07 November, 2007

We Are Family...

A lawn with the number 404 mown into it.

Social Networking, they call it - those websites that seem to pop up every six months that allow you to make new friends and link up to old ones. I've joined a lot of these over the years, sometimes to get in touch with a specific person, sometimes to explore what everyone else is on about.

I never really got MySpace. It's clunky, many of the profiles are horrifically untidy and ugly to look at (and I don't mean the people, just the junk they litter their pages with), but mainly because it's full of dickheads who treat friendship like Pokemon: GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL! I've made contact with a few long-lost friends, but I've rejected new 'friendships' with far too many stupid 15-year-old girls who are clearly leaving themselves open to be abused by strangers, but who also clearly have little interest in actually being friends with anyone as they send out invitations for friendship even when my own profile specifically states I'm not looking to befriend strangers.

But I suppose it's a handy tool if you're a musician and have a teensy bit of design skill.

I spent about four months exploring Second Life too, but it's tricky getting into the heart of it unless you have money and 3D sculpting skills. I've had some great nights on there, virtually dancing in a virtual nightclub, but the fact that locations are rented and need to be paid for means you can go to a club in a location one night and then turn up at an empty field the next.

YouTube's a lot of fun. I've linked to things on there here before and I enjoy a good night browsing. No problems with that, although I'm unlikely to ever become a Vlogger (a clumsy port manteau word really). My favourite YouTuber is a fella who goes by the name of 'Blunty 3000'. He get angry with things, has obsessions equal but different to my own, but on the whole he seems to be a voice of reason and common sense on the web, which needs to be applauded. If only the dumb American teens would get off his back.

The current 'UGC site du jour is of course Facebook. It's good for allowing users to add or subtract applications and you can join up with groups that are relevant to you.

And occasionally, you get a message from someone who blows your mind, like I did two weeks ago when my cousin, who I haven't seen in nearly 20 years, dropped me a line.

Almost straight away we were gabbing away like mad, shared a few family stories and memories and agreed to meet up.

Unfortunately, the night we were meeting up happened to come the night after my dramatic tooth incident, so I was a bit slurry thanks to the numb jaw when we first met, and (thankfully) a bit slurry at the end of the night because we'd enjoyed copious lagers.

It's great having family nearby now, and I'm proud to say my cousin is very, very cool.

Oh, and she's on MySpace too, in the form of her project Bad Anorak 404. Who'd've thunk?! There's a review on the Bad Anorak 404 website that includes a review with an amazing back-handed compliment:

Lin Sangster is like a strange aunt you hate to visit as a child (the awkward opening track does nothing to assuage your fears), but when you are older you realise that she’s the well-adjusted one and she quickly becomes your favourite relative.

Spot on.

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