Thursday, October 18, 2007

is this the tipping point for facebook?

Anybody been having problems with Facebook over the last few days and weeks?

Quite possibly. For me it's been the odd error message here and there. Today the site has decided not to send out any email notifications to me, which is odd. Meanwhile my friends' status updates page seems to fill up with people complaining they can't access their message inboxes, or write on people's walls.

And well, it all seems a little too familiar.

Familiar because, we were all here a couple of years ago. When Myspace was at it's peak, and then started to have a few technical difficulties. Bulletins not working, the occasional error screen - nothing too damning, but mildly irritating all the same.

And of course the spam. Mildly forgiveable at first (hey, we're a slightly above average unsigned band, can we be your friend please?), and nowadays taking a more traditional spam format (hey, I'm new to this place, I've got this other site, a webcam and slight nymphomaniac tendencies. Can we be friends please?)

And then it was sold for a ridiculously over-the-odds amount of money to News International, and sat there for a good two years barely receiving any new features, funding, or attention whilst Facebook slowly stole it's limelight.

And so I'm just wondering, when will this all happen for Facebook too?

It's certainly still enjoying the same surge in interest that Myspace had in its heyday. And generating the same stupidly lucrative takeover talk.

I've had friend requests from a couple of organisations irritatingly posing as people. And the site's equivalent of unsigned band spam (hey, we're a local clubnight promoter, please come join our group which will never top 100 members) has been around for a fair while.

So what's next? Increasingly severe breakdowns like the ones we've been getting recently? An invasion of the spambots? Lucrative buyout from a clueless snail-like old-media organisation?

I'm not sure. I'm just hope the organisation is wise enough to learn from the past mistakes of it's competitors.

People inevitably ask whether or not Facebook is just a passing fad, but in all likelihood that's probably only going to be true if a better product comes along to replace it. That's all that's happened to Myspace, and previous flash-pan successes like Friendster. Who knows how Facebook will fare?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

my mum likes spooks

A quick hello to my mum, who's a big fan of returning BBC spy drama Spooks. She rushed in to the lounge to watch the 10:30pm showing of Spooks on BBC3 tonight. She turned it on 4 minutes late, thinking it was a repeat of the BBC1 episode that was shown at 9 o'clock, then proceeded to ponder that they seemed to have jumped straight into the plot a little quicker than usual.

It was only when I got home at 12:30 that I explained how BBC3 often broadcast the following episode of big shows shortly after their terrestrial counterparts have screened the preceding ones, and that she'd actually just watched episode 2 by mistake.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

nottingham city transport axe nightrider services

Here's some news that pretty much nobody else will care about apart from me: Nottingham City Transport are to end their night service buses from the 24th November, so I hear.

The services are to be replaced by buses travelling along the popular Go2 routes after midnight on Friday or Saturday nights only.

It's hardly surprising, the service must have been making a huge loss for months. Barely anybody uses the things. So it's not really their fault if they cancel them, right?

Well, wrong. Plenty of people would use them, but the operation of the services over the last few years has been a joke.

Firstly, the price. It has risen by 50p every year recently. It now stands at either £3 or £3:50 for a single ticket, I can't remember exactly because I've got a bus pass. But either way, that's a ridiculous amount of money. The only people who are going to pay it are customers who regularly get the bus on their own (read: me). If there's two or more of you, you might as well get a taxi at that price, and you'll be home a lot sooner too.

So it's hardly surprising that the amount of people using the service now has completely nosedived. Why wasn't the price kept at a more competitive level, hmm?

Secondly, marketing. Or rather, the lack of it. Hardly anybody has ever known about the existence of the night services. People don't even know of them as an option. It wouldn't have been hard, NCT: put up adverts for each Nightrider service on the applicable daytime bus routes that go to the same areas - so - advertise the 99 Nightrider service along all the daytime busses that go to Clifton, Ruddington and West Bridgford, alongside all your adverts for Skylink services and sex advice clinics.

So, the Save The Nightrider Services campaign starts here. If nothing else, I need them to get home from work during the week or I'll struggle to keep being able to work at Rescue Rooms. Are you listening, Nottingham City Transport?