Archive | August, 2011

I’ve got more Klout than Congress

31 Aug

Klout logo, Klout, the measure of social media influenceOr, did you know that you’re in the (online) presence of greatness?

Now, before we get any further, I’m just going to head this off at the pass, predicting e-mails and comments that I’m sure to receive:

“Maggie, that was a really great blog post, but you spelled clout wrong , it’s clout with a C, not klout with a K . You might want to go back and fix it.”

Actually, for once in my life, I didn’t spell something wrong. (Shocking.) Klout with a K is a proper noun, it’s a system that measures your social media influence . As Klout’s website puts it:

“Our friendships and professional connections have moved online, making influence measurable for the first time in history. When you recommend, share, and create content you impact others. Your Klout Score measures that influence on a scale of 1 to 100.”

Mean GirlsSo, basically, it’s a an internet popularity contest, a measure of your social capital and personal brand. The higher your Klout score, the higher your social media influence. Klout uses gamification to draw you in and even gives you free stuff… so, it’s completely addicting. Getting free things because people like my Facebook status? Turning my social capital into real capital? Yes please! (Of course, the things you get are from paid advertisers who want you to use your social media influence to increase their social media influence…) Continue reading

Don’t be Evil – Oops, too late

29 Aug

Or, Google doesn’t care if you think they’re creepy.

Close up on physical Google logo

Photo credit to halilgokdal

Google’s corporate policy is don’t be evil, but sometimes in their quest for power (um, I mean information, yeah, that’s it…), they sometimes lose sight of that.  Recently, Google’s come under a lot of fire for enforcing a real name policy on Google+.  (Basically, Google requires you to use your name that you go by in real life, not any sort of handle or screen name.  For more on the Google+ real policy and the debate behind it, read my earlier post “Publicness, Persistence, and the case against Real Name policies”.)

Hello my name is Bob happy trees

Photo credit to sashafatcat

In their enforcement of the real name policy, they’ve made a lot of mistakes: not accepting people’s actual real names because they didn’t fit into a common western name paradigm, disabling users’ accounts for violating the policy, not being flexible in borderline cases …  But, generally, they’ve acted pretty conciliatory about their actions.  The party line was: this is for users’ benefit, people want to be in an environment where they know who their talking to, etc. Continue reading

40,000 Words and Counting

27 Aug

Or, I like it, I really like it

Birthday cakes shaped like presents, fontant

This is my 100th blog post.  TV shows get a party when they reach their 100th episode, because it means that they’re ready for syndication.  What does is mean for a blog?  Do I get a cake with my face on it?  (Can we have a reverse blog giveaway contest where you all send me cakes?)

Joking aside, I’m strangely proud of myself.  I’m not usually big on the concept of “follow-through”.  (Last time I moved, I found like four journals with the first page written in them: “Dear Diary, This time I’m really going to do it…”  Never happened.) Continue reading

I wanna check you out… from the library

24 Aug

Or, a library has a great new program and I have terrible new jokes

Library by ellen forsyth

Photo credit to ellen forsyth

Most of the time when libraries are covered in new media circles, it’s because of stories like, “Library adds new computer wing” or “Local library creates Facebook page”.  I’ve seen them, I’m sure you’ve seen them; they’re a dime a dozen.  So, that’s why I was so surprised to see a library branching out in a new (non-tech) way – and getting coverage in social media for doing it.

PSFK is reporting that a Canadian library is now letting you check out “human books”, living experts on the topics that you seek to study.  The library will arrange for you to meet with an expert on the topic of your choice over coffee.  …And this is the place for a really bad joke about checking people out at the library.  Awkward pickup artists have just gotten an infusion of new material.  Get ready for “That looks like a good book, but I’d rather check you out.” Continue reading

If the earth shakes and no one Tweets about it, did it really happen?

23 Aug
Earthquake! by martinluff

Photo credit to martinluff

Or, In which I learn I’m a sucker

So today I’m sitting at my desk and all of a sudden I feel like I’m shaking… Okay, I’m going to kill the (lack of) suspense right here and tell you all that we could feel the earthquake here in Ohio.  It was so slight here that it could have been anything: maintenance on the building, construction outside, me having low blood sugar… My initial reaction, I’ll Google it:  “Earthquake August 23”.  Press Search.  …and Google comes up with nothing.  (Granted I should have realized that this would happen since Google’s not liveindexing anymore.)

So then I check Twitter.  About 90% of my feed was filled with “Dude, was that an earthquake?”  (About three minutes later those tweets were replaced with “I can’t believe everyone’s tweeting about the earthquake.”)  And seeing all those tweets, it was a strange feeling, some kind of combination of validation and relief.  Like, Twitter says there was an earthquake, so that proves it.  My own knowledge of what I had personally experienced wasn’t enough; I need social media to validate it for me. Continue reading

The Six Degrees of Kevin Facebook

22 Aug
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon - Way to own your own meme

Way to own your own meme, Kevin Bacon!

Or, Watch Maggie geek out about Facebook and math at the same time

Yesterday, I woke up to find that The Social Times had an article called “The ‘Small World Experiment’: Yahoo and Facebook Help Research Six Degrees of Separation”.  Then I listened to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” – and it was the one where they interviewed Kevin Bacon.  He talked all about the game and how originally he had thought it was people making fun of him, i.e. this guy has been in so many movies and he still sucks.  Kevin Bacon’s personal insecurities aside, I took it as a sign that I should write a blog post about the Six Degrees research. Continue reading

Personal Branding though Social Media Profile Fields

20 Aug

Or, defining the rules by which we define ourselves

The Open Web Identity is the Platform by Matthew Burbee

Photo credit to Matthew Burbee

Forms and fields are nothing new.  We’ve always had to fill out employment applications and census forms by reducing our lives to just the words that could fit in the blanks or the choices for the check boxes provided.  But they were one off forms, which were then buried in drawers, not published for the world to see.

Social networking is changing that.  Now, we’re filling out forms about ourselves every day and making the information public to our friends, family, and the internet at large.  (And they’re public not in the sense of public records, but in the sense of “Hey, you guys!”)  Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. have made the rules of our personal brands.  They’ve told us you need a picture, you need a job title, you need an education history.  Without these and other fields filled in, your profile (really your personal brand) is suspect.  Continue reading

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