Tag Archives: Internet Culture

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

Facebook’s Baby Bump

27 Jul

Or: My Newsfeed is a Mommyblog

Baby Doll by Black Glenn

Photo credit to Black Glenn

Recently, my Facebook newsfeed has been taken over by babies.  From, “I’m pregnant!” announcements to “First time in the bumpee!” pictures (yes, most baby-related posts are accompanied by exclamation marks), my newsfeed has been turned in a mommyblog.

I’m 27, so, yes, this is the time when a lot of my age-mates are having babies.  But, I think there’s more to it than that.  Because, most of my friends… they’re not having babies.  They’re finishing grad school or climbing the corporate ladder.  People with babies make up a very small portion of my friend list, but they’re all over my newsfeed.  What’s especially strange, these friends didn’t appear on my newsfeed before they had kids.   It’s like getting pregnant increases your Klout score.

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

Crowdsourcing a Lost Camera

25 Jun

Or, Sometimes Social Media Makes Me Smile

I was all set to post about Facebook’s new “stalking app” and rally about the invasion of privacy.  And then I saw something that made me pause, and smile, and realize that sometimes social media can bring out the greatness in the world.

This picture is making the rounds on Facebook.

Amsterdam Lost Camera Social Media

Accompanying it is the following note:

My father in law found a red Nikon Coolpix camera on 2012-06-20 in the train at the station Amsterdam Amstel in the Netherlands. His photos show a trip throughout Europe from about 2012-05-07. Since 2012-06-15 he stayed in Amsterdam.
We would like to give him back the camera and the photos. Please Like, Share and spread this photo around so we can give him back his camera! Thanks!

As of this posting, this picture’s been shared almost 40,000 times.  That’s 40,000 disinterest people who are helping to reunite a stranger with his camera and his vacation pictures.  It’s something that never could have happened before social media – and it’s wonderful.

Maybe posting this guy’s picture online is an invasion of his privacy, but it’s the nicest invasion of privacy that I’ve ever seen.

So, I’ll keep this post short and sweet.  Here’s to hoping that he gets his camera back!

Questions of the day: Have you ever lost a device while traveling?  Was it returned to you?  If so, what’s your story?


Formerly MaggieCakes, Maggie (not Margaret) covers technology’s impact on culture, specifically on how we interact or connect with each other. Have a question or an idea you’d like me to write about? Leave a comment, or send me an e-mail: moc.teragramtoneiggam@eiggam

Do Your Patriotic Duty, Reply to Nigerian Scam Emails

20 Jun
Nigerian Scam by B Rosen

Photo credit to B RosenHow

Microsoft recently released a study, Why do Nigerian Scammers Say They are from Nigeria?, that made me geek out in so many ways. Microsoft’s research team undertook to statistically explain the “give me money, I’m a Nigerian price” ruse that so many of us have seen in our inboxes.

If you’re at all like me, you’ve received this kind of email and laughed at it, thinking othat nly the most gullible person would fall for it. Turns out, you’re right and that’s the point. As Microsoft’s paper explains (in all of its statistical glory), the Nigerian prince scam is designed in a way so as to alienate all but the most gullible email recepients.  At first, a con that immediately disqualifies potential victims doesn’t seem to make sense. After all, these types of things succeed because of the sheer volume of them; the emails cost nothing to send and the  success of the attack comes in its scalability. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: