07 October 2007

Old People in Social Media

Egged on by something I read on the Internet recently, I decided to try some Social Media sites. I had already joined myRagan.com, a Social Media site for people in the communications industry, but I read something last week about MySpace and Facebook being useful 'networking tools' for grown-ups. So I thought, what the heck.

Understand that I have been "networking" online since about 1984, when I ran the Chameleon BBS here in Houston and "networked" with friends from across the metropolitan area . I also "networked" with people around the country to develop new applications/code for the particular brand of BBS software we used on our Apple II computers. We all used 300-baud modems and dialup, when "online chat" was typing, without avatars, graphical smilies, video, audio or anything else. Many of us could type faster than our modems could send/receive the data for realtime chat, and for the BBSes, many of us could read messages as fast as the modems could retrieve data.

But it turns out I am old & have no clue about how these new networks "work." First, it appears (to an old fart like me) that 99% of the users on these things are under 30. Oddly, so was I back when I started online networking. But more importantly, none of them are people I know -- or maybe I just can't find the people I know. So I have no "friends," which is just (pout) pathetic.

In the real world, when you move to a new place, you join some groups of like-minded people and you "make friends." So I started that this weekend. Joined some "groups" to see what happens. I've heard/read stories about so-called "creepers" who "friend" anyone and everyone in an effort to appear popular. (And thus, the perfectly nice noun, friend, becomes a verb.) There is some debate about whether this is a horrible breach of etiquette or enthusiastic extraversion. Until I figure it out, I'm not "friending" anyone, even if I think I may know them. But I did "poke" someone I'm *sure* I know, but now I'm not sure that was wise -- but I don't know because I'm old & out of it. I feel a bit like my parents must have felt when I started online chats in the 1980s: "Why don't you just pick up the phone?"

Anyway, this is me on Facebook. If you're not on facebook, that link won't take you anywhere. If you are, but you're not a friend, I don't know what you will see: maybe everything, maybe nothing? (The dog refuses to log on & find out.) I also made a MySpace account but I'm not going to do anything with that right now.

So give me a .... poke? I don't really have any idea what I'm talking about here.

(Addendum: I also joined Twitter, which I really don't understand. It's like a global chat room... Very interesting...)

No comments: