Earth Hour and .... Happy Birthday Facebook!
The couple above put a new meaning the phrase 'Love is Blind' when they get hitch under candlelight during Earth Hour at Sheraton Subang. How lovely! Just follow this link for the full story. So what did you guys do during yours? Mine was pretty boring. I went out in the car with my kids around MRR2 - leaving the lights at home off of course - and all the lights were still on. Sigh! KLCC lights were off, good. Hmmm! That's all!
Since I am on call today, I thought I called it a night early, but not before reading a few blogs. How long have you guys joined Facebook? I joined sometime in 2007, introduced by one of my colleagues, Vijay Ananda. Yes, the Endocrinologist Dr Vijay that just got married with Dr Sasheela, the ID Physician - and planning to open a clinic specialising in diabetic foot infection I am sure in the future. My only regret ... or might be a blessing is my failure to convert my wive to be a fellow facebooker - she might learn all my secrets however, so status quo can only be good. And worst still, all the cool misconception that all of you have about me can be wiped out by a single toxic entry!
Back to Facebook. They are turning five later this week! Their membership has skyrocketed to 200 mil, doubling in the last six months or so - they reached the 100 mil milestone last August. With that number of clients, being a free service, they will need to find funding from somewhere. Hence the new 'upgraded' interface. Its founder Mark Zuckerberg - who is only 24 by the way - went on record to admit that advertising will creep in, but subtly. There will be things like 'whch colour M&Ms is your favourite?'. We will then vote, and Facebook will earn sponsorship with every vote casted. He has employed a former advertising guru from Google, Sheryl Sandberg to be the chief operating officer and there is no plan to monetise the service. To you an me, Facebook will continue to be free a la Gmail.
The other main reason for the recent facelift is competition. The micro-blogging service Tweeter is catching up fast, although the subscriber is only less than 10% of Facebook at the moment. The main advantage of the utility is the ability to stay online and updating in real time. To be a 'real time' entity Facebook will need to have an interface that update itself without the need to push the update button. It will be some sort of a streaming service, so you will notice the interface scrolling down fast if you have a lot of friends. This may disorientating to some, but it is the direction Facebook is taking.
Another awkward issue with Facebook is he fact that it lacks a physical barrier. I am involved in this awkwardness being a lecturer, should I fraternise with my students? Especially during the exam period. What if if I apply to befriend one of my student and he or she declines, what perception will it have to them. My rule is simple. Do not write anything that you would not say to them in a chance meeting in the corridor or in the ward round may be. Keep away from any touchy feely subjects. Just ignore some comments that you as a student would've made if you are in their shoes. Cut them some slacks. But if they come asking for help, I will definitely respond. Also try not to get too personal with them, but in real life I am very approachable, hence I will not pretend otherwise online.
Enough rambling as I have a ward round to attend - I am on call today, and no, I will not tell you what cases were admitted. I am wishing all my students the best of luck for the long case tomorrow. Remember my tips. Which two questions to ask. Now go get them tiger! I have taken leave on the 7th of April so that I can attend the diploma ceremony. I EXPECT TO SEE ALL OF YOU THERE, AND I EXPECT TO HAVE TO CALL YOU DOCTORS!