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What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

topic posted Thu, February 28, 2008 - 6:02 PM by  Dusty Nipple...
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Can someone please tell me why my bio and all of my tribe friends are listed on a site I have never been to or heard of? I didn't think this was Tribes style. I feel cheated and betrayed. If I wanted my profile to be farmed out, I would join Facebook.

ex.plode.us/friendsof/383463

I apologize if this has already been discussed.
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  • Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

    Thu, February 28, 2008 - 11:36 PM
    to search and see if you're in there, type in your screen name and click the button next to name by the search box. When I searched without the click, I didn't show up. But clicking on the name button pulled up bunches. I'm not happy, where do I throw the bags of shit? Any addy for explode?
    • Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

      Thu, February 28, 2008 - 11:39 PM

      you all do realize that by going to their website you're unintentionally rewarding them... I mean that kind of is the whole reason they are farming your profiles.
      • Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

        Fri, February 29, 2008 - 12:06 AM
        Now that I've ascertained my profile's there I have no more reason to go to a site called "explode."
        • Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

          Fri, February 29, 2008 - 12:47 AM
          Oh joy, I found me.

          NOT PLEASED.
          • Unsu...
             

            Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

            Fri, February 29, 2008 - 1:16 AM
            I'm too tired to find the address and contact info for explode. Perhaps someone less tired can do so.

            But let me suggest the following.

            There is no real legal recourse and quite frankly, the "legal" way is not always the most expedient or the right course of action

            This is a COORDINATED ACTION:

            1. Gather ALL contact info

            2. Everyone call and email (from your spam accounts because you should have at least to email accounts anyways) EVERDAY

            2b. Be polite at first, "Hi, I'm a member of Tribe and I really don't like my information being gathered by your business."

            (Everyone is doing this remember - at least 600 + people a day - calls and emails to all of the contacts available.)

            If this doesn't work, you start getting a little more heated and agressive in your communiques to them.

            3. Talk to your tech savvie hacker buddies and have them mail bomb the crap out of them

            4. If the business is local in Bay Area, start gathering dog shit and dropping it by their HQ. Ask your doggie and kittie friends to save the shit

            You see, you want to be polite at first and in unison and if that doesn't work, you start not being nice. You want to very indirectly threaten the smooth operations of the business, completely disrupt their ability to function and quite frankly, it will start to affect their personal lives, invade their waking thoughts, keep them up at night

            5..........which is actually number 1 - remove the FOAF profile function IMMEDIATELY if that is the means by which they are harvesting the information

            This wouldn't be effective if it wasn't a unified action

            ~V~
            • Unsu...
               

              Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

              Fri, February 29, 2008 - 1:29 AM
              Ah: there they are in the UK.

              curverider.co.uk/
              elgg.org/
              elgg.org/people.php

              ~V~
              • Unsu...
                 

                Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

                Fri, February 29, 2008 - 1:36 AM
                True just found a pretty significant privacy issue in the FOAF. I'll let her explain.

                ~V~
                • Unsu...
                   

                  Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

                  Fri, February 29, 2008 - 2:04 AM
                  Dammit! I haven't even heard back from Darren yet.

                  I thought that this thread about "explode" had to do with that FOAF thing. And I thought there was a way to turn that off in each member's account. So I started looking around for the place that I thought I saw a check box, and I didn't find it.

                  Maybe it is in that rectangular link with the four colorful smiley faces, under the FOAF profile words in our Bio.

                  So I clicked that link.

                  That area shows our birth date. And all of each person's friends. The friend's thing is one thing, right? But the birth date is something else entirely.

                  I think it's a bug/mistake, as it says this:
                  This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below.

                  I wonder if it did have "style information" if it might block out the birth date.

                  I really don't want people to panic. ~V~, you are a blabber mouth. ;-)

                  I think it could be more harmful if it is publicized. I didn't want that.

                  I AM hoping it is something that can be "fixed" right away. Maybe there is a way to turn off that FOAF? Just delete it from the code? Would that even work? If it HAS to have something in that little space, plug in a link to "Join Tribe now" link or just the Tribe logo.

                  Oh boy.

                  oh boy oh boy oh boyo boy.

                  Before everyone gets super cranky, I will assume that this will be made top priority at Tribe headquarters. Screaming at Darren won't make the work go faster. Screaming at anyone won't fix it.

                  Hopefully Darren will make an announcement in the Company Blog. To get it fixed.

