bet You Can’t Think of Three States That Don’t End in ‘E’.” The math problems that hinge on order of operations to solve them… these are all the butt-children of like-whore brainstorms. And then there’s the ones where you’re supposed to like, then type something in the comment post for something to happen… but nothing ever quite gets to happening? Remember this Pink Floyd gem?

Exhibit 1. Like-Whores at Work

Pink Floyd Like-Whore Ploy

Never quite found out what was supposed to happen here… because nothing ever does. Unfortunately, hurling invectives at the originators as the useless scum-tools that they are only serves their ends: they have a link to a live Facebook account. It would seem to be great lengths to go to for no apparent results—but there are results for like-whores. It turns out that their big pastime is like-farming.

Like-Farming

From Scott Kleinberg of The Chicago Tribune,

When you like a page guilty of like-farming, the posts show up in your newsfeed. The goal of the page is to get as many likes as possible, because more likes equals more exposure. When you interact—simply clicking like on a photo of a puppy or kitten—your activity shows up in your friends’ feeds. And then they spread it to their friends. At this point, the page is gaining traction in the Facebook algorithm and becoming more popular and visible….

The big question is why? And there’s a reason. Money. Have you noticed that once you see these pages you don’t usually see them again? That’s because they are sold, stripped and get a new name—but they already have all of these likes in place. Facebook doesn’t allow this, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Sadly, you are helping.1

What is really happening with these likes, then, are not only the illegal sale of these pages from which the like-whores operate, but the nefarious acquisition of repositories of real Facebook accounts (and potentially hacked links into the host computers). This really happens and it’s not nearly as innocuous as the lemmings that play along would purport it to be.

Reposting Pleas, Emotional Blackmail, and Other Incendiary Ignorance

Hard to say which is worse upon considering this package of digital offal: this ilk appears to source from those not nearly as nefarious, but clearly really fucking ignorant. This can actually be a product toward the same ends as like-farming, but the originator employs a cause and, commonly, emotional blackmail as calls to action. This sort presents more as Wal-Martian and less as schemer. The (graphic) posts tend to be rife with syntactic, grammatical, typographic, and you-name-it other mistakes. There is more of a trailer-bouquet here. Of course you’ve seen this Romper Room fare (modifier wasted on the under-50):

Exhibit 2.: Bleating Repost Trailer Scum with Potential Like-Whore Implications

All-Caps Reposting Plea with a Twist of Emotional Blackmail, Multiple Exclamation Points, and Other Stupefying Illiteracy

This is difficult to post and really difficult to look at. It’s pointless to go off on the persons who interject this dreck into my newsfeed; if it happens too often (and I still want to keep them around for one reason or another) I will hide their posts. I don’t care how passionate these people are about passing on this junk; their causes are nullified simply from their infantile directives regarding them. I don’t care that people think that Facebook is a platform to ease their burgeoning security and self-esteem issues. I don’t care about the degree to which some people need to feel that they have exerted power over others. Number one, stop screaming at me in all caps; number two, I will not do your drama-blitzed, juvenile bidding; number three, get yourself some couch time that is most certainly not on my time. Apparently I am not the only one with this sentiment:

If you post anything–AND I MEAN ANYTHING–that ends with the words “98% of you won’t repost this….” or something thereabouts, you can be sure of one thing: I have you hidden from my feed. Anything that tries to guilt you into reposting is lame—from Christianity to cancer, it is all lame. Yes—we all hate cancer. Please don’t try to make me feel like if I don’t repost your status, cancer is going to win (or conversely, that if we all repost, it will have any sort of effect whatsoever on the fight against cancer). Cancer doesn’t read your Facebook posts.2

Just don’t pass these commode-candies around, ever. Simple.

First-Person Plural and Channeling Gandhi

Some people just have to do this—appear as guru du jour by framing their contentions in first-person plural in an effort to gain mass approval—and it’s really grating. Much of today’s variety sources from the vast desert of New-Age ‘knowing-shit’ faux-spirituality as a doomed, trivial, pedagogical reference for all mankind. This is a different sort of ignorance—not that the end isn’t money; often it is. Sheeple scarf this silage ceaselessly in their ever-quest for feel-good and instant karma.

Exhibit 3. First-Person Plural Chaff

So Pithy, It’s Authorless

This source wants to be the purveyor of All That Feels Good, regardless of the degree that they need to necessarily sell themselves out to do so, and aver fervently that which they do not—and can not—and have no cognizance that they do not need to—know. Usually these Facebook vapid-isms are superimposed on stock photos that have been generally accepted to be soothing, sublime, or otherwise real-effing-important in a New-Agey sort of way. This one is not, but I really appreciate that the author, though ‘Unknown,’ still had the clear and present sense to pass on this insipid, pointless chaff in first-person plural.

Aw, heck… I’m gonna ring up another one, and I will cite someone who seems to have the same sentiment as I do. This guy is Vox O’Malley, and this was taken from his blog page:

Exhibit 4. First-Person Plural with Punchless Text and Assumed Sublime Background

First-Person Plural and ESL

Please, I beg you to consider your careless disregard of the rules of polite grammar. In a normal conversation when sharing one’s views, go easy on the 1st person plural. Use the 1st person singular, keep it personal; don’t involve me in moral quandaries until you invite me in. Then you can throw around the plural with permission. Let me explain:

When someone has clearly been thinking a lot about some moral/social concerns in society/church/charity of their own interest they often come off with the following line:

“I think we need to do more about… we don’t do enough about….”

