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The Facebook After-Party

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This idea came to me one day while I was on Facebook, that ingeniously designed social networking site which has quickly become the place to be for staying in touch with family and friends, sharing pictures or videos, and having some laughs. I came to notice that a friend of mine, Dale, had voiced his displeasure with a mutual friend, Bill, over a rude comment made during one of his conversations, or “threads.” Among my circle of friends, I may have said he was “popping beef” with Bill. Also, in that same circle, his comment probably would not have raised an eyelash. The problem was, as Dale complained, his family members, both young and old, were on that same site, and it was disrespectful. Bill replied that Dale shouldn’t take things so seriously and that it was only a joke. Actually, they were both right.

There was no reason for this to happen, but unfortunately, the premier site for socializing on the web needs a place where you could let your hair down and loosen your tie. It just isn’t natural to combine your social relationships into one big melting pot. You probably wouldn’t invite your dear Aunt Mildred out to the local bar to watch football, which, incidentally, may not be the best place to whip out pictures of your new puppy. Everything, from your use of language and your subject matter to your appearance, conforms to a different set of standards at a family function or a company meeting than at your pal’s keg party. Both events should be enjoyed and not ruined by incivility or smothered with censorship.

Facebook as it stands is brilliantly designed, and unlike its prototypes, remains rather true, free of spam and other cheapening pranks like ridiculous aliases or phony characters. It is cleverly coded to simulate a social environment and has an uncanny way of connecting you with those from the past or far away. However, it fails to take into account that unwritten divide between a person’s interactions with close peers and those with authority figures, elder statesmen, business associates, and family members. As hard as Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has worked to tap into the virtual reality of society, the task is still not complete, and since he is too busy donating $100 million of his new-found fortune to charity, I’m not sure he cares.

There needs to be some way to draw that imaginary line. True, his site does allow the option to create and join groups, but there are thousands; they are very specific and actually become annoying. Most users ignore them completely. I know I do. There are also profile options which hide certain things from certain people, but it’s complicated. Trying to get everybody on the same page would be nearly impossible. Instead, the boisterous college buddies, whose ultimate gusto would be a mardi-gras of drunken debauchery, must settle for pictures of their newborn cousin and the electric slide, on to the wee hour of 9pm. Say something out of line, and there’s mom and dad. That kind of intrusion would’ve been a nightmare growing up. Who remember’s the old “Operation” commercial?

Insert my idea, “Facebook, spring break edition” or “FunBook.” Ok, we’re working on the name, but you get the idea. We (my partners and I) aren’t expecting to gross a half a billion dollars a year like the original, because most of the leg work has been done; the code is in place, and it works like a charm. Of course, we’d be replacing those rated-PG apps with something more suitable; ideas are welcome. This would also be the place to pull out that “other” photo album, not a haven for Internet smut-peddlers, but somewhere Lindsay Lohan and Miss Nevada can feel comfortable. Finally, I’d like to add some music and a little more flair, a la MySpace, the site where it all began, and we’ll promote the old way, invitations and flyers. Oh, and guests will need a majority approval, to avoid embarrassing parent pop-ups.

There you have it. You may say it’s too late to get in on the Facebook craze, especially now that it has hit the big screen with this year’s release of The Social Network, the popular movie about its founders, but I would disagree. In life, a person has more than one social network. So, with Zuckerberg and his partners basking in their new fame and enjoying their billion dollar fee for facilitating the world’s greatest wedding reception, I’m orchestrating the after-party. Look for your invite. Everyone who’s anyone will be there. Drinks are free. Just bring your party hat and your thick skin, and leave Aunt Mildred on Facebook.

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About ProfPlume

  • Jordan Richardson

    People add their parents and relatives willingly and can set privacy settings as they choose, so it’s not really an “intrusion” if it’s voluntary.

    Plus you can always open up another profile for more “adult” things, or there are already adult-oriented versions of Facebook and countless other social networking sites around that offer what your FunBook idea seems to have in mind.

    I guess I’m just wondering what it is that makes your idea all that unique and why people would want to go there when they already have the same services available elsewhere.

    In terms of MySpace, the “flair” was a big part of the problem because so many people overloaded their pages with graphics and glitter and music that nobody wanted to hear.

    And considering the fact that rape photos (google Pitt Meadows rave, for example) and other crap have been circulated over Facebook too, I’m not so convinced that the place is as “PG-rated” as you’d have us believe.

    As with most of these sites, the orientation is in the eyes of the users. If you want bachelor parties and Lohanesque pics, there’s no shortage on Facebook. Same goes for groups, apps, pages, etc.

