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When I opened my Facebook today, I was surprised to find a link to an article entitled ‘Tax agency spies via Facebook’ (the article in Dutch).

In short: the Belgian tax agency is said to watch people on network sites like Facebook and Netlog. Information that is found on the web, cannot be used as evidence, but may lead to further controls.

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Before I forget. I changed jobs. I’m a ‘web 2.0 specialist’ at anaXis right now.

And … euh …

  • Don’t mention the website. We know. It’s ugly :-). Won’t last too long before there’s a brand new one.
  • Find us at Facebook.
  • Yesterday in Spanish class I had to explain what I do. Everybody had to ask each other ‘qué haces?’. I kind of ended up explaining web 2.0 first and then what anaXis expects me to do with it. Of course, that was in Dutch. Cause what the hell is a web 2.0 specialist in Spanish and how do you explain that with a basic vocabulary? First time since long that I wished I was still a journalist. I would have been able to simply answer “Soy una periodista. Y tu, que haces?” Qué?
  • Websites by anaXis: the one of the wonderful Winterland event in Hasselt and a TV series website ‘De Smaak van de keyser’.

That’s what Bill Tancer reveals in his book “Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why It Matters”.

Tancer analyzes the searches people made on the internet during the past years. According to him, online search is a good indicator of what’s going on in the world and what people care about.

The results show that less people are interested in porn than ten years ago. Nowadays, 10% percent of the searches involve porn, as opposed to 20% a decade ago. Internet traffic to porn sites has decreased, whereas the traffic to network sites like Facebook, MySpace and Orkut has exploded. Especially the group between 18 and 24 years old spends more time on those platforms.

I found the news via the Dutch website Computer Idee. It struck me because the Belgian social networking site Netlog announced great news yesterday. In August, the website had more than 1 billion pageviews a month. Which no Belgian site has ever done before.

I haven’t read Tancer’s book yet, but I do have some questions (that are maybe answered in the book).

  • Ten years ago, there were almost no social network sites, so I guess it’s a bit normal that there are a lot more searches and traffic to those sites nowadays.  I’m curious whether/how Tancer took that into account making his calculations and comparing searches about porn versus social networking sites.
  • In the article on Computeridee is mentioned that youngsters are so busy chatting that they probably don’t have much time left to surf to porn. Well, I have my profile on Facebook, Netlog, Hyves, Aslpages and other social network sites.
    First of all I see that a lot of the profile pictures of those boys and ladies are quite daring. And even I with my very ‘innocent’ picture get a lot of (unasked for) attention from the other sex.
    Second of all, there is also porn on those sites, showing YouTube movies of naked girls, boob fan clubs collecting pictures etc. So porn just doesn’t stand alone anymore on the internet, but has become a part of amongst others social network sites. The web gets more and more fragmented and personalized: Content and services are no longer isolated on one site, but they are moving around the internet via all kinds of links, bookmarks and applications. Which could then mean that users consume/find/search for porn differently but not necessarily less than ten years ago?


According to some friends of mine, who can know and who do know, the social networking platform Facebook is on its return.

Nevertheless, I consider it a great platform. Of course it’s not always user friendly and there’s a lot of crap on it. But…thanks to Facebook, a ‘lost’ South African friend of mine found me and now I can see pictures of her, her husband and her newborn baby. In other words: lost and found 🙂 Again thanks to Facebook, I manage to invite people with whom I studied abroad for a great reunion. I can immediately see who joins, who cannot come,…and everybody can invite other friends. And oh yeah, thanks to Facebook I have discussions about online journalism matters with professionals all over the world. Another example, I am part of a regional group on the platform, and there’s even a real life party coming up, with all the people of that virtual group. Not to mention that I can see who lives in my neighbourhood and that we can contact each other anytime.

Some people consider that creepy, I like it. You just give away as much as you want on the platform. And you discover quite some funny things. According to my friends I am the best singer in town, haha, they obviously never heard me sing in the shower 🙂 I also have my own solar system (of which I’m very proud) and according to some quizzes, I am a daffodil (which flower are you?), a pomegranate (which fruit are you) and Disney Princess Belle (Which Disney Princess are you?). Great, isn’t it, who wouldn’t want to know those things about himself? 😉

You could call me a Facebook addict. I practically live in Facebook. Except in the weekends, Belle reserves them for her beast.

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