Balls to it! (a Whatley rant-a-thon) Part 3: What the hell is Facebook for anyway?

Well – a few things come to mind and it’s probably a mixture of these things… (and this is good that I’m writing this down actually because I’ve been meaning to shoehorn this into a project at work for bloody ages now) …right so:

Facebook – and I loathe that I’m dedicating blogspace to the ubiquitous behemoth that it is – but I need to:

There’s the facebook fiends that go round collecting friends like I collect socks (and I do – H&M is my best friend when it comes to socks). Like those people I know from school who I never spoke to, who in fact probably wouldn’t actually spit on me if I was on fire back then… They have NO PROBLEM with hitting the ‘add friend’ button on my profile! WTF?!

WHY?!

Were we friends at school? No – scrap that – ARE we friends NOW?! No.
(on this – have any of you hit the ‘ignore’ button on a friend request yet? Do it. It is SO empowering)

Maybe facebook needs to bring in hidden ‘layered’ friends:

  • Friends who I know and love and see/speak to regularly
  • People I work with
  • Some bloke I met down the pub last night
  • You who’s name I don’t actually remember who sat four tables away from me in Science class.

And YES I know that facebook has just introduced that stupid friend grouping thing etc but that’s not the point.
Maybe it’s my definition of the word ‘friend’ which – between you and me – I don’t bandy about lightly…

Right so yeah – Facebook fiends. Adding friends like it’s some kind of race. Well it ain’t. So you lose.

Then there’s the facebook address bookers. Now these people I don’t really mind that much. Having read about them online a fair bit of late… these folk actually use the ‘social tool’ (that’s right – it’s a TOOL not a NETWORK, but we’ll come back to that) for a single purpose and that is: As a very active contacts list.

What do I mean?

Well – instead of searching my contacts in outlook or in my N95 et al – I can search my ‘friends list’ on facebook and immediately glean a whole bunch of info about that person.

Email (do people still use this medium socially? I think I read somewhere that in 2007 email usage went down by about 80%. I think that figure could be wank rubbish. But still, food for thought) addresses, phone numbers, current status etc… ie: “Steve is planning beers tonight..” that there is a reason for me to call him.
Plus it gives you reminders about upcoming birthdays and events and such like as a personal contacts/diary would do so… but oh look.. We’ve come back to the walled garden thing again.
Grrr…

Ok – moving on from them – there’s folk like me. The sharers. I’ve built my social network up around me using facebook and now I use this tool for one function (as I am growing to dislike the site somewhat of late) and that is to share cool things I find online with my non-geeky friends.

I mean – I can share links through my Google reader to the 10 or so people that care to read or I can send a TinyURL out to the 50 or so people who are following me on Twitter… OR I can use my Jaiku to do something similar but ultimately – by using the social tool of choice (facebook) – I can share anything cool I find with over 400 of my friends/acquaintances/business contacts/etc… so of late, that’s all I’ve been doing. Sharing.

Incidentally –

‘Share’ is going to be THE theme of 2008.

In every sense of the word. That’s what I think anyway.
This is based a whole bunch of shit great stuff I’ve seen happening in ‘007 and in the first ten days of ‘008.
I’ll prolly expand upon this another time – already I feel like I’ve written bloody loads. But who cares… it’s my first proper post of the year – allow me a little self indulgence already!

Ok – coming back to the thing about facebook…

Conc in Part 4

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