From the Interwebs: Creative Commons TOS, No Love for the Facebook, Geeky Grammar Humor

From the Interwebs

Just Click No. I’ve written a decent amount about the adhesive nature of website terms of service and how it’s unseemly for contract law to pretend that people read and agree to them. Well, not everyone has to grin and bear it. If you have as much clout as the government, you might be able to wring out a few concessions as Bill Carleton reports in Amending Terms of Service: Pages from the Government’s Playbook.

I’ve Never Had an Original Thought. Speaking of terms of use that no one reads or understands, I discussed the problem of users not reading or understanding online terms of service last summer in Should Consumers Read Online Terms of Service? I’ve noodled on a possible solution and have thought that something along the lines of the Creative Commons approach (which standardizes copyright licenses and provides a simplified, visual depiction for consumers of the contents of the license) would be a good way to handle website terms of use. It turns out that I’m way behind the curve, because the folks at CommonTerms are working on just such a project. And they’re apparently not the first.

Vote Here. Ken Adams is making plans to begin work on a new product for Koncision, his online contract automation offering. I reviewed the application in Koncision: One Giant Leap (two thumbs up), and I’m thrilled that he’s going to expand. You can give Ken your input on what you’d like to see next in What Do You Want Koncision’s Next Product to Be?

I Just Can’t Get Into Facebook. I’ve spent a fair amount of time on Facebook, both with family and friends on my personal page and on my theContractsGuy page. Overall, I think it’s been worthwhile as I’ve been able to be involved in the lives of folks from my real life in ways I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, and the posts to the Contracts Guy page received a fair amount of attention at one time. But I just don’t like Facebook. They keep changing stuff. I have to constantly re-do my settings to see the posts from the people I want and to hide the others. Plus, I wonder what it’s broadcasting about my own preferences and involvement on the site. I’m not ready to call it quits as Matthew Eltringham describes in Why I Left Facebook, but I’m rooting for an alternative platform. I was hoping it would be Google+, but I’m a little skeptical, as Google seems to be increasingly aggressive in promoting the platform, and there was a brouhaha over Google’s putting its thumb on the scale for its Chrome browser in search results. Plus, the YouTube icon floating in the right margin creeps me out.

Geeky Grammar Humor. I got smile out of this cartoon that was posted by @GrammarMonkeys on Twitter. If you’re as geeky as I am, it might make you smile also.

2 comments… add one
  • William Carleton Jan 21, 2012 Link Reply

    Brian, I love the “weekly roundup” format here and the tone. It’s a great style for your voice.

    I’m with you on the Facebook ambivalence. I’ve tried to shut off as much information flowing to it as I can, but, can’t bring myself to cut the final cord as I frankly don’t want to lose the ability to post links there.

    • Brian Rogers Jan 21, 2012 Link Reply

      Thanks, Bill. These are fun posts because they’re on the lighter side. Plus, it’s fun to share interesting information I come across.

      I liked your post about governments negotiating changes to online terms, but I was a little surprised how modest the changes were.

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