Tag Archives: social network

Buying back in

TomCross_ScreenshotYears ago, when I was living and working in Sydney, one conversation that would often be repeated in the bar after work was around the merits of the social networks MySpace and Bebo. As MySpace was the first social network that I truly embraced*, I obviously fought its corner and was somewhat sceptical of the arguments of some of my fellow British colleagues in favour of Bebo. It was around the same time that another relatively unknown site began to be talked about, and tentatively explored by both sides of the divide; a site which would ultimately render our discussions futile. That site was called Facebook. Read More »

When the Pinterest hype dies down…

Pinterest has been going into hyper drive of late. Everyone is keen to extoll the virtues of the new social network. The hyperbole is quite unbelievable. It’s the new place to hang out, share pictures and project a lifestylepinterest hype you’d like to have. I like it, it’s fun, but I can’t help but think there will come a point when the excitement will die down and you’ll realise that it’s just sharing pictures.

There are a few reasons why I think it might not turn into a Facebook type monster. They’re all conjecture and based on my own personal experience of the site, but I thought I’d share them anyway… Read More »

Google+ is being bullied by the popular kids…

I think everyone is being a bit mean to Google. Yeah, that’s right. I think the community of social media / digital analysts have been very rash in their assessment of Google+ and its social offering.

Google+ is the new kid in the playground and everyone knows they’ve got exceedingly rich parents; this is a back-foot start straight from the off. No one wants to focus on the functionality, no one wants to talk about where it fits and no one wants to let it find its feet. Read More »

Five non-profit ways to use location-based technology

Location-based social networking is evolving at break-neck speed and, as a result, it has become a valuable platform for a wide range of non-profit campaigns and other socially important activities, including fundraising, advocacy and even crisis response. Here are a few concrete examples of how location-based technology can be used for non-profit purposes. Read More »

LinkedIn Signal – The start of things to come…

Being an active LinkedIn user I’m always really interested in hearing about developments that LinkedIn are introducing to improve the usability and extend the functionality of the LinkedIn platform. There have been a few developments that have been integrated recently, specifically related to the companies section, that have provided additional functionality for both users and administrators of groups and company pages. Read More »

Apple’s ‘Ping’ – Promising or Problematic?

Not content with revolutionising the MP3 and mobile markets, along with creating some of the most iconic and desirable consumer products of the 21st Century, Apple has now turned its Midas touch to the social media sphere.  But will the oddly named ‘Ping’ network prove to be another runaway success for Steve Jobs et al, or is this a step too far for Apple’s all-consuming tentacles? Read More »

Why Twitter’s Who To Follow is missing the point

It’s very good of Twitter to keep on suggesting that we follow Jonathan Ross, isn’t it? Not to mention some chap called Stephen Fry.

Who To Follow is such an odd little feature to introduce because it goes against the principles of social media that have made Twitter so successful in the first place. As we know, gone are the one-size-fits-all shouty marketing messages that you simply block out, and in are recommendations from people you trust. Here’s three reasons why it’s missing the point. Read More »

Has social media killed the protest?

It’s difficult to extol the power of protest without saintly praise of the godfather of grumble, Bob Dylan.

I remain a big fan of the man, despite his recent, bewildering shills, and the fact that ‘Blown’ in the Wind’ is pretty tepid by today’s standards, a song probably somehow more synonymous with the artist and the time than the infinitely superior ‘Masters of War’, but the truth remains the man could invoke a decent protest.

With his trademark warble and Martin dreadnought, Dylan — and I shudder at the thought of using such a hackneyed phrase — inspired a generation.

1963 was obviously a different time than 2009, one ripe with “change” (where have I heard that word before?) and “hope” (huh), but I daresay the problems facing the Love Generation® — Vietnam, Watergate, feminism and civil rights — in no way pale to the issues facing today’s.

Afghanistan/Iraq, the Bush-hangover, global warming, obesity and the economy, where the hell are our protest songs? Or protests? Even a little unchannelled anger?

You don’t have to look too far actually, just check out Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and the like.

Instead of swaying the masses with a few biting chords and with some hissing, angry lyrics, today’s Lazy Generation® has the click of a mouse, and the well, that’s about all. Oh sorry, I forgot, a smug feeling of unearned satisfaction.

Okay, Peta still does its thing, but it has become such a caricature of itself that I can’t take it seriously anymore. And, protests do still occur, in most recent in memory the much-ballyhooed break-in and sit-in of the Stansted runway in December.

