Are you Facebook’s ‘Billy No Mates?’

Who are your
friends on Facebook? Probably a weird old mish-mash of Aunt Renee, Bob from accounts
and that woman you met on a drunken bus ride back from Fife.
In fact, you’re probably so popular that you’ve got upwards of a
hundred mates.

Not so if you live
in Japan.
According to recent research by TNS, Japanese folk have an average of just 29
friends. This could, as TNS suggests, be down to “a culture that embraces
fewer but closer friendships”. Or perhaps it says more about our trend
for a wider, more vacuous pool of loose contacts? Interestingly, it’s
Malaysians who top the ‘most friends’ poll and who are the heaviest
users of social networking sites – followed by the Russians and the
Turkish.

It beggars the
question, is the catch-all ‘friend’ too simplistic for a disparate
global audience? Should Facebook offer a grading system to define a
person’s emotional proximity to you? Perhaps it could be a sliding scale?
If they become overdrawn in your emotional bank account, you could move them to
blue. Everyone else could then enjoy the battle to regain your favour. Do we
need a different term for different cultures? Maybe one that recognises the
Indian caste system (or maybe not). Then there’s the whole privacy issue
that’s just reared its non-too-attractive head yet again.

The study itself claims to be ‘the largest and most
comprehensive of the global digital consumer ever’ – check it out
here http://discoverdigitallife.com/.
Oh, by the way, when it comes to blogs, 4 out of 5 users in China have written
one!

  • http://

    if everyone in China blogged at the same time would the internet fall over?

    I can see lots of teenage bullying potential in grading ‘friendships’

  • http://

    Apparently only 32% of users have blogged in the America. Further evidence of the decline and fall of the United States Empire…

  • Grilla Login

    The Ratner guy lost his whole umpire in similar circumstance, Dave.

  • Kevin Gordon

    Was that John Humphries Dave?
    He can be a real wind-up merchant.People who listen can see right through it.All he’s after is a bit of controversy.People who really know what you have done for the industry in this country know it’s all tosh.

  • Roy McAloney

    Is this a classic case of Chinese Whispers?
    I heard that Neil French actually said, “women creatives were crap”!

  • Dave Trott

    Hi Kevin,
    It wasn’t John Humphreys, it was a woman.
    I don’t know who because I don’t listen to The Today Programme as all that bad news first thing in the morning depresses me.
    Hi Roy,
    You could be right, I don’t for sure.
    Neil French had probably had a drink and was being outrageous. 
    But either way, he didn’t know he was talking on the record to a journalist.

  • Roy McAloney

    How many times have opinions been open to interpretation?
    Take the Bible or the Koran as  classic examples.

  • Jayne Marar

    i’m always putting my foot in my mouth. i once told a client that i too thought clients could come up with good ideas, just after he’d made the same comment. i heard (second hand) he got really angry. i still have no idea why?? tho he was drunk at the time and the planner, who told me, was also drunk at the time. but it was still my fault i seem to remember 🙂

    and let’s not even talk about Career Women Make Bad Mothers – DISCUSS? or the thought police will be after us again.

  • paul c-c

    So you think we’re squeaky do you. What an outrage. Stereotypical tosh. I’ll have you know we’re as well oiled as our clocks

  • Dave Trott

    It’s all comparative Paul.
    And compared to some parts of London you’re cities look like they’re hoovered on a daily basis.
    8 million Londoners wouldn’t complain if that was us.

  • Grilla Login

    I’m always putting my foot in my mouth, 2 Jayne 😛

  • Melvin Stodart

    London is the most creative city? Methinks not- certainly not in advertising, or marketing or design.. Maybe theatre. I can remember when the commercials were better than the TV shows they ran in. Where’s the current ones that make you sit up and say: Good one, want that one on my reel? Or yup- that one will win awards at every show around the world?  I think you also did some good ones at the same time as the guru Webster at BMP. What’s the best we have now? The dirge of British Airways? What gets your vote and shows London is still the place that’s knocking ’em dead? As to where the city with the mostest is right now, I don’t know. Perhaps the awards will have to be kept in storage till and if the recession passes.
       

  • Dave Trott

    I agree Melvin.
    When I said that i wasn’t really thinking about advertising.
    But certainly in the wider world of creativity in general I think London is as good as anywhere at present.
    There’s a real buzz of of ‘if you can think it you can do it’.
    Unfortunately not in advertising though.

