Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Warning: Grumpy Old Woman on Facebook

This blog is the closest I have to a Grumpy Old Woman blog. It might be appropriate to have one called that but the blogger url has already gone and I'm a tad blogged out talking about scrapbooking, bunnies and the tedious minutiae of the tax system.

Don't even get me started on the lazy way the "book" part of Facebook is now pronounced. The phonetic symbols are beyond me but just push your lips together and forward to see how the work "book" used to be pronounced.

That out of the way and this being a blog about the written word ...

I have resisted Facebook for a long time, partly because I would have stuck pins in my eyes rather than have anything to do with people who were inviting me onto it, partly because it seemed silly. I was a moderator of a marketing forum for a while and reading pages and pages of how to collect friends and then spam them to death completely put me off. Never, ever, allow someone who is in network marketing (it will be proudly displayed on their info page) to become your friend unless you want incessant messages about saving money on your utility bills or "lose weight now, ask me how". If only the latter, or indeed the former, worked.

So, resisting the Scrapbook Police, marketers and those who owe me money or vice versa .... it's been good to catch up with cousins I haven't seen for years and people I knew messing about on the radio. I was doing the messing about, they were doing it professionally. I even found a few chums from school and university. How sad that I only found out a neighbour's father had died through Facebook. My terror of falling down and breaking something during the Tax Season has kept me in until such time as I can see the pavement outside the house. I had high hopes for tomorrow but it's snowing again and the Southampton bin men have been absent long enough to get their own Grumpy Old Woman post very soon.

I'm also resisting all the Farmville type games, the gifts and various other applications. Whilst it all seems fun it's not fun to have your computer compromised by all these things that require your log in details. In any case another distraction is something I need like a hole in the head. Digital scrapbooking and games provide plenty of that.

I have a few quibbles with Facebook or, rather, its users. For many names the search comes up with hundreds of options. I seem the be the only Sharon Horswill on there, she declares from a position of superiority, although there are a few others on th'internet. How are we supposesd to find anyone? Why doesn't their location come up in the search? Their email addy doesn't find them as many people sensible choose a different addy just for Facebook and if you haven't been in touch with people since before the days of email - some of us go that far back - then you are not likely to know their email addy are you? What's with the picture of someone in a field, baby scans, pictures of two people etc etc? FACEbook. The clue is in the name! Do you want to be found or not?

What's Sue Smith Was Jones all about? Did Sue Smith nee Jones go out of fashion or did our American friends never use that?

Fair enough, groups of teenagers or business networks might not want to be found/let any grownups in but even they should be careful since internet searches last for years. Do they really want a future employer to find pictures of them falling down drunk? In my short time on Facebook I've even seen people having rows on there. Probably with people in the same room. Does the warning about washing dirty linen in public not apply any more?

My real quibble is with those who need to build a business presence on Facebook. I'm not talking about those who need to market directly on there, having trashed them a few paragraphs above, but those who would like others to know what they do and who have pride in what they do. I'm going to show you two friends who manage Facebook very well indeed:

Jane Hill - a stand-up comedian who entertains with witty status reports while letting FB friends know what she's up to

Paul Easton - the leader in his field of commentary on the radio industry who provides useful information to fellow radio peeps and find his friends are thrilled to bits when he modestly tells of his publishing achievements this week. Incidentally it's Paul who has helped me avoid some of the pitfalls.

I've linked to Jane's site and Paul's blog; I'm still not entirely sure how to link to FB pages ie how you do it when you're not a FB friend of theirs yet. There are many more mysteries ....

As for Twitter, I'm not keen. My life is far too boring to "tweet" about all day and should it ever become interesting I would hope it would be worthy of a broader canvas than however many characters Twitter allows. Short lines only encourage text speak which, as we all know, is a wrk of t dvl.


  1. Oh this one made me laugh - yes really!

    Guilty of the plugging my wares (only occasionally though) on FB - like just yesterday - but hey - it worked and I got a bite!!

  2. Yes, but we really wanted that stuff! Funny thing is I have one of the biggest internet marketers as a FB friend and he's not trouble at all!