Is Ping.fm a Lame Data-Mining Op? Or is it Just Annoying?

go away pingfmSomeone seriously has to cut the noise around here. I signed up for the Ping.fm Beta because, well, I love signing up for betas for no particular reason.

Right off the bat I knew this service was totally pointless. Why would I want to post the same message to 5 or 6 different social networks at the same time? So my friends that are also on one, two or six of the same networks hear me like a broken record? I knew it was dumb, but thinking that — just maybe — someday it could be useful, I signed up, with no intention to actually use it (I’ve done similar thing with Digg, Yelp, GrandCentral and more — signing up early and not really using until I trusted the service.

ping.fm is a scam
ping.fm is a scam

It hasn’t been an hour, though, and I am trying to close my Ping.fm account, but there is no apparent way to opt-out once you sign up (though I did change my account e-mail to no@than.ks). Unfortunately, it’s already too late — they immediately spammed my Pownce and Twitter account with the messages above. THEN, I read their Terms of Service (I know, I shoulda known better) and realized that this was the operation of two kids who likely were more interested in purging people’s data from multiple social websites than actually providing a useful service.

Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem with throwing myself out on the Internet in all transparency and am fully aware of the risks therein. But I hate to see myself and my friends get not only spammed (by each other) but also punked by signing up for a seemingly legitimate service (see Mashable‘s review today). Before we get into the small print, let’s just look at the “company” behind Ping.fm.

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The LA Fire Department and Web 2.0

My interview with LAFD Public Service Officer Brian Humphrey is live at LAist. Thanks, Brian for taking the time to geek out with me for a bit re: the LAFD’s cutting edge experiments and efforts in making full use of ubiquitous Internet connectivity to provide the ultimate in public service.

Read the interview here.

Also, congrats to Assignment Zero for having its first series of crowdsourced articles (on crowdsourcing) published in Wired.

I don’t know whether or not my interview with Newsvine CEO Mike Davidson will make it into Wired, but either way, it was a great experience writing and editing for the project and I look forward to collaborating again in the future!

Twitter Updates for 2008-11-24

  • considering “Don’t Stop Believin'” is the most popular iTunes track EVER @mspiegelman may have the right idea. Go Y! Music http://tr.im/19s1 #
  • @LiveEarth India is ON like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Now to celebrate @techzulu’s birthday at the roos in reply to LiveEarth #
  • Gmail is lookin Pantone 7451C periwinkle and chat doesn’t work. I’m playing with lala.com, rockin Tristeza and “blastin’ thru it” as we say #
  • @mvermut that’s easy — take a free ride on the ad free Live365 and tune into WOOZradio: http://tinyurl.com/6e4mbz in reply to mvermut #
  • @mvermut oops – didn’t realize that went straight to a paywall. here’s the free option: http://www.live365.com/stations/netzoo in reply to mvermut #
  • @alanataylor and others — here’s the link to revert back to “older” version of Gmail UI – http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=1 in reply to alanataylor #
  • logged into MSN messenger 1st time ever for the one colleague on MSN. all i get is spam despite having no info besides age-old hotmail addy #
  • At mindshare. 3d printer preso. Total urban legend imho. Idealab even. Ask.com anyone? Will believe it only when I feel it #
  • Oil under $50/barrel. Remember when they said $200 by ’09? Cuz we know so much. We really think we know so what #
  • @bwank settings->themes->classic should fix yer Gmail fail. in reply to bwank #
  • RT @creativecommons: CC founder Lawrence Lessig will be on the Charlie Rose show tonight: http://ping.fm/jep7b + http://change-congress.org #
  • someone is rocking an 80’s mix outside my office and, well, the inevitable just happened. Guess he really never gonna desert me. #
  • checkin @blovi8 per @josholaila reco. what is the point? what’s wrong with craigslist? I do like the Shepard Fairey wallpaper though. #
  • what are YOUR favorite tools and strategies for tracking / analyzing the spread of specific chatter on the web, boards, 2.0hs, blogs? #
  • Hillary SoS news gave me a chill. hard to trust her neocon tendencies + jaded fingers-on-chalkboard rallying voice. Prefer her to Kerry tho #