Facebook Fatigue, Fastpitch Networking the answer?

Unpleasantness again?

Hey, your account is temporarily unavailable due to site maintenance. It should be available again within a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Sometimes this is what I get if I try to connect with Facebook after some of my contacts on Facebook “did” something that cluttered my e-mail in box. Usually I find myself reacting only to one in ten e-mails, as each and every company out there seems to develop its own Facebook application.

Last week it was even worse….I got no unavailability message when I tried to log in. I simply weren’t getting access. Is it a glitch of my latest Firefox update maybe? No, I get the same result in IE. Is my IP blocked maybe? Possibly, as from another computer which uses another IP I get normal access. Very strange….Restarting my computer may have helped….Yes I do run anti virus software and anti trojan software and whatever…

The Banning policy of Facebook
This unpleasantness made me remember that an update on my post Happy Hotelier Banned from Facebook? was on the back burner.

I got some comments to that post.

Sean Scully a freelance writer in Philadelphia, USA, got the same treatment to his great annoyance. Unlike me he wasn’t re instated apparently.

The reverent Huffington post’s Ann Handley noticed Sean’s rant as as well as a similar rant from Harry Joiner of Marketing Headhunter who uploaded 4.600 contacts of his gmail addressbook (so invited by Facebook) with as a consequence a permanent ban without any warning.

You can find many similar rants between their comments.

When you Google on “Your account has been disabled by an administrator. Please contact disabled@facebook.com from your login email for more information” you get even more input on the subject from other Bloggers who got the same experience.

One of the funniest I think is this one: Faceless Book

So the conclusion is that you not only must not send the same text when you invite some friends. You also mustn’t invite too many friends at once.

Access denied to Facebook

The opposite of being banned by Facebook is being denied access to Facebook that many employees seem to encounter. The UK Telegraph names a few City Firms that ban employees from sites as Facebook: Credit Suisse and Dresdner Kleinwort , The Metropolitan Police, British Gas and Lloyds TSB.

According to the Blog Facebook Observer the latest news here is that many people in Iran are not able to get access to it.

Wisdump wrote about it.

Any human with the slightest sense of ratio will rather quickly be bored of (super)poking, foodfight and many similar applications. Sure, poking can be fun, but only for a rather short period of time.

I should have been warned for Facebook already: Esme at Pajama Entrepreneur did that in her post Why I’m not falling for the Facehook Hype…Curiously each of her posts has a button “share on Facebook”…

Esme pointed me to a post of Giga OM about Facebook Fatigue. His approach is this: If you want to connect you don’t want to attend a mega dance party where you cannot talk. Look in your mobile phone addresses: Those are the people you want to connect with. Whatever the people behind Facebook want to acchieve, ultimately they will find out that the hordes will move on from Facebook to another place where there are no masses already taking up all your time.

So, Why am I still on Facebook?
The reason is this: I managed to re establish an old contact with a distant cousin who I met 8 years ago when he lived in South Africa. Subsequently he moved to the UK and I lost contact, because I only had an e-mail address of him and several computers later I had lost it. Through Facebook we were able to re establish contact and he actually visited us traveling through The Netherlands and visiting various family members, because he is on the verge of going back to living in South Africa again. So that is a little plus for Facebook. I will hang in for some more time.

Is Fastpitch Networking an alternative?


If you look at their features as compared to Facebook, LinkedIn and Xing, you might say “Yes”, but for the moment I fear I will stay away from another time consuming experience. What is your take?

Happy Hotelier banned from Facebook?

Your account has been disabled by an administrator. Please contact disabled@facebook.com from your login email for more information.

That is the message I get on my login page after I have invited a couple of fellow members of the T-List group on Facebook (Facebook | T-List Group) as friends. I really don’t know what I did wrong. Did I invite too many fellow T-Listers in one session? If that is the case, it would be helpful if one got a warning in the inviting process, such as MyBlogLog does by simply indicating that you are linking to too many persons for the day after they had to limit the daily hooking up to a maximum of 20 because frequent hooking up generated too much traffic on their site. I didn’t keep count of the number of invites I sent, but it were maybe 12 or 15 invites, on a total number of group members of not more that 35 or 38 and several members are (or better said maybe “were”) on my Friends list already.

I have send an e-mail inquiry as suggested, even two, but am getting nothing else back than an automatic reply that they “are looking into it and will answer as soon as possible”.

Thereafter I noted several times that the site was not approachable. Are they facing capacity problems or are they maybe subject to a hackers attack and trying to plug the holes? I can imagine that, like credit card companies, Facebook has tons of information that hackers would drivel about. There are already some rumors in the Blog community that the information Facebook collects makes it very vulnerable for identity theft.

By this action Facebook has definitely sunken on my radar and on my list of possible platforms for building a T-List and a L-List Community. Isn’t that what communities are about: Linking with as much as possible people with the same passion?

Post Alia (added August 3, 2007)

Facebook reinstated me yesterday and explained that a Facebook user is not allowed to send the same text several times as such could be construed as spam…..that is exactly what I did with several invites. No warning was given, at least not noticed by me. The site was on and off, so maybe that caused the problem of not showing the warning. Sending several invites without text is not considered as spam. I still don’t get it…..

Microsofts war cry: Patent Infringement!

A recent CNN in depth article by Fortune senior editor Roger Parlof is a real eye opener for me, just while I am porting one server from Novell 5 something to Novell 6 something…..

Microsoft threatens to sue Fortune 500 users of open source software to drive them into paying Microsoft royalties for using open source software. Now I ask you: “The world turned upside down?”.

