In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself signed up for DOPPLR and Facebook. Most people of course already know about these things; but I had a real surprise.

DOPPLR · Shorter DOPPLR: reduce the chances of eating room service when you’re on the road. Has to be a good thing. Doesn’t take much time. I used up my invites in about three minutes.

Facebook · Unimaginably huge; the Vancouver, BC network has 279,189 members as I write this (the metro area population is around 2.2 million).

There’s nothing terribly innovative, it’s private blogging and conversations for your friends & family, without the ugliness or teenage whine of MySpace. Judging by my own network, I’d say that quite a few people spend altogether too much time updating their Facebook. Me, I spend altogether too much time blogging, but that’s different, you see.

I guess the thing that stands out is that it all pretty well Just Works, gets the job done, is easy on the eye, and runs fast.

Surprising Story · A woman from another country, a country I visit now and then, friended me. I didn’t recognize her but thought maybe I’d seen some of her other friends’ faces. So we had a conversation, like so:

Me: Um, have we met?

Her: Well maybe. I am the daughter of [name omitted] and my biological father who I haven't met is called Tim Bray.

All I know of him is that he was born in [place omitted] we think. He should be about 50 years old by now and I would very much like to meet him.

I have been trying to find him for years, is it you?

Me: [Places and dates omitted.] Discovering an unexpected daughter would be a pleasant surprise, but it doesn't look like it. (I have a daughter of my own, about to turn one year old).

So if you’re another of the Tim Brays out there and think you might have an unsuspected thirty-something daughter, drop me a line.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Pierre Phaneuf (Jun 13 2007, at 16:42)

I find Facebook interesting as a more social thing, in the sense that people can be directly tagged, it's got some features to organize events, and so on. For example, I use my Flickr account for my more "artistic" photos, or at least, as a kind of photoblog, so I'm loathe to use that for random pictures of people, or worse, the awful type of party pictures that people often ask for. But I find that Facebook is ideal for that, both providing hosting and notifying the people in question about them.

The status thingy reminds me of Twitter a bit, but I don't know, I'm not too big on that. I update it once in a while, but mostly because it's quick and I find it amusing at time to be witty there. Oh well.


From: Ben Finney (Jun 13 2007, at 18:34)

Facebook doesn't yet support OpenID authentication, so they lose me right there. Yet another site-specific identity to take care of? No thanks.

Dopplr doesn't load for me; timeout trying to get a connection. Web searches seem to indicate they accept OpenID authentication though, which is good if true.


From: Matt (Jun 13 2007, at 19:06)

Just to let you know, your Facebook URI is somewhat broken -- as in, is the generic Facebook home. If you'd like it to be specific, like your DOPPLR link, click on your "Profile" link in Facebook and paste that URI (e.g., /profile.php?id=[your ID here]).

Great article, though; I, too, enjoy Facebook for its speed, ease of use, and nice design aesthetic.


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