Friday, 20 February 2009

Why I like Facebook

After trying MySpace and Bebo and not finding either to my liking, I couldn't see the point of going on Facebook for a long time but now I'm on there, I think it's great. When you join, it strips all your e-mail addresses out of your mailbox and sends messages to your mates to tell them you're on Facebook. And blow me if most of them aren't on there already!

I've had ping pong games of messages with friends in real time (that never happened with e-mails) and I can let my little circle of friends know what I'm up to and what the next exciting event for Anarchadia Publishing will be. I can post photos and links - it does everything that e-mail can do but better.

After the usual initial flurry of interest, I've found Facebook to be a useful tool. For networking it seems ideal. I'm on there to promote my writing mainly but I can easily see why it could become addictive.

You can even be fan of someone.

But I would like to be someone who has fans. I just haven't asked anyone yet.

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Friday, 2 January 2009

Social networking sites

Over the last couple of years, some friends of mine been raving about various social networking sites. Suitably encouraged, I had a go at MySpace but, after an initial surge in enthusiasm, I stopped using it and so did the friends who got me into it. Somebody else reckon that Bebo was good but nothing happened after I'd set up my profile. Of course, when I say nothing happened, I don't include all the messages I got from chicks in the States young enough to be my daughter who reckon that I looked "hot". They seemed intent on inviting me to look at the website of theirs that featured them getting naked in the outdoors. I think this is what they call cybersex. The attraction of this is lost on me, I'm afraid.

So, when another section of my social circle began to talk enthusiastically about Facebook, I didn't listen to them. The lesson I have learned from my experiments in social networking sites was that if I wanted to contact someone I would send an e-mail. Despite various lectures about its numerous advantages, I closed my ears and mind and, determined to manage quite happily without it, managed quite happily without it.

I was also slightly prejudiced against Facebook due to the experiences of one of my "friends" on MySpace. She was an artist who use the site to promote her work but posted a comment about Facebook. At that time, some people were alleging that Facebook was financed by the CIA and past personal details of its members onto the security forces in the United States. She posted a link to a video on YouTube about this and, as a direct result, had her profile is sabotaged by an American redneck who said she shouldn't have "any hangups about the United States being the number one nation." He effectively froze her site but after a great deal of effort and help from her friends she managed to get it unfrozen.

When I was reviewing the various options open to me in terms of publicising my writing, I took a fresh look at Facebook. And to really take a proper look at it, I had to sign up for it. Now that I have, I think it's rather good. It's surprising how the people I already know on Facebook and the main advantage to me is that I can see what mutual friends we have. I've only been on for 24 hours and have something like 30 friends. I've searched for some friends of mine with whom I've lost contact and because they have some rather peculiar names I've been able to find them. And I can see who's friends my friends have, who is friends with whom and who has mutual friends or friends in the same area.

MySpace seems to work well from the point of view of bands who are interested in promoting themselves but it didn't quite work for me as a writer. I had some interesting developments that these occurred soon after I joined the site and for the last 18 months I've regarded MySpace as dormant.

I expect the honeymoon period with Facebook will wear off after time but I've enjoyed it so far. it'll be particularly interesting to see if it benefits my career as a writer through publicising either myself or my work.

Unfortunately, it's only a matter of time before I get spammed but it hasn't happened yet and I can always delete or report them if it happens. If they are really attractive I might be tempted to look.

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