Editorial: September 2006
Facebook is de rigueur. What with over 90 million active users world wide (having doubled every six months since its inception in 2004), Facebook is by far the leading social media and utility website in the world, leaving others trailing far behind in cyber dust.
Since I joined nearly two years ago, I have logged on on most days, connecting with all sorts of old friends and flames, many whom I had lost touch with for years, if not decades. All of a sudden, old university friends whom I last received a Christmas card from in 1997 were sending me pints of lagers and tickling my belly as though we were still freshies in our halls of residence, giggling, as we shared a cheap can of Tennent’s Super before going out for the night at the student union. News of ex boyfriends’ latest failed romances were popping up on my screen as adorable icons of broken hearts for me to, ahem, gloat over, and the daily status, thoughts and insights, of friends as far flung as Chile and South Africa were announced to each other as though we were chatting over a morning coffee, “Judith never realised how significant Animal Flouse was in influencing her own uni experience”, “Bob has decided to go celibate for a month”, “Fabio can no longer party for 72 hours non stop like he did when he was eighteen”, or “Phil is looking forward to a Chinese takeaway tonight” and other such pithy trivia. It is so addictive my friends charmingly call it Crackbook.
Facebook has something for pretty much everyone — if you are online that is. What with it being the number one photo sharing application on the web (my cheesy holiday and embarrassing party snaps are among 24 million photos updated daily), with more than six million active user groups on the site (I seem to be a member of the Chiang Mai Cricket Club, the not-quite religion, Dudism and the I Bet I Can Find 1 Million People Who Hate ThaksinShinawatra groups, among many others), and featuring 24,000 applications built on its platform to bling bling and spice up your page or to annoy and spam your friends with and another 200,000 proposed by programmers, Facebook’s credentials and pedigree speaks for itself. Though, I am not ignorant of detractors’ outrages: dodgy privacy policies, dicey advertising and marketing gimmicks and such.
From my waffling preamble you can probably figure out that I am a bit of a fan. So, to jump onto the popular bandwagon, Citylife has set up our very own Facebook page. I would like to invite all of you who are already members, or those interested in joining, to put a search for Citylife Chiang Mai and join up our little wee Lanna network. We can then exchange ideas and opinions, we can upload photographs, we can keep in touch and communicate with each other so that we can all stay informed and current about what is going on in Chiang Mai. You can rant and rave about us, or — and admittedly, this I prefer — wax lyrical about Citylife.
So, I hope to see you all online at Citylife’snew home on Facebook and wish you all a lovely September.
It is always fascinating to see how the other half lives, and so this month, I have written a small piece on how you can seriously blow your bucks during a weekend in Chiang Mai (if you have a black credit card that is). Accompanying the article are stunning photographs (and cover photo) by super photographer Brent Madison, taken at the Mandarin Oriental DharaDhevi. Other feature articles include Kelty Moser’s report on the bourgeoning number of expat groups so you can get your teeth into something as you spend your golden years here. James Austin Farrell has, remarkably, written rather cheerful articles this month, with an interview with The Contender Asia’s runner up winner who lives in Chiang Mai, as well as his rolling adventure at the X-Centre inside Chiang Mai’s first Zorb Ball. Wyndham Hollis peeks behind the curtains of love motels and reveals all (I bet that is the first page you turn to!) and ESP bids us farewell after nearly 200 Weather &Environment columns over the past sixteen years.