I am no longer, as of October 2008 working as a class teacher at Sandaig, so have moved this blog to another server. If you want to comment on this post, pleas search for it there.

12 07 07 Facebook


Facebook Badge

It looks like a pile of the SotEdubloggers are holidaying on facebook.

I was invited a few weeks ago and joined up.
Compared to bebo and myspace the interface is pretty calm. I've messed about with a few tools and gained a few friends but I have not been convinced.

I was planning to blog something about this, but serendipitously in this morning guardian I saw Jack Scofield's article: If Facebook is just this year's version of AOL, is that bad? which linked to Facebook is the new AOL (kottke.org) which I followed to Facebook vs. AOL, redux (kottke.org).
Kottle pretty much sums up my feelings:
As it happens, we already have a platform on which anyone can communicate and collaborate with anyone else, individuals and companies can develop applications which can interoperate with one another through open and freely available tools, protocols, and interfaces. It's called the internet and it's more compelling than AOL was in 1994 and Facebook in 2007
If you're not a Facebook user, you can't do anything with the site...nearly everything published by their users is private.
The bit about blogs and Web 2.0 I really like is the fact that most of them produce rss, which is the basis of the Small Pieces Loosely Joined argument. (I am guessing as I've never read the book, but the title sounds cool).

Facebook seems fine, fun etc but it misses the serendipity and easy linking and mashing of data. From my, admittedly very limited experience, it seems you can pull information into facebook but not get too much out.

With more open tools it is easy to gather, mix and redistribute information, blogs, wiki updates, podcasts, flickr, del.icio.us etc. can all be mashed with existing tools or a bit of scripting. Facebook seems exclusive rather than inclusive, closed rather than open. I am happy to vist but I would not want to live there.

Or am I missing something?

Facebook certainly doesn’t miss out on serendipity – I’ve got back in touch with so many old uni and school friends through it and can see what they’re up to through their presence indication (a competitor for Twitter?) and various mood feeds. The thing about Facebook, which is different from blogs, is that everyone is very searchable by name, school, college…. by metadata. Blogs make it a little more difficult to decipher who is who, who’s pretending to be someone else etc…

Facebook also gives you that ‘collection’ feeling with your friends, widgets, notes, presence updates – it’s good for people’s egos.

I can see your point/Kottke’s point with the comparison to the internet proper. I’m also in agreement that introspective communities like Ning are pointless – let’s get that content on the live web. But Facebook has a reason for being private. It’s the last place that I can actually put some genuinely more private stuff, like how I’m feeling, without everyone on my blog seeing.
Ewan McIntosh (Email) (URL) - 13 07 07 - 06:53

This last comment gave me so much pause for thought I had to blog about it!:-)
Dorothy (Email) (URL) - 13 07 07 - 11:47

It might be age, I don’t think there is anyone in facebook that was at school with me (I left before you were born!).
Also an age thing, I probably don’t want to put how I am feeling on the web if I want to keep it private.
You pulled me back to teaching nicely, thanks.
John (Email) (URL) - 13 07 07 - 16:53

(blush)All this talk of age is making me blush!
I joined ‘facebook’ out of curiosity a month or 2 ago just to ‘play about’. I now find myself with 3 ‘friends’, which is nice …... except they all think I’m younger than what I am. I remember signing up and thinking there’s no way I’m going to admit to being 50 something, so I knocked a few years off (just the 10!). I can change the day and month in the profile, but not the year?
I could include a ‘blurred’ photo taken from a distance to try to fool the ‘friends’... and if we ever meet up, I’ll blame the stress of the day job!!
margaret v (Email) (URL) - 13 07 07 - 18:42

Hmm Margaret. The thing I like about my Bebo is that there I’ve got “friends” who are mostly, in fact all, my children, their cousins, or friends of my children but they all kindly indulge my liking for irony and random humour. Mind you, I didn’t like the nasty message I got a while back implying that someone my age (I’m the same as you Margaret,in my fifties)(Just!)was weird (not the word he used) for having a Bebo. Bebo seemed to deem it unacceptable as well though as they banned the guy! Maybe you should just be honest with your new friends?
Dorothy (Email) (URL) - 13 07 07 - 18:58

Hi Dorothy. My eldest son persuaded me to join ‘My Space’ a while ago to discover all the great things his brothers and cousins were up to (my youngest has just reminded me that I knocked 13 yrs off there!). I learned how much Brian was in to photography and all about the DJ gigs Graeme does in his spare time – great!
I hear they’re all migrating to Bebo. Maybe I’ll join ….. is 20 years too much to deduct? :)
margaret v (Email) (URL) - 14 07 07 - 11:54

Oh do go to Bebo, and you can be my first over 30 contact! My lips will be sealed about how much over 30 ;)
Dorothy (Email) (URL) - 14 07 07 - 15:19

Facebook seems so non user friendly compared to other sites like Bebo. I really don’t like it.

The privacy is so strong as well that it’s very difficult to get anything interesting out of it.
Doug Semple (URL) - 16 07 07 - 13:27

Hi Doug,
Another age thing, I am afraid I prefer facebook to bebo, bebo far to messy looking for me to view for long. Looks like one big blink tag to me;-)

I am with you on getting things out of facebook. I’m going to mess around with it over the holidays a bit, but I can’t see it becoming a big part of my online life.

Margaret and Dorothy, the age thing is interesting, I am nearing 50 myself according to the digital divide we should not be here;-)
John (Email) (URL) - 19 07 07 - 05:05

Did you read my last blogpost John? My parents are becoming wikipros!
Dorothy (Email) (URL) - 19 07 07 - 16:52

Pretty amazing. I wonder if we looked at the age of teachers using web 2.0 what would it tell us?
John (Email) (URL) - 20 07 07 - 08:57

Hide email:

Small print: All html tags except <b> and <i> will be removed from your comment. You can make links by just typing the url or mail-address. -->

I am no longer, as of October 2008 working as a class teacher at Sandaig, so have moved this blog to another server. If you want to comment on this post, pleas search for it at: http://www.johnjohnston.info/blog.