That Elusive Killer App

Although I still work in IT, I’m a long way out of the development game.  Which is a shame, because I’ve finally identified the killer app to make the author rich beyond his wildest dreams.  In this brave new world of social networking, where even your sister’s cat has its own Page on Facebook, and your nephew has a dozen MySpace pages for bands he’s been in.  Even though he’s only 13.  And none of them ever actually played a gig.  In this brave new world, where the incessant #np tweets from friends make you hate bands you used to love.  In this brave new world, where you follow people you’re interested in, only for them to endlessly re-post special interest stuff that anyone who’s actually interested in will already have seen.  In this crazy, information rich, content light brave new world, what we really, really, desperately needs is … the Proud Parent Filter.

This marvel of software engineering would apply intelligent analysis to every post from each of your friends, regardless of source.  It would then determine whether or not any one post qualified as Something Interesting that you may care to know about their progeny, or whether it was simply Gushing Crap and should be filtered away without blighting your sight.  After all, some of this stuff is interesting.  I’m not a heartless monster.  No, really.  I care about my friends, and I care about the people they care about.  I’m interested when something notable occurs.  I’m just not particularly keen on a photo montage of Nappies We Have Known.  Or applauding the fact that Daddy’s Little Angel just blew bubbles for the 100th time today.  Or indeed that Mummy’s Darling still exists.  Much as they did 30 minutes ago.   And 15 minutes before that.   And an hour earlier than that.  Unless they’ve been seriously, life threateningly ill, in which case, yes, please, tell me, and I’ll be round with the champagne and a cuddly toy.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m delighted that people care about their kids.  I hope they continue to do so, and remain proud and loving parents throughout their lives.  God knows there’s enough pain and heartache out there with neglected, abused and unloved sprogs; we don’t need any more of it.  It’s not even that I object to people vomiting their every movement, bowel or otherwise, across the Internet.  The facility’s there, if they want to do it, fine.  OK, I choose not to do so; when the pressure gets too much I have this obscure, tucked away blog where I can get my jollies, safe in the knowledge it won’t be read.  But I respect that others have both the means and the desire to treat public feeds as some kind of personal Dear Diary.  Good on them.  But oh for the day when the AI filters get good enough to present a digest of the simpering toss whilst allowing through the few genuine gems as they arrive.  Oh happy, happy day.

If someone then extends it to deliver mild electric shocks to people who persistently make a balls of using the apostrophe; who treat “your” as a replacement for “you’re”; who “would of” done something, if only they knew English;  and who think that it’s street and cool for middle-class white folks in the Home Counties to call each other “blud” … well, I’ll probably post a photo of myself looking as smug and happy as one of those friends’ babies that’s just comprehensively soiled itself and is enjoying the warm glow of complete satisfaction.  It’ll fit right in.

In the unlikely event that any Proud Parents of my acquaintance actually read this, it isn’t about you.  No, not even you.  Not personally.  Not explicitly.  I still love you.   I still like your kids.  Well, most of them, most of the time. I’ll keep looking at the photos.   Reading the interminable updates.  Grunting encouragingly when pushed.  But until someone develops that app, well, you may just have to put up with the odd pointed rant from time to time.  Suck it up.  The rest of us have to.

UPDATE (27th August 2012): it appears I am not alone, and that someone has taken a first step to addressing the issue; thanks to Vagenda for bringing it to my attention (although I won’t avail myself of it, because I do actually like some of the pics that come up …)