Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Listen to This? No thanks.

With regard to Facebook and Twitter, people seem to fall into two catergories. You either love it and do it a lot, or you really can't see the point of letting people know what you're having for breakfast. I love my FB account because it's personal and used mainly for keeping in touch with friends and family in the UK. Twitter - not quite feeling the love I have to admit.

I can see why some people might not see the point of them though. And when I see people Tweeting (is that the verb?) their every move, it strikes me as a little pathetic, unless it's done with wit.

Over the weekend I discovered something I really don't see the point of. At least as it stands right now.

It's called the UK Soundmap, and I went leaping over there in giddy anticipation of hearing British woodsy noises, or bustling city noises. What did I get?

  • A 77 second recording of someone sitting in a Newcastle University car park.
  • Sounds of someone spreading something on toast.
  • 60 seconds of a "lonely office". (Guess what that sounded like?)
  • Two minutes of an M6 drive.
  • 55 seconds of someone in a chemist's shop.
Come on people, most of these sound like you've accidentally phoned someone from your cell/mobile they're so muffled. And of course, pointless.

To be fair, there are quite a few beach sounds, some church bells and other assorted recordings guaranteed to soothe and interest.

If you're in the least irritated by Facebook or Twitter though, I would strongly advise giving this web site a wide berth.


  1. I'm with you re. Twitter, I really don't get it. I only set up an account to read my sister's tweets. I don't understand why I would want to read all the other stuff. Just weird.

  2. I am definitely in the *can't be bothered brigade*
    Really there is too much to do in the day!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  3. Yeah, I would call that pretty silly. I have to admit that recently I have pulled away from Twitter quite a bit. I started to find it all a bit pointless as well and found myself getting quite annoyed with some people. It definitely can be a big time waster.

  4. Sounds utterly pointless. (And, I feel exactly like you about Facebook and Twitter respectively!)

    Have you come across Foursquare yet? It's where people 'check in' at a venue (eg a cafe or shop) and then post that on FB or wherever. One person I know 'checked in' at Wal-Mart - too much information!

  5. I have never got into twitter either as 1) I dont see the point and 2) I dont have the time to keep updating it or reading it. Like you, I use facebook for family and friends but only update my status with stuff worth knowing. A few of my friends on there are beginning to drive me mad with their status updates every hour literally telling me their every move or things like F has just mopped the kitchen floor and changed J's nappy, I think I deserve a cup of tea' do we want to know that?

  6. I agree the SoundMap isn't very good, but I think it's an interesting idea in principle. It's actually quite sparse in terms of sound clips, as this increases - and if its usability improves so you can filter out everything extraneous to your search - I think it could be a worthwhile little site. I'd like it if users could combine with flicker as it's all very well listening to the sound clip, but a shot of whichever location I'm listening to would also be additive. A professional sound map can be a wonderful thing - there's was a great one in the guardian about Caledonian Road a few months back - http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/interactive/2010/apr/26/caledonian-road-sound-map
    With time it could be a great site.

  7. I have friends trying to get me into Twitter and I just don't get it. The word "twit" is in there for a reason, people.

    Now listening to someone spreading something on toast is something else altogether. Maybe it's art?

  8. Why would I spend my life trying to say things in less than 140 characters? Why?

  9. Oh, and before you count, to see if I wittily wrote that previous comment in exactly 140 characters, let me tell you that I didn't. If it's a significant number, that's pure coincidence!

  10. I don't know Iota - the practice of saying something in 140 charcters or less is something that I should deifnitely embrace now and then!

  11. Hi expatmum,

    Yep. Been on Twitter for two days now and I think it might work better for business rather than individuals unless you happen to be famous or selling something (obviously these two things collide sometimes).

    Jemina Khan does one Tweet a day and I think that is quite wise otherwise you/one might start talking about navel fluff.

    Also I'm quite wary of Tweeting whilst I'm away. One Tweet and your house is burgled!

    Erm. Again if you are a very witty person then it might just be the perfact medium.

    Facebook? Seems interesting. Have done it but not got to grips with it yet. Can't wait to see the new film/movie on it though. Fascinating!

    That's my two cents worth. ;)

  12. Perfect. That should be.

    OK. going now. (Two shillings in old money.)


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