Thursday, August 02, 2007

Social Networking

I had a Facebook account for like 30 minutes last night. I'd been meaning to try and then I got an invite from a student and so, OK, I'll give it a whirl. After about 15 minutes I had 9 friends and a picture. I'd looked at some other pics and pages. Then it hit me. Although I have no Xanga and I never did Friendster, I have Blogger, LiveJournal, MySpace, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, GoodTheatre, YouTube, Picasa, & Flickr. Isn't that enough social networking? Plus, as a married nearly 40 year old how much "virtual" social networking do I need? Seems more like time is running out and if I am going to socialize with people I ought to actually hang out with them.

I considered for a moment doing this Profile Linker thing I found with Stumble. It purports to manage all your web 2.0 sites as one gigantic profile. This seems like a good idea to me. But after a few seconds I decide that the server for Profile Linker is in a basement vault somewhere in Langley - it just has to be, doesn't it? So, maybe if one of you tries it first and doesn't get sent off to Guantanamo. Maybe then I can let the paranoia fade and do it myself.

So, no profile linking. That decision leads me to deactivate the Facebook account. They were really interested to see why I was shutting it down. Interestingly on their little exit interview there was not choice for "I am too connected already."

I was telling my class about this and how I had all those other accounts and they fairly unceremoniously informed me that all of my accounts were crap and that Facebook is where it is. So we know where tomorrow's college students have their accounts.

Still, I can't help think that Facebook is oh, so 2006. You have to check it. I am through with checking. It's all feeds now - you need a refresher? It seems very awkward to me that there weren't RSS feeds available for the features in Facebook. And while I am sure that with some third party apps it may be possible, syndication appears at least to me to be fairly standard for a community of this type. LJ has feeds. MySpace has feeds. Blogger now has like 3 different feeds for each page. You can have a post feed, an all comment feed, or a comment feed for a particular entry. But on Facebook if you want to see what someone has written on your "wall" you have to check? So last year.

Maybe someone will convince me, and I will light up the account again. It was interesting to see some of the people that showed up for invites when going through my address book. Some of my cousins and my brother and sister-in-law all appear to have accounts; my boss and several other faculty seem to have accounts. I wonder how many of them actually check the page though. Probably comparatively few. Still, make the right pitch, or convince me the profile linker isn't part of some Homeland Security project and maybe I will reconsider whether I am cool enough for Facebook


Brian Munroe said...

I'm an almost-40-with-three-kids, working on a show with mostly 20-somethings and I totally do not "get" myspace,facebook,etc.

What the hell happen to making a phonecall to stay in touch?

My wife says I am turning into a grumpy old man way too early, so I'm sure it's me.

Still, If I ever say "check out my myspace page" please shoot me in the head.

Ethan Weil said...

I think that a bunch of us actually like and use Blogger, LiveJournal, StumbleUpon, YoutTube, Flickr and probably some others. I don't seem to have enough professional contacts for my LinkedIn profile to be useful, and I don't think any of us have been invited to GoodTheatre.
I think the message the class was trying to make was that because of the culture of each, most of us like Facebook far more than Myspace. That said, the same cultural issues that weakened the Myspace fad are starting to take over Facebook as well.
I'm starting to feel that I'm over social networking sites and would prefer an easy way to read and comment things I follow from one spot (preferably not a website) and to maintain a public link list of what I like. That would hold a lot more information about me and my peer group than anything I've found yet.

Blake said...

> convince me the profile
> linker isn't part of some
> Homeland Security project

It's not. We have far more efficient ways of watching you...