  • Roy McAloney

    Maybe JD’s are missing a trick here. 
    After all they were the rioters shop of choice!

  • Chris Worsley

    Having just been down to that there London earlier this week for meetings I sincerely hope somewhere else has better theatre. Never ceases to amaze me the dross that is advertised on escalator panels – Legally Blonde, We will Rock You, etc etc. euuugghhh. Like to think London is the buzziest place but struggling think in what?

  • Dave Trott

    Chris,
    I think you have to look outside the mainstream, that’s always a bit dire wherever you go.
    I don’t know much about theatre but maybe fringe is a bit more adventurous.
    The art galleries are always really good IMHO.
    Radio, TV, and newspapers are the best in the world (not the crap, the good stuff).
    Restaurants are way better than Paris.
    When I was judging D&AD earlier this year, 3 Americans said to me it’s always neck-and-neck between London and New York as to which is more creative.
    I found it really hard to believe because a few years back you would never have heard that.

  • Dave Trott

    The other thing BTW is that I’m not necessarilly saying London IS the most creative city in the world.
    Just that that’s how I’d sell it.
    That way the riots can credibly be turned into backup for daring and excitement.

  • Grilla Login

    Dthhhrayn – hhhive gothh thmy fhhhthoot hinn myth mouthhh htthhhagain!

  • Kevin Gordon

    It’s funny you should say that Dave. I used to get depressed by the news too, then I decided to turn it around in my head. Today I look at a tragedy and say to myself “Thank God that’s not me” or “Thank God I wasn’t there”. I’ve also often thought that Politicians have tried and failed miserably to Turn Britain into a ‘Swiss Bank-Roll.’ You know, the ones with the the fake cream filling that make you feel sick. For me, Creativity IS the GREAT in Britain. All you have to do is look at the surnames of so called foreign inventions and you’ll find many came from the UK. My own analogy is geogroaphy. UK is a tiny island sitting on the edge of a precipice known as the Atlantic. Partly glued to Europe in a financially bankrupt “Eurobandage” and emotionally closer to Imperial India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Falklands, linked Royally to Russia and Germany, and ex-patriated to America makes us the first truly gobally integrated nation on earth making us experts in global diplomatic affairs. We can’t really say that about Brusssels. It’s just a train terminal for international bureaucracy just as Switzerland is the centre of timepieces, but not the centre of time. That privilege. the dividing line between East and West is Greenwich. (That’s South London by the way).

  • rachel carroll

    Cheers for putting Neil French’s comments in context Dave. Remember being really shocked when I read about them as I think he’s a great creative and his work isn’t misogynistic. Makes sense that he was misinterpreted. Both his and yours are cautionary tales indeed.

  • Dave Trott

    Hi Rachel,
    It’s like when John Lennon first visited the states and a reporter asked what he thought of Beatlemania,
    He said “Yeah, it’s amazing. Right now we’re bigger than…er….(tries to think of something ridiculously enormous)….er….Jesus.”
    And the headline runs:  “Lennon says the Beatles are the new messaihs”.
    And people all over America start burning their records because radio hosts say they are blasphemous.

  • Kevin Gordon

    Don’t you think that was stage managed Dave?
    Just watched two great films at the weekend.
    One about the Nixon interviews with David Frost
    the other about John Lennon’s early years.
    The Beatles killed Elvis and I guess some Americans
    didn’t like the idea of the poacher becoming the gamekeeper,
    especially in the Southern States where verbatim and religion
    go hand in hand without question.

  • Dave Trott

    Hi Kevin,
    I think it was innocence (lack of thought) on Lennon’s part and manufactured outrage on the American press’s part.
    No one here appreciates how seriously those guys take their religion.
    Lennon could have said ‘the Queen’ or ‘the President’ or ‘the Pope’.
    Whatever he said someone would have chosen to be outraged.
    Last week a woman MP was yelling at Cameron in PM’s Question Time.
    He said ‘Calm down dear.’
    Then he had to spend the whole week denying he was being sexist and explaining it was a line from a TV ad.
     

  • Roy McAloney

    Should Neil’s sexist comments, or Jade Goody’s racist comments or John Galliano’s Anti Semitic comments be ignored because they’ve had a bit to drink, I think not.
    I think your comment on the Today Program was different from the above and I agree that London is one of the most creative hot spots in the world at the moment.
    One of the things helping us achieve this, is ironically the Today Program.
    It has won many awards and is highly regarded around the world.