Hello for another day!

Reading the Sunday papers in bed with a cup of tea is my perfect way to start Sunday morning and today was no different.

It is certainly a change  from reading everything online as I usually do. In fact, I would not survive without my computer (and my smart phone too) but there is something leisurely and earthy about the feel of an actual paper in your hands as you flick through it.  

I don’t think I could survive without real books either as I love the smell and feel of them. However, I understand how great eBooks would be if you are travelling, particularly overseas, and would love to get a device to read them on … eventually!

This morning, I happened to read two articles discussing Facebook which led me (naturally) to my computer to google further as I wanted to know more. Mia Freedman, publisher of the www.mamamia.com.au website who writes too for the Brisbane Sunday Mail discussed the ban by Facebook where “discrete images of breastfeeding have been deemed too offensive” to remain on Facebook.

I was initially shocked. Mia says that Mark Zuckerberg “does not know the difference between breastfeeding and topless.”  I would agree! Seems craziness on first reading, but really, who would want photos of themselves or others, breastfeeding on Facebook anyway?

Still, I take her point. It is not as if breastfeeding is exposing yourself for titillation! She then goes on to write a great article about the Breastfeeding Association and the lengths it will go, to prevent the use of formula or promote its use. Read it in U on Sunday or it may be on her website soon (not there today).

The other article had as its heading: Apologise on Facebook or jail.” It would appear that a man in the US  posted comments about his estranged wife on his personal Facebook page (I presume they were ‘not nice’ comments!). His punishment: for a week he has to post daily apologies or go to jail for 60 days. The man is outraged as he feels his freedom of speech has been compromised. (PS: What is it with those who insult people on FB anyway? A discussion for another day perhaps?)

So, where am I going with all this? It occurs to me how much social media is intruding into our every day lifestyle.  To be quite honest with you, I love Facebook. It enables me, as a retired woman, to keep in touch with former work colleagues, school friends, my children’s friends and others I have met along the way. I love that I can give a quick comment or click on a LIKE which makes me feel part of their lives.

So, I am not against Facebook and have had an account since 2007, before a lot of my younger friends in fact (often to their dismay!) I have also had a Twitter account since 2009. However, I can appreciate those who do not like using Facebook or Twitter. These are quite private people who do not want their details flashed ‘out there’ for all to see. We are not all the same (thank God for that!)

Today I decided to find out a little more about what is happening with this social media phenomena and I  found an interesting site called the Social Media Examiner which looks at the news concerning all forms of social media. Here I found the article on the US Facebook apology that I had read in the paper this morning.

Oh, so this is where the paper gets its information? Very interesting.” I was beginning to feel like I was actually a Journalist and not just a retired old dear who writes on a blog every day because she gave herself a ridiculous challenge to do so for 366 days! Wow. I was learning.  But I also read something else that was interesting:

Social Media Examiner’s Networking Clubs just went public. “It’s a social water cooler for social media marketers,” says Michael Stelzner, CEO of Social Media Examiner. The free network has rich discussion and networking taking place.  There are three active clubs: The Facebook Club, the Blogging Club and the Small Business Club.”

Don’t you love the bit where it says “It’s a social water cooler?” I think they are trying to make us feel better about not actually talking to a real person next to a real water cooler! And remember the letter to Steve Jobs that I read in the magazine on Ash Wednesday which questioned the “i” in iPhones and iPads and why not the “we” as in wePhones and wePads? The author says “(Steve), you have allowed us to plug-in and tune out, safe in our own bubble.”

This has been so thought-provoking for me. How then do we, the ordinary folk, deal with all this social media stuff that is happening? Where is the fine line between talking face to face or talking online? I do not have the answers, but I sure as hell  will be looking for them!! I don’t want to stay safe in any bubble and besides, I enjoy sharing my pots of T2 tea with a friend far too much.

By the way, here is the website if you wish to visit the Social Media Examiner. I am sure some of you would love to keep abreast of social media news (yes, it’s now in MY favourites!)   http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/

Looking at this site led me to find out more about the public float of Facebook. The heading screamed out at me “Will you purchase Facebook stock?” Hmmn … So I asked Geoff at morning tea how did he think it would affect my use of Facebook if I purchased some stock? I must say he was dumfounded as he knows I have never purchased stock in my life!  “But, just say if I did?” I persisted. He had no idea he said.

At this stage I went into “pixie land” you know, that place where I go into Bloggers Brain? Off in my head. Only this time, it was in the realm of “Money Brain.” How fast would these shares go up? was my thinking. First I had become a Journalist, now I was becoming a Financial Investor! Geoff quickly brought me back to earth with a look that I have come to recognise very easily. Ok ok, so I know nothing. I will ask my finance wiz friend what she thinks when I get a chance.

So there you have it. Facebook has me thinking of making money! I cannot believe it.  Mark Zuckerberg hopes to raise $5 billion when Facebook floats as a public company. It presently has 850 million users half of whom log in daily. Imagine, that is “half” of them! That is a lot of people folks.

I will leave you not only with all these thoughts but with this quote which Michael Gartenberg, the technology expert for FB said:

“It just goes to show how not only is social media and social networking not a passing fad it also seems to be pretty profitable.”

Yes indeed! I would dearly like to believe it’s true …

PS. For those who love looking at the Red Carpet fashion for the Oscars, take a look at this on mamamia which looks at the stars on the Red Carpet over the years. http://www.mamamia.com.au/entertainment/the-fashion-that-made-the-oscars/. It’s the good, the bad and the ugly!