Friends Re-United, give up, your thinking is out-dated!

A recent log-in to Friends Re-United reveals why they’re history

I hadn’t been to Friends Re-United for a long time. That in itself says something about its design and underlying thinking.

So why hadn’t I been?

Even when it first came out I couldn’t be bothered to go there often.  It was too slow and it forced me to try to find places and people it’s way.  By category.  By institution.  Oh – and then I only found people IF they’d taken the time to add themselves to that institution by the same clumsy process.

Adding yourself to places?  What’s that all about?  We just ARE! Isn’t that enough?!?  Don’t other just people know us as us, not as ‘school->year->us’?  Doh.

That’s why Facebook wins and Twitter wins even more.

This morning, I logged into Friends Reunited but before I’d dragged down more than a couple of menus and waited for a couple of clunky page reloads en route to trying to find a place I worked at… I just gave up.

FR, forget site facelifts.  Either shift your whole understanding or shut down because your thinking is history.

Where can I get Tamiflu vaccine online?

And how long before the Tamiflu spam starts arriving?

Just reading Canadian communication consultant & podcaster Donna Papacosta tweeting about the White House press conference on Swine Flu – or as I think I’ll prefer to call it, ‘Schwein Flu’ (pronounced with a heavy Clouseau accent).

Made me wonder: um, do we have any of the vaccine here in the UK?

A quick web search turns up only a few distinctly unpromising three year old news items reporting that the UK might possibly get round to inviting the pharmaceuticals to tender.  At some point.  Probably.

Three years later, what am I bet that we never got round to it?

So it looks like we’re going to watch the first Twitter-tracked pandemic in human history. #swine flu

Twitter and ego

Do you use Twitter to boost your ego? Really, honestly?

Our social media are a brilliant reflection of our culture.  Meaning?  They’re shaped by our cultural obsession with fame and the need to be liked or loved by others.  ‘Hot or Not’, Facebook ‘friends’, ecademy contacts, newsletter subscribers, Twitter followers – they’re all about using popularity to feel good.

Do you use these things to feel good?  Honestly?  And would you admit if you did?

I ask the question because every now and then I notice myself getting sucked into caring about having subscribers or followers in this immaterial, time-devouring online world.  I notice how easily (if I’m not careful) I can find myself judging my success on the number of hits on my site.

These media are seductive because they play to the ego – the ‘mind-made’ sense of self (as Eckhart Tolle calls it) that is permanently incomplete and which permanently needs filling up with more, new, different.

I know that if your ego is using social media to boost your sense of self, it will also defend it savagely.

(Stands back waiting for the ‘Oh, lighten up, it’s just about connecting with friends….’ line)


Tweview: using Twitter for a movie review

Tweview: the Twitter moview review. Ok – I just made it up.  But why not?

A cutting movie review in 140 characters.  There’s already an online art form called ‘Twaiku’ – Twitter meets Haiku.

I just posted ‘my routine’ in 140 characters on Twitter – in which I mentioned that part of my routine was commuting, watching recommended films and writing scathing reviews.

I noticed it felt like a Haiku.  So I Googled ‘Twaiku’ – to find it was (of course) a well-known, well-practiced art.

Which led me to the idea of the ‘Tweview’ (puke).  An idea which Google reports nobody else has thought of. So the Twitter film review is born.  And just like Haiku has to contain some reference to season in order to create a setting for the central idea, the ‘Tweview’ must somehow let the reader know what the movie is. It should also start with the word ‘Tweview:’

Here’s my first one:

Wall-e Tweview: We’re going 2 ruin the planet & get fat but don’t worry technology will save us & teach us how 2 relate 2 each other again.

twitter phishing DM

If you get a Twitter direct message containing a link, don’t click it – it may be a phishing scam

Read this, says Twitter.

For the few people who don’t know, ‘phishing’ is the attempt to obtain personal data from you usually via emails or messages pretending to be from your bank, PayPal, mobile phone provider or other supplier or utility.  These links take you to a fake site and encourage you to ‘validate’ or ‘unblock’ your account by (re)supplying your personal details which can then be used fraudulently by the ‘phisher’.

More from Wikipedia on phishing here.

Animated Twitter Avatar – first sighting

Mobatalk’s Michael Bailey nips in with a neat animated Twitter avatar.

Is this a first? I’d like to know. Seems that he’s created a bit of a frisson today with his animated ‘coffee drinking’ avatar.

Click to see the amazing moving avatar here! Click the picture (right) to watch Michael’s top Twitter animated avatar insider tips (worth $697)!

I’m so not-clued-up with Twitter that I don’t exactly know how to follow the conversations, but seems there has been some grumbling about Michael’s move.

Err… why exactly?

Is blogging dead?

Blogging is dead says Radio 4’s ‘Today Show’, Twitter’s the next thing.. yawn

According to the techies cited on the Today Show, it is.  Why? Because the web is now stuffed full with faceless, automatically generated crap. I totally agree with that bit, though I disagree that blogging is dead.

Interestingly, blogging was discussed only from that egotistical point of view; all ‘me’ telling ‘my’ (hundreds of) friends what ‘I’m’ doing now.  As far as I’m concerned, from that ego point of view, blogging never got born in the first place.

What nobody talked about in any depth was what blogging actually IS: a publishing platform you can use to create and reach an specific audience (if what you say has some use, interest or other value).  Nothing about business, education or politics

Poor old John Humphries didn’t know what blogging was – or Twitter for that matter.  Luckily he was helped out by his guests, a couple of thirty-somethings.  You know that ultra-cool kind  who embrace everything. Unlike teenagers who, like, just embrace the latest thing.

So is blogging dead?

Blogs-as-diaries were dead from the outset as far as I’m concerned.  And blogs that exist just as gobbledegook loaded with AdSense Google ads should be.

Video meets Twitter – Mobatalk

Mobatalk logoMobatalk is a quick and easy way to video blog using Twitter

Mobatalk developer Michael Bailey was the man behind ‘MyChingo’ – a neat little audio comment / message recorder. I remember trying that out last year and being impressed with the quality of the audio it recorded.

‘MyChingo’ used whatever microphone you had on-board your Mac or PC (webcam, plugin, built-in) to record and store audio messages on the MyChingo server. What was especially nice was the widget you could put on your blog to let your visitors leave you messages.

What went wrong? I’m not sure – we didn’t really ever get into using it properly possibly because as fast as we’d found it, Michael put a price tag on it.

Now, there’s Mobatalk. I gave it a quick go and was impressed by how easy it was to record a video clip and get it out as a tweet. And I was also impressed with the quality of the video, too. Go there and click the ‘alpha testing underway’ link and try it out. I had a problem with the Java (the record button didn’t show up in Firefox on Mac) but I switched to Safari and it worked fine there.

Mobatalk is one of those little applications that has great potential – and the link up with Twitter makes good sense. All I can say is that I hope Michael keeps it free. ;-)