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28

Jan 2010

And the 13th highest ranked trend on Facebook goes to…

Posted in Blogging | 3 Comments »

Facebook announced the top 15 status trends of 2009 at the end of last year and while there were quite a few obvious inclusions in the list, there were also some interesting ones. The study was based on the top trending words Facebook people used in their status updates. Facebook labelled it ‘memology’, the study of how “memes”, or new ideas and trends, are spreading on Facebook.

Facebook says:

Status updates on Facebook help people understand their friends and the people around them–how they’re feeling, what they’re doing and what they’re thinking. In the United States alone, people on Facebook are sharing hundreds of millions of words every day, thousands per second, in status updates. When taken as a whole, these words offer a unique barometer into the issues, world events and thoughts that are connecting people.

While you would have expected the usual suspects in ‘family’, ‘I’, ‘movies’, ‘sport’ and ‘religion’ to be in there—stock-standard material for updates, right? It is also no surprise, after its boom year, that social media terms ranked right up there either. The one that sticks out for me is ‘yard’ at 13. I mean, where has this come from?

Facebook blogged, “Have all the hipsters turned to yard work as the latest fad? Probably not. A more likely explanation is that hipsters’ moms and dads are also on Facebook, and these folks have yards that require some tending”.

Mums and dads talking about their yards? Yeah right, I didn’t buy it for one second. So I did a bit of research and it seems I’m not alone in my scepticism. Howard Yeend at puremango.co.uk believes that it’s some kind of ploy by Facebook to lure “older people” to join up and buy apps.

“A cynic might suggest that facebook is trying to make themselves look more appealing to the more mature adult population who will be happy to spend their cash in a facebook appstore which I have no doubt is on the horizon for FB,” he says.

Hmmm? Interesting idea.

Another theory is that Farmville is to blame. Perhaps people are simply talking about their Farmville yard? Of the three theories, I’m going to go with this one. Though, if anyone has any other ideas, please share.

Anyway, it made for an interesting read and the by-month graphs are pretty sweet also. Notice the spike in FML (F**K MY LIFE) during exam period?

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28

Jan 2010

A Move Towards the Future, Today.

Posted in Blogging, Social Media | 0 Comments

As a follow up to my post from Tuesday, we see the release of the IPad. Not for nothing, I don’t much care for the name and look forward to spoofs like the one done by Mad TV,  The I-rack.  However, the post yesterday on Mashable, “What the Web of Tomorrow Will Look Like: 4 Big Trends to Watch’, that I mentioned in my post How Far We’ve Come Since the ‘Busy Signal’ was just in time! It would appear the IPad is the first step in the direction towards our internet future. I have doubts that the first release will be worth the purchase – who wants to admit they wasted their money on the first IPod or the first IPhone – but I look forward to its potential in future (there’s that word again) releases.

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27

Jan 2010

How Far We’ve Come Since the ‘Busy Signal’…

Posted in Blogging, Social Media | 1 Comment »

I was joking with some friends last week about going retro on communication for a week. No mobile phone, no internet. Just the house phone and me. Fortunately for me, my job depends on being connected, and there’s no way I can be on the internet and not do personal stuff (on my own time, of course). This got me and my friends joking about how we never left the house when we were waiting for a phone call back in high school. We’d sweat over sisters and brothers ‘tying up the line’ and making it impossible for us to speak with our boyfriends. Those were the days.

Flash forward 25 years. Communication has changed to the point that we are starting to rely less and less on our phones – even if we can take multiple calls at once from anywhere in the world. Today Mashable.com posted a piece called “What the Web of Tomorrow Will Look Like: 4 Big Trends to Watch’. As someone who loves anything tech, anything futuristic and tech and most things internet related (just not my complete inability to get OFF of it), I thought this would be very interesting for me to check out.

Once I read through it, I got to thinking. The one prediction that got my mind running was number 4. Social Media Will Be Its Largest Component. This lead me to start thinking of cool scifi movies I’ve seen and their predictions and which, if any, ever come true. There’s ‘Minority Report’. I think we’re getting to a point where we will be identified and personally addressed by ads as we walk through train stations, yep. BladeRunner has the video calling. Oh, by the way, I am certain there are many examples that pre-date the movies I’m mentioning, but that’s not the point. From there I got to Videodrome. Virtual/Reality.

Born was a kernel of a thought. What if Second Life had been introduced more recently. Let’s say two years ago. I wonder momentarily if it would have taken off but it was just seconds before its time. Per Wikipedia, the highest number of logged in avatars at the same time was in January ’09 – a paltry 88,200. Comparatively, Facebook states that more than 35,000,000 FB users change their status daily.  Having joined Second Life and logging a total of 3 hours on it, in toto, I can say that I don’t think so. It’s a really cool application and my mind raced at the potential and possibilities. But, in the end it was too hefty for me. Facebook, on the other hand, has got me hook, line and sinker. What I would like to see, and here I am going to make a prediction of my own that this will in fact happen, is a merging of a Second Life type of application with Facebook, or the development of something like it by Facebook. How many hours do your friends (and you, admit it) spend on Gangster Wars, or Farmville, or CafeWorld. To me it seems a natural progression. So, you heard it here first, folks. Too bad I don’t get paid for correct predictions.

What disappointed me about the forecast? That there wasn’t a feature that locks you out of your own devices under certain circumstances. I’m saying that if you are too drunk to be out in public, you are too drunk to be on Skype, IM, or even email. Of course, leave it to Google to have ‘Mail Goggles’. A tiny lab add-on that allows you to indicate after what time of night and on what days you will be required to take a short math test in order to send your mail. You can indicate how difficult the test is meant to be. I found it more annoying than useful, but to be truthful on more than occasion I had to complete the test several times before I could send the email. They should have a ‘maximum attempts’ setting in there, too. These seem like such simple, yet important, features that should be included on any device that can access the web.

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