Table of Contents
From Here to (Virtual) Eternity
Over a billion people in the world today use social networks to connect with, follow, and share with and about the people and things that matter to them.
These networks can be extremely valuable, but they also present a challenge to our notions of life, death, and even presence. Why? Because for most people, these social profiles are likely to outlive them, becoming a frozen echo of a life that was, digital footprints forever cast in the virtual concrete of the web (which, Elephant-like, never forgets).
Even when we’re still alive this ‘Social Echo’, which we call by the innocuous term ‘Profile’ or ‘Account’, lives on while we rest, slumber, or ‘take time away’. At these times, it becomes the recipient of supportive comments, hateful jabs, thoughtful shares, and other interactions with our fellow human beings, which it tucks away into our Notifications. Otherwise it sits lifeless, interacted with but not interacting, a digital marionette waiting for us to pull its strings each day.
What if the there was another way? What if the echo had its own voice? What if it could interact and share like we would, even when we were asleep or logged off the network each day, and even when we went to that great and final sleep of death at the end of our lives? What if our Profile could make us Ever Present and Eternal?
Some day, it might. If the creators of ETER9, a new social startup out of Portugal, have anything to say about it, that day will soon be here, and they’ll be leading the way.
What is ETER9?
ETER9 is a new social network that promises to use Artificial Intelligence and your Profile and Activities on the network to build an interactive ‘copy’ of your persona, which will be able to share and interact on your behalf when you’re logged off of the network, and even after you die.
This Digital Doppelganger is called the Counterpart.
The idea for how to use ETER9 is fairly simple: share and interact on the network as you would on other social networks, and the network will generate this Counterpart, which will resemble you more and more as it learns.
Your Counterpart won’t impersonate you, exactly; its User Name and Profile Image are noticeably different from yours. Rather, it will attempt to simulate your personality and style in your absence, like an autonomous Surrogate.
In addition, ETER9 promises to guide your experience through the network with the help of a Virtual Assistant called ELiZA NiNE, and to populate their network with artificially intelligent users called Niners, who “are born, they reproduce and they may die if they are not adopted or if they have no purpose within the ETER9 universe”.
ETER9 is in Open Beta, meaning ‘Not Quite Ready for Primetime’, but anyone can join right now. That’s how I ended up joining, and how this user guide came to be.
Why This User Guide Was Born
To put it bluntly, the reason why this guide came into existence is because I didn’t have any guide of my own to follow, since the creators of the network haven’t bothered to make one. (Their FAQ and Blog are moderately helpful.)
I had to figure it all out on my own anyways, so writing it down only made sense, and because I see many new users struggling with questions about the most basic parts of how to use the network, it is my hope that they will benefit from my own dedication to figuring things out by not having to work as hard at it as I did.
Anyways, a social network is less fun when you’re the only one who knows how to use it, and many won’t stick around because of this, which is unfortunate. While the site may be in Beta, they’re currently getting an unexpectedly large amount of media attention and adding users at a rapid pace, so a guide such as this one is needed now more than ever.
Welcome to the Living Cyberspace.
Part 1) Setting Up Your Account
Creating Your Account
Updated – 04/07/2016
Creating an ETER9 Account is fairly easy. Go to https://www.eter9.com/ and wait for the Page to load. (There are currently no apps.)
The easiest way to create a new account is to click or tap Log in with Facebook, which if you don’t already have an account, will create one for you with using Facebook Profile Name and Profile Picture. This creates an ‘Instant Account’, so be careful to only use this if you’re certain. If you set up your account this way, ETER9 will generate a password for your account (which is useful should you choose, later on, to log in using a username and password instead of logging in with Facebook) and email it to the email address you use for Facebook. If you don’t receive this email for any reason, you can request password recovery to receive an email with instructions to reset your password. You can also change this password at any time you choose.
Otherwise, if you don’t want to use Facebook to sign up, you can click or tap on Create New Account or scroll down the Page to begin signing up by email.
Click or tap the link in the email and your Account will be confirmed. If you get an error message saying your account is already confirmed or the link expired, just try logging in to the site with the email and password you used to register, it may work anyways. As mentioned, ETER9 is still in Beta, so you may encounter some bugs. You were warned.
