Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Am Poke-Happy

Friendster, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter. These are just some of the more popular social networking sites that are available on the net these days. I personally am a member of only 2 of them, and do not care about the rest.

When I first started, Friendster was the only way to go. All my friends were on it. But it all became kinda stale after a while because Friendster did not evolve much. Then, along came Facebook, and, to borrow a line from Jerry McGuire, they’ve got me at hello.

I went poke-crazy for a while there. I poked, slapped, kicked, slam-dunked, karate-chopped, punched, pinched, body-slammed, and did all sorts of unimaginable things to my friends. Thankfully, it was all virtual, otherwise in this seriously litigious world of ours, I would’ve drowned in a sea of civil suits by now.

Isn’t it a beautiful thing when we can stay connected to friends and family by butt-kicking them every once in a while to let them know we’re still alive?

Other social networking sites have their own styles and concepts, but having been very familiar with Facebook, I find it kinda awkward to Twitter or do anything else. It takes getting used to, I guess. New social networking sites are popping up on the net like crazy these days. It’s hard to keep track of what’s new out there now.

One of the newbie is Acobay.com. at http://www.acobay.com . This is a brand new social networking site which is still in beta release at the moment. It is different from Facebook obviously and has its own unique style and concept -of course, otherwise, why would anyone want to switch from an established poke-happy place to a new and unknown rip-off site?

At Acobay, you are connected with each other by sharing their ‘stuff’, ie; by their pets, or cars, or favourite sports, favourite movies, or favourite books, etc etc. I didn’t see anything comparable to the ‘poking’ thingy on Facebook but I’m sure there is something in there that can appeal to all those poke-happy people out there.

Owh.. did I mention ‘poke’ once too many times already?

What can I say, I’m very very poke-happy.

I can’t decide whether Acobay is better than any of the other social networking sites that we all already know, but then again, I didn’t know Facebook is better than Friendster until I’ve tried it for a few weeks.

So, perhaps, I should tinker with it for a while before deciding whether to stay on or otherwise. Maybe you should try it too.

In the meantime, I’ll get back to my Facebook right now, because somebody is picking a fight with me on Lexulous (formerly known as Scrabulous- I wrote about this already, didn’t I?).

Have a nice poke-happy weekend, folks!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Six Degrees of Separation

Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone
on the planet can be connected to any other person
on the planet through a chain of six people.


A couple of months ago, I started my online family tree on www.geni.com. When I started it, I was just having a little bit of fun tracing my roots while uploading pictures and creating profiles of my family members. As it were, I didn’t even know the names of my ancestors beyond my grandparents on both sides. So, my focus was simply to create a simple tree consisting of my immediate family members for my own reference.

Then I invited my 2 brothers to the tree, and they in turn invited some cousins, and these cousins invited many more and then all hell broke loose. People started signing up, adding more and more people, and I found out names, faces and relations I never knew existed!

Too bad that some of the newcomers didn’t even bother to check if the people they are adding already have their profiles created, and so we had lots of duplicate profiles being created.

Worse, they are some who experimented with the tree in their efforts to learn how to get around, and ended up adding multiple entries of the same person in different names and nicknames, and deleting crucial information already entered by others.

I was shocked to learn that someone I know has 8 kids instead of the 4 kids that I’m familiar with. The first thought that came to mind was, “Eh, dia kawin lagi satu ke?”.

But no, it was just another case of duplicate entries which nobody bothered to rectify.

What a mess!!

Suffice to say, I was a bit miffed at first. I couldn’t help feeling a bit protective over what I initially considered was my family tree. But then I had to remind myself that the tree isn’t mine alone. These people share the same ancestry, and when they sign up the tree is theirs too.

So I learned to let go, and just watched from a distance.

And now, with profiles from many other trees created by other people being merged with it, this tree ain’t mine no more, no sir! It has taken a life of its own, with new people cropping up on the news-feed everyday, most of whom I have never heard of, and new pictures being added daily.

The tree, in fact is no longer a tree. It is a forest with lots of old and new trees being merged daily.

I would’ve been satisfied to know my direct lineage without bothering with all the relatives connected by marriage and what-nots. But what I got out of it is totally unexpected. I found links to people I never thought I was linked to! Heck, I even found a link to fellow blogger Kak Puteri of Kata Kama!

(Just to clarify, Kak Puteri, if you are reading this- I’m not actually related to you. But there is a link between us, connected perhaps by about three hundred marriages and is possibly 18 times removed! Even the saying ‘bau-bau bacang’ would be stretching it too far)

Anyway, I saw quite a number of people whose name I recognized but whom I never thought are connected to me in any way. I cannot claim to be these people’s relatives or anything, but it is fun to know that there is a link between us, however remote.

So, even if I am now not actively updating my tree and my information, I am having a blast just looking at how the tree had grown. I keep scanning all the forests daily just to see who else I’m linked to. For all I know, I may even be linked to Brad Pitt!

Fat chance, you say?

Maybe.

Maybe not :-)

After all, like the Geni tag says, everyone’s related.