What goes around

Everybody has heard the phrase “What goes around, comes around” but there is one thing I never thought we’d see the mass return of – chain e-mails. First we had chain letters, then when everyone went mad over Hotmail and MSN Messenger we had chain e-mails. The latter certainly promised bad luck if you didn’t send them on, but I believe both carried some form of text strongly encouraging you to not break the chain.

Well, they are back! Not in letter form, not even in e-mail, but in the form of facebook notes. A lot of them have been altered to suit the format of facebook (mentioning walls etc.) but they are certainly the same old chain mail kind of thing. The wonderful thing about this re-incarnation is that is shows how many people actually *want* to take part. With e-mails everyone got one, like it or not, so it was a real pain if , like me, you resented the deluge of “Fwd” e-mails appearing in your box. Now though you only see peoples forwarding work on the feed page and so you can ignore it if you want. As such, I was amazed at how many people are taking part in this.

I really thought that these were just some school kid idea of a way to avoid doing homework in the evenings but clearly not. All I can say is there must be an awful lot of university courses that either are not being engaged in fully by students or that aren’t giving students enough to do!

The one downside of it all is that people using the notes to do some serious blogging are finding their readers have their feed aggregation page polluted by such messages and as such are not reading the good blogs as often as they might, or even not at all as the chain type notes tend to be long and the thin format of the facebook pages mean that a lot of scrolling is required to get past them. This perhaps is something facebook should address, but quite how they would I’m not sure. Maybe they could just display a summary on the feed aggregation page and so reduce the need for scrolling and also making it easier to see the more serious posts on offer.


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