Archive for the ‘Social media buzz’ category

Facebook and the Silver Screen

October 1, 2010

Social Networking sites are blowing up. Twitter has rolled out its “New Twitter” which makes the Twitter interface even easier than it already is, and Facebook has adopted Skype so that you are connected to everyone on your Friends list by video and SMS at the click of your mouse. Our relationships have become digital.

Facebook has hit the big screen. With movies like The Social Network and Catfish, Facebook is more popular than ever. People have begun defining these movies as “the movies that define our generation.” It makes you wonder, does social networking define our generation? We are ultra-connected to everyone via the internet and our smart phones. Facebook is such a powerful tool that it is even influencing the silver screen, with Oscar buzz about each of these movies. So we ask: what makes these movies so universally accepted among the Tweeps of America?

"Don't Let Anyone Tell You What It Is"

Catfish: “Don’t Let Anyone Tell You What It Is”

With a guerilla marketing campaign that intrigues those who love stories of horror and romance, we are completely left in the dark with what this movie is about. What we know is that this movie hits home to a lot of people. In this digital age with online dating and Facebook “friends” that you meet, talk for an hour, and add on Facebook, the internet is the easiest (and most popular) way to meet someone and to fall in love.

The movie is filmed in a home-video-like way. It seems like it’s just a buddy and his friends goofing around trying to find a hot girl. It looks into his obsession with this girl that he meets on Facebook. The main character is a photographer who’s photo was reproduced in a painting by an 8 yr old girl who’s sister he falls in love with–although he never meets her. The previews show him chatting with her, exchanging pictures, photoshopping pictures of the two of them together, and building a seemingly meaningful relationship. He decides to go to her hometown and find her. We are left wondering if this film is a horror film, a romantic escapade, or a comedy. We cannot tell…but maybe that’s the intrigue?

Catfish has been hailed as a “must-see-film.” It shows insight into online and social networking relationships that seem real, even though human contact is never made. This can be related to by anyone of our generation whether they have participated in online chat room flirting, digital worlds (like World of Warcraft, etc.), Twitter, or even friending and chatting with people on Facebook that you don’t know. People have built relationships in this generation off of medias that previous generations would frown upon or discount. Catfish gives a more human side to the digital age. If you are a Facebook fanatic or have had any sort of online relationship (without ever meeting the person in person), this movie is for you. You will find something completely unexpected.

"You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies."

"You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies."

The Social Network: “You Don’t Get to 500 Million Friends Without Making a Few Enemies”

The Social Network is the movie to see. It traces the story of Mark Zukerberg and his journey to fame and fortune through making Facebook. Zukerberg supposedly is opposed to the raw truth this movie exposes like his law suit, him betraying his friends and the development of Facebook. It poses the question: do the ends justify the means?

Facebook defines who we are today. Not only do people use it to keep tabs on others, but also it has become the main form of communication for practically everyone. Mothers, fathers, grandmothers and distant cousins are reunited due to Facebook.

The Social Network gives insight into how Facebook was created, and in turn how the first decade of the millennium has been defined. Plus, the obvious irony that an anti-social nerd created the most popular social networking site ever is social commentary in itself.  Facebook has revolutionized the internet and how society interacts.

Twitter haters and why they hate

October 6, 2009

Earlier this year, Twitter CEO Biz Stone told New York magazine that “[Twitter] is about the triumph of the human spirit.”

I want to believe this. I really do. I enjoy tweeting and reading the random and funny musings of friends (for the most part) and the occasional stranger. I’m convinced that tweeting is the closest thing I will ever experience to “celebrity”-dom. It’s your very own virtual paparazzi where a bunch of eyes (somewhere out there) are tracking your every move and thought. (Or at least I hope so or else we’re all just shouting into a deep, black abyss aren’t we?)

At the same time, I know a majority of the material on Twitter is – to put it kindly – unimpressive. It’s not profound, it’s not meaningful, and I really think it’s the furthest thing from a “triumph of the human spirit.” (And if it is – well, I don’t think I need to say we’re all in a whole lot of trouble.)

But hey, I think it’s fine to dabble in the Twitter-verse for personal entertainment periodically throughout the day. Like the old adage goes, “Everything in moderation.”

