The h2g2 Post 19.10.09

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Posted: 19th October 2009



Good Week, Bad Week

It's been a good week for social networking sites. First, a mini-campaign on Twitter helped get a High Court injunction lifted, then it was announced that Facebook is responsible for a seventh of all UK internet traffic.

Twitter has often been pilloried for having a significant quantity of nonsense among the content its users produce, but in spite of this the site has become something of a media darling over the last few months. The Trafigura incident, which I describe in detail somewhere on the pages below, was probably the first time its power has ever been fully harnessed. It will be interesting to see whether it can repeat the trick in the future; if so, it could become an important tool in social and political change.

Google is still the UK's most popular website, with more individuals using it than any other site. However, most people who visit Facebook don't just look at one page; they look at photos, visit one another's profiles and any number of other activities, and when you add all those 'page views' together it become by far the UK's most viewed website. In fact, Facebook received more page views than YouTube, eBay and Google's UK sites put together in September. This is rather fascinating in a geeky sort of way, because its rapid growth over the last year has been almost entirely because it has focussed on attracting older people to the site. This has changed the way people use the site, with a proliferation of games, quizzes and other apps to keep people entertained rather than communicating with one another. I can see this causing problems: I know I'm not the only one who gets infuriated by games constantly messaging me just because a friend is doing rather well, and I'm also not the only one who dreads the day when his Mum joins and finds out daily exactly how unhealthy and hedonistic his life really is. If there was ever a time to start a new, fresh and interesting social networking site, it would appear to be now.

This week has also been a bit of a roller-coaster for me, and, without wanting to repeat the details, I'd just like to say a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who has shared a few kind words or a bit of wisdom with me since the last issue, and to the rest of the Post Team who really helped me out earlier in the week.

Finally, the issue after next (2nd November) will, submissions allowing, be a special Halloween/Bonfire Night issue. We're looking for articles, fiction, cartoons and poetry to tie in with the occasion, and if we do get enough we may even have a Halloween competition running with proper prizes and stuff like that. If you do have anything you'd like to offer us on that theme, please try to have it with us by Thursday 29th October at the very latest for us to be able to include it.














  • Fragmented

  • A re-run of the first part of HPB's fine serial











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