Friday, May 25, 2007

Canada Reads 2008- A Geek's Mission, Part 5 (The Facebook Chronicle)

While on holidays in Ottawa, my cousin tried to sell me on the wonders of Facebook (I think he holds stock or something). No thank you! I waste enough time blogging as it is, why would I need more time in front of the computer? Do I really need to catch up with my sister's ex-boyfriend's uncle's boss?

Then we got home and I noticed my computer time had begun to dwindle, to fall into the hands of a certain spouse. "Et tu, Brute?" I said (Not really. I just play a geek on TV). My cousin's little advertising spiel had gotten to her. She was already eating into my cyber hours working on her masters by distance, Facebook was the last thing I needed.

Then she walked away with the Facebook login page left up. D'oh.

Now I'm one of those junkies you hear tell about, running up to complete strangers shouting, "Join my 'The End is Nigh' group!" For those of you not yet clutched by the Facebook hordes, run! You think you're superior? Yes, you are! Do not succumb! But if you do...

consider joining my group, the oh-so-cleverly named, "Put John Mutford On The Air! (CBC Radio- Canada Reads 2008)" group. I had considered an online petition of some sort before, but I was a little too nervous to attempt it. If the Canada Reads people had actually been considering me and saw that I only had 20 people backing me up, that wouldn't exactly seal the deal would it? I'd venture to guess that it would probably do more harm. So the decision did not come lightly. If I was going to attempt it, I'd need to go all out. And seriously, there's a lot of competition for group members out there. A particularly notable group is trying to get enough signatures to convince a guy to get Karl Wells's face tattooed on his ass (most people from Newfoundland think this is pretty funny, mainlanders are amused but probably a little perplexed, and I'll go out on a limb and say Mr. Wells is not all that impressed at all). There's also a large number of people competing for names in order to win money from a Toronto radio station.

So who's going to support some guy wanting to talk about Canadian books on the CBC? Surprisingly, more than I expected. As of writing this post, I'm up to 305 names and I started it less than a week ago. I'm thinking 1000 names will be my goal. If I can reach that many, I'll email the link to the beautiful and intelligent people at Canada Reads and see if that tips the scales in my favour.

And in other news...

I brought my kids to Parents and Tots the other day and brought up the subject of blogging to another dad. That's a big step. Mention blogging to the wrong person and at best they glaze over, at worst they think you're doing something to farm animals. To my surprise and delight, he blogs too! Not only that, he was kind enough to write up a story on my Canada Reads ambition. This will earn him a Skor bar the next time we meet. Thanks Polar Daddy!


Allison said...

I have Facebook, can I join this group without having you as a friend? I'm going to assume so, as you already have over 300 supporters, or are you one of those people? I never trust anyone who claims to have over 100 friends.

Going to join now, I hope you get many more supporters, and I'm sure you will, people will join anything. I'm part of the stick people appreciation society :) Shameful, I know.

Continued good luck!

John Mutford said...

Not to worry Allison, you can join without being my friend. Sheesh.
Seriously though, I know what you mean. And if it eases your mind, most haven't added me as a friend.

Allison said...

345 members strong, well done you. I didn't want to cross the blog line, to add you, as I know you keep everything separate :)

John Mutford said...

No worries. Lately my lines have become blurred dramatically.

Dale said...

Let the groundswell continue. I'm a Facebook avoider but if I change my lazy ways, I'll be heading for you first!

Any plans to read The Reluctant Fundamentalist? I just finished it and really enjoyed it.

John Mutford said...

Hi Dale, Thanks. I hope to see you there. No I haven't read the Reluctant Fundamentalist but, you've given me a great idea. I think I'm going to go back through my archives and make a list of all the recommendations that have been made to me. Maybe that'll comprise my reading list next year...I'll begin with this one.

Anonymous said...

I am not a facebook member, so I can't support you in that aspect, but I do thing you should try to join as many "social networking" sites as possible and get the hype train rollin big time!

Anonymous said...

uh... thing should be thinK in that last comment... doh!

John Mutford said...

Fearless, You're right. I probably should look into other such sites. Right now though, this one is consuming much of my time.

Allison, did you catch Fearless's typo?

Allison said...

Hahaha!! Yes, I did, actually ;)

John Mutford said...

I just found this interesting article about Canada Reads from the Journal of Canadian Studies. Of particular interest for my cause was this statement:

"In its promotion of five books and its employment of a celebrity panel, the show is in danger of reinforcing both the 'blockbuster' culture of contemporary publishing and the media-generated cult of celebrity at the expense of its public-service mandate to inform and educate its audience."

Anonymous said...

I caught it first, but am not allowed to edit :P

Barbara Bruederlin said...

One sniff of Facebook and I am sure I would be breaking into houses to support my habit within the week. Eva, however, did join your group a couple of hours ago and you had over 400 members.

Well done, you.

John Mutford said...

Tell Eva I said thanks a million. And if she could replace that million with just a couple hundred more people, I'd be ever so grateful.

It has grown quite a bit in the past 24 hours. Friday morning it was at 160, now it's at 419. I think the key has been encouraging those who had joined to invite their friends along. I just hope the momentum keeps up. It is quite a lot of people talking about Canada Reads in the "off season"- Are you listening CBC? (Tee hee, Like my tough guy talk?).

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Tough guys don't say tee hee, John.

Well, maybe they do.

Allison said...

521 and counting...woot!

Well done :)

2qurios said...

Hey John,

You should also look into Podcasting. With a cheap mic, and some free audio software, you can whip up your own podcast show. Who knows, CBC Radio may even pick it up.

Very recently, as in bleeding edge recent, Facebook has also opened up their code to developers. What does this mean you say? Well you can create you own social networking site leveraging Facebook's addictive nature. Check out iLike that has just been released. I'm sure you can do something similar for books.

Here is their pitch:

To help us gain momentum in the early hours of this product launch,
please do the following at your earliest convenience:

1. Go to
2. Click on `Add iLike' in the yellow header at the top
3. Confirm your selection on the subsequent screen

From there, you'll be set to add music to your profile and find your
favorite concerts (not to mention see who else is going!). Bonus: use
it to get free mp3s that match your tastes and try to beat your
friends at the Music Challenge.