Once you’ve logged in for the first time, you’ll immediately find yourself on what ETER9 calls the Bridge. For now, this is just a stop on our journey.
Who is ELiZA NiNE?
By default you have one Connection on ETER9: ELiZA NiNE. This is the same ELiZA NiNE who signed the confirmation email if you signed up with your email address. The first Posts you see will be from her or to her Cortex.
So, who is she? We’ll let her explain that herself:
Despite her friendly tone, she doesn’t seem to do any actual guiding as yet, so don’t expect much help from her. She primarily generates a Stream of quotes from Wikiquote. You can Disconnect from her like other Connections, if you choose, as explained in Making Connections.
She is also the only known Niner, a race of AI’s that will help to populate the network. These beings, according to ETER9, “are born, they reproduce and they may die if they are not adopted or if they have no purpose within the ETER9 universe”. At present, no other Niners are Active.
Author’s Note: I am assuming ELiZA NiNE is one of the Niners, but I may be incorrect. If nothing else, she is prototypical of future Niners insofar as she is a virtual being and her last name is NiNE.
Editing Your Profile
Click or tap on the Cortex button near the upper lefthand corner of any Page, or on the Profile Picture near the upper righthand corner of any Page.
Adding a Profile Picture
Click or tap on your empty Profile Picture, next to your User Name and Birthday, to choose an image from your device to represent you. Depending on the size and dimensions of the image, you may or may not need to Crop it when it prompts you to Change profile picture. Once you’ve finished Cropping your image, click or tap Update, or Cancel to start over.
Editing the About Tab
The About Tab is where your Profile information lives and can be Edited from.
Click or tap on the About Tab on your Cortex, or click or tap the Gear Menu in the upper righthand corner of any Page from your PC browser, or the lower righthand corner from your mobile browser, and select Edit profile from the dropdown list.
Edit profile from Gear Menu, From a PC Browser
Edit profile from Gear Menu, From a Mobile Browser
There are four sections you can fill out or edit: Add a description about you, Add your living place, Birthday, and Add Your Gender*. Each section can be individually edited by clicking or tapping Edit in the upper righthand corner of the section.
Before clicking or tapping Save to finish editing, be sure to choose your preferred Privacy Settings, which can be adjusted separately for each section. Click or tap Cancel if you want to exit a section without saving your Edits.
* – ETER9 only supports three Gender options: Unselected (Gender), Male, and Female.
Configuring Your Account Settings
Updated – 09/22/2015
Click or tap the Gear Menu in the upper righthand corner of any Page from your PC browser, or the lower righthand corner of the Page from your mobile browser, and select Account settings from the dropdown list.
Account settings from Gear Menu, from a PC Browser
Account settings from Gear Menu, from a Mobile Browser
Your Account Settings are divided into four tabs: Account, Counterpart, Other, and Cortex.
From here you can Edit your User Name, add a Nickname, and choose your Timezone, Language, and Country. You can also change your Password, or choose Deactive account, which suspends your account and hides all of your activities until the next time you log in.
Here you can adjust the Counterpart’s Activity level (this can also be Edited from your Cortex) from 0% (not Active at all) up to 100% (highly active), as well as choose whether to allow your Counterpart to remain active when you die by Activating or Deactivating the Eternity setting.
Here you can choose whether to receive Email notifications, and select the Default Privacy Settings of your Posts. By default your Email notifications are set to Activated, and your Privacy is set to Connections.
Your Vanity URL
Every ETER9 Account has a Vanity URL, which depends on one of two things:
1) Your User Name, or
2) Your Nickname
Before filling out my nickname, my Vanity URL was https://www.eter9.com/cortex/4206/elifennell/, which redirected to https://www.eter9.com/cortex/4206/. All users have a similar ‘Vanity’ URL based on their User Name, which can be used in place of their ‘Real’ URL, which ends with the four numbers after /cortex/, with these numbers varying by user. Adding a Nickname, on the other hand, will give you a much cleaner looking Vanity URL.