Things got pretty hairy in Athens a while back I guess, but I’m willing to bet those protesters didn’t have broadband internet access.

Why risk your neck, enduring the cold, hard crack of the billy club and the steely temperament of a pair of handcuffs around your wrists, when you can inch that same supple wrist around a computer monitor and join the Facebook group ’100,000 strong for orphaned Gaza puppies’ and ‘The John Sargeant was hosed petition!’

Is this what settles for action in today’s generation? You can argue that these menial little groups and boycotts raise the profile for certain causes, but with our 24-hour news cycles, blogs, feeds, tweets, etc., I’m not sure how much higher the profile can be raised.

Being relatively media literate, I have a fair idea what’s going on the world. I’m vaguely aware of the stupidest, smallest issues decaying the dustiest corners of the world.

So the question is: has social media killed the protest? Are we really this lazy, or has oversaturation numbed the senses?

The latest example brought to my attention, and likely soon to yours, is the New Zealand Internet Blackout against the Guilt Upon Accusation law — a law calling for internet disconnection based on accusations of copyright infringement without trial or court sanctified evidence.

Yikes, serious stuff.

It is bullshit, obviously, don’t get me started on this whole copyright infringement, RIAA, ISP fiasco we have on our hands.

But what’s more concerning is the ‘Blackout’ part of the New Zealand cause. The directing website asks internet users to ‘blackout’ their profile photos, or avatars on various sites, including Twitter, MySpace and Facebook, until February 23.

That’s it. They even provide the black avatar, all you have to do is right-click, and save-as.

Oh sorry, and your supposed to say “(your name) is blacked out: Stand up against “Guilt Upon Accusation” for New Zealand” on whatever social vice your networking with at the time.

Okay, now that’s it. I’ve noticed a few of my Twitter followers have already complied, showing their support, likely, before taking another swig of their skinny lattes and changing pages to have a chuckle on Digg, forgetting about the issue altogether.

Really? That’s what passes for a protest these days? I’m shocked. I’m appalled. I’m blogging.

It’s a cause that I believe in, but really, this doesn’t cut it. I can’t imagine the shady heads-of-state, high in the cozy, ivory towers of New Zealand are going to be too badly shaken by such an act, a bunch of black pixels.

I understand the irony of complaining about a protest, saying it’s not protest-y enough, but it’s true. Get some guitars, some angry masses and go blockade some government institution, with the tear gas and the balaclavas, tear down some satellites, I don’t know, just don’t just click.

Where’s Mr. Dylan when you need him? Besides idling his Cadillac Escalade in the parking lot of the Co-op while shopping for baby seal-skins and low efficiency lightbulbs.

What we need, and what New Zealand needs, is a new anti-hero, and by god, we aren’t going to find him or her on Twitter or Facebook.

The digital candidates, who wins?

How do the two US presidential candidates fare on the various social networking websites that take up so much of our valuable time? Glad you asked, luckily the Scottish-based social media company, Yomego has compiled a list:

MySpace On its Impact Channel, where young voters can watch the live debates between the candidates and get questions answered, McCain has 55,000+ friends to Obama’s 700,000+ friends.

Winner = Obama

Facebook A partnership with ABC brings reporters’ articles, videos and blog posts from the campaign trail and voters can pitch their views and compare them against those of the candidates. Here Obama has 2.1m supporters to McCain’s 500,000+ supporters.

Winner = Obama

Second Life This site hosted a major music festival arranged by the Obama for President organisation in a drive to register hard to reach Americans.

Winner = Obama

Twitter Our new favourite microsite gathers public opinion about the presidential election, aggregating live ‘tweets’ about the election, including thoughts, reactions and observations. Here Obama has 98,000+ followers to McCain’s 2000+

Winner = Obama

YouTube Here the candidates every move is exposed, analysed, discussed and parodied. However, many successful clips are campaign-oriented, such as the ‘Yes We Can’ music video (10 million views) and Sarah Palin’s first ABC interview, which attracted as many online viewers as it did on TV

Winner = A draw!

Well, these results should be surprising to no one. If you need it hammered into your head just once more, the 2008 US Election will go down in history as the first political campaign to capitalise on the true power of digital communication. And as millions of Americans line up at the polls today to vote for their 44th president, in a pure utopian digital world, Obama is slated win by a landslide.

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