FACEBOOK & POINTS OF VIEW: 23rd November

We had a double treat today. Firstly, Cara, spoke about Facebook, including the history. It was set up by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. Originally named TheFacebook, it was initially for use by university students and staff at Harvard. It soon became available to all who have an email address. It is free to use, being funded by Advertising. Instagram and Whatsapp are also owned by Facebook, although run as separate companies. Twitter was also mentioned, as was Tumblr and Snapchat.

Levels of privacy were discussed. You can unfriend people, or block. A tutorial is available on YouTube to help. There is an option to use private messages. Most people who use Facebook do so to keep in contact with friends and family, or organise events. There are also pages for companies, and groups. Adverts have an option not to show this page again. Inappropriate content can be reported, and many people just ignore what they’re not interested in.

Blogs were also discussed and these can be found using “Blogger”, “Word Press” or in “Google” search.

After the break, Alasdair spoke about Points of View. He gave out some useful handouts, and discussion followed regarding use of first, second or third person. First person narration was popular for insights into a person’s character. A good example is the Alan Bennett monologues. Second person is not used so much in fiction as it is not really the way we tell stories. However, there is an example where you can start off in second person, then move on to first or third person to continue the story. This plunges you straight into the action.

Third person is probably the most popular for fiction, due to its flexibility. It is often a good idea to change point of view to get a different perspective on the story, and can make all the difference to your fiction.

Admin note: There’s a marvellous example of second person narrative in Vendela Vida’s The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty. Read more about it here, or listen to more about it in The Guardian podcast here.

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