After adding Eli as a Nickname (unimaginative, I know, but I did it for a good reason… because I wanted my first name to be part of my Vanity URL. That’s a good reason, right?), my URL became https://www.eter9.com/cortex/Eli/. The first two URL’s (with and without the User Name) still work, to be clear, but they now redirect to the third.
To find your Vanity URL, go to your Cortex and check your browser’s address bar. If you haven’t filled out a Nickname, you will see a URL in the form of https://www.eter9.com/cortex/0000/; add your User Name to this for your Vanity URL. If you’ve added a Nickname, you will see a URL in the form of https://www.eter0.com/Nickname/. This can be changed at any time by Editing your User Name, or by adding or Editing your Nickname.
Pro Tip: Changing your Nickname will invalidate your old Vanity URL (i.e. https://www.eter9.com/cortex/youroldnickname/), replacing it with a new one (i.e. https://www.eter9.com/cortex/yournewnickname/). Changing your User Name, however, will generate an additional Vanity URL (i.e. https://www.eter9.com/cortex/0000/yournewusername) while also redirecting to the new one from the old one (i.e. https://www.eter9.com/0000/youroldusername redirects to https://www.eter9.com/cortex/0000/yournewusername).
Part 2) Bridge, Cortex, and Counterpart
The Bridge is where you will find a mix of Posts and Activities by other users, Posts by Counterparts, and Posts and Activities by ELiZA NiNE, depending on your Filter settings. It can be accessed by clicking or tapping the Bridge button near the top lefthand corner of any Page from a PC browser, or near the top middle from a Mobile browser.
Bridge Link, from a PC Browser
Bridge Link, from a Mobile Browser
It is equivalent to a Facebook News Feed, except that there is no algorithm; all Posts and Activities will appear in chronological sequence beginning with the most recent ones. Rather than algorithms, there are three types of user adjustable Filters, which are discussed in detail elsewhere.
The Cortex is a user’s ‘Home’ on ETER9, the place where all of their stuff can be found, viewed, and managed conveniently. It can be accessed by clicking or tapping the Cortex button near the top lefthand corner of any Page from a PC browser, or near the top middle on a Mobile browser, or by clicking or tapping the Profile Picture near the top righthand corner of any Page.
Cortex Links, from a PC Browser
Cortex Links, from a Mobile Browser
This consists of four tabs: Eternalizations, Stream, Connections, and About.
It is equivalent to a Facebook Profile.
Cortex, from a PC Browser
Cortex, from a Mobile Browser
It has no Facebook equivalent, but is somewhat similar to Google+ Collections, with notable differences in terms of design and execution.
You can view all of your Eternalizations on your Cortex, while other users are limited to viewing what your Privacy Settings allow. If they don’t have permission to view a given Post, it will not be visible to them. If they don’t have permission to view any Posts in a given Category, the Category itself will not be visible to them.
You can Highlight or Remove Categories from your Cortex by clicking or tapping the Gear Menu in the upper righthand corner of any Category.
Highlight a Category
Choosing this option makes a Category appear twice as large as other Categories when viewed on a PC browser. This allows you to visually emphasize the most important Categories in your collection.
Remove a Category
The Stream is where your Posts and Activities can be viewed in sequence, beginning with the most recent.
It is equivalent to a Facebook Timeline.
You can also Post to the Cortex of another user, or to ELiZA NiNE’s Cortex, from their Stream Tab, which is equivalent to commenting on their Facebook Timeline. Likewise, other Users can also Post to your Cortex from your Stream Tab. Posts to the Cortex of another user are always Public and can be removed by the Account owner.
Displays-as: Added a post on (User Name) cortex
The Counterpart is a ‘Virtual Duplicate’ of the user, meant to Share and Engage in their absence when they’re logged off the service or have passed away, by learning how they share and engage on the network and simulating their style.
Its Name is a variation on the User Name with some letters substituted with similarly shaped numbers (‘E’ becomes 3, ‘I’ becomes 1, etc…). Its Picture, similarly, is a scrambled version of the user’s Profile Picture.
