Tag Archives: Internet Culture

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

An Angel On My Left Side and a Tech Nerd On My Right

18 Jun

Or, I Stole a Book

ebook reading by TheCreativePenn

Photo credit to TheCreativePenn

Oh, the twisty world of the internet, where a few clicks can take you somewhere you never intended to go…

The other day, I learned that Deadlocked, the new Sookie Stackhouse novel, had recently been published.  I love the books in that series, low brow and trashy as they are.  Reading them is the equivalent of having wine and chicken fingers for dinner.  Delicious, comforting, terrible for you, and not something that you’d generally like to advertize about yourself.  They’re a Southern, sexed-up Buffy, with an even greater wink at the audience. Continue reading

The Internet’s Most Awkward Venn Diagram

11 Jun

LinkedIn, Hacks, and Fanfic

Venn Diagram

The big social media news of the week is that 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords got stolen.  A hacker broken into a LinkedIn server, stole the account information and published the passwords online, without accompanying usernames.  Supposedly, the goal wasn’t to compromise anyone’s account specifically, but to prove that he could do it.  At which point, he probably stuck his tongue out at the computer and said, “Na Na Boo Boo.”  Clearly, this was a very mature hacker. Continue reading

Give me Plausible Deniability or Give me Death

5 Jun

How the Facebook Message Seen Feature Changes Communication

Peakaboo Kid

Photo credit to teamskins

Recently, Facebook introduced a feature that allows you to see when someone’s viewed one of your messages.  It’s basically a read receipt for Facebook messages, except that the other person doesn’t have to agree to send it to you.  There’s no polite Outlook pop-up saying, “The sender of this message has requested a read receipt.  Do you want to send a receipt?”  With Facebook, you don’t have a choice about sending a message seen receipt – it happens automatically. Continue reading

You’re not a lawyer, don’t play one on Facebook

4 Jun

Or, posting random sections of UCC 1-103 1-308 on your profile doesn’t make a difference

Keep out sign

Photo credit to spaceritual

Recently, I’ve seeing the following message popping up on my Facebook news feed:

PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning – any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other “picture” art posted on my profile.

You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee , agent , student or any personnel under your direction or control.

The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE Continue reading

Of Paradigms and Pirates

23 May
paradigm shift keyboard

Photo credit to askpang.

The other day, I talked with coworker who is retiring after 50 years at my company.  (Can we just take a minute to revel in the fact that anyone works at a company for 50 years?  ‘Cause wow.)  We talked a lot about how computers had changed the way the company operates in so many ways, from the work that we do to the ways that we interact with each other.

She’s a very nice old lady who was trying to be positive about the changes, but I could tell that, underneath it all, she blamed computers for causing change that she couldn’t keep up with.  She said that over the years, she’s learned how to use a number of programs for work, but had never figured out the computer as a whole.  Like the way you learn to say “Una mas cervasa por favor” or “Ou et les toilettes?” when you’re traveling – you know the meaning of the phrase, but don’t necessarily understand which word is which.  For her, every new program or task was another set of memorized steps – she couldn’t get to the underlying logic of it, nothing was intuitive. 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

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