Facebook of the powerful

The Guardian asks 10 media biggies why they joined Facebook and then writes an editorial about the importance of it all. Good, I’m not the only one going overboard.

  • The Guardian needs to get over Facebook

    The Guardian and The Observer have referred to Facebook in no fewer than 195 articles, including a leader article today.
    Media Guardian is particularly guilty of this oversaturation, Andrew Mickel today writes a largely pointless full page article detailing the Facebook activities of ten media personalities. Jo Whiley has 10 friends and thinks “Facebook is ace because it amuses me no end”, what an insight!
    I get the feeling it was late on Friday afternoon and the team at Media Guardian had an empty page, so resorted to this insipid article, which also laments the fact that Krishnan Guru-Murthy “hasn’t friended us back yet”. I hope a last minute spare page is the reason if not, one wonders if Matt Wells reads his own section. Media Guardian has run a prominent feature on Facebook in its last four editions.
    Last week Media Guardian’s Jeff Jarvis devoted his column to how he came across Facebook and how many friends he has – again thrilling stuff.
    The week before Anthony Lilley gave us a run down on how social networking sites, including Facebook, work. Before that Jeff Jarvis gave hacks a lesson on whether they could get away with lifting stuff from students Facebook pages in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre.

    Four straight weeks in Media Guardian, and the ‘social networking phenomena’ wasn’t ignored by the rest of the paper. G2devoted a front cover and much of an issue to Facebook and its ilk (including a reference to yours truly). Two weeks later Technophobe had a piece on the difficulties of dating via Facebook.

    Charlie Brooker has written two, admittedly amusing, columns on his experiences joining Facebook. Jonathan Freedland has examined the effects of Facebook on politics, and Peter ‘Big Brother’ Bazalgette fundamentally missed the point in The Observer’s comment section.
    Mary Warnock even suggested Facebook should be included in the new list of Seven Wonders of the World.

    Please enough is enough. It is not worth a 196th article.

  • It is slightly disingenuous of Rupert, the deserving winner of last year’s Guardian student media awards, of which I was a judge, to claim that we have run a feature about Facebook four weeks in a row. Sure, it has been mentioned in each issue of MediaGuardian for the past month, but so have the BBC and Rupert Murdoch, for heaven’s sake. Only two articles were solely based on Facebook. And why shouldn’t we focus on something that’s taking off right now?

    In any case, it’s compulsory for newspapers to obsess about stuff they’ve just discovered. Especially if they think it’s stuff that “young people” are also obsessed about. It’s the rules.

    Rupert also maligns his fellow Guardian student media award winner Andrew Mickel, saying this week’s feature was “pointless” and cooked up on Friday afternoon. It was certainly not the latter. Rupert – if you can contact ten media figures, including the founder of Wikipedia and the BBC’s director of global news, get quotes from them, review their profile, get pictures, write that all up, and lay out the page, all in a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon, then you don’t just deserve your student media award, you should be editing the Guardian. Could it be that Rupert wished he had come up with the idea and had been paid for writing it??

    And pointless? Nonsense. Since when has making cheap jokes at the expense of our better-paid and more famous journalistic colleagues been pointless?

  • Apologies to Andrew Mickel, I had no idea he was also a student media awards winner, if I’d known that I wouldn’t have criticised it. Although having now carried out a bit more research I’ve discovered that Andrew has previously criticised Facebook quite vociferously
    “Why FaceBook Is Awful
    If I wanted to keep in touch with these people, then I’d have made the effort to do so. After all, I have a MySpace account that I haven’t used in almost two years, how’s FaceBook going to be any different? I have much better things to be doing with my time than ‘social networking’ all day. Just say No to Web 2.0.”

    As for not having the idea – I ran a double page spread in Felix, my student newspaper, back in 2005. I am intrigued by this mention of pay – I wasn’t paid for any of my articles that appeared in the Guardian during my work experience…

  • Uh, interesting way to decontextualise an article there…