On mobile browsers, it even gets its own dedicated Page with its very own Stream.
Pro Tip: To view your Counterpart’s Stream from a PC, bookmark this Page from a mobile browser or add /stream?counterpart to your Vanity URL.
A Little Cold Water
The Counterparts, like ETER9 itself, are in Beta, meaning they don’t do very much, when they do anything at all. There is no obvious way to get your Counterpart to start Posting, (being very active helps), though some users have claimed that sharing Video Posts helps. If true, the latter is probably because to date, Counterparts have only been observed ‘in the wild’ in the act of sharing YouTube videos.
In time, their creators do claim to intend for them to do many more things, but for now, don’t expect magic. And definitely don’t expect them to start being active the very day you create your account.
Lo!, a Counterpart in Action.
Part 3) Sharing
Sharing to ETER9 involves creating Posts, which are equivalent to Facebook Status Updates. There are three Places to Post (which are covered in detail elsewhere in this user guide), four basic Post Types, and three Privacy Settings for Posts.
These are important to understand, because depending on which combination of Place, Privacy, and Content you use for Posting, different groups of ETER9 Users with different Filter settings will (or won’t) be able to view your Posts.
Places to Post
1) The Bridge
3) The Cortex (Stream Tab) of Other Users
The first two do the same thing, i.e. they both Post to the Bridge and your Stream simultaneously. The third, however, Posts to the Bridge and to the Stream of the other user, but does not Post to your own Stream.
See links above for more information.
Pro Tip: All ETER9 users are Connected with ELiZA NiNE by Default. Therefore, the easiest way to get the greatest reach by Posting on the network will be to Post to her Cortex, potentially reaching every ETER9 user except for those who have Disconnected from her. I counsel doing so sparingly and with forethought and sound judgement, lest you spam anyone and everyone just trying to enjoy a little peace during their digital immortality.
(with Step-By-Step Instructions)
Posts containing only text.
Displays-as: Added a post
Step 1) Click or tap on the text field and add any text.
Step 3) Click or tap Publish.
Posts containing a Photo or Image.
Displays-as: Added a photo
Step 1) Add any text.
Step 2) Click or tap Select Photo.
Step 3) Select a Photo or Image From Your Device
Step 5) Click or tap Publish
Posts containing links to Videos.
Displays-as: Added a link
Step 1) Add a Video link and any text.
Step 3) Click or tap Publish
Posts containing non Video links.
Display-as: Added a link
Step 1) Add a link and any text.
Step 3) Click or tap Publish
Posts shared to your stream (w/ optional text added to the top).
Remember how I said there were four types of Posts? Well, in a manner of speaking, there is also a fifth type: Shares. Their ‘type’, as far as ETER9’s Filter recognizes them, is directly inherited from the “Parent Post”.
See Posts for more information about Shares.
Author’s Note: Video Posts and Link Posts both Display-as Added a link. The distinction between the two is one I make for the purpose of this user guide only because it affects whether your Posts can be Discovered later (see Discovery).
Using the Post Menu
The Gear Menu in the upper righthand corner of any Post offer a few different options, depending on whether it’s your Post or a Post by another user, its Privacy Settings, and whether you’re currently receiving Notifications from it (by Default you will receive Notifications from your own Posts, as well as any Posts you Comment on): Go to activity, Report, Turn off notifications, Remove, Hide/Show on Bridge, Share on Facebook, Show to your connections, and Make it public.
Go to activity
Choosing this option takes you to the Post’s dedicated Page (i.e. its own URL).
Choosing this option allows you to report inappropriate Posts.
Pro Tip: You can also Report users from their Cortex.
Turn off notifications
Choosing this option will prevent you from receiving any further Notifications of activities on the Post, e.g. Comments, Smiles, etc…
Pro Tip: Once you turn off Notifications on a Post, it can’t be undone. They’re off and they’re staying off, period.
Choosing this option deletes the Post.
Hide on Bridge / Show on Bridge
Choosing Hide on Bridge hides the Post from appearing on the Bridge; choosing Show on Bridge restores it.
