This week, we’ll be taking a look at my good friend Jim Bampfield’s latest Facebook status update.
Posted at 20:05 on Sunday, 13th March 2010, the status update follows the CSS style template common to all Facebook pages. The fonts used are clean and readable, and part of the Non-Serif font family favoured by Facebook. The main body of text is black, while Jim’s name and the ‘Like’ and ‘Comment’ buttons are in an easy blue. The posting time is in a non-intrusive grey. Jim’s name is clickable, and leads on to his somewhat barren profile page. A small thumbnail graphic, also leading to his profile page, is displayed next to the status update. The graphic itself eschews the fairly normal Facebook practice of using the user’s own image, instead using an image of Lion-O from Thundercats. No explanation is given for this flight of fancy (and the image itself is questionable in its accuracy, as Jim resembles the ‘Ghostbusters’ Egon Spengler more than Lion-O). Either way, as a simple avatar it’ll do, and Jim doubtless has his reasons for it. The comments below the main status use the same font family, but are offset in blue-gray boxes to distinguish them from the main update. Again, the user’s names and avatars link directly to the relevant profiles.
So visually at least the status is clear, easy to read, and look very clean, bright and presentable. Your enjoyment of the avatar’s will, of course, vary upon your personal preference.
Unfortunately, the content of the status message itself, and the comments after are not as nice to see. Foregoing the profound opportunity of the huge public forum Facebook grants him, Jim merely opts for a groan-worthy joke where the humour is derived from misdirection and assumption. There’s no moral to the tale, it’s overly short, and lacks any attempt at good plot building or structure. The comments further degrade matters, descending further into languid punnery and bad jokes. If you’re looking for heartfelt, moving words or powerful sociopolitical commentary, then I suggest you look elsewhere. Disappointing.