Facebook vs Web Snobbery

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 0:38 | Filed in Blogging, Technology, The Pickards

Many people I know — generally a bunch of relatively well educated and IT literate people look down somewhat on “social networking applications” such as MySpace, Facebook, Bebo and all that sort of stuff. The Blognescenti would rather carefully craft their own posts through some blogging engine (ideally not blogger) and serve them up to the wide world through their carefully chosen web address (as opposed to the rather shabby method of having your site hosted by WordPress or Blogger or what have you).

And I’ve got to admit, that’s pretty much my take on it too. I’m a bit of a web snob. I like having my customised WordPress theme, I like having my own website, and I like saying what I have to say how I want to say it. The only legitimate gripe I have with these social networking things is that I don’t really want to post my stuff in a walled garden: what I’m saying, I’m saying publicly. If I was only going to tell a few mates, it would be easier to just, well… tell a few mates.

Which is why it may surprise some of you to learn I’ve joined Facebook.

Don’t worry, I’m not planning on leaving the blog; in fact although I’ve only posted once since New Year, I’ve actually spent more time connected up to this site than I have to Crackbook (as Facebook is semi-affectionately termed by those who find it addictive). Currently I have 9 friends.

Don’t worry, I’m not obsessing about this or anything, but one of the things that I am thankful to Facebook for is it has enabled me to get in contact with 2 of “the old Lancaster University crew” who I hadn’t been able to contact despite my plea from March 2007.

Well, fortunately that plea worked as Thea got in touch with me to let me know that there were a few of the Lancastery people on facebook, so I joined up, became friends with her (everyone say aaah) and then found Loz Wood and Will James. The second of whom admits to still being tall. And then I found a chap residing in Malta whom I used to work with. Who is also tall.

And then I found a few more of the Lancaster crew. But they either don’t log onto Facebook very regularly or don’t want to be friends with me (boo hoo).

So that’s what I plan to use Facebook for. For vaguely keeping in touch with people who I don’t keep in touch with otherwise. Sure, I’ve got a couple of friends who I know in “real life” (anyone remember that?) but I don’t plan to be spending all my time doing all the latest quizzes and associated bollocks. Oh, I’ll do some now and again, I’ve no doubt, but I don’t want to be wasting all my time on trivia like that.

…but then, isn’t that what everyone says at first?

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4 Comments to Facebook vs Web Snobbery

  1. Anthony Casey says:

    January 8th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Exactly! Facebook ain’t no blogging.

    Facebook is Friends Reunited 2.0 (I apologise for just typing that…)

    It’s basically good for finding out who is now bald/gay/married/sprogged up/rich/desperate/poor/happy/sad (delete as applicable).

    It’s also a good way to stay on top of birthdays and the like without getting too involved…

    I’m still proud to say I never had a MySpace account.

  2. Gill says:

    January 8th, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    You now have 10 friends :-) I found you.

    (Mutters very quietly) Ahem, I have a Facebook and a Myspace account but (justification) I only signed up because clients kept asking for tailored sites on there.

    Having taken one look at what passes for css on MySpace, I had a fit of the horrors and signed up just to see what was possible. Not a lot is the answer. What doesn’t help is you finally get a page set up, wipe up all the blood, sweat and spit then go back a week later to find the powers that be have changed the way it all works, your page is completely borked, and you have to start over.

    There is a very useful MySpace ‘Delete this account’ button. :-)

  3. Mike Cherim says:

    January 8th, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    I looked for you Jack, but I wasn’t sure if I found you. Next time you logon find me and we’ll be friends :)

    I don’t do much with it, but what the heck, it’s free.

  4. Mike says:

    January 9th, 2008 at 11:25 am

    As you probably know, I have both MySpack and FB accounts, although I use them in quite different ways. MS is used for keeping tabs on clubs, shops, record labels, ‘virtual friends’ and the like; there’s a couple of ‘real’ friends in there – but not many.

    FB is, as someone else observed – essentially FR2.0. I use it for keeping tabs on ‘real’ friends – people I’ve met over the years, and people I still go down the pub with on a weekly basis. In fact, you might be pleased to know that my criteria for a FB ‘friend’ is ‘have i ever bought them a drink, have they ever bought me a drink, or are they family?’ – if they don’t fall into that particular pigeon hole, they’re not really a ‘friend’ are they ? It’s also fun to share photos in a ‘walled garden’ with people who are never going to get round to joining flickr.
    Many of them are old uni/school friends who I’m unlikely to ever see again in real life, but it’s good to keep in touch and know how they’re doing – and, should I ever find myself in melbourne, or an old friend finds themself in my town; I/they know there’s someone who can provide company and a (spare) bed for the weekend.
    ’cause that’s what friends are for.

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