Kirk to Facebook: Surrender or prepare to be boarded.
That's the gist of comments made by William "James Tiberius Kirk" Shatner about his experience with Facebook's new Mentions app, in which he decides to eschew its use in favor of the commoners' Facebook app and the Facebook Pages app.
His acerbic and somewhat disjointed review was posted on a competing social media platform, naturally.
On his fledgling Tumblr blog, Shatner, who seems to have a lot of time on his hands when not chasing kids off his lawn, does a comparison review between Mentions and Facebook's Pages app. It makes for an interesting read, even though 99 percent of his fans will never get to experience the Mentions app themselves.
The complaints start early and come often. Apparently, once Facebook has verified that you are a big enough cigar to download and install the app, the app cannot be initiated until the user selects another user to follow from a suggested list of other Mentions-worthy accounts. Or 'celebrity' accounts, as Shatner refers to them parenthetically throughout the review.
Ironically, and perhaps karma-driven, the first name to pop up on Shatner's list is ol' buddy George "Hikaru Sulu" Takei. Shatner and Takei have had a Spy vs. Spy relationship from day one. Just last week, Takei ripped into Shatner during an appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher. They have not exchanged so much as a Vulcan greeting since their time together on the original "Star Trek" series.
Be that as it may, Takei has enjoyed a career renaissance as an Internet and social media star. Shatner's engagement of Facebook, Twitter and now Tumblr at least shows he is adept -- especially at the age of 83 -- at social media discourse.
Shatner responds to the suggestion of Takei by "rolling his eyes." He chooses Robert Downey Jr. instead, then promptly hides him. Gee, why him? If Shatner's going to play the old "follow and hide" game then why not Beavis and/or Butt-head? They must have accounts already.
Shatner proceeds to conduct a point-by-point comparison between Mentions and Pages sections that is nicely illustrated but verbally a little hard to follow even with sensors on max. He compares The Feed, Mentions vs. Pages's Activity tab, Mention's Notifications against Pages's Insights and each app's Posting features. About the latter, he concludes that the Pages posting section has "sexier" icons. Things get a bit other-worldly when he states "Now here's a conundrum -- both have things that you'd WANT to use -- Q&As, Videos, Emotion Locations and Events along with Photos and Words."
In the very next sentence, he contradictorily concludes "My Preference: Neither -- Clearly both fail on the number of options available to users."
I'm not sure I would have used the word clearly there.
I'll use it here, though: Clearly, this is a review that goes where no review has gone before.