The Next Age of Facebook?

I’m starting to second guess what the next stage of expansion for Facebook will be. I don’t think it is an IPO. I don’t think it is a takeover of another social network (although if they wanted to buy Myspace off Murdoch at a knockdown price and stop it being ugly, that could only be a good thing). I think the next stage of expansion for Facebook is when our parents start using it.

We, the sort-off grown up children, many of us with kids of our own, have busy lives. Many of us are lousy at keeping in touch. What better way for our parents to keep track of what we’re up to in more detail than by following our profiles?

I’ve had experience of this already with my own personal blog, I can remember the surprise I had a couple of years ago when I mentioned something I’d done to my father on the phone, and he responded with “Oh I know, I read it on your site last week.” I hadn’t hidden it from him, I had mentioned it at some stage, but I just hadn’t expected him to be a regular reader. Of course though, your parents are often likely to be your keenest readers (proviso: unless say you’re blogging about a specific subject, say microbiology or your own porn model career).

Myspace is very much a teen audience in the main, partly because it is just so garish. It is the unkempt teenagers bedroom of the internet, it looks bad, there’s some unearthly music you really don’t want to listen to, and if you read their diary you’re probably going to learn that they hate you, they can’t spell, and that they’re up to a whole load of stuff you wish you hadn’t read about.

Facebook is much more tidy, it’s more like their living room in their rented house after they’ve had a couple of decent jobs and made their first trip to Ikea. It’s much more simple, pleasing on the eye, and whilst there is still some clutter hiding in the corner, you can find most of what you want easily. It is also a lot quieter.

Thus I feel that Facebook is easier as a way for parents to read up on what their children are up to. They’ll come for that, then stay for keeping in touch with their own friends, and enjoying the Friends Reunited side of it. The social network will expand exponentially.

Of course this comes with its own set of issues. For one, you may have to think, just as many people are finding that employers are checking out potential new staff on it, what your parents might think of what you are saying, or of whom you are friends with. Why are you still friends with that ex that they had to listen to you complaining about? Or that friend that always gets you into scrapes? Why are you a member of the “I hope Michael Winner slips and falls” group? Or simply why are you spending so much time on the internet yet you can’t manage a phone call? All issues we are going to face in future.

In dreams…

Before I get going, I noticed that todays post is number 701 on here. I’ve also had 298 comments. Nowt compared to a lot of bloggers, but still a lot to me.

Anyways, I want to tell you about my dream last night. Wait, before you go, it’s good. It was basically a mix of Groundhog Day with Life on Mars and a few other things. I think it was set in the 80s. The premise of the dream was that I had to stop a man committing a murder, and I couldn’t. When he killed, the day went back to the start again. However, like Groundhog Day, only I had awareness of the repitition, so I gradually investigated what led him to murder, until I could figure out a way to stop it happening. In the end, I had to accept that I couldn’t stop them, and persuade someone else to intervene, which they did by attacking them with FA Cup final memorabilia from the 50s to the 70s. After that it got a bit dull and Freudian, so I’ll spare you of that, but in summary, that is my idea, I can’t be naffed to write it, and I own all primary and subsiduary rights to the idea.

Not broken or scratched anything this weekend

Which is a good start. I bought Wii Play and Big Brain Academy this weekend, none of which involve any violent movements or simulation at all, as I felt this to be a wise move. According to Big Brain Academy my brain is now starting to get weighty, which is a good thing. Unless it makes me even more top-heavy, of course. Nice weekend, S&J came over with S (complex naming system) who we thought had left Oxford, but happily she is staying. Then a nice mellow Saturday with some wandering around town, followed by a lazy Sunday. Feeling very relaxed and ready for the week now. Don’t know if motivated is the word, but I’ve certainly got it on the list of things I could potentially be this week.

I admit it, I’m clumsy

I’ve always been clumsy. I believe it is a matter of genetics, and given similar evidence from my mother on how frequently she injures herself, I think I know where I get it from. It seems to manifest itself in major incidents once ever 6-12 months, but also in a series of smaller ones on a regular basis.

Major incidents on my side include falling on gravel and ripping my knee open, tripping over a very low fence and ripping my knee open, and falling over whilst walking on level ground, tumbling forwards about 15-20 yards, hitting a concrete dustbin, hurting my shoulder, kicking myself in the back of the head, cutting my face and elbows, and of course, ripping my knee open.

My mother, sister and I all seem to suffer from “weak ankle syndrome”, a condition where our ankles will collapse for no apparent reason when we least suspect it. We all also have a prominant heel of bone that protudes more than most from the back of our heads. I believe it to be a permenant bump that our ancesterors had from their clumsiness, that over generations has formed into bone.

The reason I mention this in particular is that I’ve got a scar on my arm, which I acquired when I bashed into our wheely bin outside the house. It was a few weeks ago, and has now healed. Into an inverse exclamation mark. Every time I look at it, I feel like I’m expressing my extreme clumsiness in Spanish. I wonder if it will heal up, or if I am now to carry this mark of my inability with my limbs…

Inverse exclamation mark scar

No Truck Festival, just lots of flooding

I was expecting that round about now I would have sorted through a mass of photos from Truck Festival, and would be writing a lengthy piece about my experiences there. However it was not to be. About 4pm on Friday, I received a text from a friend to warn me it had been cancelled. A quick check on the site revealed what was going on; Steveton, and in particular the Truck site, was now under several feet of water due to Ginge Brook bursting its banks. As it now turns out, parts Oxfordshire had two months of rain in the course of an hour on Friday, and this quickly started to take its toll.

I was disappointed, but over the next couple of days it became quickly apparent that this wasn’t just a local problem, the Thames (Isis as we call it round here) and several other rivers throughout Oxfordshire and several other countries has started to overflow. Hundreds of thousands of homes have been flooded, whole towns are without water or electricity, basically it is carnage. It seems we’ve been “lucky” in Oxfordshire compared to Gloucestershire, but we still have many people in Oxford and the surrounding towns and villages who have been flooded and evacuated.

The warnings for Oxford itself starting coming on Sunday, when it became apparent that the Thames was rising rapidly, and that in particular the Botley Road and Abingdon Road were flooded. What annoyed me was that a warning went out for all of Oxford, but it was really hard to figure out using the local information where it was going to affect. The council sites made it clear that residents most at risk were being notified, and sandbags were being issued, but there were no maps, and relatively vague information. Now I know we’re just off the floodplain here (by a few hundred yards), but we’re not obviously uphill, and given how widespread the flooding had been elsewhere, what if the flood maps were wrong by a few hundred yards? I decided to trust them, but I’m sure the emergency and council services must have been inundated with calls from people less trusting than myself, whose minds could have been laid at rest by more information. Something that needs sorting out, I reckon.

Oxjam, Oxford, October 2007

This October sees 31 days of gigs and activities in Oxford to raise money and awareness for Oxfam. Oxjam is a nationwide event, and Oxford seems to being really going for it with Oxjam Oxford. It opens here slightly early on September 29th 2007 when Cyberscribes  play a gig atop the Carfax Tower. Looking at the programme so far, it does appear that there are going to be a lot of gigs, so I’ll keep an eye on it to see if anything particularly takes my fancy.