Friday, 24 August 2012

Identies 'r' Us


I have recently been setting about a facebook profile not my own.  Not an attempt to further damage their share price, I’m not sure the stock market could handle another mauling, but as part of the on-line marketing of the weird fiction website that I may have mentioned I am involved with, Spring Heeled Jack.  Now according to a friend and new media advisor, to market a website these days it is necessary to ‘whore yourself across the net’.  His words, not mine.  Personally I prefer to think of it as providing a discreet service to discerning gentlefolk but as this is all getting a tad EL James, I think I’ll kill that metaphor stone dead right now.

One of the peculiar effects of this flurry of facebook activity is that I am now getting existentially weird emails.  I am just computer savvy enough to ensure that most of my email accounts send their messages to the same inbox.  The practical upshot of which is that when I sent from my own profile a friend request to the Spring Heeled Jack profile, a message popped up in my inbox saying ‘Sandy Chadwin wants to be friends with you’ which was surprisingly disconcerting and highly reminiscent of a certain type of self-help book.  Be Your Own Best Friend or Befriending Others by Befriending Yourself type of thing.  You know the sort.  To make it worse, the temptation to turn down my own friendship was surprisingly strong.  ‘That Sandy Chadwin, he’s the sort who’d think nothing of whoring himself across the net.  A J Chadwin and Spring Heeled Jack want nothing to do with such a low fellow,’ I found myself thinking.  After wallowing in this phenomenological mud for a time I calmed down.  I began to think of it as the opposite of identity theft, a kind of identity gift if you like.

Then a message popped up informing me that Spring Heeled Jack is now friends with Sandy Chadwin and I felt as if I’d been left off an invite list.

I wonder what they’re saying about me?

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