Archive for September, 2010

Cutting the Fat out of Social Networking

There is just too much social networking going on today. It all started with e-mail many, many years ago (seems just like yesterday) and then expanded into MySpace and now there are hundreds of sites devoted to social networking of some kind. There’s basic social networking like Twitter, check-in based sites like Foursquare, music sharing from Ping and blip.fm and photo sharing form Flickr. Anything you want to share with friends or total strangers, theres a site for it.

Of course how could I forget the one site at the top of the big pile of sites. Facebook. Facebook is every one of these sites combined into one. It started a lot like MySpace and then just started adding features until it reached where it is today. But has it gone too far? With Facebook you can share your thoughts, pictures, videos, what you’re watching on TV, what games you’re playing. There are thousands of web applications that are built into Facebook that do everything from tell your fortune to tell you which character you are most like from your favourite show. And now. You can tell people where you are and who you are with.

Thats quite a lot for one site isn’t it. Oh, did I mention there is a movie about Facebook? Thats right. Its called The Social Network and it is about the creation of Facebook. It really should be called Facebook: The Movie.

All this is becoming too much for me. It seems that every time I log into Facebook something has changed. Wether it’s a button has been moved or the whole layout has been changed (remember “old Facebook vs. new Facebook” and everyone preferred old Facebook). I don’t mind a change once in a while but it has reached a point where they are changing so often that they don’t even tell you that they have changed something. I remember when if someone did anything that somehow involved you on Facebook there was a section at the side that had every possible notification right there. Then they split them up so friend notifications were in one place and “likes” or “comments” were in another place and then photo notifications were in another place. I can’t even find notifications from applications any more (I’m not complaining. I hated getting Farmville requests as much as everyone else).

The problem is that it’s not simple any more. This is the main reason I use Twitter (I hear you all groaning). It is simple. I send a tweet thats 140 characters and thats it. I can send messages to people and I can still post photos and read what everyone else is doing. Thats all I need. I am fed up of people liking pages that are things they say they do which they are mostly lying about anyways, or things they should be doing instead of “liking” them on Facebook (“I think about you even when I don’t call you”. Just call him so I don’t have to read about it) or big posts about your achievements on Farmville of Mafia Wars.

If Facebook was just statuses, wall posts, messages, and photos like it used to be then I would be quite happy but there is just too much for me to keep up with.

Unfortunately like most of you, I am addicted to Facebook (although not as much as some people. You know who you are) and will continue to use it until most people stop using it and switch to Twitter.

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Why Is This So Difficult?

Why is there so much choice in the election for mayor? There are literally countless candidates. Sure you only hear about five or six and there usually ends up being two front runners but there are still others that you can vote for.

The federal and provincial elections are very simple. There are three main political parties (four if you count the green party, five in Quebec) and each one has a candidate in each riding. All you do is decide which party you like best (using your own criteria) and if you like the MP/MPP in your riding and then vote for them. The ballot only has five or six spots. Theses extras are usually independents or small parties like the Marijuana party. Its very simple.

The difference between that and a municipal election is that there are no political parties and therefore there can be as many people on the ballot as you can fit. I remember seeing one ballot that was a full size sheet of paper (8.5×11) that had three columns of names in 10 point font. Thats a lot of choice. Then you also have to vote for the city councilor in your ward (its the municipal word for your “voting area” or “riding”). This isn’t as bad because there are enough wards that the candidates are spread out to about six to ten per ward. But it still isn’t as easy because there is no easy way of finding out what their platform is apart from finding them yourself and asking. This will likely lead to a long winded lecture about principles and saving me money. Stuff I know they probably won’t do (I’m not saying they won’t try though).

I wish there was an easier way to pick the new mayor of Toronto. I can’t think of one but if anyone else can then please let me know.

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