Tag Archives: Internet Culture

On the Other Side of the Digital Divide

2 Oct

Or, Gutter-Diving Isn’t Enough

Photo credit to lisainglasses.

Photo credit to lisainglasses.

I live my life with my feet (or more so, fingers) firmly planted on the internet.  But, this morning, I read an article about the other side of the digital divide.  (Yes, ironically, I read it online.)  The premise was that Paul Miller, a tech columnist for The Verge, had given up the internet for a year.  Through this abstention, he explored how the other half lived and how living like “them” might change his perspective on the world. Continue reading

Do Not Track — Or, At Least Pretend You’re Not Tracking

24 Mar
Restricted Area Keep Out by Zach Klein

Photo credit to Zach Klein.

The other day I sat in on a webinar about using social media data in marketing.  The webinar was fascinating – and the accompanying Twitter discussion was even better.  Towards the end of the conversation, one of the presenters made the point that marketers need to give customers something in exchange for access to their data.  He named a few possible benefits to consumers, but they were all just dressed up forms of personalized advertising.  On Twitter, I commented that, “The problem is that the things you get in exchange for giving personal data are custom ads – valuable to the company, not you.” Then I sat back and watched the retweets roll in. Continue reading

Searching for Meaning in Spam

4 Mar
Delete Button by .::HMU::.

Photo Credit to .::HMU::..

I get a lot of spam – on this blog, on my work blog, and my corporate website.  It feels like the snow that’s still coming down even though it’s March.  (When will it stop?!)  Most of it is rubbish, utter nonsense that I delete out of hand, easily recognizing it for the gratuitous references to Viagra, work from home jobs, or off-shore e-mail providers.

But, sometimes there’s something about it that makes me stop and pay attention.  The way that, even though it’s cold and you wish it would hurry up and get to spring already, perfect snow can still make you think of Santa and Christmas magic.  There’s something about them and the way they’re written than makes me think that they can’t all be from a computer program in China.  And maybe there really is a long lost Nigerian prince who needs my help. Continue reading

Back to the Facebook Future

1 Mar

Or, How to Rewrite Your Facebook History and Take Control of Your Data

back in iphone time by JD Hancock

Photo credit to JD Hancock.

You’ve probably just gotten used to Facebook Timeline and abandoned your “Give us back the old Facebook” page, but Zuckerberg’s gone and moved your cheese again.  GraphSearch, is the newest new Facebook; it integrates search and social – and invades your privacy – as never before.

If you’re like most users of the site, you’ve been through enough versions of “the new Facebook” that you’ve become immune to the hype surrounding an announcement that a new and improved Facebook is on the horizon.  The frequency of upgrades and staggering of the rollouts makes it hard to know when you’ve been upgraded.  Add to that the fact that Facebook doesn’t do version numbers like most software (i.e. there’s no “Facebook 5.1.4” floating in the corner of your screen), and many users don’t even know if they’re on “the new Facebook” or “the old Facebook.” Continue reading

Ohio is for Lovers, Montana is For Badasses

27 Feb

Ohio is for Lovers HatI love autocomplete and the insight it gives you into the zeitgeist of the internet.  I purposely take my time when entering search terms so that Google will throw inadvertently amusing (and sometimes racist) suggestions at me.

Recently @mattshirley41 decided to explore what his fellow netizens think about the United States and mapped the results.  The United States Is… maps autocomplete suggestions for the 50 states. Continue reading

Dawn of the Facebook Dead

21 Feb
Ghosts of Glasgow by atomicjeep

Photo credit to atomicjeep.

A while back, I wrote about the possibility of social automation leading to digital dopplegangers who stayed around long after our deaths (Digital Ghosts – Something creepy this way comes).  Looks like I’m not the only one who’s been thinking about this topic.

@tomscott, creator of the hilarious Actual Facebook Graph Searches tumblr and subsequent meme, created a (also hilarious) video on this topic.  When Facebook Resurrected the Dead takes a mock historical perspective on the creation of the digital afterlife. Continue reading

LinkedIn: The Social Network Where Fun Goes to Die

20 Feb
No Fun Sign

Photo credit to sara_anne.

The other day I was working with some colleagues on a plan for digital communications surrounding the upcoming Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) conferenceLike most things that include the word accounting, buzz about the conference isn’t exactly sticky; it doesn’t rocket around cyberspace like news of Joe Biden’s latest gaff or pictures of Kate’s baby bump.

In order to build excitement for the conference, we’re going to be having social media contests in the lead up to the event.  The topic of discussion: what network to use for the contests: Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Continue reading

Sponsored Clutter: Coming Soon to a Newsfeed Near You

14 Sep

Or, Sponsored Stories are Bad News for Facebook Users

Air show trick flying plane

Photo credit to tqhh

Recently, my Facebook reach has been rather down.  What, I’m I suddenly not as interesting?  Are my pictures not as good?  My posts not as funny?  Although Facebook doesn’t provide individual users with stats about their posts’ engagement and reach, I can tell you what my graph would look like – like a plane crashing from 30,000 feet.

For a while, I was thinking that this was a personal problem – that I’d been so fussed on school and work that I’d let my social media presence slip.  I didn’t even want to think about my Klout score.  Then friends started mentioning that they were experiencing lower engagement, as well.  I started seeing, “Hello, can anyone see this?” posts.  Then I noticed that the same problem was happening on the pages that I admin. Continue reading

I like my Sketchers, but I love my Prada backpack. Can Facebook Tell the Difference?

7 Aug

Or, The Difference Between What You “Like” and What You Like

Facebook like sign by afagen

Photo credit to afagen

Increasingly, the web shows us what it thinks we want to see.  Our Google results and our social media feeds are no longer a real reflection of what the hive mind or our friends have to say on a given topic, but what the powers that be think we want to see about that topic.

Most of the time, they’re right.  As much as we might like to think so, we’re not enigmas.  As we traverse the web, we leave behind digital footprints.  Our likes, our shares, even the pages we view, give Facebook et al insight into what we want to see.

But, sometimes, liking something doesn’t really mean that we like it.  With only the one button to express a myriad of sentiments, a like can mean, “Congrats,” “Cool picture,” “Aww, that sucks,” or many other things.  A like doesn’t actually mean, “I enjoy this and want to see more of it on my newsfeed.” But that’s how Facebook sees it. Continue reading

You Can’t Become a Digital Native

2 Aug

Or, Who Owns the Social Media Jobs?

Risk by avyfain

Photo credit to anyfain

Recently, I wrote about Facebook’s generation clash, in which teens are abandoning Facebook as their parents embrace it.  But, there’s another generation clash going on in social media, too; this one taking place in the professional world of digital marketing.

Last week, Cathryn Sloane, a student at the University of Iowa, wrote “Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25.”  She argued that social media was created by our generation, for our generation, and that we’ve grown up with it.  That, by virtue of being digital natives, the younger generation has an innate understanding of social media that our elders cannot grasp. Continue reading

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