                  While I realize that medication is not the answer all the time, if you have Valium, please to share it with the folks who are going to be super duper upset.

                  And if you check out my birth date, which is already known, I will expect at least a ten dollar gift card on MY birthday. Thanks! ;-)
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     

                    Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

                    Fri, February 29, 2008 - 2:09 AM
                    You CAN turn this off, yourselves. Go to the bio area, edit that module, and check the box next to "don't show my age". Then it does not show up at all on that FOAF page.
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

    Fri, February 29, 2008 - 2:50 AM
    By the way, I did NOT find myself on that other site.

    I don't have any "friends" on this site, officially. What I would like someone to check out, for both the FOAF and for the ex.plode.us site is try deleting your friends module.

    See if your friends still show up on your FOAF page, and if they show up on the ex.plode.us site.

    Maybe it is set up so that only those with friends will show up on that other site. I don't know for sure. And I also don't know how long that other site holds on to it's information.
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

    Fri, February 29, 2008 - 3:55 AM

    unbelievable. i'm on there as well - not via tribe though (thank god), but via Flikr and Youtube.

    what the heck is this explode thing anyway. i've never heard of them until just now.
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

      Fri, February 29, 2008 - 4:42 AM
      The concept is interesting. And it could have been "good" if they gave people an "opt-in" option.

      Sort of like "Now, reach more friends and meet more people, by sharing your profile from many sites on our service!"

      It could also have been used to pull together the many accounts that people may end up having. And draw in new members to certain sites, like this one. As in: "I saw your stuff on Flikr and YouTube, now I will be able to chat with you on Tribe.net!"

      That is a great idea. But only if you want to DO that. People have so many aspects to themselves, and they may not want those aspects crossing into other parts of their lives. You know?

      Maybe you hang out with coworkers on one site. And on another site you are talking about those coworkers behind their back in a less than flattering way. This can go for work, school, home life. Hobbies, leisure activities, dating, etc. Could be very embarrassing at the least.

      It is a blatant example of WHY people should consider anything they say, anywhere, to be public. Saying it in a tribe or in a blog doesn't mean it's only seen by a few people. It may well be seen now or in the future by all kinds of people. People you don't even know yet, may see information in six months that you've posted today. It could make or break business deals or relationships or job promotions.

      So if you can't say it to someone's face, that boss or client or coworker or significant other, do NOT post it here. Consider everything posted here, and in our profiles to be the equivalent of tacking up all the info on a community bulletin board outside your kid's school. In the employee break room. Submitted with your proposal for a business project.

      Remember again, that we are still in the relatively young years of the Internet. If you think "there ought to be a law" about the information being crawled by Google or by this Explode site, work to make it happen.

      I suppose we should also ask questions about how or if it can be prevented by any one particular site. So if Tribe could basically be a "closed room" that cannot be accessed from the outside. Would that make people more comfortable? It still would not prevent screen shots, copy and paste, etc. Nor would it prevent anyone from joining and running across the info.

      Truthfully, the answer always comes back to us, to each of us. And our own responsibilities to our selves. I am "me" and I am generally "me" across situations and across people. The topics might change, but I'm still me. True to myself. And true to others (no pun on my screen name).

      You are your own best defense. Each person reading this. How many other sites are out there like the Explode site that we do not know about? Can this site block other sites from doing that? Those technological things are great, if/when they work. But start with your self and watch what you say.
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

    Fri, February 29, 2008 - 8:56 AM
    I took a look at this, and yes it is harvesting FOAF info. This has brought up a lot of concerns, including TRUE's finding the bug in the FOAF card (which is easy enough to fix now that I know about it).

    It's also quite easy for me to block this site -- I just am going to block their harvester's IP address from tribe. The interesting thing is that this site is doing something *I* am trying to write into tribe -- namely, going to other sites and harvesting the machine-readable URLS. FOAF is a "standard" that tribe.net was the first to champion, but unfortunately the people who own all these social networking companies figured out that the ONLY assets that a social network has are its members and to share that info would devalue the company so the standard was never developed to its potential.

    One of my projects is to develop a way for you to update all your other social networking sites with your tribe.net info at the press of a button. This site works in a similar way, except automagically. One way I can fix this is to require you to log in before accessing the FOAF info. For now I will just fix the birthday bug and keep reading what you folks are saying about it. It doesn't piss me off as much as it seems to piss you folks off -- but I think you folks are the ones to keep happy so I am considering dropping FOAF.

