Since my last “Idea, by monetary value” was so successful (at least a half dozen of you showed interest in paying some small amount of money for it) I decided to propose a truly worthless invention.
I would like to have a version of facebook that is auditory-based rather than textual.
When the user logs in, instead of seeing a list of quotes and “what’s on your minds” they would hear the ambient roar of every one of their associates posts, recorded in their own voices. Each post would still be represented by the speaker’s avatar but they’d appear in an illusory three dimensional space, more recent posts in front and older posts receding into the darkness (or brightness). As you navigate through this “space” and click on a particular post it would become loud enough to become discernible.
In this way, facebook would become like an endless virtual cafe or salon. Unlike the real world, as each moment passed it would be recorded and preserved, still available to us. We could wander from table to table joining conversations that happened days ago while we were doing something else. The passage of time would be irrelevant. Effectively the experience swaps space in for time, so the same person would appear to be in many places at once but in fact was was/is in many times at once.
To complete the metaphor, non-verbal posts (such as links or quizzes) would have auditory queues that compliment a theme of each user’s choice. For instance, one user could decide that all quizzes would sound like chamber music from a society drawing room, another might have facebook sound like a noisy bar, and another might choose the explosions of a battlefield. I personally would like to think of facebook as a busy cafeteria: quizzes would sound like the tinkling from spoons stirring coffee cups and links would be the spray of the dishwasher on ubiquitous plastic trays. There would be no background music, just the murmur of a server asking “you want gravy on that?” or “Sweet or unsweet?” (as they do in Southern cafeterias when you order tea). The entire effect would be filtered through some reverb to simulate the echo of ceramic tile and glass.
I doubt anyone will take me up on this idea. I don’t see how it can make a penny. But at least I’ve dreamed.