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Social Media and Whatever Else Tickles My Fancy

Archive for Internet

Speaking of Friends on Facebook…Check Out Mine

 

They are so cute!!

 In a previous post, I wrote about Facebook friendships.  Since that post I have increased the number of friends that have slightly.  I have also increased the status of the types of friends I have on Facebook.  That’s right, Barack and Michellle Obama are two of my closest friends on Facebook.  You gotta love themSmile!!

As a fan of social media, I have been keeping up with my pal Barack through various sites.  As I said, we are friends on Facebook, I follow him on Twitter and he follows me, he emails me several times a week and I watch a couple of his videos on YouTube.  I’ve even received a few emails from Michelle.

 I think Barack Obama is a great choice for president.  I also think that being active on these sites helped him win the Democratic nomination

In the book The First Campaign, Garrett Graff wrote:

“Our next president must be one who can dream and really the nation around a common set of goals, and aspirations that can lead us forward-to change the expectations of the nation to better reflect the needs of a digital, interconnected, global age, where discoveries are made out in the heavens and in labs under microscopes, where bytes and bits fly around the world faster then our faster jets, and where one can talk to a friend in Bangalore as easily as to a friend on the next block.  Our expectations of the world have changed, and so must now our expectations of government and society.”

I wonder if Barack Obama or one of his staff members read this book.  It is like they knew exactly what to do and how best to use social media to win the campaign.  McCain and his staff better get busy especially if he is just starting to take the time to learn about the Internet.

 

 

Here Comes Everybody and the Lost Sidekick Saga

Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky, explains the role the internet plays in making collaboration among people who do not know each other easier.  As someone who is currently using many of the new forms of social media, this book really made me think about how easy it is to connect with people who have the same interests as you.  Before the internet, people who had interests outside of what was “normal” in their communities probably felt alone or misunderstood.  Today someone can easily go online and type in their interest and find other people who are just like them.

The Stolen LOST Sidekick Saga

Shirky started his book with the tale of the Stolen Lost Sidekick (I refuse to link to the site.  Look it up yourself).  These are my thoughts on how two people used the Internet and social media to humiliate a 16 year old and to get their cell phone back.

I lost my cell phone twice within the past two years.  Once while vacationing in Barbados and another time while dining in Adams Morgan a the Bukom Cafe.  Both instances I naturally assumed that whoever found it would either use it or sell it.  Both times I immediately turned the service off so that it could not be used.  I had to admit to myself that losing the cell phone was due to my own carelessness and that I had no one to blame but myself.  While yes, I was miserable and I felt like I’d lost my best friend, I would have never thought about issuing a man hunt for a cell phone and I surely wouldn’t have gone as far as having the person who found it arrested; especially not a 16 year girl.  How could I blame the person who found it?

I think that Ivanna and Evan were petty and childish people playing the same game as a 16 year old.  Ivanna should have just been thankful that all of her information had been saved by T Mobile and left it at that.  What really got under my skin is that they have accused the girl of stealing the Sidekick and there are pictures of her plastered all over the Internet with the wording “I stole a Sidekick.”  Meanwhile I’ve yet to see a picture of Ivanna or Evan online.  Has anyone even thought about the fact that this girl still has her whole life ahead of her?  As I read the story about the LOST Sidekick, I had to wonder if this incident was more about putting someone from the wrong ethnic group as well as the wrong socio-economic background in their place.  I agree with Clay Shirky that this is a great example of what 21st century technology allows us to do but I also have to wonder if this is also a great example of a 21st century lynching.

Facebook Friends

 

I am always intrigued by people on Facebook with hundreds of people listed as their “friends.”  Are all of these people really their friends?  Could they recognize all of these people on the street?  Does just knowing of someone mean that you can be friends?  Maybe I am thinking to hard about this.  I have had a few people that I know request to be my friend on Facebook but I really never thought of them as my friend.  Sometimes I have ignored these requests and other times I have felt pressure to accept the friend request because it was the right thing to do.  Right? 

 

Facebook is where I have information about myself online in a fun format.  It’s a way for my “real friends” to keep up with me and what I am doing.   I don’t really want some coworker or friend of a friend reading about me online.  My rule of thumb is if our conversations never go beyond casual hellos or menial office banter then “I DON’T WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND ON FACEBOOK.”  Okay, maybe that was a little harsh.  And maybe I am taking the word friend too literally.

 

Currently I have about 30 or 40 friends on Facebook.  With the exception a few that have slipped through the cracks my friends are actually people that I have relevant conversations with and I actually care about them and what they are up to.  Am I less of a person because I don’t have hundreds of friends on Facebook?  My answer to that is no but I am sure there are others who would disagree.  Many users of Facebook want to friend any and everyone even if they vaguely know the person.  It is like it’s a race to see who can collect the most friends fastest. 

 

The Internet has changed everything about our lives including how we interact with others.    Now it is changing how we view our friends.

Thoughts on We The Media

The main point of the book We the Media is to describe how the ways we receive information has changed and will constantly evolve because of the Internet.  According to Dan Gillmor, the author, the purpose of writing We The Media was to “persuade readers that the collision of journalism and technology is having major consequences for three constituencies: journalists, newsmakers, and the audience.”

 

As I read this book I could not help but think about how a few years ago my mother discovered how easy and convenient it was to pay a few household bills online.  She was so excited about her new find that she immediately told my father.  To her surprise my father became irate with her.  He could not believe that she posted their credit card online to pay a bill.   Today, the man that could not believe his wife would bypass writing out a check and licking a stamp to pay a bill now has an email address and frequently makes financial transactions online several times a week. He finally got it.

 

The Internet has forever changed how we handle our personal business as well as traditional business models for large and small corporations alike.  In order to stay relevant in today’s society these changes must be embraced and incorporated into our everyday lives.  The Internet has changed many of our assumptions about media.  It not only allows people to pay bills and send emails, it allows for anyone to voice their opinions about whatever they want.  This includes positive or negative reviews of products and companies, and ordinary people can now become journalists and writers with authority.   CEOs, journalists, politicians, among others have to look ahead and rethink their business models to fit into this new form of media.  The Internet has taken over our lives it is one of the most important inventions of our time.  However, it is also rapidly changing and you have to either keep up or move to the side. 

 

Please keep up.