Beki Grinter

Waiting for an announcement

In academic management, research, social media on August 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Like many people who use facebook, I have many different communities of people on facebook. I have people from when I was at Mulbarton in Kindergarten/Primary School (and I would like to remind them all that it started for us in a pub, called the World’s End, and perhaps that should be a lesson to us all). Then there are my friends from Hethersett High School. Friends from the University of Leeds and California, Irvine. Then the people I worked with at Bell Labs, Xerox PARC, and now Georgia Tech. And of course there are all the people who are in my invisible colleges, most associated with the research and practice of Human Computer Interaction, some associated with Software Engineering, and some with other communities.

That’s quite a lot of distinct communities.

So I get feedback, at least from some people, that my status updates do not pertain to them. Indeed that is sometimes true.  But it’s really *hard* to write a status line that appeals to or pertains to all with this collection of people. Perhaps my ones about A-ha will help. Perhaps those about moving to France, although for the few, but non zero number of my friends who have moved to France that’s perhaps more exciting than it is for the majority for whom it will be a largely moving away experience.

What is also true of my facebook friends is that there are no children among them, which I define as being under 18. There are people with a good variety of occupations: professor, designer, dean, photographer, school chair, salesman, but no children. Why? Well I did wonder whether my posts were PG rated, and then I wondered whether they were actually ever not PG rated. I think I have sworn on facebook, odds of that are actually rather high, and I have certainly expressed some political opinions, and for some reason I just decided that that was probably not things I should do in front of minors. So, one rule, no minors.

Another rule, no-one I don’t know. Just cause. Facebook seems to me to be about friends. And yes, I know there’s lots of hype about what that means, is it really possible for people to have several hundred friends, … personally for what it’s worth, I think it’s possible to have several hundred people with whom you have had some substantive interaction with at some point in your life, and still remember them well enough that you’re interested in knowing what they are up to nowadays. Facebook is good for that. And frankly if you have enough jobs like me, then it gets really handy to know what a lot of people who you saw everyday are up to today.

OK, this has gotten a little off-topic, heh, so back to the announcement.

I posted that I was waiting for an announcement, which was read several different ways by people. So to clarify, I suppose I’m waiting for several announcements. All will likely come by email, perhaps one via facebook. I’m hoping to hear that someone has their child soon, I expect to see the message that annouces a step-down and a promotion, and then there’s the announcement of who our next Dean will be. Perhaps there are others, oh, yes, perhaps pictures from a couple who got married today, and I am sure that there’s more. And isn’t that exactly what Facebook is for, knowing these sorts of things.


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