It seems the more forms of communication we have the less we actually talk to each other.  First it was the postal mail system.  Then it was the telephone.  Now with the advent of the Internet we have more forms of communication than ever before.

There’s email, instant messaging, Internet Relay Chat, Twitter, Facebook and even more.  Of these forms of communication there only a few where people actually talk to each other or in groups.  I can actually narrow it down to just one form.  The others don’t count as you’re only talking to selected individuals.

My thoughts on so called social networking are this.  First off there is no such a thing as a true Internet born social network as Facebook, My Space, and Google+ calls themselves.  These places only let you surround yourselves with like minded people.  They offer few if any tools to communicate even with individuals that don’t share your point of view.

The only form of true social networking on the Internet is Internet Relay Chat.  That’s right.  It was developed even before what today is called social networks as a way for people to communicate faster (via online) about ideas they wanted to share with others even in the development days of the Internet under DARPA.  Today it still exists in many different networks though not what it once was.  There are a lot of themed networks.  The oldest is said to be EFNet which I won’t dispute.  A couple of themed networks come to mind.  The biggest themed network is  Freenode is probably what has become the original software/hardware network on the Internet today.  If you have questions about operating systems, hardware, or even various software packages like Adobe Illustrator for one, Freenode is the place to go for answers before you go to a forum or other discussion group.  Often times you’ll find the help you need here almost immediately.

If asked if I’ve used various social networking before, I’d admit to trying Facebook and LinkedIn.  Never tried Google+, Twitter, or some of the other rarer forms of communication.  I’ve even used instant messaging and I’ve had Skype on the computer before.  Never got the chance to use it however (Skype).  In the end, it all comes down to what you prefer I guess.  Myself, I still prefer Internet Relay Chat over all forms of social networking.  It’s fast paced (in busy rooms), gives you the advantage of being able to talk with people around the world almost instantaneously, as well as talking to people with different points of view in the same place.  It can also be quite addictive if there is such a thing.

Anyway, go out and find yourself a conversation on Internet Relay Chat.  All you need is chat client software or you can use a couple of web based chat clients.  There are several clients for all platforms.  The biggest for Microsoft Windows arguably is mIRC.  In Linux you’ll find a vast array of different clients.  The same I believe is true for Mac OS X as it’s very similar to Linux.  Don’t let corporations like Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn use your personal data to SPAM you with or make money from.  And believe me they are doing just that.  Though not as bad as the United States government, they are making money from you.  Internet Relay Chat has it’s share of spammers but it’s well metered.  Not only that, but you won’t have your personal information exposed to anyone you don’t want it exposed to.  Enough said.


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