  • El Bicho

    MySpace’s problem was too many idiots using it to sell stuff. “Hey, check out my band”

    btw, not to burst the prof’s bubble, but the BC Writer of the Day is not an award that is won. You were just next in line

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “MySpace’s problem was too many idiots using it to sell stuff. “Hey, check out my band”

    That’s better than Facebook’s problem with too many idiots using it to create useless profiles. “Hey, check out what I do in my retarded, hum-drum life!”

    At least those idiots on Myspace actually peddle (or try to) something they crested.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    *Oops*… ‘created’ not ‘crested’

  • profplume

    Hey,

    In true BC form, the sarcasm goes undetected.

    Jordan,

    All of your ideas that you use to frustrate my design (which, BTW, is not a REAL site, lol) are mentioned in the article. I talk about the groups and the profile settings, but thank you for further explaining. lol

    Actually, it’s not a REAL site. it was a joke, aimed at the average person, AND as soon as the editors said it would be moved to the science-tech spot, I knew I would get this. haha
    But thanks

    Also, el bicho is right. The flair was the only thing decent about myspace. It was the spam that sucked. It was quite easy to turn off the song.

    And EL Bicho,

    The writer of the day thing was not to be taken so seriously, either. i got it for some file sharing article. But, I didn’t know it was my turn. Hmmm. They boast about 4,000 writers and have been going for 8 years. So, if they started that from day one, that would be about 2,800 that they gave out.
    That’s funny because I am relatively new. I just joined in May, they should have only done like 2,600 or something. Weird. What luck to be up three months after starting. It’s like 1 in 40.
    Oh well, I’m happy, nonetheless. I don’t care about things like that..really. I like to enjoy myself.

    Hey, what day was your turn to win it. I’d like to check that out in the archives. I respect your writing a lot.

    Thanks guys.

    Flair for facebook.

    Oh, dont steal my idea!

  • Jordan Richardson

    I guess given your past work, I didn’t expect you to suddenly take the satirical road. Were your articles about hip hop also satirical? Christ, I hope so.

  • profplume

    You know, El Bicho. The fact that they do just take turns with that…makes it even funnier. lol I love that.

    Yeah, the second I know this was going to sci/tech, I knew I was dead. Like some other thing I wrote about computers and it got ripped here.
    It was about Facebook so that’s computers,(and the other same thing, computers), but for normal joes that are on it…and maybe dont know about everything, you know?

    Hey, what can you do? It’s like writing an editorial bitching about the city’s transit authority and posting it to the bus driver’s union board. lol

    Thanks for reading anyway. (ElB..I like ur movie critiques)

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Prof, it’s been going for a few years but not since the site started. There have been certain parameters that a writer needs to qualify, like having a photo, and it’s not for a specific article. If you look, recent awardees are writers who have recently joined.

    Maybe you should put “Satire” in the title of future articles so people know to take them with a grain of salt.

    Glad to hear you like the movie reviews. Appreciate it.

  • profplume

    You know what, El Bich,
    You are absolutely right. Honestly, i was just thinking that I was wrong by putting opinion and not satire.
    Thank you for that, I certainly will from now on. It’s a shame I haven’t been doing so.

    For certain articles, that is

    This one at least didn’t belong in sci/tech, oh well, i just keep writing….
    yeah, i love movies and reviews. I even did a few at first. I just haven’t seen anything lately. lol I wonder if that avatar review should have been satire.should of been satire.

  • profplume

    Still, Jordan, I believe still has a bone to pick from the last 15 rounds in which he bowed out. lol

    I knew there was more to this. haha

    I am always satirical, or should I say, sarcastic, but I think you know about those articles. If not, please come back to it. I answered every comment and my last one is there dangling. No passive aggressive tactics. lol

    Now, I was just deleted from facebook by my aunt for vulgarity. So, tell me again, where is this place where I could go and talk to all of my friends, but ONLY all of my friends. Not some site that has three people on it.

    where are the privacy settings for “just my cool friends that dont get offended by a curse”? I don’t see that option.

    I don’t see that all of my friends have alternate profiles. Apparently, your ideas have not caught on.

    I can not speak to all of my friends on facebook that are “cool” with certain things. I can not split my friend Bob from my Aunt.
    If you claim to be able to do this, then please write something which outlines how exactly, so that I may tell everyone. Share this, please.