    FYI: I was just about to implement vCard and vCal info too. This has me second-guessing the vCard part.
    • Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

      Fri, February 29, 2008 - 1:50 PM
      Thanks Darren.

      You stated a desire to... "update all your other social networking sites with your tribe.net info"

      Of course, I speak only for myself, but if I had any interest in any other social networking site, I'd be there, not here. Personally, I'd prefer it if there was NO ASSOCIATION WHATSOEVER with my Tribe profile and any other site anywhere. But that's just me.
    • >> It doesn't piss me off as much as it seems to piss you folks off -- <<

      It doesn't piss me off at all. That's what FOAF is there for, as far as I'm concerned. I'd love there to be a social networking aggregator, kind of like Trillian and Meebo for IMs. FOAF could be a part of that.
  • Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

    Fri, February 29, 2008 - 4:19 PM
    I've just crosslinked your thread to the FOAF tribe.

    Here's a link to that posting there:

    foaf.tribe.net/thread/a88...3455005a58a
    • Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

      Fri, February 29, 2008 - 4:33 PM
      Okay, I'm thick. I read this thread again and I'm still not clear on exactly what is FOAF? Is this something on our puter or profiles we can turn off? I've never heard of it.
      • Re: What is ex.plode.us and have we been sold out?

        Fri, February 29, 2008 - 4:41 PM
        FOAF: Friend of a Friend

        its' a standard that was developed as a way of taking a friend list to other places, and check things automagically if you know somebody, etc.

        Never really caught on, but tribe was always all about pushing for new open standards.

        --S
        • Actually, Tribe's implementation of FOAF had to do mostly with Marc Canter and his pushing for them to do it.

          As for the IPGeo lookup, it's unlikely that they can get higher precision than city-- I've looked at a fair number of IPGeo databases, and nobody has higher accuracy. The FOAF location information is coming from the zip code you entered way back when you registered, even though there's not currently a way to change that once it's set.
          • I looked at my FOAF info, and I find that is true about location. My location there is still the city I lived in when I first signed on to Tribe nearly a year ago. I've moved since then, and updated my profile, but I feel a little less vulnerable than most of you because my location is still the old one, according to info that is available through FOAF. Also, I started looking at ex.plode.us to see if I was there, but after 300 people with my name, and I didn't yet see me, I stopped looking. There are advantages to privacy issues by having a common name. Maybe some of you with names you've invented just for Tribe might want to think about using a common every day name instead.

            It doesn't bother me about google searches showing me or my tribes. In fact I like that people who have never heard about Tribe can still find the information in my smaller tribe. There are so few Tribe members that do flying trapeze, that I like that the rest of the flying world can find my tribe even if they've never heard of Tribe.

            ex.plode.us is a little more unsettling than google to me because it seems an independent social network that seems to be stealing all the other networks info just to have a populated site. And it is obvious to any Tribe member that all their info is on google, as long as they aren't designating their pictures, blogs and tribes as private, where as no one ever pointed out, till now, that other social networking sites can take our info.

            What bothers me about it, is not that I might be on it, because I have all along behaved as if I am an open book for all on the internet to see while I'm on Tribe, but that I invited friends here, sometimes persuading them to join and be my friend. Some of them may not be so happy when (if) they learn that they are also on ex.plode.us without their permission just because they agreed to be my friend on Tribe.
        • Something is off on Tribe now too.................. Before ............ I could see in my bookmark tribes .......... how many new posts..... Then I'd look, and that would dissappear.............. now ............. after I look, that doesn't happen........... meaning ............... it keeps the post count, and even in Threads that I've looked at .............. the * is still there for new posts............... even if there aren't any............... I also am getting multiple requests of the same friend................ if I accept................ that request keeps coming................... That's an FYI.....

          So, any spider can just duplicate Tribe.............?.
        • tribes.tribe.net/mashupthe...e2bac75503

