Sunday, September 23, 2007


Not bad but I wish there was greater control of the animation. Also I had trouble with uploading my music. Additionally, it took a long time, 15 minutes, to render the video. Still I am not totally displeased with the results.


I can see a real audience for this one also, provided the user is into lots of popular music, movies, foods, tv, places, toys, fashions, or arcade games, all the topics offered. I didn't find anything of interest since I am compulsively into the non-popular. I know there are groups for me just not here. Of course, being one of the least sentimental people I know I rarely like to think about "good old days" besides for me they were anything but good. Anyway I couldn't do much here since I found myself back in the outcast era of my life. I would recommend this to someone trying to meet others who do have fond memories of "good old days."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Social Networking: Age and Apps

In light of the recent NYT article on social networking sites for an older generation, I thought I would make a first appearance discussing Facebook.* As Paul Kedrosky says, teens might be tire kickers, but in my experience they move because there is an improvement from, say, Friendster to Facebook. I never used Friendster, and I have a fundamental dislike of Myspace. I think Myspace is ugly and the embedded music annoys me. If the music was optional - something that the visitor turned on rather than being required to turn off - I would feel more positively about it. My point, rather, is to discuss the plethora of new applications that Facebook has gained this year.

Facebook originally appealed because it was a college student exclusive. No little brothers and no mums were going to see what you were saying to your friends. All that has changed as Facebook opened to the general public, with no small amount of protest and a stepping up of personal information security. So why are people still using Facebook, now that their employers can check out whether their profile is displaying unprofessional behavior? Well, online scrabble can't be the only reason, but for my part it is certainly getting me to sign in to the site a lot more. It must be true for a number of other users as well, as the Scrabbulous developers have had to make a number of upgrades and server moves to keep the application running smoothly. Poking has been upgraded through news apps that allow users to do whatever action they wish to their friends, and applications now exist for sharing huge lists of one's favorite music, movies, and books. There are at least three applications for sharing the contents of one's book shelves and reading lists with space for users to write reviews, explore the books of users with similar tastes even if they are not friends, and one even taps into Amazon enough to give recommendations of other books one might enjoy.

A small complaint: all of the apps tap into, while I would just as soon have a quick and easy link to see if my local library has a book that I am interested in reading. Now that would be libraries moving in a new direction to serve the public.

A glaring problem: there are three different book applications that I know about. Some of my friends use iBook, others Visual Bookshelf, and still others the Books app, so if I want to see what all my friends are reading I have to use all three applications. It isn't a problem limited to books, and Facebook doesn't regulate the apps to assure that there are not multiple applications serving the same function. Despite this aggravation, Facebook has still made an important step in opening up application creation to so many minds. Users have a direct link to developers through application wall posts to request new functions or report bugs, making Facebook far more responsive to user desires. In effect, Facebook doesn't have to do all the work to allow the application to adapt and mature with its users, with the potential to cross the generational gaps as well as the international borders that it already dances over.

The best thing: Facebook has added its own new applications that allow users to post music and video to their profiles. These sound and video files are activated by the visitor and not auto-run. Despite fears by may users before Facebook opened to the general public, it hasn't become Myspace.

*Reflink: LibraryCrunch