I wouldn't normally write a blog about Facebook. Having seen a book about Facebook in WH Smiths while on my way back to Letchworth for the weekend I've become convinced the whole affair is a horrible cliché. Writing about it or otherwise making it out to be somehow important or profound is silly. The Facebook industry exploits poor, deluded and normally middle-aged people who buy into the idea their social life can be improved with better IT skills. The opposite is true.
However, my Facebook-blog embargo has to be broken thanks to the social milestone that is the $1 Bear Balloon. You see, a Bear Balloon is clearly just a regular balloon with ears attached. Balloons are cheap. I'm convinced you could buy one for less than a dollar. Particularly if you were willing to bulk buy.
That means that the imitation has become more valuable than the actual product. Not only are people willing to pay for an entirely imaginary product - they're willing to pay more!
The kind of virtualised life that William Gibson imagined a few years ago has existed at the fringes for a while - Second Life and online games - now it is reaching the mainstream. Soon we'll all be buying virtual tickets to virtual plays with virtual props bought from virtual designers. It's weird. I think the Bear Balloon is a vital step on the path to such a weird future.
While I'm breaking my Facebook-blog embargo, I think you can divide the Facebook community into the old guard and Facebook-proles. Facebook-proles can be identified by their "(no network)" tag, the old guard have a university network. The Facebook-proles brought with them all of the paraphenalia that they loved on MySpace.com - weird little games, the ability to bite people as a zombie and a host of other distractions from real life. Ironically, many of the Facebook-proles are middle-aged, middle class people. They're so obviously jumping on the bandwagon. They're not cool. If you're a Facebook-prole then feel ashamed!