Even so, amongst the mainstream who sing Twitter’s praises I’ve discovered a rare breed of hardcore Twitter haters out there. And I’m not talking about people who are frustrated when Twitter’s server goes down for the 26th time because of security fails. Nor are they Tweeters who want to voice a few qualms or complaints with the network. Nor are they people who just don’t get it and see no point in it thus don’t sign up to use it. They don’t fall into any of these groupings because at the end of the day – all of the people above still login to their accounts and keep tweeting.

No, I’m referring to Twitter haters who go beyond just thinking “Twitter sucks.” These haters avoid using the social network. They have thought deep, long and hard about Twitter and have all reached the same existential conclusion: Twitter is leading to humanity’s social downfall.

They loathe the cute little blue bird and everything it stands for.

(more…)

Be popular on Digg

October 1, 2009

I recently joined Digg and I’ve been perusing the pages of this virtual news source… basically trying to figure out what it takes to make it on the most “popular” list.

There’s such a wide variety of material that receives top diggs – the articles are always interesting and quirky, but determining what kind of stuff gets dugg still boggles me. Or perhaps it’s more a question of, “Hey, I submitted 2 of my blog posts to rub my ego and no one is digging it. (Sad emoticon)” So far my 2 posts have been dugg a grand total of 7 times – and that’s the total all together. It seems I’m doomed to remain on the shelf of “stuff that no one ever sees”… at least on Digg anyways.

Though my ego has suffered minor bruising, I don’t kid myself. In reality I know Digg is also about who you know and how active you are in the community. (There’s got to be a reason why the same familiar faces are always getting their stuff dugg, right? The conspiracy theory side of me believes those articles I read about Digg bias and how it all might be controlled by 200 users or something.)

Nonetheless, I did some online research into ways I could increase my digg count. The ultimate strategy seems to boil down to:

1) Make a ton of friends on Digg… and I mean, A TON. Like around 300+ and was some dude’s minimum recommendation. (Also important to note is that friendship is not a one-way street. The ones that count and work to help you are the “mutual friends.” Otherwise, it just looks kind of sad. Oh, and it helps if your friends are popular, or top diggers.)

2) Digg your butt off. But make sure your diggs are meaningful. Don’t just zip down the list and engage in bulk digging. Eventually (around 15 or so) Digg will catch you and a box will pop up suggesting – with their eyebrow raised – that you perhaps should READ the articles since you seem to be digging at a superhuman rate, and unless you’re a superhero, it would be difficult to read that fast. (Don’t ask me how I know this.)

3) Submit content that could interest the Digg crowd. (Okay yes, I may be bias but I stand firm in my belief that my content is at least decently interesting that people may be persuaded to give it a once-over if afforded the opportunity. Despite the fact that I sometimes ramble or go on tangents.)

I’m currently testing the strategies – progress seems slow thus far but I’ll keep persevering. I’m thinking I’m bound to make a dent soon…

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying seeing what’s most popular on Digg. It’s kind of interesting to notice the trends of what’s popular recently, versus a day ago, versus even a year ago. Perhaps we can draw conclusions about what Digg users, or our society at large, finds most intriguing. (But maybe that’s too philosophical.) Anyways, results were so interesting/amusing that I decided to take screenshots and share. Maybe this will help all the noob diggers like myself out there break through the invisible barrier and make it to the front page.

(more…)

Do your parents Facebook or Twitter?

September 24, 2009

I found the following 30-sec Verizon commercial highly amusing:

Parents on Facebook and Twitter – it’s quite a predicament.

When Facebook first launched in 2004, it was an online social network strictly for college students to connect and keep tabs on each other. A private club of sorts for the college crowd. Once it’s popularity sky-rocketed though, that’s when Facebook started opening its doors: First to high schools students in 2005 (which drew protests from users) and then to the general public (which drew bigger, unhappier protests). Nonetheless, this expansion continued and nothing really affected the typical college user’s experience so the Facebook community continued happily on its way.

… That is until friend requests from Moms and Dads started appearing in user accounts.

Then Facebook users everywhere just scratched their heads (or yelled into a pillow) and debated on what to do:

Option A) Accept and give your parents a window into your personal/social life complete with pictures, comments and updates on what you’ve been up to on Saturday nights.

Option B) Decline and face persistent badgering on why you don’t want to be friends with your parents… do you have something to hide? Are they an embarrassment? Why don’t you want to keep in touch while you’re away from home?

Option C) Ignore and face the same consequences as Option B above.