Microsoft and Novell struck a deal in November 2006 whereby they agreed on a sort of non aggression pact. Earlier Novell had acquired the German Suse Linux company and had become more an open source software company like Red Hat than the proprietary software company they were before. Its business model had changed into earning money from giving support to customers and from giving software trainings to customers rather than selling software licenses.

According to that deal Microsoft even bought (and paid) Novell for coupons (for Novell support contracts) that Microsoft can resell to customers….

Oakay I agree: I am a fossil nerd: I started computing in university by feeding punched cards into a card reader rather than typing instructions on a keyboard….

From 1987 onward I have (well now I mention it: already for 20 years) set up and maintained servers that run on Novell software. Why? Because downtime is almost non existent with a server running Novell. Once you understand a bit how it works, it is easy to maintain, easy to back up and easy to port. I never use the latest version of its (not of any) software until they are a patch of 20 or major service packet of two down the road.

When it was introduced I have looked seriously into the first Graphic GUI oriented personal computer that Steve Jobs introduced with his Lisa computer. My conclusion was that any GUI would rather slow your personal computing than quicken it. Ever since that proves to be true for normal office work: Writing letters, making calculations and keeping your books. Imagine: You know your shortcut keys and you don’t have to open a window before you start typing something. Moreover opening windows with a mouse each time you want to type something seems nice, but leads to stress and repetitive stress injury.

So I never became an Apple or Mac(intosh) aficionado.

For the same reason I am still a Word Perfect addict. You can see what you do. The last DOS version (WP5.4) was one of their best (in those days Word Perfect was still run by the sturdy Utah boys), although I now use one of their later flavors.

After Microsoft introduced Windows 95 (in its usual way shortly before 1996) I took the step for some computing (mainly the exploration of the Internet) to Windows in fall 1996, but not for office work!

In the meantime I have experimented with several Linux flavors and releases, but each time concluded the learning curve was a bit to steep and stiff and too time consuming to merge office work on the one hand and multimedia work on the other hand…

Since Microsoft is now distributing Vista and has discontinued the support of the reasonable stable Windows 98 SE, I am on the verge of making the step to Linux for good, as there are various features of Vista I do not like and because the most pimped up stand alone computer I use with Windows XP, mainly for the web and for photo work, crashes minimally twice a day, mostly on Adobe products or even only Firefox.

Wasn’t in Microsoft’s history:

  1. Dos a “me too” clone of CPM?
  2. Excel a “me too” clone of Lotus 123?
  3. Word a “me too” clone of Word Perfect?
  4. Windows a “me too” clone of Mac OS?
  5. IE a “me too” clone of Netscape?

Probably the list is much longer!

Now look who is crying!

Linus Thorvalds answers to the Cry are here in Information week.

I really am getting fed up with the Microsofts of this world and getting more serious about making the step to Linux, yes probably the Suse flavor.

Thanks Geen Stijl for the hint!

Hoteliers: Be Discrete!

Las Balsas Bath Tub
And here ladies and gentlemen you see the bath tub where our dear Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem and/or his Maxima and kids splash around, when they are on holiday in Patagonia.

How do I know? because an indiscreet hotelier mentioned them (and John Major) in an interview as guests visiting her hotel Las Balsas in Patagonia.

I am sure the paparazzi love this sort of information, but our Royalties will certainly not appreciate this indiscretion. What do you think?

Cleaning up Happy Hotelier

Behind the screens I have been cleaning up Happy Hotelier….Well a bit: There remain more things to do.

CSS is great.

It took some time, but I found out where in the CSS Stylesheet I could change a bit ot two so that I don’t have to add manually “[strong] [/strong]” anymore when I simply want a link shown Bold. The consequence is that now I have to delete a lot of those….So be it. Why I bother? Well, when you have to use bifocals for reading like I do, you will be glad to find this to be a Blog in a font and a font size that is easily readable. I hate many of those “Stylish” Blogs that simply do not read. Take those horrible dark backgrounds….


The WP plug in that I use is great. It makes it possible that search engines also capture keywords in foreign languages. However, in a strange way the links to the Google translation service work, but those that point to Alta Vista don’t work. So I have , temporarily, disabled the widget until I have figured it out. Also because the translate widget is in the way of XHMTL validation (not that there are not more errors left).


I am learning how to create simple javascripts to import on the flight bookmarks that I organize in Del.Icio.us. I will be fine tuning this. At least it gives me the means to keep track of the T-List and The L-List and My Del.Icio.us on separate pages. With their tagging button in my Firefox browser it is a lot easier than manually manage the links in the side bar. So I will be trying to change the manual links for scripted ones in the side bar in the near future.

Big Google Brother is watching you.

Despite the fears I have here – recently there is a lot of commotion in Europe over the CIA having full insight in all bank transactions carried out by Swift…Americans are not aware what occupation by a foreign country means… so they dictate the law after 9/11 – I have, for the moment, uploaded my feeds to my Google reader and show some of the interesting posts in a widget (apart little screen or frame) in my side bar. I am definitely interested in another possibility.

My first English interview.

March 1, 2007 Paul Johnson published an interview with me on his A Luxury Travel Blog.
On my wish list:

  • Solve the translation issues
  • Repair the validation errors
  • Find a better solution for the “Happy Hotelier’s RSS Picks” widget
  • Last comments widget
  • Add a couple of Digg and Del.Icio.us alike buttons
  • Related posts widget
  • Style switcher so that readers can choose how to read what I write
  • Most visited posts widget