Technology
I am totally Facebooking this.
Ændrew Rininsland/the Gauntlet

This Week On The Internet: Waste a semester on Facebook!

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Anyone who's anyone has a Facebook account. Some people use it to plan events, some use it to share photos, others use it to connect to people they haven't seen since grade school and still others use it as The Ultimate Stalker Toolkit™. Regardless, the vast majority use it as the most effective method of procrastination ever invented. With a dedication/borderline-obsession comparable only to 4chan users, Facebook addicts have elevated procrastination to a veritable art form. Here's how to survive the GRST class that sounded like such a good idea a week ago:

1. Create an absolutely ridiculous group

At the bottom of the "My Groups" page is a fun little button entitled "Create Group." On the next page, there's a group type category called "Just for Fun." This is obviously intended to give anyone and everyone license to make utterly pointless and ridiculous groups for their friends, family and random hookups to join. Take the "A bird has shit on my head at least once" and "Barry Manilow is a golden god" groups, for instance. This can even be used to make personal attacks, as seen with the "Jon Roe Enjoys The Company Of Dolphins" group. Just think, with a little imagination, you might even be open for a libel lawsuit!

2. Play the "redefine relationship" game

Typically, when people are added as friends on Facebook, they give lame details such as "Went to school together" when asked how they know the other person. This just shan't do! Going into the My Friends page and clicking on the "How do you know So-and-So?" link brings that dialogue box up again, allowing the proliferation of totally awesome fallacious information! For instance, checking the "We hooked up" box and then describing some wild sexual encounter is always good for a laugh, as is changing their group affiliation to "NAMBLA." One point is earned for each person who doesn't actually read the request and just accepts it, two points are earned if the other person changes something else and sends it back, thus commencing a Details Battle. Whoever accepts or stops responding first loses, with the winner earning three whole points. Get cracking!

3. Use the Facebook Developers platform as arguably the least effective method of getting a date ever

The Facebook Developers platform is an Application Programming Interface for developers who wish to integrate the Facebook database into their applications. This means they can use Facebook to try and get dates without actually having to ask anyone out, shy nerds that they are. Of these, the most popular is Matchbook evolution, where the user signs into Facebook and clicks any friends they're crushing on. Then they harass the hell out of all their friends, specifically those they clicked, to sign up for the service and do similar. If the other person clicks them, then the Internet explodes and baby Internets are born. These are called Web Two-Point-Ohs. If that's too intense for you, you can also try Date Machina, which tries to match people based on interests, and MatchBook, which does similar. Also, the rest of the Facebook Developers site is pretty sweet as well, with some of the applications on it being actually useful, like the Campus Book Exchange, note-sharing service Stu.dicio.us and web-based calendar fbCal.

Facebook Developers
developers.facebook.com
Matchbook Revolution
matchrevolution.com
Matchbook
kornnuts.com/facebook/matchbook
Campus Book Exchange
bookfaced.com
Stu.dicio.us
stu.dicio.us
fbCal
fbcal.com

4. Link your blog to Facebook

Those who are already bored enough to be on Facebook are likely also those bored enough to keep a blog. Indeed, blogs form a sort of paradox: although they make up 75 per cent of the Internet, nobody actually reads them. They are boredom manifest. So, why not combine Facebook and blogs? This unholy union can be created with Facebook's Atom/RSS feed importer, which converts blog entries to the Facebook "Note" system. To do this, go to Facebook's My Notes page and click the "Edit import settings" on the right sidebar. Then supply the address of the blog's feed and voilà! Normal, unread Interweb blogorrhea becomes super, unread, Facebook blogorrhea! Our children will thank us for documenting our era so carefully.

Have a crucial tech question? Is something on fire? Is your cat in your PC, eating your megahutz? Email aendrew at gauntlet.ucalgary.ca!

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