Thursday, March 5th, 2009

It is now 7:02PM on March 4, 2009, GMT-5.

I will choose a date of 5PM March 5th (tomorrow). But in my experience, I will have to set my submit time to 10PM, which will be mistaken as GMT time, subtracted by 5, resulting in a displayed post time of 5PM March 5th (tomrrow). But I predict it wont ACTUALLY post until 10PM. [Just to further confuse the issue]

Unfortunately this Facebook Application Idea would not work, as it would end up messaging random people who don’t install the app, most likely a violation of anti-spam rules. Then again, you never know. Here’s the idea for my Facebook App, the “Manatee Joke Sender”:

South Park - Clint - by Clint - Towelie shirt First off, you need to know what a “Manatee Joke” is. You can read about it HERE. Basically, South Park criticized Family Guy, in their two-part episode Cartoon Wars, for writing jokes with manatees. They said they had manatees in a tank, with ideas written on balls. Things like “Gary Coleman”, “Mexico”, and “Laundromat”. The manatees then select these balls at random, and a joke is made. In South Park, they parody Family Guy, and show them breaking away to an imaginary flashback — “Remember that time I took Gary Coleman to a Mexican laundromat?”

The whole point of their criticism is that Family Guy’s jokes are completely random and have nothing to do with the plot:

Don’t you ever, ever compare me to Family Guy, you hear me Kyle? Compare me to Family Guy again, and, so help me, I will kill you where you stand! Do you have any idea what it’s like? Everywhere I go: “Hey Cartman you must like Family Guy, right?” “Hey, your sense of humor reminds me of Family Guy, Cartman!” I am nothing like Family Guy! When I make jokes, they are inherent to a story! Deep situational and emotional jokes based on what is relevant and has a point, not just one random interchangeable joke after another!
—Eric Cartman, Cartoon Wars Part I

So anyway.. Facebook has fan pages. For example, you can search for Gary Coleman and click “Become a fan”.

Deep Space Manatee by nickelcroquette @ flickr

Deep Space Manatee by nickelcroquette @ flickr

This leads me to the manatee idea on a social network. Pick 3 random things — Gary Coleman, Mexico, and laundromats. Obviously these 3 things have to have fan pages on facebook, but hey, you can fan “socks” and “nitrogen” (yes, the gas) if you want on facebook. Just about everything has a facebook fan page!

The application picks 3 random things… And then cues the admin to write a joke using these 3. The joke is then sent to all facebook people who are fans of the 3 items intended. So it hopefully only goes to people who would appreciate the humor.

Sadly, this sounds like a lot of effort to implement, it would be considered a nuisance or spam by the people receiving the joke, and there’s probably no money in it. And an AI could not write funny jokes; it would have to prompt a human.

I still think there’s potential here… Someone should do it. Just not me :)