And really, this is not just an issue that plagues college or high school students anymore. Facebook users in their 20s-30s (maybe even 40s) face similar scenarios as the Facebook community demographic begins to expand and include older people interested in exploring these new online fads – aunts, great uncles, grandmas, even your parents’ closest friends start sending you friend requests.

(more…)

Facebook… the film.

September 23, 2009
"The Social Network" stars and their real-life counterparts

"The Social Network" stars and their real-life counterparts

Variety shared that Columbia Pictures is currently making a film called “The Social Network”… it’s a film about the creation of Facebook by Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a few of his college buddies. Casting for the film is apparently final with Jesse Eisenberg nabbing the central role of Zuckerberg with a boyish face that oozes geek charm. He’s not too big of a Hollywood household name yet, but most people will recognize Eisenberg from the upcoming horror-comedy “Zombieland.”

Other Hollywood names that have signed on include Andrew Garfield who will play Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook co-founder and Zuckerberg’s former BFF. We anticipate the film will be laden with ample drama and “bro”-mance capturing the disintegration of this friendship and Saverin’s falling out with Zuckerberg. It’s likely this plot will be interwoven with lessons about how greed corrupts or something as Facebook goes from humble beginnings as Harvard’s “Hot-or-Not” equivalent to the global social networking site and financial success it is today.

Even Justin Timberlake is involved since he will be starring as Sean Parker, Facebook’s founding president and the Napster co-founder.

Impressive? Um. So-so, bordering on not really. With two leads that are lesser known, and Timberlake who’s definitely talented and popular, but has yet to prove himself in film – don’t count on me to get too excited. And let’s not forget that at the end of the day, it’s still going to be a film about the creation of Facebook. A story that’s forgettable at best, right?

(more…)

Twitter spam… yuck.

September 15, 2009

twitter_spam_yuckSpambots on Twitter are really starting to get me down.

I logged in today to find 2 new followers, but my excitement quickly took a dive when I realized they were obviously spam. One was a redhead in what I think was supposed to be a micro-shirtdress and the other was some old guy whose entire page was filled with links to real estate options. And there was also that suggestive “@–” message from “loljasmine” about getting on my webcam and having some “fun.”

This whole porn spamming deal brings back bad memories of MySpace. Remember when MySpace was infiltrated by porn sites and pedophiles? (Actually I think this demographic still overruns the social network…) After the 30th come-on from “susie” and “maria”, I decided it was time to jump ship and give up my MySpace account. It got to be overwhelming to be constantly bombarded by porn spam messages, as well as seeing raunchy pictures pop up as profile pics left and right when searching for friends. I’m in favor of the whole social networking idea, but wading past so much spam to get to the real stuff became exhausting and annoying. It’s plausible to think this is in part why MySpace lost some of its popularity to Facebook converts. Facebook just does a better job making sure their users are real people. It always befuddled me why MySpace didn’t step up and crack down on the amount of porn on their network with NewsCorp as their big-time owner. MySpace lost out on a hefty percentage of advertising revenue since businesses were reluctant to pay for space among porn sites – it’s tacky.

I’m beginning to see a similar trend start on Twitter where porn is being pimped to users.

(more…)

Social networks and their one-liners

August 31, 2009

A friend recently showed me a spiffy site called Wayback Machine – basically it’s an internet database that archives old web pages starting from 1996 onward. They have so much stored from all over the web… I started searching some popular websites to see what past versions looked like. (Apparently YouTube in 2005 had a thick, dark grey border and web 2.0 style tabbing. Visually, I kind of prefer it to the current design.)

Naturally, I also had to search Twitter to see how their pages have changed since their massive jump in popularity in the past year or so. Especially since their most recent homepage updates were released just this past summer in July. Wayback Machine archived the first Twitter page version in 2001 and as expected it was very simple – no cute logo and no bird. (Actually the Twitter bird mascot didn’t show up on pages until recently, really.) Looking through the Twitter page archives, I realized that Twitter used a tagline in their old homepage that I never noticed (or never realized was their tagline). This tagline/question appeared in almost all their old versions: “What are you doing?”

It was even on the last version of the Twitter homepage before their summer face-lift. However for some reason, now that Twitter is all the rage it has decided to drop this quick and easy tagline and opt for something more flowery and optimistic: “Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.”   

Before this summers new unveiling

Before this summer's new unveiling

After

After

(more…)