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Log the Third

Today, after my sister expressed her love for me on my Facebook wall (as she is wont to do), I recorded my first video wall post. Unfortunately, I’m unable to “repost” the video here, but I will say it was quite simple, and rather successful! Facebook recently implemented a variety of options on what was once a user “wall” constrained to text alone. Now, one can record video, post a link, post a band (one needs to first register their band at ReverbNation and upload a few songs, which can then be posted on one’s profile, or linked to on another’s wall), send a randomly-generated fortune cookie, give a “zombie hug”, send a cookie, give a daisy, or post a popular song (when I clicked on this, there was a search bar, as well as 3 popular songs listed: Avril Lavigne, 50 Cent, and Death Cab for Cutie).

I also spent a solid 15 minutes taking screen captures of my friend’s MySpace profile. I made myself stop at 50 shots, that’s how long his profile page is. Lots of links, artistic images, poetry, politically-oriented buttons and banners, the usual favorite books and movies and such, a long introduction (that is prefaced with:
“TOTALLY NOT INTERESTED IN THE FOLLOWING:
your band (unless your organic/synthetic spiritual sounds and presentation could totally wow me, DON’T EVEN BOTHER)
Promoters of any kind!(go away)
spiders, crawlers, spammers, etc go away i don’t like you!
people…who freak me out. (it’s pretty hard to accomplish)

and now! on to the good stuff!”

His comments were nearly as fun to sift through as the profile itself. Beautiful images, replete with some animated sparkles or color shifts, adorned his walls. The requisite “Thanks for the add!” comment was also a strong presence. The majority of the content was “New Age” in nature- faeries, Alex Grey, and my favorite:

Log the First

It is the first night living alone – this one, right now. Telling myself I need to take a break from the carrying, the unpacking, the arranging of my possessions in an aesthetically pleasing manner, I hop onto the internet to check messages. A familiar name pops out at me from a Facebook notification- a dear friend who’d spent the entirety of the past year in Spain. She writes to tell me she’ll be at Wesleyan on Tuesday, and I go from alone in the glow of the monitor to basking in the glow of love, instantly.

I click the ‘Home’ button, and scroll through my News Feed. A tiny heart appears at the bottom of the screen- a man who’d led a Buddhist retreat had a new girlfriend! And they’d hooked up in 2006 and it was “fabulous”. This is way better than tabloids, because I actually sorta know this guy. I mean, we’re Facebook Friends.

MySpace is plastered with Dane Cook. MySpace is for bros. My 19 year old cousin assaults the ears of visitors to her profile with screamo and concludes her welcome message with “i probably don’t like you.” All of my friend requests are from electronic musicians. I do enjoy electronic music, by and large. A friend of mine who recently began producing tracks just joined MySpace, and already has over 400 friends. I asked if he’d been spending a lot of time “friending” MySpacers, and he replied, “well, half of them have friended me”. His Comments board is plastered with psychedelic images, a few of them animated. There is an image of a woman whose moniker contains the word “suicide,” holding a pair of black panties beneath a caption that reads “Thanks for the add! xoxo”.

That is all.

Sex and Gender Performance on Facebook

It’s been difficult to blog recently, difficult to find my own words and articulate my own thoughts amidst this constant flood of information. However, I have been absorbing quite a lot, thanks in large part to my ever-so-useful Google homepage, in which I can organize the well over a dozen RSS feeds I read regularly, my gmail, the livejournals and podcasts of my friends, my del.icio.us bookmarks, and the handful of widgets I find the most useful (such as Google Maps, blog search, Google Docs, wikipedia and YouTube).

I’ve just returned from yet another venture through the blooming fields of Facebook, having added two more applications:

SGO: Concerns sex and gender orientation. Facebook’s options are rather limited, however with the addition of this app one can differentiate between sex and gender, gender identity and gender presentation, as well as specify who one is interested in. I recall a Facebook group that advocated more diverse and politically correct options for sex and gender orientation, as well as allowing users to articulate more than one relationship- these options are now available. For more information, check out the SGO FAQ and the Relationships++ application, which allows one to specify more forms of “Looking For” (such as swinging and polyamory) as well as multiple forms of relationships (such as BFFs, civil unions, and “seeing other people than”).

Socialmoth: Users can post anonymous confessions that are read by other users. The most touching or intriguing gain “hearts” that other users give in response. Thus far, I’ve yet to see anything particularly spicy… most confessions follow along the lines of “I wish he loved me back.” or derogatory “flames”.

An update on the “Honesty Box” app: Thus far, I’ve learned two things about myself: I inadvertantly offended someone, who found it best to let me know only in the most aggravatingly anonymous form possible, and that I’m “out of control”. Assessment: the inclusion of this app has thus far served only to make me slightly paranoid and quite self-conscious.

I read a blog post recently regarding MySpace’s plan to build and expand MySpace TV, as well as allowing third party applications. Such moves are being made in order to maintain their top social network status amidst the frenzy surrounding YouTube and Facebook. MySpace’s reputation for processor-heavy, cluttered profile pages has prompted a growing concern over Facebook’s development. Whatevs.

It’s Been Awhile: SNC News!

Facebook has recently integrated the Developer’s Platform into its core site, allowing users to choose from over 200 applications.

Among the most popular:
-Top Friends: Choose up to 24 friends to display directly on your profile, allowing you to both a) play favorites and b) shorten the number of clicks it takes too check up on your best friends.
-Free Gifts: Don’t feel like giving to charity? Give little gifts (represented as occasionally clever icons) for your friends to display proudly on their profiles- for free!
-Video: Yes yes, now you can post videos on your profile also! Or send video messages!
-Flikster Movies: Share what movies you’ve seen recently with your friends- great for recommendations.
-iLike: Add music that you’ve been playing through iTunes. It also lists upcoming concerts, allowing you to see who else may be attending.
-Trakzor: This only works if your friends install the application also- but you can see who is viewing your Trakzor page. Note- stalking is still a 100% safe and viable Facebook activity- if you don’t want to be tracked, simply don’t visit people’s Trakzor pages.

My personal favorites:
-Graffiti: Placed right above a profile’s Wall, allows friends to draw on your wall.
-Games: Play a Battleship-type game (using sushi as playing pieces as opposed to ships), strip blackjack (they censor out the genitalia- rated E for everyone!), and more (play tetris while you wait for other users to join your game- either random or from one of your networks).
-Honesty Box: Allow your friends to anonymously tell you exactly what they think of you (don’t worry, it’s private- you can revel in your shame/anger/surprise in peace!). However, like the Trakzor app, your anonymous commentator also needs to install the app in order to send you a message. Once again, a useless application unless/until it becomes popular.
-(fluff)Friends: Add little graphic friends to your profile (mine is a flying giraffe I named Sasha).
-Extended Info: Add more info boxes to your profile (I added “Things I Am Looking At Right Now” and “Summer Schedule”).
-Wis.dm: A Q&A site, Wis.dm’s Facebook app asks questions of users, pairing them to other users who’ve answered similarly. Users gain points as they answer questions- a veritable smorgasbord of possibilities for advertisers.

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MySpace is working on a news site, currently in Beta: http://news.myspace.com . I especially like the integration of Event news from LinkedIn and MeetUp. They’ve also recently developed a profile customizer utility that’s incorporated within the site, removing the necessity of seeking external MySpace Layout sites for the non-HTML-savvy.

Also of note: For some reason or another, the number of pornography accounts requesting my friendship is exploding. At least they are easy to swiftly detect and decline- a game of “spot-the-thong”.