Thursday, February 25, 2010

Facebook Philanthropy & Mediocre Mush

My latest column for BitchBuzz contemplates whether Web 2.0 is a failure. I know, I know -- I am a real booster of Web 2.0 interactivity and trying to get people on line, but the results can be disappointing when that pack mentality gets transferred to the digital world:

Has Web 2.0 failed?

It's supposed to be the break-through moment, when the web frees us of our chains and allows children to hold hands across the world and sing songs—at least virtually.

More people are online than ever: Facebook is the single biggest time suck out there for people with computers and more sign up for Twitter every day. You can sit down to your keyboard and have the world at your fingertips.

But not everyone thinks this is working out for the best. The Guardian interviewed web guru Jaron Lanier this week, who was talking about his new manifesto, You are Not a Gadget. This self-described digital optimist was one of the earliest promoters of the possibilities of the web, but now he finds it mired in a kind of "digital Maoism" that flattens the efforts of the truly inspired into monotonous product and noise...


As usual, read the rest at BBHQ and if you have time, leave a comment (or share it on your blog or Facebook, or retweet it). Help get the buzz going.

I'm hoping to get my own buzz going -- keep your fingers crossed that I will be off on spring break today. With the weather, I'm not so sure. I'm supposed to fly out at 6pm tonight. Let's see if that happens...

By the by, Happy Birthday, Pirate Bob :-)

9 comments:

Cranky Yankee said...

Farmville?
I'd rather play Plants vs. Zombies.

"We don't want zombies on the lawn..."

K. A. Laity said...

It's sure got a catchy song.

My flights are cancelled. Rebooked for tomorrow. Wish me luck. Meanwhile I will mope.

Todd Mason said...

Well, thanks for the Rutland link. I'm thinking of wasting time putting more videos on my blog soon, but in a much less effortful way...a bunch of 1965 songs just because, and the Silver Quarrymen might be represented by "Think for Yourself."

I find it difficult enough to be engaged enough with blogs and lists and private email...Facebook, as you know, does seem to me as well as too much virtual immersion the way some very good people use it.

K. A. Laity said...

Any George is good George. Forget "the quiet one" -- he was the funny one (John was the witty one, as his turn on Not Only But Also showed).

As for FB, it is a question of balance, indeed. I find that FB is great for some things, Twitter for others. Interesting that I have 600+ followers on Twitter while I'm one shy of 400 on FB. But FB also tends to be more personal. I interact more on FB especially with my Connecticut friends and those abroad. It's about people I know well anyway, but it's also a great way of getting to know friends of friends. I've met so many wonderful people because of Facebook!

Twitter is more like broadcasting; you can pass along someone else's "newsflash" too, which is what makes it about networking. Then again, there's also the newsletter which people ought to sign up for if they want to be on the inside track!

Todd Mason said...

Joh Lovitz pronounces: Marketing!

On the upside, BB actually didn't reject a comment by me.

K. A. Laity said...

Heh heh! Well, good on the BB post. I know it's dogged you in the past. Every get the newsletter sorted?

Todd Mason said...

It isn't mailing me, but I access the page.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It had snowed everyday this week. The sun never shines. The snowguy never comes. Is this hell yet?

Todd Mason said...

Well, when the viscera start oozing, yes, definitely.