The Living Is Easy

Social Media and Whatever Else Tickles My Fancy

Archive for Social Media

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.

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Social Media Bill of Rights

On more than one occasion, I have read about a blogger whose site was taken down because of something that he or she posted that the host site did not agree with.  How much freedom does a blogger really have if their site can be taken down at any moment?  I do not agree with this practice.  I am sure that most bloggers do not keep printouts of their blog posts as references.  They naturally assume that when they or anyone else logs on whatever they have posted will be accessible.

In response to issues like this, Joseph Smarr, Marc Canter, Robert Scoble, and Michael Arrington wrote a Social Media Bill of Rights.  The main concepts discussed are ownership, control and freedom.

After reading the Bill of Rights for Social Media, I decided to check out the terms of service offered by WordPress.  Yes, I know this is probably something that I should have looked at closely when I signed up for a blog on their Web site but hey this blog is a part of my class requirement so I just signed up like everybody else.  I am sure my teacher read all of the terms and conditions, so that and my “A” are all that really matters.

The part of the agreement that caught my eye immediately was section 10 that said, “Automatic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Web site at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.”  With or without cause? What if I have not done anything wrong and it was a mistake or the fault of WordPress?   Do you mean to tell me that the WordPress gods could take all of my hard work from me with the click of a button?  The  WordPress gods could take all that I have written and my chance to be a high authority blogger from me without explanation, without some kind of review processs, maybe a warning that I was in some type of violation.  That is kind of scary.  I guess we have freedom of speech but only to certain extent when someone else is in control of the server.

Plea to WordPress gods:

Dear WordPress gods, I promise that this was only an assignment that my teacher forced me to write.  If you are reading this and I have somehow offended you, please oh please don’t take my site away.  Give me one more chance.  🙂