Facebook killed my Friends

I interviewed Jill Golick about her Story2Oh! project a while ago for a Blogcritics article called Story2Oh! Spreads Its Narrative Across the Internet. (Jill, House fans will remember, is the Canadian TV writer who had House writer Pamela Davis in to speak to a class and shared some tasty tidbits with me that didn’t fit into her own blog.)

Well, the novel storytelling approach involving blogs, videos, Flickr, and other web 2.0 sites doesn’t include Facebook anymore now that some– or at least one — outraged citizens realized they’d been Friended by fictional characters and complained. Fictional profiles are technically against Facebook policy, but they are everywhere, and in this case, they were not only harmless, they were a lot of fun for many people who have critical thinking skills, a sense of personal responsibility, and a sense of humour.

Jill tells the story of her characters’ tragic Facebook demise here, though I’m with those who wish she didn’t feel apologetic. As I recounted in that Blogcritics article, I chose not to Friend the character who first contacted me because I didn’t know who he was. I dug deeper after the second character’s request and a simple check of her profile told me she was fictional. A quick Google search would have done the same. Who blindly Friends a completely unvetted stranger and then gets outraged when it turns out they didn’t know the first thing about them?

Story2Oh! will live on, and storytelling on the Internet will continue to mature. I just hope the audience will mature along with it.

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