    And, again, how did “flair” ruin myspace? You say because of music that can be shut off with one click. That’s what destroyed myspace?? lol

    Rape photos? Well, on my site I haven’t seen anything like that or anything bad at all. I would like to see a picture of my girl-friends at mardi-gras, but I can’t.

    And I don’t want to go to a “bachelor party” group. I just want to talk to my friends.

    You are certainly nitpicking on this one and I don’t blame you considering…….

    But, I stand by this and all of my “past work” all the same. Which day did you win “writer of the day”? Has it been your turn yet?

  • profplume

    Again, Jordan

    You arrive with contention only long enough to question my integrity, insult my opinions, and basically bash my writing in general, and then you disappear.

    I suppose the idea is that “you give up because you just can’t ever get through to me.” But, in reality, you quit on yourself.

    Let’s speak about my past hip-hop articles that you are still criticizing, the 3 of which have generated more comments than 660 of your articles (if ur first few pages are at all indicative. and btw, I enjoy your work). I liked having you there, because you were a fierce adversary, for a minute, and you gave arguments that allowed me to expand on my thoughts, for a minute. It was a healthy debate that actually landed me a writing gig, but way before any of the others, you quit!

    If you go read the comments over, which you won’t, you will see that every single argument posed was answered by me, right or wrong, I gave a reply. You can clearly see where you ended and where I got the proverbial “last word.”

    Now, it seems you have carried that aggression over here. You took your swing, and honestly, I was looking forward to another nice volley. That’s what I enjoy
    most, but…………..(crickets)

    This doesn’t belong in science/tech, but still, there is no such site, equal to facebook, that separates friends from family and colleagues. Or I would not have lost my Aunt as a “friend” just two days ago.
    The satire comes in, I guess, for nitpickers, because I REALLY don’t have an html code that I am launching. It was more of a “story” I suppose. (It’s a shame I must explain this. lol)Anyone without bone to pick would not have a problem understanding what I mean.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Actually, Professor, I just haven’t checked back. You had pretty much dismissed this article as satire, so my points were moot because I mistakenly took this seriously. Why would I keep checking back in that case?

    And believe it or not, I don’t think the conversations are about winning or losing (or bowing out or whatever). I said what I had to say and that was it. If you want to carry on a conversation with somebody who isn’t interested, go ahead.

    As for “writer of the day,” I don’t recall. I’ve been here since February of 2008 and have published 660 articles to date. Whether I’ve “won” the “award” in that time span has honestly slipped my mind.

  • Jordan Richardson

    So, tell me again, where is this place where I could go and talk to all of my friends, but ONLY all of my friends.

    Who added your aunt? Were you forced to do so?

    As I said before, Facebook is completely voluntary. You choose who you add and who you don’t, so there’s the magical place online where you can talk to ONLY your friends if you so choose. If you choose, there’s that word again, to add other people then you need to act accordingly. It’s the same as having a party at your house, isn’t it? You wouldn’t invite your aunt if you were planning to act like a jackass, so why would you invite your aunt to Facebook if…you’re going to act like a jackass?

    Common sense.

    I don’t see that all of my friends have alternate profiles. Apparently, your ideas have not caught on.

    It’s not “my idea,” dude. It’s common sense. If you want to keep things private online, it’s up to you to control that. You can make a profile and add ONLY your friends, you know? It’s not some bizarre idea. I have two Facebook profiles, for instance. Lots of people I know also do. So what?

    It’s not a magic trick, Professor. Don’t add your aunt. Or add your aunt. Or make another profile and only add your friends but don’t add your aunt. This doesn’t require magic settings or whatever.

    As to MySpace, the idea that the glitzy graphics and cornball automatic videos and e-greetings wrecked the joint is far from a complaint only I have. When a single page takes forever to load because you’ve got to sit through somebody’s glitter graphics, it sucks. The music aspect, however, is something I really like about MySpace.

    By the way, I had three MySpace profiles “back in the day.” Amazing how that’s possible.

    I didn’t say “your site” would have rape photos; I said that Facebook isn’t censoring or blocking questionable content very well and people have the ability to share whatever they damn well please.

    Your “site,” whether it exists or not, promises differences to Facebook. But the problems you have with Facebook are not indicative of Facebook. The problems you cite are indicative of users, so you have to tell me how that will change on your “site.” The “no aunts allowed” problem is something I can, as an average Facebook user, easily solve by simply not friending my damn aunt.

    As to comments being indicators of the popularity of certain articles, so what? Is that supposed to mean anything? I have older reviews that got loads of idiotic comments (my Danity Kane review has 74 comments, my G-Unit review has 45 comments, my Metallica review has 114 comments, etc.) before I started to narrow things down and focus more on jazz. And, fortunately or unfortunately, not a lot of people comment on those articles.