Whoa—hold on… “WE”? Since when do I have to suddenly share the burden of this concern?—you’ve been telling me what you’ve been thinking about—I’ve barely had time to process the ills you intend to fix so don’t slip me into the moral compulsion by your careless dropping of the 1st person plural! And what if I am already doing something about what you are discussing? You are forcing me into an attempt to justify myself by proudly listing my personal involvement in said cause. I did not want to have to do that.3

Right on, Vox. In the punchline-words of Tonto (in the joke involving him, the wide-eyed and scared-shitless Lone Ranger, and a helluva lot of charging Native Americans), “What this ‘we-shit,’ Paleface?” And the channeling Gandhi part means that, if I choose to practice first-person plural, I do it in an Indian accent so that it’s clearly parody and no one thinks I’m for real. Because whether I know it or not… during these lapses, I’m not. In this vein I have also prepared a Random New-Age Deepity Synthesizer; my next upgrade to this site will ensure that screen readers enunciate all the possible, random combinations of pure, punchless New-Age gibberish with a distinctly Indian inflection.

The plot thickens when pinching additional turds into the New-Age punch bowl. Here we have the usual first-person-plural gag-gaffe, this time with the think positive thoughts chaser:

Exhibit 5. First-Person Plural and ‘Positive Thoughts’

First-Person Plural and Herding Thought-Kittens

I am without words to express how fucking moronic is this null set: as if my lot in life is to micromanage my thoughts and cull out all the ones I have deemed as ‘negative.’ As the caption alludes, I am more well served herding kittens. My charge, simply, is to not attach to them. Oddly or not, it’s pretty much the same charge for the ones that I have ascribed as ‘positive’:

Try this: on one piece of paper, write down the ten neatest things that happened in the last month. These things were irrefutably positive and will stand the test of time. On another piece of paper, write down the ten biggest pieces of shit that happened in the past month. Bad, bad, negative, bad.

Put them in your sock drawer and leave them there for three months, then pull them out. Voila! Probably half of the things have fallen off both lists… and a quarter of each list is on the other, now. What does this mean? Well, good or bad—positive or negative—according to whom? Well, ME of course! Who else?4

dingbatSmall

Of course this won’t change anything. I am not expecting that it will. I’m not begging anyone who reads this to pass it on in hopes that it will go viral so I can become famous and start my own reality show. (Fortunately for you, the steaming, fetid feces that is tee-vee is outside the purview of this blog.) I simply don’t see views expressed on Facebook around these issues that just bury my Bullshit-Meter every time I run into them. To anyone who agrees with the sentiments here, right on. For those who don’t:

If you read this and realize that you do one or more of the things on this list, here’s what you should do: Stop it. Stop it right now. You’re being annoying. I’m not the only one who thinks so. Please stop. Thank you for making Facebook more fun for everyone.5

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1. Scott Kleinberg, “The Facebook Likes You Should Dislike,” Lifestyles, Chicago Tribune, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-08-08/features/ct-tribu-social-media-scam-likefarming-20130808_1_facebook-photos-newsfeed-the-facebook (accessed 29 Mar. 2014).
2. The Boeskool, “Seven Annoying Things People Do on Facebook,” http://theboeskool.com/2012/06/18/seven-annoying-things-people-do-on-facebook/ (accessed 29 Mar. 2014).
3. Vox O’Malley, “Irritating Use of the First-Person Plural,” blogsite, http://voxo.wordpress.com/2007/10/16/irritating-use-of-the-1st-person-plural/ (accessed 29 Mar. 2014).
4. Roby Springer, retold at various times.
5. The Boeskool, loc. cit. (accessed 31 Mar. 2014).

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I’m Not Up for Your Spam

I tend toward the uncluttered, as evidenced by the first post. I like to be useful, convey concepts simply without extraneous clatter, and cater to my clients’ best interests when serving them. Further, I am not up for taking advantage of clients, processes, technologies, or others for my vocational “betterment.” And—whaddaya know!—I expect the same.

Of course, you blog spammers don’t read. No matter: this is to say that I report all of your bullshit as spam and will not tolerate any of it. I don’t care if you purport to offer a product that gets me 1000 backlinks a day; I don’t do that. I abhor spam in my email. I don’t accept advertising on my phone, on which all texting is blocked. I don’t even have a tee-vee, partially because of the inane, endless, vomitous cackling of hideous advertising that emanates from it. Any evidence of similar violation here is treated as vermin. Finally—bottom line—I will not patronize any products or services that have been foisted upon me via spam for the rest of my natural life. For real. You’re kicked out of the kingdom and there are no second chances.

Again, you probably don’t read if you’re a purveyor of such, but just in case you do: Get lost. I have just mobilized Akismet and, if its claims are accurate, I will be hearing from you considerably less.

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Web Design for Sentient Beings

Welcome to the Steverbose Blog; this is a forum that would advocate a quieter, simpler approach to communication and design for the Web based on what has worked in print for hundreds of years. There is no need for billboard blight, irrelevant advertising clamor, and whatever other visual pollution we’re subjected to on the Web daily. We get it: there are those who want revenue badly enough to believe that assaulting us with a barrage of sad carnage would—according to accepted and condoned marketing and advertising practices—accomplish their goals.

We are desensitized to this approach at this point. All we really want is to be treated as sentient human beings and not as cliff-bound lemmings. Let’s quiet it down—bit by bit—and see if that produces an Internet that appears to care for its readers. This is simply my endeavor to do this and, in doing so, to clean up and quiet down my corner of the Web.

This blog is an investigation of the components toward this end: minimalism, simple layout and design, staid typographic and printing conventions, accepted references of grammar and usage. As this represents a wide swath, I am certain to learn the limitations of my present knowledge regarding such matters from others. Of course if any of these topics interest you, please don’t hesitate to comment.

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