Thursday, February 04, 2010

BitchBuzz: Facebook Crowded?

My latest column at BitchBuzz is up, about the effects of Facebook's enormous size and attempts to wrangle that power:

Sure, I can understand that the estimated 300 million people on Facebook are going to create a hubbub that makes it increasingly difficult to be heard and I'm not going to point fingers at number 299 millionth person (when it was really the 718,543rd one anyway, I'm looking at you, Edith). Nonetheless, the strains of this enormous size have become apparent.

It may be the codeine for my sinusitis talking (mmm, codeine — as close as the average person ever gets to laudanum, that nectar of the Romantic poets), but those crowds of newbies have begun to suck the life out Facebook...

As ever, read the rest over at BBHQ. Of course, it's not really about the new folks -- after all, it's the new folks who keep FB alive. It's about what I suspect is a rather ham-fisted attempt to manipulate FB's legions.

I wasn't even sure I would write a column this week: I have been truly sick. I finally broke down and went to the doctor, mostly because I thought the cold had turned out to be bronchitis and that takes so long to get rid of. Instead it turns out to be acute sinusitis, which seems to mean a wild inflammation of the ears, nose and throat, eliciting mutterings of "oooh, that's not good" with every look the doc took. Now I have antibiotics and codeine cough syrup, which I credit with finally really sleeping for the first time last night.

Sleep deprivation is a debilitating thing; it was the coughing mostly that kept me awake. The muscles in my lower back and diaphragm ache from all the coughing. I felt as if I were auditioning for the part of Beth or at least Camille.

I didn't teach at all this week, which is very weird. Much to catch up -- yes, of course I gave them assignments, but it's not the same. I am definitely feeling better, though still coughing and still finding concentration difficult. I left a brand new package of envelopes and my address labels at the post office the other day. D'oh! Oh well.

I got some videos from the library while I was out: the latest BBC version of Wuthering Heights (fun), Hamlet 2 (no fun) and the two-disk version of Valley of the Dolls, the camp classic. The extras are wonderful! There's some contemporary footage of the cruise ship that went from the Venice premiere to the Los Angeles one. The early days of showbiz TV reporting were quite awkward and self-conscious. Even better was the doco on Susann herself, transferred directly from bad tape. What a fascinating woman -- I learned half of what I know about promo from her bio. The clothes, the hair -- no contemporary recreation of the 60s captures the real look of that time (impossibly high hair!). Best bit was Susann talking with a radio critic who was just livid about her "dirty book". She merely laughed at him and said, "You shock easily."

Happy birthday, Russell Hoban!


Todd Mason said...

And dope that's is the '60s again. Glad it's helping.

Gabrielle Anwar turns 40 today. Random b-day fact from IMDb.

Todd Mason said...

And, still, it's too easy to spend too much time in FB...part of the reason that I, already too easy lured into blogs and lists, do so little with my presence so far.

Why, I'm now able to disappoint Even More People with my relative lack of communication, driven in part by my own lack of sleep, and the lack of energy and acuity that brings.

C. Margery Kempe said...

Try codeine -- you'll sleep.

Yes, Facebook is always exhorting me to "reconnect" with you or suggest friends to get you hooked, er, involved. I figured you'd given it up as one more time suck.

The Queen said...

I think I shut off about 50% of my FB news feeds - I definitely pick and choose what I want to read and how much time I need to spend on that can get overwhelming.

But I would never shut off your news feed... :)

C. Margery Kempe said...

Awww, that's sweet! Right back atcha.

I sense a new theme in lyrics, "No, no, I would never shut off your news feed, I will love you forever, you're the only Facebook friend I need..."

C. Margery Kempe said...

Facebook has reached 400 million users tonight. Wow.