Me? A Facebook self-centered careerist?

Brandon Griggs has posted a list of the 12 most annoying types of Facebookers at CNN. Red-faced I realise that recently I have slotted into one of the worst types of Facebook users you can have – Ouch! I have posted quite a few updates through Twitter and Facebook from my blog and so earn my shame as ‘The Self-Promoter’.

Well – Sorry guys…

I just think I have a fantastic idea to change the world for the better and so in my eagerness I used the social network as a means of telling someone, anyone … Why not my friends?
OK – So only one or two answered or took part but Hey! It’s August – Probably everyone is on holiday!? Right?

No matter, at least it is only one slot I fill
– I didn’t tell anyone on Facebook I had Coffee and Toast this morning did I.
Or invite anyone again to join in with BeyondOneWorld because I think it would be a good thing.
Or became a ‘Friend-Padder’ with hundreds and thousands of friends in my list – In fact I could only find 50 that would speak to me … and most of them probably only connected because they perhaps heard my name previously at some company they worked at and thought it polite to accept. So that fact alone should save me any more embarrassment of being duly multi-slotted in the Facebook hall of annoyances.

Take your pick – Do you slot into any of these annoying groups:

  • Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day
  • Self-Promoter
  • Friend-Padder
  • Town-Crier
  • TMIer (Too Much Information)
  • Bad Grammarian
  • Sympathy-Baiter
  • Lurker
  • Crank
  • Paparrazzo
  • Maddening Obscurist
  • Chronic Inviter

Can you think of any more?

Oh Well! I may as well add another slot for myself – the ‘Chronic Inviter’ – If anyone wants to be my friend I am on Facebook and Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/shawnd and http://twitter.com/shawndm .

Seriously though, it is an interesting article  and does really show the current social needs of a large proportion of people that use Facebook and other networks. I think social networks will grow in function in the future to not just be a communication toy, but quickly to be a fully fledge collaboration tool, connecting people with their needs to those that can fulfil them.

The information that is growing exponentially on the media in these networks, day by day, shows more and more of the character, background and history of every individual that uses them. Including of course individuals that were unfortunate to be unwitting participants, possibly expressing some confused reaction to an event that did not immediately make sense but a later showing on YouTube revealed all. Unfortunately this can be a source of lifelong embarrassment to someone, whose antics, though funny at the time, could remain on display forever online when the funny side may not be so apparent – or even understood. Maybe later historians will gain a true reflection of our time from analysing this media, after wading through a copy of the internet archived and getting past all the spam posts and time-consuming porn to find this very event, in its permanence, a symbolic picture of life in these early days. I wonder if they will see this as an important point in our history – where we became ‘causally’ self aware, that with every connected upload and post, it eventually sunk into the conscience of the people that actually none of it was ever going to go away. Later generations maybe a bit more careful knowing this. Also they will live with the fact that everyone they ever met can never be forgotten – no matter how hard they try.

Other ways that these social networks may grow, in sharing, connecting and collaboration:

Imagine, with all your previous working connections and associations finding your next employment through these social networks – or indeed your employer finding you. Instead of course the current and often forwarded posts showing someone losing their job by calling their boss a ‘perve’ on Facebook. Could this be the death of the Curriculum Vitae in return for automatically up to date information available at any time?

I suspect people will find their soul mates through them, enabling them to know a person in unheard of before detail before even meeting them. Conversely of course it is possible for an unfortunate photo or comment on these networks to do quite the opposite too. Interestingly I wonder if a YouTube video or Facebook comment has been produced in any court as evidence.

I imagine too that social networks will tend to be more ubiquitous, reaching out into other web services and devices and becoming the glue that connects them together. I wonder for example for the very reason of connecting people if there will be an iPhone app that will connect through Bluetooth two people in close proximity that could be friends, friends of friends, or even in the same group on the network. Possibly alerting you at a conference, a night-out or even on holiday of someone you may wish to talk to. It might be useful even the other way round, by one click, adding the person you just spoke to your network of friends, colleagues, discussion group etc to your social network so that you may follow them up later to continue your talk. (Actually, wouldn’t this be great if you could also avoid someone or a certain group of people? ) Maybe the wireless, GPRS or mobile network layer could increase this range to give more uses? If the social network reaches towards being ubiquitous then businesses that take the heavy hand on blocking these networks from the world of work will certainly struggle to stop this flow of connectivity – it may actually cost more in effort to stop than to allow it to become part of their processes.

I predict that for our ‘identity crisis’ roles I can see more development in defining who we are and who we are relating too. There is often the need to hold different identities on the Internet to connect with different services having distinct relationships to you that you will not want to mix up. Each of us has one identity but different roles in our lives and this will be reflected more in the social networks. For example you may not really think it necessary that your relatives hear your deeply thought on comments on the latest widget servicing process, but to other possibly self-centred careerists this may be great stuff to listen to. Alternatively, you may want to filter (or expand to channels) thoughts and media you are open to. Certainly an area open to advertisement here, maybe we will see the death of spam, connecting only people that may want to listen. Also as more networks appear and share more different kinds of media I wonder if they will tend more toward the peer-to-peer model of communication.

I know that for the project here at BeyondOneWorld the social network will be the key to full collaboration on anything developed here. In fact a social network already exists here at http://social.beyondoneworld.com/ so if anyone wants to get in first then at the moment just one more person will double its membership. You might ask why bother creating another one? Well this one will be owned by its users and not a company – the model of the Open Company Specification detailed here could be shaped up quite nicely with the experience of how this experiment develops. So if you want a social network that although at this moment in time is ‘unfashionably devoid of users’ but fresh and open to your direction as to how it works then get in now – we’ll figure out what its rules are as we go on. It does have the advantage of never having any company behind it shoving flagrant ads all over the pages – that would never happen unless every user of it agreed to it.

I’ve rambled on again – this was meant to be a short post because I found a list of the 12 most annoying types of Facebookers interesting… instead I have added another few kilobytes to history.

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