Tag Archives: social networking

Bebo

Things happening at Bebo.

I’ve just noticed a comment in the press saying that Michael Birch, one of the founders of Bebo, has actually bought it back in some bankruptcy sale for around $1 million – if we go back in time a bit to Bebo’s peak, I think Birch sold it off to AOL for something around $850 million. That was at a time where in many countries Bebo was the dominant social networking site, this being at a time before Facebook had really started its rise to domination.

I do remember at the start of an academic year walking through one of the computer areas in my campus library and noticing one or two of the students had this Bebo site up on their screens. At that time I had not heard of it before and was curious as to what it was. Fast forward 12 weeks and we’re almost at the Christmas break, walking through the same computer area again and found an almost exact opposite situation – where there were only one or two people who did not have a Bebo window up somewhere on their monitor. It really had gone from nowhere to everywhere that quickly. However Birch then sold it off to AOL, and once they got their hands on it they did their usual thing and made a total pig’s ear of it.

The faster something rises up then the faster it can fall down, and so under AOL’s guidance it rapidly descanted into almost total oblivion and irrelevance. AOL in turn sold it on to Criterion Capital Partners. However it did maintain (and still does as far as I can tell) a sort of core number of active users on the site.

Now that Michael Birch has paid $1 million to get it back I wonder what he’s got planned for it. He can’t just re-invent it as it was, Twitter and Facebook have taken that ground away from him. So what will he do?

I think it is going to be a case of ‘I’ve no idea’, because if it was that obvious such that I could think of it someone else would have already done it, so he’s going to have to come up with something quite novel and new.

After all, it is one thing to develop a brand new site that no one has ever heard of so it doesn’t have either a good or bad reputation; it’s another thing to pick up an old site which is seen by many as a bit of a joke and to try and turn it around. On the other hand he has got a well-known brand name behind him again. We’ll just have to see what he does with it, I’m almost tempted to sign up again purely to keep an eye as to what may develop.

A long overdue update.

Time for a long overdue update.

I have discovered and learnt all sorts of things since coming across the YouTube community. (Within this ‘YouTube community’, I include Twitter, BlogTV and all those other inter-related communication networks.) I’ve met amazing people through them and been to places that I’d never have gone to. I’ve made friends of all ages and now communicate with people from all over the world. In other blogs I’ve talked about this friendship side before.

Nevertheless there is an alternative side to it.

For the first time ever, I’ve learnt to really dislike people. Up till now I’ve had my few good friends, a larger circle of general friend, those others I’d class as acquaintances, and finally those who just had no meaning to me. Within this last group would be those who I did not like. There would be no real feeling of ‘dislike’ just a more negative indifference feeling. Of ignoring, or kind of allowing for their presence but not letting them get to me. A case of accepting that there will be good and bad in life, so best you just get on with life.

However since seeing and experiencing the hostility and bickering that has gone on over the last couple of years (some – but thankfully only a small amount – directed at myself); the antagonism, jealousies, bitterness; some so petty, but so much quite aggressive and destructive, I find myself now actually learning to truly dislike others. Not just indifference, but proper dislike, of feeling ofl distaste at their presence should they be near to me. This is something that has never happened before, and is starting to reflect through to my every day life. Where before I was happy enough to work with those who I previously had little time for, now, well, as this involves work (who pay my wages and as such allow me to live life) I shall refrain from putting my thoughts in writing.

It’s a shame that this has happened, and it’s certainly making me think as to how or what I want to do with YouTube. One thing I can’t do and that’s undo the past, so I guess I’ll have to live with it, the positives of YouTube still outweigh the negatives. A matter of reminding myself that there are still some amazingly good people out there.

(Perhaps having got this overdue update out of the way I’ll post more regularly.)

Response to comment, more on YouTube socialising.

This is partly a response to a comment made on the previous article, and partly that it was time to comment again on YouTube socialising.
Something that has been highlighted to me on quite a few occasions when I’ve been trying to tell others (mainly university students) about the active social side that goes on under the surface of YouTube is something along the lines of… ‘why should I bother with trying to socialise through something like YouTube when I already have a perfectly adequate circle of friends already around me.’ I personally see no need whatsoever, but what about those who don’t have an adequate circle of friends close at hand. We are an inherently social creature and desire friendship and company. (I’m writing this in a Starbucks – people around me, not at home – the only person there.) So for those of such a character that strangers and unknown crowds can be a bit stressful, then what better than developing contacts than in your own time and ‘from the safety of your own home’. Also these contacts can be from all corners of the world, bringing you access to people from different cultures and creeds that almost no amount of physical travel would allow you to achieve. What’s more, there are no time zone boundaries on the internet, it is a 24 hours a day medium.
So I do think many here have a lot in common with each other. A need to develop friendships by this relatively remote method. An acceptance of using technology, and a level of knowledge and intelligence that allows them to do it. Also an understanding of some of the problems of life (which had lead them to be developing friendships this way) which makes them more understanding and sympathetic to others who also have their own problems.
Looking at things from a slightly different angle, there was a while ago a period when people were putting up videos saying how YouTube has changed them. One common theme across almost all the responses was the boost in personal self-confidence that came through developing their communication skills. First perhaps by putting up a comment or two against other people’s videos, maybe joining in the chat onBlogTV , then making and uploading their own videos. This boost with their self-confidence then reflecting through to the rest of their lives, making them better people, more able to cope with and then enjoy life.
So there is a lot to be said for YouTube and the other social networking sites. However as well as pleasure they have in their own way cause me considerable heartache and pain, but more on that another time perhaps.