Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Day 8: everything's bebolicious

My next "work contact" site is a place called Bebo. Mostly I hear about it from parents: my kid's on Bebo, is this good? Frankly, I have no idea, but heck, it's the work of the moment to discover that they request (optionally, but I'm kind of appalled that even the boxes are there) far too much personal information, claim to be aimed at the 13+ market but have a cloyingly tween feel -- stickers, treats and trainerish "skins" abound, there are lots of funky web badges and skins, and the bands that hang out there remind me of dim memories of Smash Hits and Just Seventeen. Also the advertising. Intrusive. Unpleasant. Ever-present. It feels ... like a magazine.

All this is instantly forgotten though, as I discover that Bebo has an integral Whiteboard. Instantly my fascination with crude drawing tools takes over. It's nothing special but damn it's cool to be able to doodle on your home page. Too bad that those friends of mine who are on Bebo already aren't using it any more -- especially as they're cartoonists.

From the schoolyard to the geekfile I go to sort out having a del.icio.us account already. Astounded I don't have one already? Consider the following statements:
  • I'm in no danger of running out of cool things
  • I can use a combination of google and site searches to find things again if I need to
  • I don't know in the present what I will value in the future

It's smooth slick, easy and tidy, slithers through my work firewall with cheerful disdain and intalls itself into my life 2.0 with nary a flicker ... but there's no social aspect at all.

I do a few half-hearted seaches, but it's frankly no more fun than using google, and I'm not going to play guess the user name to look to see what my friends think are cool as I've posted four awesome things to the Tumblr already today.

Also I find myself reaching for it over a site I've found for work reasons and stop, wondering. Will I use it for work? Should I? It feels like a work tool, in the same way as some of google's online tools do; not part of the social web, but part of nomadic OS. Portable favourites.

And about that fun.

Verdict: I'm off to watch a gig instead.


cubic said...

I was just wondering, reading about Habbo Hotel and that, whether you were going to look at Second Life? Admittedly the main grid is 18+ (supposedly) but there is a "teen grid", and I know a few educational types who are very into it.

I say this because I've spent bloody ages in the thing and if you want any information or anything on it I can deliver. I try to keep up with developments in the "virtual worlds" thing in general, really, I'm trying to move out of my crappy job to do that sort of thing full-time.

(this is fridgemagnet from LJ, by the way)

Jeremy Dennis said...

Hullo Fridge! I am interested in looking at Second Life, but chary about how much time it will take up. Is it possible to look at it briefly, or is it one o those places you really need to spend bit of time in before you have any appreciable fun?

cubic said...

Well, to be fair, because there's not any one specific thing to do in SL, no actual goal, it can take a while before you find something you really want to continue with. Some people instantly get it and think it's wonderful; other people never see the point.

It's quite possible to look at it briefly though, with the proviso that it's really vast... oh, and you need a fairly good machine as well. But if you ever fancy a look, drop me a line, fridgemagnet at livejournal dot com works.

Jeremy Dennis said...

Hmmm .... I do actually have an equipment problem, with my antique range of laptops! WOW and Second Life will have to wait for now I think.

I don't seem to be running out of sites, um, at all.