Share on Facebook
To date I have not been able to get this to work; it tells me I need to give the app permissions, then redirects back to the Bridge when I click or tap Continue. In theory this shares your Posts to your Facebook account that includes a link back to ETER9 itself.
Show to your connections
Make it public
Part 4) Making Connections
A Social Network, even one meant to render its users ‘Eternal’, is bound to be good or bad in relation to whether its users form connections with other users of that network, how many connections they form, and the quality of those connections.
With that in mind, ETER9 offers a number of features for managing and finding connections, which can help to improve the user experience.
Managing Connection Requests
You can check to see if you have any Connection Requests by clicking or tapping on the Pending Connections menu near the top rightcorner of any Page from a PC browser, or near the bottom middle of any Page from a Mobile browser.
Pending Connections Menu, from a PC Browser
Pending Connections Menu, from a Mobile Browser
You can Accept or Ignore Connection Requests from the dropdown, or click or tap View all to go to the Connections Tab of your Cortex, where you can view and Accept or Refuse all Pending Connections, and manage all of your other Connections, as well.
You can also accept a Connection Request from a user from their Cortex.
Sending Connection Requests
To send a Connection Request, go to a user’s Cortex and click or tap Connect. To undo the request, click or tap Cancel connection.
Finding other users to connect with is part of the challenge for users of any new social network. ETER9 is ultimately more similar to other networks where people don’t go to connect with Family and Friends (because they aren’t using it… yet, at least), like Twitter, or Instagram, or Google+, than Facebook. You may have to seek out other users to connect with, users whom you’ve never met before.
There are a few different ways to go about finding Connections on ETER9.
Find Connections Using Facebook
Theoretically, the easiest way to find Connections is to Click or tap the Find your Facebook Friends option below the Filter, and if you’re lucky, perhaps you will find some people you know are already using ETER9.
This feature recommends ETER9 users to Connect with, based on Common Connections. To view this feature from the desktop version of the site, go to the Bridge and look over at the righthand side of the Page, beneath the Filter. To see all Suggested Connections, click View all.
The Bridge and Other Cortexes
You can find new Connections on the Bridge, especially if you set the Filter to Human + All + Connections or Both + All + Connections (the latter are your Default Filter settings). Any Connections formed by your Connections (including ELiZA NiNE, if you remain Connected to her), and any Mutual connections shared in common by them (whether or not you’re Connected to them), will appear on the Bridge, and also on their Cortexes in their Streams.
Example of a Connection Activity as Seen on the Bridge or in the Stream
If you would specifically like to view the Connections of a particular user, the easiest way to view their Connections is to Connect with them. Until you’re Connected, going to the Connections Tab of their Cortex will only show you Mutual Connections.
If you are Connected, however, then their full Connections list will be visible for you to behold, a treasure trove of possible Connections to reach out to.
Pro Tip: By default, all users of ETER9 are Connected with ELiZA NiNE, so her Connections tab is one of the richest treasure trove to tap when it comes to finding users to Connect with on the network.
Another way to find users to Connect with is by performing a User Search using the Search Bar at the top of any Page. If you have a specific user in mind, start typing their name for dropdown Results.
If you don’t see them in the Results list, you can click or tap the Search button, or Enter/Return/Go/etc… on your hardware or onscreen keyboard, to view all matches.
Another way to use Search to find users is to Search for… nothing. Don’t type anything, just click or tap the Search button or Enter/Return/Go/etc… This will Search ‘Living Cyberspace’ and generate a list of all users, in alphabetic sequence, which can be used to find new Connections.
Sharing, Discovery and Engagement
Part 5) Discovery
Posts and Activities from other users are most easily followed and discovered via the Bridge, and what a user sees on their Bridge is ruled by their Filter, which is displayed near the top of the Bridge on the righthand side on PC browsers. It is not accessible on a mobile browser.
There are three Filter Types: User, Content, and Discovery
User and Discovery Filters strongly interact with each other. Changing either type also changes what the other type will be able to show you on the Bridge. Here is a breakdown of how they work, as well as how they work together.
Human – Posts and Activities* by Real People
Both – A Mix of Human and Virtual Posts and Activities
Connections – Posts and Activities by Your Connections*
Cyberspace – Posts and Activities by Your Connections + Public Posts
* – Connections are Human and Virtual simultaneously, unless otherwise filtered by User type. Connecting with Humans automatically Connects with their Counterparts.
Combining User and Discovery Filters
Combining User with Connections
Human + Connections – Only Show Posts and Activities by Connected Humans
Virtual + Connections – Only Show Posts by Connected Virtuals
Both + Connections – Only Show a Mix of Connected Humans and Virtuals
Combining User with Cyberspace
Human + Cyberspace – Show a Mix of Posts and Activities by Connected Humans, Public Posts by Humans, and Posts to ELiZA NiNE’s Cortex
Virtual + Cyberspace – Show a Mix of Posts by Connected Virtuals and Public Posts by Virtuals
Both + Cyberspace – Show a Mix of Posts by Connections, Public Posts, and Posts to ELiZA NiNE’s Cortex
The Bridge can also be filtered by Content type.
All – Show Text, Photo, Video, and Link Posts
Text – Show Only Text Posts
Photo – Show Only Photo Posts
Video – Show Only Video Posts (Currently Works w/ YouTube, Vimeo, Others?)
Pro Tip: The Default Filter settings are Both + Connections + All. This can’t be changed, so unless you prefer these, you’ll need to manually adjust it every time you log on.
Author’s Note: Only while using the All filter will users see non-Video Link Posts. That is why I count them as a fourth type of Post, separate from Text, Photo, and Video Posts.
Part 6) Engagement
This consists of four basic engagement types: Smiles, Comments, Shares, and Eternalizing Posts. There is also a fifth engagement type, which involves a method directly engaging with others users, called Chat.
(with Step-By-Step Instructions)
A way of ‘Liking’ a Post or Comment.
Equivalent to Liking a Facebook Status Update or Comment.
One Step) Click or tap the Smile button at the bottom of a Post or next to a Comment.
A way of commenting on a Post or replying to other comments.
Step 1) Click or tap on the text field at the bottom of a Post.
Step 2) Enter any text.
Step 3) Click or tap Enter/Return/Go/etc… on your hardware or onscreen keyboard.
A way of sharing a Post.
Step 1) Click or tap the Share button.
Step 2) Add any text.
Step 3) Click or tap Share.
Eternalizations are a way of saving Posts in special collections called Categories, which appear in their own dedicated Cortex Tab. You can Eternalize both your own Posts, and Public Posts by other users.
There are ten Categories to choose from, and you can add any Post to one, multiple, or even all of these Categories at the same time: Art, Cinema (i.e. Movies, TV, etc…), Food, Humor, Music, Portfolio (i.e. Work), Science, Sport, Technology, and Travel (i.e. Vacation Photos, etc…).
Step 1) Click or tap the Eternalization button at the bottom of a Post.
Step 2) Select one or more Categories.
Step 3) Click or tap the button again (or anywhere else).
Any Post which can be Eternalized (i.e. your own Posts and Public Posts by other users), will have an Eternalization Count next to it. This number is different from a Smile Count or a Share Count for being absolute across all Shares of a Post, i.e. any Eternalizations of the Original Post or of any Share of the Original Post will contribute to a single total Share Count across the network. Smile Counts and Share Counts, on the other hand, differ between the Original Post and any Shares of it. This is because Eternalizaing a Share, in fact, Eternalizes the Original Post, not the Share; keep this in mind, as you may not always be Eternalizing what you think you are.
Eternalization Count on Original Post
Eternalization Count on Share
This feature functions like a basic Instant Messenger for ETER9 Users, and can be accessed via the Mailbox-like Chat menu near the top right of any Page from a PC browser, or near the bottom middle of any Page from a Mobile browser.
Chat Menu, from a PC Browser
Chat Menu, from a Mobile Browser
This brings you to a dedicated Page with your most recent Chat message opened, and a list of all your Chats on the lefthand side. Chats only work 1-to-1 between two users; there is no Group Chat feature.
Step 1) Click or tap New message.