          I realize this is a rather dead tribe and no responses to the like...but there are people out there who apparently think knowing where people are and being able to pinpoint them on a map is a really GREAT idea. Obviously, they aren't people bothered by stalkers, rapists, and thieves.
          • Oh dear, I think that is a horrible idea.
            • There has been a lot of discussion on the net recently about data portability. The idea behind it is that it makes joining other social networks easier if you do not have to re-enter all of your information all over again every time you join a new site. However, absolutely nothing you do on the Internet is private unless you encrypt it. If you write it on the web it is public information forever. Foaf is just one way they are trying to make your information easier to move from site to site. xfn, vcards hresume are also ways to make your information easier to share with others and ways to make it easier to read by other machines/search engines. If you do not want your information public no not put it on the web. That is the most basic Internet information. Again nothing is private on the net. no email, no website information, virtually anything you say or do on the net is public information the moment you make if available on the net. Google, Wink, Spock, and Explode, are just a very few that are out there everyday seaching for anything you say or do. These are what are known as people finders. type in your name or anyones name and you will find out just about anything they have made public on the net. I Understand the need for privacy, but it is very hard to keep anything private for long on the net. Tribe can make it optional for the public display of your foaf, but that doesnt not stop your friends from reading your foaf and adding your information to thier own foaf file somewhere else on another server somewhere on the net. The discussion about privacy is as important as the discussion about data portablitity. Every site needs to have this dialog with its consumers and make vcards, foaf, xfn, etc opt-in only in my humble opinion.
              • Robert Mark, Strictly speaking you are correct, this information is public, everyone should be made aware that it is public, and tribe needs to plug any holes where non-public data is visible. However the issue here, I think, is trying to discourage groups that are making it *more* public. There is public but obscure or hard to get, and then there is public and highly visible to any yahoo (no pun intended) with internet access. If ex.plode.us finds dog shit on their door step for a month, or whatever, and this protest over what they are doing becomes a public media event, then things will happen. Why has Facebook had to change their behavior over and over again? Because of public response.

                BTW, and completely off topic, I noticed that MySpace does not seem to be one of the sources that ex.plode.us pulls. If true, that's funny.
                • >> There is public but obscure or hard to get, and then there is public and highly visible to any yahoo (no pun intended) with internet access. <<

                  Assume that anything that is ever public will always be public and will some day be easy to view. Also, assume that anything encrypted will some day be public and easy to view, but hopefully by that time the information will be obsolete.
                • "However the issue here, I think, is trying to discourage groups that are making it *more* public."

                  Exactly. It's one thing to know that anything I put on the net can be found. It's another thing entirely to have anything I put on the net actively mined, re-published, and broadcast without my explicit consent. Let's not make it any easier for them. By default everything should be 'opt out' unless I am asked.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     
                    "By default everything should be 'opt out' unless I am asked."

                    I think you mean "opt in".

                    Default would be whatever everyone gets.

                    "Opt in" would be to change that default from being excluded to being included.

                    "Opt out" would be to change that default from being included to being excluded.

                    In this case, it matters a lot. Likewise with things like email and postal spam.

                    Do you want every single business to assume you want their advertising? So that you have to opt-out of each and every advertiser?

                    Or, do you want each single business to send you NOTHING unless you specifically opt-in to their promotions and flyers?

                    The former will give you headaches and an avalanche of paper. The latter will allow you to pick and choose who and what you get delivered to your inbox or your mail box.

                    Opt-out definition/example:
                    Opt-Out
                    <Back to Last Page> <Full Glossary>

                    Related Terms
                    • Double Opt-In
                    • Opt-Out
                    • Single Opt-In
                    • Spam


                    Definition: Opt-out email marketing assumes a general permission to send marketing messages to everyone who has not explicitly stated that they do not want to receive such information. Spammers operate on this highly problematic premis. Opt-in email marketing, where messages are only sent to those who request them, is much more effective.

                    Think of opt-out marketing as a never-ending chain of mailing list that you are automatically subscribed to. While you can unsubscribe ("opt out of") each list individually, it won't be long before a new list emerges, and of course you're automatically subscribed.

                    Also Known As: Spam
                    Source: email.about.com/library/gl...opt-out.htm

                    ------

                    Opt-in:
                    Opt-In
                    <Back to Last Page> <Full Glossary>

                    Related Terms
                    • Double Opt-In
                    • Opt-Out
                    • Single Opt-In
                    • Email Address Appending


                    Definition: Opt-in email marketing means sending marketing messages only to people who explicitly requested them. If a customer asks for a specific piece of information, you have the permission to send that information and nothing more. To continue sending marketing emails you need the explicit permssion to do so ("Please send me announcements and special offers via email", for example).

                    Also note the difference between single opt-in and double opt-in.

                    Also Known As: Permission-based marketing

                    Source: email.about.com/library/gl..._opt-in.htm

                    ------
                    • I'm confused. I thought 'opt out' meant they do not have permission.

                      I just got a privacy statement on myspace and had to go and 'opt out' of everything to prevent third party marketers from using my info. I ready the whole thing and thought I understood, but now I'm confused again.

