Gareth Stack Explains Bebo, and Very Well Too!

In my NewsTalk 106 interview today, I referenced psychology student Gareth Stack‘s excellent article on Bebo for, where he compared the browsing and location of friends on the site to slot machine gambling. I thought it was a great quote, so had to mention it.

To refer to a comment from Mark Tighe about the search facility introduced in Bebo, I’ve used it and it is pretty poor… If Gareth’s comparison of Bebo search with “variable ratio conditioning schedule” is a deliberate ploy on behalf of the Bebo creators to inhibit searches and make you spend more time browsing for those elusive friends, it’s a darn effective one. Searches only seem to work on names, and even then there is very little relevant information about the person in the search summary apart from clicking on their links and finding out more. Compare this to sites like Orkut or MySpace and the search facility on Bebo looks positively stone age. How can I find all my ex-classmates from a particular set of years in NUI Galway without trawling through 50+ pages of profile summaries on Bebo? Not very easily, but it makes me spend more time on the site, reading more targetted advertising, and yes, there is a certain sense of achievement when you do eventually beat the system/slot machine and find that person/win that jackpot!

(Sorry I couldn’t recall your name in time for the radio reference Gareth, but I’d highly recommend that you all read the aforementioned article if you have any interest in Bebo or OSN [online social networking] sites in general. Instant success as Simon McGarr said; the article was written just one day ago, and so it found its way into the mainstream media very quickly!)

BTW, in case you’re curious, here’s what you see in NUI Galway when you try to access Bebo and its subsites 🙂 (unless you use a proxy of course).


The requested URL could not be retrieved

While trying to retrieve the URL:

The following error was encountered:

  • Access Denied.

Central access control has blocked this site which is of no academic value following complaints from a large number of students.

Generated Wed, 29 Mar 2006 20:03:35 GMT by (squid/2.5.STABLE6)

17 thoughts on “Gareth Stack Explains Bebo, and Very Well Too!”

  1. Ha! Thanks for the mention John, ‘Of no academic value’, I like that. It reminds me of that great Bill Hick’s quote where he lampoons the US supreme court’s definition of pornography. ‘Of no artistic value, and causes sexual thoughts… Sounds like every add on TV.’

  2. It is frustrating when trying to access bebo when you have a number of mails coming in, is their a back door link in to beat the surf control? Not so much for me as im not a student but just in the job trying to get on, on thew lunch break. Any ideas?

  3. This is some stuff y did yall block bebo yall some fools!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. I find that browsing bebo is ultimately what i need to do, but not efficient

    Until i found mobile bebo when i signed up for o2
    i then used mobile bebo from the browser to view bebo this way.

    Ultimately i can

    Read and Reply to comment
    Read and Reply to Mails
    Browse Friends Profiles
    Add New Friends

    All without
    Silly Skins
    Stupid Applications
    Massive amounts of scrolling
    Useless information in profile fields
    Just name, pic, general info, comments.

    The Perfect solution to a useful site

  6. get me on bebo facebook and tagged a site that will get me on them all this is shit one for school pleeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz thank uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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