    Guess what? I hate those reviews. Some of the worst crap I’ve ever turned out.

    I have no aggression directed towards you, though. I’ve honestly never thought about it beyond these fair pages, Professor. If it flatters you to think that I do, go right ahead.

    I took your article at face value and thought “gee, there are ways to get around the problems he seems to have” and I commented accordingly. Beyond that, I didn’t give it much thought.

    So that’s that. There’s no “battling” going on, no aggression, no fight, no “volley.” Sorry.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Should be clearer here: the reviews of mine that I hate are the ones that have lots of comments, not the more recent stuff.

    Also, I appreciate that you think you “answer” all of your comments. But sometimes, Professor, no answer at all is the best thing you can give to a conversation long since run its course.

  • profplume

    OH, I’m so sorry. It must have been this comment that caused the misunderstanding:

    I guess given your past work, I didn’t expect you to suddenly take the satirical road. Were your articles about hip hop also satirical? Christ, I hope so.

    To me that sounds a bit of a shot, but since you really don’t even recall those silly things and were only dropping by to help me “solve” my problem, I again apologize.

    I thought your Metallica review was pretty good, but you are correct, not as good as some of your jazz reviews. You obviously have a passion for it. See, you can’t always measure the quality of an article by comments. Metallica has such a following that ANYTHING you say will attract attention.

    OK, though, I misunderstood, and btw, I CLEARLY take this a little too seriously. See, I so enjoyed being “awarded” the writer of the day that I bet I will still remember getting it, even a WHOLE two years from now! You are very mature and ho-hum about such petty things.

    As far as the article, I will end the discussion (unless there is another reply; you know my rule!):
    the article was a satire because, from what you say, there is no magical place where I can contact everybody on facebook
    that I can now, but not have my aunt un-friend me for language.

    Technically, I can have two profiles, but that’s not what i mean. Most people don’t. It’s not known, and it’s not the reason everyone who has two does.

    Also, just not adding my “damn aunt” doesn’t solve the problem now, does it?

    See, really, my “satirical website” doesn’t exist among the masses. My “satirical website” may not even be possible, which is why Sci-tech was the wrong place.

    ANYWAY, I will forget your second comment, or at least pretend there was an lol in it. And, I’ll dismiss your first comment as “gee, there are ways to get around the problems he seems to have”

    and say thank you

  • profplume

    jordan,

    i’d love for you to review our old stuff. It’s dated– from around 98-04 we cant give links but its on last.fm search for 32ounce. I’ve accepted the fact that we’re not going to the grammy’s so i’m fine with criticism lol

  • Jordan Richardson

    Dude, there are people that have professional and personal profiles on Facebook. There are people that have Facebook profiles for just games. There are people that have family-friendly Facebook profiles and people that have other profiles that aren’t so family-friendly.

    This is not some unheard of concept just because you haven’t heard of it.

    If the problem is that you “can not speak with all of your friends on Facebook that are ‘cool’ about certain things,” how would ensuring that you ONLY add those friends – thus NOT adding the “un-cool” friends and relatives – not solve the issue? What am I missing? It seems absurdly simple to me.

    Your aunt unfriended you for language, so by not friending our aunt in the first place you avoid the problem entirely. Don’t you?

    One of my friends has a profile on which his family members are his “friends” and he has another profile on which they aren’t. No family member has ever unfriended him for language because he doesn’t approach the “family” profile in the same way he approaches the other one. Simple.

    Look, no matter where you are online you have to be careful. There’s a situation where a girl talked some trash about her boss on Facebook, saying stuff like she thought he was a pervert and stuff, and she had neglected to remember that her boss was one of her Facebook friends. Obviously he sees the status message and fired her ass, right there on her Facebook profile.

    Are you really saying there’s no way the silly girl could have avoided the situation? Are you really saying that a little care or forethought or selective “friending” couldn’t have saved her job and her embarrassment? Or that there are really no ways using common sense and perhaps a “friends only” profile to talk a little trash without your aunt seeing it?

    As to reviewing your stuff, thanks but no thanks. I’ve got a stack of CDs and downloads that I should be getting to as it is, with more coming each day. I appreciate the offer, but I don’t see myself getting to it anytime soon.

    Again, I have no problem with you at all. I pretty much just missed the joke/satire here, that’s all. And now I have no idea what we’re actually talking about, which is interesting considering how long this post is.

    Have a good one.