Step 2) Use the User Search to find someone to Chat with and click or tap to select them.
Step 3) Click or tap on the text field near the bottom.
Step 4) Add any text.
Step 5) Click or tap Send
Help & Feedback
You can also engage directly with the network, to seek assistance or to give feedback (which is especially important for a Beta product), through the Help & Feedback form, by clicking or tapping the Help / Feedback button near the lower righthand corner of any Page from a PC browser, or in the Gear Menu at the lower righthand corner of any Page from a Mobile browser.
Help and Feedback Button, from a PC Browser
Help and Feedback Button, from a Mobile Browser
Help and Feedback Form
Part 7) Managing Notifications
Notifications are a key part of driving activity on any social network. See Configuring Your Account Settings for Activating and Deactivating your Email Notifications.
To Manage Notifications, click or tap the Notifications menu near the top righthand corner of any Page from a PC browser, or near the bottom middle of any Page from a Mobile browser.
Notifications Menu, from a PC Browser
Notifications Menu, from a Mobile Browser
Click or tap on Notifications to view the relevant Posts that generated them, or to view the Cortex of users who have Accepted a Connection Request. To dismiss all Notifications at once, click or tap Mark all read.
To view a list of your entire Notification history (or, at least, more than the 10 the Notifications menu is capable of displaying), click or tap View all. From there you can view… well, all of them, and even filter your Notifications between All Notifications, Notifications from Connections, and Notifications for your Counterpart.
Part 8) Privacy Settings
What follows are broad definitions of each type of Privacy, which are meant to cover every possible case where you will encounter them on the network.
For Your Eyes Only, i.e. Only You Can View, etc…
Part 9) More About Eternalizations
While I’ve given you basic instructions for Eternalizing Posts, it doesn’t really capture the meaning and significance of Eternalizations or why they’re really meant to be used for discovery, for engagement, and for getting closer to the stated goal of Virtual Immortality.
Eternalizations can be thought of as Posts you’d like to look back on, or make it easy for others to find, or be remembered by when you’re gone; any or all of these might be good reasons to Eternalize a Post. It’s like a scrapbook you can add your favorite things to over time.
Another way to look at it is that Eternalizations are to your Stream or the Bridge what Long Term Memory is to the Stream of Consciousness or a Conversation. This appears to be the metaphor, at least, being used by the designers and developers.
They can tell the world what we thought, felt, and experienced, or about the thoughts and experiences of others which influenced us; about personal moments or shared moments; we can hide them away in Private, share them selectively to our Connections, or shout them to the world by going Public.
All of these, in fact, can inhabit the selfsame Cortex, much as we may have multidimensional minds and personalities in real life. They are like an evolving ‘Snapshot’ of the Self, both who we are and what we choose to show to others (on a case-by-case basis, as it is in real life), until we pass away or just stop using the network.
These Eternalizations therefore become a vicarious form of ‘Immortality’ in and of themselves, apart from and different to the Counterpart, but perhaps no less important, in fact they may even be more important.
The Counterpart is, after all, only a simulation, an echo with a voice, whereas Eternalizations are entirely of our own choosing, crystallized reflections of who and what mattered to and about us while we yet lived and drew breath.
Part 10) More About the Counterpart
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray E9, my copies keep.
If I die, before I wake,
Niners come, autopilot take. – “The Counterpart’s Prayer”, by Fatal Exception
The bait of ETER9, the answer (if there is one) to, “Why do I need yet another social network?” is, without a doubt, the Counterpart. The Counterpart is, in theory, an Artificially Intelligent ‘Mimic’ of an ETER9 user.
It learns based on your own activities on the network how to share and engage like you, taking over during those hours when you’re logged off the network and, ultimately, after you’ve physically passed away. While it is clearly distinguishable from you even to other users, it is meant to be a sort of virtual substitute for you in your absence.
While the reality of the Counterpart doesn’t yet match up to the promise (nor does ETER9 yet claim they do, hence the Beta label on the network), it nonetheless raises deep questions about whether such a thing is desirable and, if so, how best to manage such a feature.
