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Author Topic: what's so social about media, anyway /drags on gauloise  (Read 6602 times)
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dhex
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« on: September 02, 2009, 03:17:57 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/30/magazine/30FOB-medium-t.html?em

Quote
“The more dependent we allow ourselves to become to something like Facebook — and Facebook does everything in its power to make you more dependent — the more Facebook can and does abuse us,” Harmsen explained by indignant e-mail. “It is not ‘your’ Facebook profile. It is Facebook’s profile about you.”

there are many things wrong with the presumptions in this paragraph. perhaps more than i can possibly count (i only have ten fingers) and certainly more than i can possibly deal with in any real depth.

more to the point, this is also an article about a few of the author's friends, so...yeah. perhaps as media cycles shorten, people will have to relearn the basics of online activity (everything you say can and will be archived against you...maybe) every six months or so.
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FortNinety
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2009, 03:34:55 PM »

My God, I think that might be the dumbest piece I've read from the Times in a long time, which is saying a lot.
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FortNinety
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2009, 03:43:15 PM »

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My friend Alex joined four years ago at the suggestion of “the coolest guy on the planet,” she told me in an e-mail message. For a while, they cultivated a cool-planet online gang. But then Scrabulous was shut down, someone told her she was too old for Facebook, her teenage stepson seemed to be losing his life to it and she found the whole site crawling with mercenaries trying to sell books and movies. “If I am going to waste my time on the Internet,” she concluded, “it will be playing in online backgammon tournaments.”

lol

And sorry to be hating on the Times once again, but seriously, this is news? Somehow I find the article more obnoxious than the one about hipsters getting fat.

But then again, the fact that people honestly give serious thought to nonsense related to Facebook means that they're just doing their jobs and speaks volumes about the world we live in.

BTW, I love people who think quitting Facebook is big a fucking thing. But considering how the reasons usually stated, like how they spent too much time on it and such and such, which points towards their inability to controls themselves on such a minute level, I guess it is a big deal.

These people need to get a real hobby, like smoking.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 03:47:25 PM by FortNinety » Logged
dhex
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2009, 04:25:19 PM »

well, to be fair to the reporter:

1) getting solid numbers about facebook cancellations is probably unlikely.
2) solid numbers might sound unimpressive or even meaningless.
3) you're not going to get the go-ahead to necessarily treat this piece as more of a diary entry than a brite.
4) now that we no longer have column inches there are a hell of a lot of column inches to fill.

again, i'm the guy who doesn't have a facebook account so while i'm somewhat interested as it's vaguely related to my hobby of understanding online culture i also don't "get" the entire idea behind it for the most part. i think it makes sense for someone like my mom, who can use a centralized way of keeping in touch with friends and seeing pictures of their grandkids and whatnot. it makes less sense for folks who already self-publish in a number of ways beyond the necessity of having a facebook account if you're marketing yourself or your institution/business online.

there are some "cute" ideas coming out (i'm doing some work on the web marketing side these days) in terms of interfacing with social networks and at least making sure the option is there, but i do think the most interesting facet is how people market/present/exhibit themselves and their understanding of what privacy is and is not.

what i found interesting about the otherwise crazy original quote* is the idea that facebook in and of itself is abusive in some way, rather than the company that owns it or the software engineers who tweak the user experience. this is a rather common rhetorical turn for excitable, theatrical people and all that but it does seem a bit over the line.

* i spoke and continue to speak about internal monologues and cell phones and what has been lost. however, i never could push myself to assign sentience/autonomy to the platform or malice to the companies involved.**

** the animu, not so much. Smiley
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isfet
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2009, 12:04:33 AM »

perhaps it's that i've been involved with computers for a long time now, or perhaps it's that i'm not easily "consumed" by things, but i can honestly never understand articles like this.  i guess, in my mind, the internet is such a complete joke that i find anyone who really seems either terrified, obsessed or distraught with it really doesn't get the bigger picture.

that said, i have a facebook account and it serves a few functions.  primarily, it's kind of an easy way to organize people to do stuff.  yes, there are e-vites for this as well as address books in e-mail, but sometimes it's easier to just make something and click on pictures of the people you want to invite.  beyond that, it's just sort of a fun way to check up on what people are up to once in a while.

anyone outside of high school or PERHAPS college who takes it more seriously than that needs to have himself analyzed.  i remember days, long ago, when people would play passive-aggressive games with each other via facebook.  "oh no!  so and so says that they're single now!"
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scratchmonkey
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2009, 02:36:32 PM »

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He says, not entirely in jest, that he considers it a repressive regime akin to North Korea...

My reaction, as always, to this sort of thing is to wonder what kind of immense personal problems these people must have in order to be acting this way. Mainly because I tend to view these sorts of things as projections of one kind or another. And by "these sorts of things" I guess I mean basically all forms of magical thinking.

BTW, everybody should read Didion's "Year of Magical Thinking". It's so rough, so tough; worth it though.
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scratchmonkey
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2009, 02:42:23 PM »

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An early faction lost faith in 2008, when Facebook’s beloved Scrabble application, Scrabulous, was pulled amid copyright issues. It was suddenly clear that Facebook was not just a social club but also an expanding force on the Web, beholden to corporate interests.

Okay, this is the outrageous belly laugh statement of the day so far.
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FortNinety
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2009, 02:53:45 PM »

I just think it comes down to people wanting to be victims, even if they're not, and especially if they're white.

Like Joe says, people who "embrace" shit like Facebook, and Twitter, at the end of the day think too much about it, to forget about how empty their lives are, or have asinine priories.

BTW, it's such a blast hanging out with a bunch of PR types that are trying to forge new ground in the social media space, or at least aspire to, like I recently did this past Monday night. Because they love spouting lines such as "its awesome how people are generating their own content!!!" like there's still a gun pointed at them behind the firm, as they often love to recite at boardroom meetings at the such, even though you're at a bar and you'd think it's okay and give up the shtick for at least at the end of the day. I guess a good portion of the shakiness in their voice is their inability to cope with the fact that there really isn't any serious money to be made, at least in comparison to what they're used to with traditional print/television/etc that's all going down the toilet, but they have to fake it in order to maintain their jobs and lifestyles.

Obviously the most fascinating thing about the burgeoning online landscape is all the sociological aspects, and as much as 99.98% of PR types love to go on and on about how exciting it is, oh dear lord, do they fucking hate it.

Hence the panic with Facebook going down the tubes so to speak? People are finally figuring out ways on how to exploit it, and it's already too late. It's actually why I like Twitter so much, it's so internet 2.0 boiled down to it's barest essential; you have 141 characters to say something, period. The fact that it exposes how boring and banal and dumb people so easily is most of the charm.
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dhex
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2009, 03:21:50 PM »

Quote
BTW, everybody should read Didion's "Year of Magical Thinking". It's so rough, so tough; worth it though.

oh jesus. i'm reading "the pawnbroker" right now because liz won't give me books to read that aren't soul destroying. it's similarly rough. she also gave me "Woman at Point Zero" which is a nonfiction first-person account of a female prostitute executed for murder written by el saadawi, whom i later found out was fgm'd at a young age and had to run to north carolina from egypt because she pissed off the wrong islamists by being too much of a commie feminist.

at this point reading sophie's choice would be a warm blanket.

anyway, yeah, social media is what it is; smart non-media companies know to put up a presence (at least so no one else can do it in their name) and otherwise keep their distance. i've actually heard of some surgeons using twitter in distance learning operations, which seems ok until it turns out someone was tweeting and a patient died. even if the death was unrelated to the tweeting that will cause a wave of retarded reactions throughout the healthcare community.
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