End User social networking

best use for Ping is on the golf course

When I was a lad I used to sit around listening to music, chewing the fat with my pals. Nowadays I hardly listen to any music other than on the rare occasional night in on my own with a steak and a bottle of red wine.

It may be a generational thing but I don’t actually have time for it. I don’t often watch TV so in the evenings I am on my laptop doing whatever I am doing. Most of the time music would break my concentration so I don’t have it on.

I use twitter a lot in the evenings. That’s instead of Facebook which I now only dip into every now and again. Sometimes I note that people I follow on twitter are listening to music. @jobsworth for example commutes into London and often tells us what he is listening to.

So when Apple announced a new TV service and Ping, a new social network based around music I found it difficult to get excited.

End User social networking

Facebook – the golf club of the internet

How is Facebook a business tool?  It is interesting to understand how people use it at work especially considering that businesses do get concerned about staff wasting time.  I have in the past defriended someone because they seemed to do nothing but talk about their car whilst working from home.

A quick snapshot this morning of status updates by my friends show:

MD of a wireless networking company
someone I used to play rugby with
VoIP Technical Authority from one of the worlds leading communications electronics manufacturer
international product manager for cellular handset manufacturer
renowned ISP consultant
university PhD student
international tech journalist
UK Member of Parliament
international cricket website
rugby playing prison warder
gateway presales engineer
MD of international telco startup
product manager for mobile network
global voip and social networking guru
owner of a social media startup
networking engineer
rural broadband activist

It doesn’t matter what the nature of the conversation is between my Facebook friends. It is rarely to do with specific business issues.  The point is it is just a hugely productive tool because it builds up an ecosystem of contacts that makes it easy for me to talk business with them another time, and not on Facebook. It is the internet version of a round of golf.

End User internet

Time spent online

I’m not a sad person, I like to believe, but I do seem to spend an awful lot of my time on the PC. I don’t play computer games. Typically I work, though the type of work that I do in the evening is different to what I do durng the day in the office. I like my job.

Tonight I have spent reading market research briefs and checking out some fixed mobile solutions on the internet. I also note that Facebook is trying to buy Twitter. I use Twitter to update my facebook status via sms. In checking out my facebook homepage I note that 12 out of 108 of my friends are online too.

I’m not a maniacal collecter of friends. Ten percent, if extrapolated across the whole population, is a huge number of people online. My son Tom has 381 friends and he claims to know them all in person. Without prying this would suggest that around 40 of them were online at any time. I’d like to bet that the number in his generation Y case is a lot higher.

I’m also watching Manchester United play against Villareal on the TV. Of the 6 people in our house five have a PC. The youngest is 8 and he is the lone unfortunate without one. On the arm of the chair next to me is my Nokia E Series mobile phone which also has email. The phone also has wifi and I use it to browse the internet when my laptop is switched off.

My electricity bill is huge. I am glad to say that they don’t allow mobile phones at Lincoln Golf Club.