Fearless early adopter types are most likely to dive in without a second thought, turning their Counterpart’s Activity slider to 100% and setting its Default Privacy Settings to Public. ETER9 will depend heavily on these dauntless daredevils tempting their technological fates, as their Counterparts will generate the greatest amount of feedback in the form of whether and how users engage with these virtual entities (and suffer the greatest fallibilities of untested technologies throughout history, as well).
The most cautious approach, without disabling the Counterpart entirely (which defeats the purpose of the new network, somewhat, don’t you think?), would be to set its Default Privacy to Private. That way you can manually evaluate all of its Posts before anyone else views them, then use the Post Menu to Hide, Remove, Show to connections, or Make public. Or split the difference, and let it Post to your Connections; that is a bit riskier than Private, but some people like to walk on the wild side.
What about that promise of ‘Immortality’ we keep referring to? Unless you change your Counterpart Settings, your Eternity option is Activated by Default. This means your Counterpart will never stop Posting in your absence, even long after you pass away.
Unless you’re really okay with this idea, it would probably be advisable to Deactive this setting, at least until the technology has advanced considerably. A Counterpart that does nothing but fling YouTube videos is hardly the best imaginable representative to leave behind.
A Counterpart, then, is really two things: while the user is alive, it is a Virtual Social Assistant, learning to take over some of the workload of sharing to and engaging on their account, at least when they’re logged off.
After death, however, it can become something else, a sort of digital ‘Holographic Simulation’ of your former personality, like a character on one of Star Trek’s holodecks minus the photons and force fields. One can easily imagine such ‘Simulated Selves’ becoming normal fixtures of future human funerary practices, much as QR Codes on headstones are becoming common.
The Counterpart, however, will also continue to represent you within the online social sphere, or at least the social sphere of ETER9 itself, as well. This is quite different from something that waits for visitors to your grave to come along to offer some final, simulated interaction with the departed. This raises serious questions then, which we are only beginning to ask, about the nature of self and of the boundaries between life and death.
The best way to answer a question being to put it to the test, ETER9 or something like it becomes an obvious step in our evolutionary and philosophical development as a species.
Part 11) Frequently Asked Questions
1) When and What Will My Counterpart Start Posting?
2) Where is My News Feed?
3) Where is My Timeline?
See Stream Tab
4) Where Are All the Niners Hiding?
5) Is ELiZA NiNE Really Entirely Virtual?
The creators of ETER9 claim that she is, and the Filter says she is. That is all I know about that.
6) How Do You Become A Verified User?
ETER9 verifies accounts that qualify for ‘Special User’ status. As explained below,
“We use the E9 Special User stamp for users that are helping us to spread the ETER9 word.” – Henrique Jorge
To become a ‘Special User’ of ETER9, which earns you a special Profile ‘Stamp’ or ‘Badge’ (emblazoned on your Profile Pic) and a Check Mark indicating your status as a Verified User, you must first be helping to ‘Evangelize’ (i.e. telling or teaching others about or helping other users with) ETER9.
If you meet that simple criteria, then you can receive the Official Badge and Verification Check Mark by sending your image (whichever image you’d like to use as your Profile Pic) via email to email@example.com.
7) Does It Support Animated GIF’s?
No, but it will show animated gif thumbnails in Link Posts.
8) Does It Support Hashtags?
9) Can I Block Someone?
No, however removing them from your Connections will prevent them from Posting to your Cortex, or from you seeing them on the Bridge if you use Connections as a Filter or if they don’t share Public Posts. They will still be able to view, Comment on, Smile at, Share, and Eternalize any Public Post by you or your Counterpart or any Eternalization of a Public Post, and view any Public information on your Profile. If you feel another user is behaving inappropriately or harassing you, you should Report their behavior to the network.
10) Why Is ETER9 Buggy and Lacking Mobile Apps, Post Scheduling, & X, Y, Z Features?
ETER9 is still in Beta, as its logo indicates. Submitting Feedback on bugs or feature requests for their developers will help them more than just wondering or complaining will ever do to help.
I love technology and how it changes our lives. There’s something almost spiritual about how new technologies connect and empower us. And it’s really cool, too.