I’m not great at social media. Twitter I can handle, since its very brevity means that one doesn’t tend to get distractedly too engaged with it, and I quite enjoy emitting occasional silly tweets about things I’m working on. (And I say I can handle it but even at that I am not very good; one time I tried to use a hashtag to promote one of my games and someone basically told me that I’d be unlikely to get anyone to retweet it as apparently I don’t follow enough people, so these days I just tend to make a couple of quiet mentions of new releases on the old tweetstream and leave it at that. I don’t want to be one of those people who tweets HEY GUYS LOOK AT MY NEW GAME every 30 minutes for weeks at a time).
Anyway. Although I joined Facebook years ago until recently I’ve probably only ever logged into it about three times. I just never got into the habit of it. Consequently I’ve had a ton of stacked up friends requests there for ages, and rather than appear rude and exclusionary I’m making a point of going back and acknowledging those and maybe even now and again I’ll try to post something on Facebook just to have a presence there. I’m already too much of a hermit these days as it is.
So just recently I’ve had the FB page open in a tab in Chrome and I’ll occasionally look at that. And the other morning I was on the other computer (my development Mac mini, which is hooked up to my iPads) trying out some stuff in the Goatup 2 level editor. I had my usual complement of stuff open on the PC, including Chrome, although I wasn’t looking at the FB page. So I’m sat there with the editor and I hear some notification sounds coming from the PC. I’m busy so I ignore them for now, I’m not expecting any urgent communications on a Saturday morning. After 5 minutes or so they stop.
A few minutes later I finish with the GU2 editor and check Chrome to see what was making the noises, turns out it’s Facebook. And there’s a chat window thingy, and in that chat window thingy is the following bizarre… I can’t call it an “exchange” as I wasn’t actually there at the time. But there is a most peculiar little drama that played out, in which I am the villain. Observe…
THE Jeff Minter
/me prostrates like a tired LLama
you probably get this a lot
but why was your Xbox360 visualisation so lame?
no yaks or llamas to be seen.
i guess it was on your contract, no llamas or yakz plz we microsoft.
working for any other big corporation since then, Mr. Minter?
there’s plenty to choose from
and they ALL want clever hackers in their projects.
don’t blame ya.
still, if you are just gonna sit there, “listening” to me this is a waste of time, right?
I might as well block my ultimate hero of code along with Hokuto Force and Genesis.
You’ll be one big family on the same blacklist.
Screened, Marked, Blocked, Over.
You really should pay more attention to your fans, Mr. Minter.
/me shakes head
/me shakes head, indeed. From hero to zero and I wasn’t even there.
I guess people have different ideas about social media. Me, I consider it to be asymmetric most of the time: I don’t feel that I am urgently required to reply to tweets, or something someone said on IRC, or stuff on Facebook, until I feel I have time and the inclination to look at those things. Yes, it’s nice if people want to stop by and say hi and especially if they’ve something nice to say that’s cool, but to get the hump about not receiving a reply THIS INSTANT is a bit daft. Surely a normal response would just be to assume I was AFK and try again later or something. I’d hate to be out shopping if this guy came round to visit; on getting no reply to the doorbell he’d likely burn your house down.
Anyway, there’s my little bit of weekend weirdness in an otherwise fairly mundane weekend – how I got blocked from talking to a complete stranger I’d never said a word to, thanks to the wonders of Facebook.