Tag Archives: Social Networks

Why Vine Just Won’t Die

Vine and Instagram

Gif by Ariel Zambelich/WIRED

There is a struggle being waged for mobile video. Facebook has Instagram and Twitter has Vine. Even though Instagram’s video has a suite of features that make it a more powerful tool, Vine’s popularity persists. Mat Honan of WIRED thinks this has to do with Vine’s off-the-cuff youth culture, it’s dedicated community of minorities, it’s unique cultural force.

Facebook and Twitter are slugging it out to be your go-to social updating service. After the former snagged Instagram, the latter launched its own picture-sharing service. That’s spilled over into video, where there’s a proxy war going on between Facebook’s Instagram and Twitter’s Vine. Instagram appeared to be winning this–handily–based just on sharing. But Vine has proved surprisingly resilient, and as it turns out, it looks like it has a hidden killer feature: a distinct culture.

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An Email to Check Your Facebook: Notification Insanity

John Herrman of BuzzFeed breaks down the notification nightmare that clogs our inboxes and reveals the desperate attention seeking by social media companies.

We Are Approaching Peak Notification:

But nagging users to come back to your site is a treatment, not a cure, and eventually it will stop working. This trend ends in two ways: Either every update on your service is sent to your users’ inboxes, at which point it’s hardly a service at all; or the sum of these notifications overwhelms your users’ inboxes, rendering them useless or leaving your messages unread.

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Rubbing On Our Glowing Rectangles: The False Distinction Between “Online” And “The Real”

My post at BuzzFeed.

“The language of offline VS online dominates the way we think of social media and communication. Sociologist Nathan Jurgenson wants us to move beyond it.”

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Facebook’s New Social Search

Last week Facebook unveiled it’s newest product, or what Mark Zuckerberg called Facebook’s newest pillar: Graph Search.

Using natural language, users will be able to search within Facebook for things like: “friends who live in Seattle,” or “friends who listen to Kanye.” It’s very similar to how we use Google. The upshot, of course, is that Facebook is filled with all kinds of personal data that is not accessible to Google’s indexing and the wider internet.

Using our “social graph,” Facebook’s nerd language for the online networks we’ve woven together, Zuckerberg and company will offer a personalized search. Rather than use complex algorithms informed by people’s online behavior (like Google), Facebook will run it’s custom query using our friends and jobs, the things we’ve “liked” and the places we’ve been.

As I’ve written before, this is exactly what the new Foursquare is doing.

While many tech observers see “social,” “local,” or “personalized,” as the future of search engines, there are reasons to avoid the quick embrace. For starters, Google works pretty damn well. Secondly, if I’m looking to a trustworthy friend to recommend a restaurant or a mechanic, wouldn’t I just text that person?

Another issue mentioned by many reporters is that most people don’t use Facebook or Foursquare the way power users do. So while, in theory, a personalized social search may be more valuable to me it’s also a lot more limited in scope. How many of your friends actually rate their music and movies and then post online? (Usually it’s just that crazy handful of people who blow up your news feed.)

Facebook’s promo vid makes this kind of information culling look like an enriching experience. While I’m very skeptical, I’ll wait for the roll out before I become a full on naysayer.

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My Post on BuzzFeed: The 10 Outstanding Essays of 2012

Grantland.com

Grantland.com

A collection of this year’s best culture writing.

LeBron James’ Hairline, Manufacturing Rick Ross and Lana, Twitter subpoenas, Obama’s paradoxical blackness, an Asian hoops star, doxxing twitter trolls, a future beyond Facebook, our infatuation with busyness, breaking down Breaking Bad, and the revolutionary women of the Arab Spring.

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A World Without Ads

Entrepreneur/blogger/geek-genius, Dalton Caldwell has raised $700,000 towards App.net, a company to challenge ad based social networks.  Where Facebook and Twitter must cater their services to the advertisers who fuel their business model, Caldwell wants to build a community with only users in mind.

Like Github, an adored software service that charges for premium options, App.net will ask you to hand over some cash.  The upshot is that the service/platform/community will never have to answer to advertisers.  No banner ads, no privacy concerns, no promoted tweets from Mitt Romney.

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