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Here’s an interesting article by Tracy Coenen called “Facebook is Not Satan’s Spawn,” weighing in on Facebook’s new privacy settings.

Where do you stand on keeping your public postings private?

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Facebook has unveiled its plans for the newer service “Facebook Lite” in an attempt to streamline the Facebook experience.  There will only be links to see walls, your friends’ walls, profile info, and photos and videos.  This sounds like a fine idea… But then, it also sounds like what Facebook used to be before the endless stream of changes that have taken place since 2008.

Remember the days of yore (because 2004 is so old-school now), when a bare-boned Facebook captured your heart, mind and credit hours with the simplest user interface out of all the social networking sites? There was no live feed of friends’ updates, there wasn’t even a home page initially.  Even at its simplest, Facebook was able to build a loyal following that grew beyond 200 million strong this past spring.

The situation feels like MTV2 revisited.  MTV brought The Box (a viewer request channel that aired music videos commercial-free) in 1996.  They turned that into MTV2 to have a place to show more music videos and a wider range of music genres. Because it had focused so much on developing reality TV shows and teen dramas, it was as if MTV literally ran out of space to fit music into its own channel. 

Facebook seems to be running out of space to fit… “facebooking.”  Now Facebook is overwrought with outside applications, Zuckerberg bought FriendFeed for who knows what reason.  And Facebook seems a little obsessed with Twitter, especially since failing to acquire Twitter in March.

There’s no longer any room for the charm that made Facebook what it once was.  So they have to start over on a new site.  But will one site be enough? (There are 5 channels of MTV in the US alone). For more info on Facebook Lite, check out the ever-useful Mashable and TechCrunch.

[This post will far exceed my self-imposed limit of 300 words… I couldn’t help it! This was a convergence of two of my favorite things in the entire world and it is all I can do to keep myself from writing a book.]

  

 

I’ve said many times before that I think the universe communicates with me through the Tyra Banks Show. Every time I’m going through drama in my life, Tyra does a show on it. And when I need some general catharsis, this show provides it in 60 minutes or less. The universe delivered AGAIN. Tyra did a show on Twitter (and Facebook). Message received, universe: spend more time online.

 

I’m going to recap some of the many highlights of this episode, in hopes that you appreciate this show’s dedication to thoroughness. They left no stone unturned in getting some thoughtful commentary…  Well at least for Facebook anyway.

 

“So everybody’s on Facebook, right?”

 

 

 

A lot of the show was dedicated to discussing Facebook and by the end I realized I was one of the “haters that are lovers” of Facebook—a complicated emotional state that only Tyra could put into words so eloquently. The audience was audibly impressed by news of the social networking site’s 100 million user growth in just eight months.  (For more on that, read this).  Tyra gave a shout-out to her Facebook fan page (I’m so upset I knew nothing about this before).   And we were introduced to Julian Smith, creator of a pretty awesome YouTube clip “25 Things I hate About Facebook” (which borrows from the plague-like viral Facebook meme “25 Things About Me.”

 

Discussion of some of the awful things we put up with to use Facebook (like being “poked” by strangers) prompted Tyra to give us the “Five Rules of Facebook,” a comprehensive guide to Facebook etiquette:

 

1)      Only tag a photo of your friend with their permission

2)      Only make friend requests of people that you actually know (Don’t they know “to friend” is the correct verb here?)

3)      Relationship status changes must be mutual

4)      Do not write inappropriate stuff on your friends’ walls

5)      Do not over-poke people, especially strangers

 

 

Other Facebook-centric segments included: a Tyra Show staff member who changes his coworkers’ pages when they leave their computers, a woman who broke up with her boyfriend by changing her relationship status, and a girl meeting her brother for the first time after first connecting on Facebook. By this point, I was tired of Facebook all over again. Move on to Twitter, please!

 

Again, the universe obliged.

 

 

 

 “Are you obsessed with Twitter?”

 

About 6 people in the studio audience cheer at the mention of Twitter as the next segment rolls along. How sad… You could tell Twitter sounded like the geekiest waste of time on the planet to the women in this audience.  They responded with horror and possibly disgust upon learning you can Tweet from your phone. Um, it’s 2009. How is that a foreign concept, people? 