                      Re-reading your post, I think you're talking about it from the marketers point of view whereas I'm thinking from the users perspective. My semantics may be wrong, but you understand what I mean. I want my information broadcast to noone unless I give explicit permission.
                      • Unsu...
                         
                        I know what you mean, completely. But I also wanted to point out the actual definitions. We ARE the end users, the members, the consumers. We will always be the consumers or members, unless we have a business in marketing. OK?

                        Opt = Option.

                        The privacy statement you are discussing meant that you, the consumer, were automatically INcluded (as the default) and your OPTion was to opt-out of being included in sharing that information with someone else.

                        You, the consumer, will always be the "you". And the terms and agreements will be presented to YOU. By the company. By the marketers. By the auto dealership. By the employer. Just like the "you" in the Terms of Service applies to the consumer, who is reading it and agreeing to it. They even have to explain it to us:
                        "YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL"
                        and
                        "Utah Street Networks Inc. is a California corporation located at 208 Utah Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103 and is referred to as "Tribe", "we" or "our" in this Service Agreement."

                        We're the "you" and they're the "we", "our", "us". LOL! Oh, this could be fun. You're "you" in the Terms of Service, but I am also a "you" too.

                        So, unless you "opt-out" you are AUTOMATICALLY going to be included, it means you are included, in whatever it is that is being presented.

                        And that is the problem with the current marketing crap, we get telemarketers, we get spam ads in our home mailboxes, about products and services we didn't ask for, and aren't interested in. They automatically include us, unless we OPT OUT (use our option to get out of their database).

                        OPT OUT is generally a pain in the ass and places the burden on the consumer to have themselves removed from each and every list. But as there are NEW lists all the time, new businesses, businesses taken over by another business, you will never be able to OPT OUT of everything, since it keeps coming back. It's like dusting. Or vacuuming. The same dirt didn't come back, it's all new dust and dirt.

                        Now, under the OPT IN program, we would check a box requesting that dirt and dust be deposited in our homes, when and where we want it. Otherwise, no dirt or dust would appear in our home. Meaning you can specify enriched soil in a bag for your houseplants, but not the stuff that settles on the tops of frames and bookshelves.

                        Or, you will only be included (OPT IN, OPTION TO BE INCLUDED) on Armstrong Flooring mailing list database if you specifically contact Armstrong Flooring to ask for more information.

                        Wait! Better stupid example. You have a group of friends. They show up at the door. They say "We are going to the beach".

                        OPT OUT has them assuming you will be going and picking you up to carry you off to the beach, and you have to say "I OPT OUT of going to the beach". And you would have very pushy, annoying friends if they go around picking up people physically and carrying them off, assuming you will want to go.

                        OPT IN has the group ask if you would like to go. They don't force you or drag you off. You get to choose before they even pick you up if you want to be included or excluded.
              • On the other hand, I realized that nothing on the internet is anymore private than the folk in your community will allow back in the 1990s. This is why so many oldbies used pseudonyms. You should know by now that if it can be picked up on a search engine, it's not private-- it might be no one's business, but it's not private-- and you need to behave accordingly at all times.
  • Actually, I happen to like the ideas behind ex.plode.us, though I felt the implementation had a lot to be desired. I even blogged about discovering it last year:

    ianthal.blogspot.com/2007/06...ers.html

    I've been disappointed to discover that it wasn't working well as of late-- in that it dropped all of my friends from tribe.net from my network. It only took a little google search to discover that this was the thread that led to the handicapping of ex.plode.us

    The social web is moving past the phase of "walled gardens"-- I want open protocols like FOAF so that I can move my data around-- I want to be able to integrate my social networks with my blogs with my social bookmarking sites.

    Tribe made a lot of progress in that direction by offering RSS feeds and del.icio.us to the modules we can add to our profiles, but they aren't yet really integrated with our home pages (or where most of the action occurs: the tribes.) Facebook has made progress in that direction (the problem with Facebook is not that they share information-- as they actually protect your profile page from casual searches-- it was that they shared information with advertizers-- and that stopped.)

    Keep in mind, I found this discussion through a google search.

  • Can you imagine what the reaction would be if the phone companies announced that henceforth all phone conversations would logged into a database for all to hear via a search engine? At some point the privacy thing bites the net in the ass and chases people off or does what it is actually doing now which is to inhibit potential new users from having anyhthing to do with the net.

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