Default surfing

Know of the time when your mind’s spacing out and your fingers start typing things in your address bar and pressing Enter?

It used to be Yahoo.com that I go to when I have nothing in mind. I don’t know why but it seems like my mind’s portal of choice. Uh, it’s not mine, it’s my mind’s. Anyway, it has since changed to Facebook.com and I am concerned.

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook.com, that it is that I love to hate it. Facebook.com has my photographs and life trapped in it and just the other day I was using Facebook to date a particular moment of my life. I am so reliant on a channel that it almost is part of me. My friends are there, okay, my friends’ profiles are there. Facebook manages to make me feel I’ve done my social homework everyday and it fulfills my need to be close to people somewhat sufficiently.

But, there are times when I typed Facebook.com on my browser windows only to close it in defiance. This is the rebel facility in my mind acting up. I call it a bunch of names:

  • Unsocial
  • Fake social
  • Toilet status machine
  • Rant Reader 2.0

At one point of time I blocked myself from Facebook.com by, very smartly, adding Facebook.com to my /etc/hosts file. I remained proud of myself till the day I had to do some work on Facebook. I now have it unblocked and Chrome is picking it up as one of my most frequented sites.

So let’s look at my most frequented sites:

  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • Hacker News
  • Google Reader
  • YouTube
  • Gmail
  • Cafyn
  • CNN

Okay I can’t continue my topic from here, let’s go back to the topic on Facebook.

My point is Facebook has become some sort of a validation tool. Nothing happened unless it’s on Facebook. Went to Australia? No you didn’t, because it ain’t on Facebook. Which is why it took me so long to put up my Sydney and Melbourne photographs (I still have yet to). I felt a part of me is putting it up to confirmed my presence in Australia and that disturbed me.

And think of the time you do something good and write on Facebook.com. What happens? Your friends flock to Like your comment. You feel pleased and your act of kindness is validated by their likes. For the lazy, Facebook is the new moral compass. “I’m not sure what I am doing is right or not. I’ll put it on Facebook.”

Then the rants. Facebook is the most unhappy website for me because I read far too many complaints I feel unhappy too. There’s just too many rants on Facebook until I feel a little less reading lightens my mood.

Now look at your news feed and look at what people are sharing on Facebook. I’m not sure about your news feed but mine is filled with music videos. “Charles shared this with me the –” I stopped and thought for a while. Well he did share it to Facebook but it wasn’t specifically to me. Suddenly sharing the way I understand is evolving. I don’t feel the exclusivity anymore and they’re sharing everything they found interesting. I missed the times when shares are with more intent, now things are just so random. Furthermore I don’t feel my friend really shared things with me. My friend just delegated the sharing to Facebook. My friend is Facebook.

I am back to blocking Facebook. I’m staying away from it for a while. It’s getting depressing.

Friendster to be acquired in December

Friendster next target for an acquisition, sources close to Reuters reveal. I would think this is the end of the Friendster.

Friendster to be sold by month’s end -source

SHANGHAI, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Friendster, one of the world’s earliest social networking sites, will be sold to an Asian buyer by the end of December for at least $100 million, a source familiar with the matter said.

Friendster, which predates Facebook and MySpace in the social networking space was founded in 2002. But it quickly lost ground to other social networking sites in the United States. Friendster is now mostly used in Asia where more than half of its registered 100 million users are from.

Friendster will be sold to an Asian listed firm for more than $100 million in a deal set to be announced by the end of the month, said a source who declined to be identified as the information was not yet public.

Headquartered in California, Friendster had turned down a $30 million buyout offer from Google Inc (GOOG.O) six years ago, according to newspaper reports.

Tencent Holdings (0700.HK), China’s largest Internet firm by market value at $35 billion, was among the short-listed bidders, while Facebook also showed interest but was turned down due to competition and intellectual property issues, the source said. (Source: Reuters)

Thanks for pioneering the idea of how social network should be but you will not be missed.

The accidental success of the MDA rap video

Went to BlogOut! today! I couldn’t stand nouns having appended with an exclamation mark as I always felt confused when I try to make a proper sentence. Anyway, BlogOut! (not again…) is pretty good today. The whole theme is basically social media: good, no social media: bad. Well something along the lines.

One of the more interesting things being brought up in the discussion is the MDA (Media Development Authority) rap which most considered ridiculous. As much as I dislike (and would often cringe) the video, I actually watched it around 10 times. I shared the link with all my friends and give them something to laugh about. Almost everyone I showed thought it is the most embarrassing thing that come out from Singapore.

The video spread so quickly within days. It wasn’t even supposed to be on YouTube, it seems to be more of an education video for visitors of the MDA website to educate them of what the MDA is about.

It’s accidental success (or major failure as view by some) did achieve something quite unplanned. And that is now a lot more people know of MDA’s existence. Before the video, I doubt as much people heard of MDA much less know what they do. With one video, MDA got into Techcrunch and Digg. I could probably even get you a bunch of local blogs which discuss it.

It may be a horrible video to watch but it spreads and if you were to measure success by the increased awareness of MDA and their purpose, I think the video scores. What’s worse than bad publicity is no publicity.

Well, let us appreciate the MDA rap once again:

So what’s this Social Media?

A simple story that illustrates the forces shaping social media. CommonCraft tells you what it is.

Social Media in Plain English

I like CommonCraft’s presentation method. You can’t say it’s another tech video. It’s well done. (via Unique Frequency)

“Social”, today, is one of the most overuses Web 2.0 words. The investors must have totally dig this word or something. The bigger blogs mention that all the time: social bookmarking, social news, social media and social networking. In Singapore there’s social escort too, alright that’s slightly different.