 

Ugh, never mind. Cut to Tony and Ashley, a couple experiencing a romantic downswing because of Tony’s Twitter obsession (the audience was like, “Geek!” I was like, “I feel you, brother.”).  Leave it to Tyra to host “television’s first ‘Twittervention.’” Does everyone recognize the genius here? Okay, then I will move on…

 

I later “bumped into” Tony on Twitter, who was—what else—monitoring conversation about the show. I felt guilty Tweeting back and forth with him after seeing the show. That’s what you just got in trouble for, Tony! 

 

Anyway, Tony gave me the green light to share his experience on the Tyra Banks Show, which he wrote about on his blog. You can also see a clip of the segment.  You’ve got to love a man that gives his mom a shout-out! The only thing they were missing on this segment was a couch. They really needed to conduct the Twittervention with Tony sitting on a couch.

 

No matter, the last of my observations before I begin to wrap things up is a correction. “Tweet” is a noun AND a verb! We can’t go confusing non-Tweeters like that by not properly discussing the grammar involved in sending “tweets” or getting all “twitterriffic” (err, maybe I’m the only one who uses that).

 

Potent Quotables

 

Alright, can I just share some of my favorite quotes by one of the most quotable women on one my favorite episodes of one of my favorite shows of all time? Okay great, thanks!

 

·         “Haters that are lovers on the internet”

·         “Does the building look like, like, the homepage of Facebook?” (She asks Julian, about his visit to the Facebook studio)

·         “…So you don’t even want to date her? So you’re gonna be celibate and not date at all?” (This was directed to the guest whose girlfriend broke up with him via Facebook relationship status. I was so with her on this. His lost: to the left, to the left!

·         “If you are creepy, you must suppress your inner-creepiness!” (When writing on Facebook walls)

·         And lastly, this AWESOME description of Twitter: “Twitter allows users to let people follow them all day long by constantly updating their status and answering the question ‘What are you doing? What are you doing? …I’m sitting on the Tyra show. What are you doing?  …I’m scratching my ankle. What are you doing? …I’m feeling for naps in the back of my hair.’” (Stir, simmer, and stew in the awesome, won’t you?)

 

This was by far my second favorite episode in the history… of… the Tyra Banks Show (my first favorite was “Black Men in America”… and incidentally, my third favorite was the one with Patti Labelle and Brandy. Yes I keep track of these things!) I’ll just politely ask that The Tyra Show covers this topic like once a month. So I can keep finding excuses for the time I spend doing the things I do.

 

 

So what’d you think of the show? Comment, and let me know what you think of the recaps, xoxo

Facebook f  Time Magazine says Facebook is now for old fogies… And I’m inclined to agree with a select few of their reasons.

Because Facebook surely hasn’t appealed to the college student in me for quite some time. Maybe they want to address the needs of their fastest growing age group, but I do think they are doing so at the risk of losing favor among their loyal subjects who were there from the start.

Time Magazine’s 10 Reasons Facebook is for Old Fogies

# 4. Facebook isn’t just a social network; it’s a business network.
[These two worlds really have no place intermingling. Adults who have practice at separating their work lives from their personal lives may fit right in. But for college and high school students, this is still a new concept. We kind of feel cheated being told to not use Facebook to put our lives on display for everyone to see… that was the whole point!]

# 7. We have children. There is very little that old people enjoy more than forcing others to pay attention to pictures of their children.
[This is true. .. Whereas a lot of college students have pictures they’d rather people never saw in the first place.]

# 10. We’re not cool, and we don’t care. There was a time when it was cool to be on Facebook. That time has passed.
[I could not have said this better.]

For the complete list, click here.

I joined Facebook five years ago, within the first three months of its creation. I had attended an early college orientation and incoming freshmen were already talking about this cool “thing” called Facebook, where you could add your (one!) picture and tell people about yourself and meet other freshmen ahead of time. It was simply revolutionary.

Over the years, I watched as Facebook added new features, like photo albums (which they initially imported from Photobucket- remember?), group pages, event pages, and the earth-shattering news feed. But I’ve also watched Facebook do some strange things like invite people to create applications for the Website, then soon after push them off of a person’s main page. And let’s not even get into the “We own your information,” kerfuffle.

Look, I love Facebook. But I don’t think that the platform itself is all that’s been changed. Facebook is no longer conceptually the same as when I joined. I’m not really sure who Facebook is for anymore. (But I also can’t imagine my mother-the archetypical Fogie- having her own Facebook page.)

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