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October 12, 2007

Andy is ...

... writing this blog entry (obviously).

The Facebook status line is a wonderful thing, allowing you to supply any statement that sums up your current state of mind provided it starts with your name followed by the word 'is'.  So, for example, you can't say "Andy needs to get some sleep".  Instead, you have to say something like, "Andy is tired and about to hit the sack".  It remains to be seen what effect this grammatical limitation has on the long term ability of our children to write expressively!

Anyway, I digress...  I want to talk about Twitter, which also gives you a mechanism for answering the question, "What is Andy doing right now?" - allowing you a maximum of 140 characters to supply the answer but without the limitation that it must start with "Andy is".  As a result, Twitter doesn't get used in the quite same way the Facebook status does - people use to it make any 140 character statement they like... asking questions, describing their lunch (yes, I've seen it!), expressing their mood, micro-blogging a conference (as I did recently) and a whole host of other things.

Facebook have recently given applications the ability to update people's status - for some reason best known to Facebook developers this could only be done manually thru the Facebook Web interface prior to that.  The Twitter Facebook application took advantage of this and allowed people to automatically update their Facebook status based on their most recent tweet - on the face of it a great idea that allows people to only update their status in one place.

I recently tried it out.  Unfortunately, I quickly realised that my typical tweeting didn't quite marry with the gramatical limitation of the Facebook status, resulting in nonesense like:

Andy is Sleepwalking quoted as example of museums using new distribution channels http://tinyurl.com/33nucq (sf moma again).

As a result I have now stopped Twitter from updating my Facebook status (it took me a while to work out how to do it) and carried on as I was before - using each mechanism slightly differently, to achieve largely useless, but subtly different, aims.

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» FacebookISm from Lorcan Dempsey's weblog
The things that are interesting.... See Andy Powell and Jon Udell on the Facebook/Twitter syntactical schISm.... [Read More]

Comments

Hi Andy
There's a Facebook group called
Campaign to let Facebook status be a verb other than 'is'...

which may be of interest to you. See
http://bathac.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2571955342

I found using the ':' after the 'is' useful. For example, "Boon is: etc.. " .

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