Tuesday, March 24

Conspiracy 101 for Old Farts

Tonight, after 11 months of living in this house, my small dog (Puck) discovered that there is another dog that looks a great deal like him living in the dishwasher.  I was fortunate to be able to capture their first encounter with one another before the FBI swoops in to give some cockamamie explanation, like it's a reflection, or something paranoid like that.  When are they going to accept that it is, indeed possible, for there to be another small black dog living in my dishwasher and stop trying to pull one over on us?

Speaking of conspiracy theories (which I was, right there, in case you didn't know), I've got something to run by you, although I'm not usually one to subscribe to such stuff.  

Okay, so maybe I am.  What's it to you?

In any case, I've been having some thoughts about the new "upgrade" (now there's a case when it is entirely appropriate to use quotes, as opposed to the sign that says "lettuce" in the grocery store, which makes you wonder what it really is, or, at the very least, where the produce guy went to school) on Facebook.  As I posted there a couple of days ago, I don't get it.   I thought the word "upgrade" or "new format", when applied to a website, was supposed to imply improvement, debugging, new features, or helpful adaptations.  This was a full site overhaul, and none of those words seem to apply.  So I am confused (which is nothing new, but still).  And confusion sets me to pondering, which you pretty much know by now.

And in my pondering, I've come up with an answer.  You knew I would.  I knew I would too.

I don't think it was a system overhaul at all.   I don't think they meant to "improve".  Some people think the redesign was to accommodate more ads--that might be true, but I don't think that's it.  I think (ready? here it comes!) that its a conscious move on the part of the 20-something facebook developers to return facebook to its roots and thus to its rightful owners (and citizens).  

You see, over the past year or so, there has been article after article and commentary after commentary on the web, in newspapers, on the radio, on tv, about how the fastest growing demographic on facebook is the old folks.  Like me.  Yup, the old farts are taking over facebook, and using it to reconnect with friends from childhood, from college, from camp, from wherever. And the kids, as you might expect, are upset.  Some of their parents are now on facebook.  Ew. And since the owners and developers of facebook are, in fact, said kids, they probably feel the same way.  They've probably got thousands of emails from their peers and former loyal members saying "GET MY PARENTS OFF OF HERE!".  So they're doing their best.  They've changed their format so that all the parts that are most appealing and helpful to the older set are now gone or difficult to find, and the parts that the kids like (like knowing when their friends are sitting in class, or going to the bathroom, or seeing who was at the party last night, or seeing how stupidly one of their friends types when they're drunk) are more prominent. My guess is that they understand this tool and market better than we give them credit for.  

They're right. All of the old people hate the new format.  Many have stopped using facebook so much.  Most (that I know, anyway) are complaining.  When they get sick of the new format (just imagine if there are further "upgrades"??), they'll leave.  Facebook will be returned to its original glory, and the world will be safe for democracy (and teenagers).  

I'm telling you, this is what's going on.  

This is where we come in.

See, I'm the type who sees a hole and wants to fill it (who sees a wrong and wants to right it....er, "write" it?)  Like most other times, filling this particular hole would require me to possess or develop an entire set of skills that I do not currently have.  In this case, software development--more specifically, coding skills that would let me develop a social networking site.  But maybe somebody out there, reading this blog DOES have those skills, and if so, please feel free to steal my idea.  It's a good one.  

Let's call it a "spinoff".  It's been done in television for years.  Let's do it on the web.  Let's take all those facebook features that we like and start our own social networking site.  Let's make it just like facebook, but better.   For example, it could have a "help" button.  And lots of other things that we old farts like.  And let the kids go back to the equivalent of raising your hand to tell your teacher (and friends) that you have to go number two.  

Here.  I've made the new header. 

Take it.  Run with it.  I'll be your first customer.


Jawa said...

Love your analysis and our new logo - where can I hobble to sign up?

Pat said...

this very same idea crossed my mind as well. my name wasn't as creative as yours-- simply "fingerprint" (but without the air quotes of course). or how about some other concepts we get that are generational like diagramming, typewriter or syllogism. like you, i don't know code but honestly there are lots of times when i think i should just bite the bullet and take friggin' class or two. then there's that whole you tube produced by this guy-- 25 reasons i hate fb. of course, he has his gratuitous #whatever about old people. interestingly enough, however, are his comments about not liking to be poked and getting a gazillion invitations to drink this or do that. well, sorry junior, but we're not the ones who developed those inane additions. it was your little twit "friends" on and from fb.

Jawa said...

What irks me is their marketing ploys like "throw a snowball" that allow them access to all of your contacts AND photos. Yikes. Can you ever unring the bell once you've thrown a snowball or sent someone a hug?

Robin said...

Yeah, it's all kinda creepy. And their primary market really is a generation that doesn't have any idea that it's creepy, because they've never experienced life as private.

And yeah, sometimes I think I should take some classes too.

Hmm. I can smell a partnership brewing.

Anonymous said...

You and my husband would be best friends. He is all about conspiracy theory. Although, you may be on to something with the facefart thing.

LOL! You make me laugh. I love that.

Robin said...

Kel, Kel, Kel....

Not facefart (although that made me laugh, and gave me a whole set of images that I'd rather not share, thank you very much)...FARTBOOK!

I feel much better now that we've cleared that up. :)

So glad you're reading and commenting!

Joy said...

Oh boy, your observations make me laugh. And think. I like 'em. Well, not all of them, but most of them. I'm 55--not sure I'm an 'old fart' yet. My husband likes to discuss his colonoscopy-- I tell him he's acting like an old person and to stop it. Hmmm...guess I got off topic here.

Jill said...

I'm probably one of the few folks left who not only refuse to join Facebook but resist all efforts and invitations from others to include me in/on their list of associates, friends, whatevers. Speaking of whatever, what happened to folks connecting with each other using, gasp, eye contact.

Joy said...

Hey, Robin, I figured out how I got to your blog--- 'Blogher'(?) Is that how you spell it? I had seen 'BlogHer' on someone else's site and I was checking it out and found your blog. I replied to your question on my blog. This can get complicated, can't it?? Geeze, maybe I need to start writing down how I get from blog to blog...(if only for my own peace of mind) okay! have a great day!

Kate Burton said...

That's fantastic. I was one of the old farts (41) on facebook and then my Mom friended me...ewww