Tag Archives: Identity

On Being The Hero Of My Own Story

1 Oct

Or: The Blog Is Back

True Story sign

Photo credit to NCinDC.

In the last few months, this blog has taken a bit of a hiatus.  True, it’s because I’ve been lazy, but it’s also because I’ve been busy.  I got a new job and move to Chicago!  (Yeah, I know, way to bury the lead…)

So, what’s the new job?  It’s digital marketing for Baxter Credit UnionSo, basically, now I get paid to do what I love – and what this blog is about.  And it’s fantastic.  I’m part of a great team of people who are smart and funny and passionate about what they do.  I couldn’t ask for better co-workers.  But, man were they intimidating the first week.  (“I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so scared.”) Continue reading

Facebook’s Generation Clash

21 Jul

Or, the First Time Ever that Kids Tell Adults to Get off the Lawn

No adults allowed unless accompanied by children

Photo credit to tymesynk

When I joined Facebook, it was a place created by college kids, for college kids.  It was our own personal club house that all but had a “No Adults Allowed” sign posted on the door.  But, times have changed and now Facebook’s open to everyone (except, officially, those under thirteen).

But, just because Facebook now accepts (almost) all comers, doesn’t mean that it’s a place where its various constituent groups interact easily.  Facebook’s for high schoolers, college kids, and adults; but the high school and college kids probably wish that the adults weren’t on the invite list. 

Currently, Facebook’s experiencing a “youth flight.” High school kids are abandoning their digital homes as their parents move into the neighborhood.  They’re going to Twitter, which has yet to become generationally integrated, or at least parentally integrated. Continue reading

In Soviet Google, image tags you

14 May

Or, Why we still need image curators

Piccry Release Version 2.0Today I got an e-mail inviting me to join Piccsy, a social media service that goes live later this week.  It’s clearly a challenge to Pinterest, but combines some of the channel type features of FlipBoard.  Piccsy, the brain child of one of the vizualize.me founders, is aiming for a piece of the visual content curation space.  Why there?  It’s not a very blue ocean – but it is a very big ocean.  Why so big?  Because it’s one of the last areas of search that still requires a human touch. 

Images are a realm where computers haven’t yet caught up to people.  Google image search works because of the tags that people manually add to photos, or because of the way that people name their pictures.  The Great and Powerful Wizard of Google can’t (yet) look at an image and know what it’s a picture of.  (I know, I know, don’t end a sentence with a preposition; but “know of what it’s a picture” makes me sound like a sophomore English major.)  Google can’t read images the way it can read text.  So, while search can help us to discover images, we still need that human element.  We still need people to act as curators, telling us what an image is of, tagging it in a way that helps us to find just the perfect image to match our search terms. Continue reading

OpenGraph and Conformity

14 Oct

Or, Invasion of the Brain Snatchers

kid listening to headphones

Photo credit to vagawi

Recently, I read a post called “Is it time for an anonymity movement to challenge Facebook?”  Although the (very great) points of the post ranged far and wide, the part that stuck with me was this section about Facebook and conformity:

But having the ambition to display the whole life of their users is just insane.  Take Spotify, for example!  Sharing the music you’re listening to seems great, right?  Just put yourself in the shoes of a shy 16-year-old guy; what is he going to do to impress others and fit in?   He’s going to listen to the same music that everyone else is listening to, so as not to seem “weird” at all via his very public Facebook profile.

Imagine that he may stop listening to what he really likes because he will be ashamed to share his real taste in music, unless he is one of the rare users that figures out how to stop the feed from Spotify to Facebook.

Now take this concept and duplicate it for tastes in TV, movies, places to eat … maybe with just about everything.

Facebook is on track to homogenize society, which conversely, and ironically, may “weaken” the database that Facebook is building and the advertising targeting that they are offering! Continue reading

Frictionless Sharing, Social without Context

1 Oct
Sharing by bengrey

Phtoto credit to bengrey

Or, Open Graph is sharing without the caring

In Mark Zuckerberg’s world, everything is a social experience.  Listening to a song?  Would it be better if a friend was listening to it, too?  Reading an article?  Would it be great if your friends could read the same one?  (Also, wouldn’t it be great is Mark could make some money on that happening?)

Well, Mark’s world is quickly becoming out world.  And in Mark’s world, the default is social.  (Do you ever feel bad for his college roommate?  Did he announce things like “Mark is cutting his toenails,” or “Mark is eating pizza”?) Continue reading

Would you pay $5.55 to own your Facebook?

28 Sep

Or, how do you put a value on love, I mean, Facebook?

Money by Thomas Hawks

Photo credit to Thomas Hawks

I’ve been following (and participating in) the discussions of the Facebook changes announced at f8 (for more on that, see my previous post), and have been feeling that the Facebook changes are more directed at supporting further funding sources for Facebook than they are about improving user experiences.  (Facebook seems to take the bread and circuses approach to keeping people happy – the pretty new timeline/cover aesthetic is the newest circus.)

The Guardian’s article “Why Facebook’s new Open Graph makes us all part of the web underclass” was the first piece that I’ve seen that really took the issues that I’ve been grappling with and fleshed them out. Continue reading

Old Facebook Posts Don’t Die, They Just Fade Away

26 Sep

Or, I’ve seen the future of Facebook and it’s beautiful… and scary

Facebook Protest, Red Fist above Facebook Logo

Get ready for all kinds of anti-Facebook Facebook groups. And no, the members don't get the irony. Don't both pointing it out.

This week, we have a new Facebook.  Small changes have been rolled out to the public already (about which there has been much whining and fake petitioning), but the big ones are yet to come.  Speaking at the F8 Facebook developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced the implementation of the open graph and the shift from profiles to timelines.  Although the open graph (which will bring your actions across the Internet into Facebook) will arguably have a much bigger impact on real issues, like privacy concerns and the further monetization of your social actions, I expect all the yelling to be about timelines.  (Yes, there will be yelling – there’s always yelling with Facebook changes.)

So, I decided that I wanted to experience timelines for myself, before all the yelling started.  Thanks to what I learned from an article on TechCrunch, I was able to convince Facebook that I was an app developer and that I needed access to timeline to see how my app would play in the new timeline/open graph environment.  (Don’t worry, I crossed my fingers while I did it, so it’s not really a lie, right?) Continue reading

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