The Walrus Blog

Tag Archive: social network sites

Socialnet Trend Cheat Sheet

What to wear (Seesmic), what to scorn (GPS, Rogers), and what you’ll read
The Googlepus of tech.
WEAR THESE:
Seesmic and 12seconds.tv
Video interaction isn’t for everyone but it is desperately fashionable to have at least tried it. Seesmic is video conversation. It is a small but now fairly well-formed community that includes every age and ability from peepaws to fidgets, hackers to luddites. Deepak Chopra and Harrison Ford have both made appearances so it must be important. I only use it with my dog Jesus as my avatar. Magicalpowermako (a masterful Seesmic poster) uses disturbing puppets. So, grab your kitty or your toilet and join the debate about shirtless posting.

12seconds is like Seesmic with a 12 second time limit. I prefer these short bursts because poorly-lit talking heads reminds me of my childhood without cable TV. It has a teeny-weeny user base so it is very easy to join 12seconds and make friends and become a top poster.

Indenti.ca
The biggest critique of Twitter it that it does not follow the Open Micro Blogging protocol. You know, Twitter is down with THE MAN. Here comes sweet little Canadian Identi.ca to the rescue. Open source and portable it is the first Twitter clone to actually do something Twitter can’t. (more…)

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Posted in Web 2.0 Museum  •  2 Comments

Me As A Socialnet
ONE
As the ideal socialnet, I would not add features that frustrate my users and that point out how I am kissing the ass of Viacoms by pretending to care about copyright. In other words, I wouldn’t be like YouTube today and add a new “feature” that allows me to annotate only my own videos. Its stupidity is compounded by the fact that all a user has to do is download a video off YouTube here, and then upload it as my own video on YouTube and annotate away. As a brilliant socialnet I would respect my customers enough to realize that my service is built on interactivity, not creating busywork for them.

TWO
I’d employ the old phony security lingo while I rushed towards more important things like data portability as an excellent way for allowing hackers to create increased traffic to the site at no cost to me. MySpace did a great job of this today by integrating with Yahoo, making it simple to view private MySpace pages. So all my users get free pictures of Paris Hilton touching her nasties in a tanning bed. Genius! (more…)

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Pleasure in Data Overload PainLike Dolly Parton, I love tackiness. In interviews Dolly often tells the story of being a little girl and admiring this ‘pretty lady’ in town. The lady had crimson lipstick, glittering clothes and platinum hair. She fashioned herself after this lady and it wasn’t until she was grown that she realized the lady was the town whore.

I relate to Dolly. Only I admired a place, not a person.

Growing up I dreamed of Las Vegas. Not a day went by when I didn’t imagine myself in the most beautiful place on earth: The Vegas Strip. As a child I dressed as though I was headed there (just in case). I wore gold lamé, faux-leather mini-dresses, and I stuck sparkles to my face.

It wasn’t until I was grown that I realized Paris, France, was supposed to be a far more desirable destination than Paris, Las Vegas. All the spitballs and Baby-soft perfume bombs suddenly made sense. (Note: I still haven’t made it to France).

But neither Dolly nor I changed our ways. I still prefer electric-green polyester paint-suits and neon to cotton and sunlight; likewise, Dolly never took off her wigs, nails, or boobs. (more…)

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Loveletters never die

I did some soul searching before I wrote this. I’m worried this post might come off the wrong way; you might think of me differently. I don’t want to ruin my impeccable image or to insult my gentle readers.

So let’s get one thing clear: I don’t like Facebook. Especially if the Scobilized rumours are true that Facebook’s lockout of Google’s Friend Connect is a harbinger of far more nefarious and apocalyptic things. Namely: Microface. Or Facesoft. Whatever it will be called, if Microsoft buys Facebook for fifteen billion dollars, Google and the entire open web movement might finally have a concrete bogeyman. In this one case I was forced to use Facebook because it has become a blockbuster. Like mining a scene in Jaws for filmic metaphor instead of Indiana Jones 4. The former was the first big hit of the past but Indy 4 will be even bigger—it’s only a matter of time.

Now for a bit of romance and intrigue: (more…)

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Posted in Web 2.0 Museum  •  7 Comments

Mashable Radical Hysterectomy

Here Mashable, take my vagina. I’m obviously not using it right.

According to Mashable, the In Touch of the social networking scene (bold and uppity upstart with a handsome Twitterface), I am not actually a woman.

On Mother’s Day Mashable churned out another one of their highly-re-bloggable social networking list of links. The focus of this new list is a bizarre niche group rarely mentioned on Mashable—women!

I felt special. All past slights undone. Mashable was finally compensating for their status quo sexism by exploring “some of the most popular social networking sites for women.” If felt like maybe the Mashable Twitterhead (aka Pete Cashmore) cared about me after all.

But I was wrong. I got all amped up for nothing.
And I was not alone:

I (Rubybeck) agree with AskFrasco. I was excited to see a post focusing on women, but sorely disappointed with the content. This post should be more aptly titled “Top 10 Social Networking Sites for Moms.”

Indeed. It seems that to Mashable a woman is defined by her incubating and birthing abilities. I, socialnet czarina, had only heard of one of the sites they listed. One! And the sites listed would be better placed on an April Fool’s Day post than on one for Mother’s Day. Cafemom was bad enough, but ParentsConnect? WTF.

And then it dawned on me. According to Mashable logic I must not really be a woman. I should just hand my vagina, my uterus—heck my whole endocrine system—over to Mashable because I am not using it right. Even if I did pop out a kid, I would never–ever–use these sites. My main life interests would not shift from historicization and social-net culture to parenting and motherhood. So obviously, even if I bore children, my lack of monomaniacal focus on child-rearing would make me a horrible mother.

In the end, Mashable would be doing the entire world a favour taking these simultaneously useless and dangerous organ-weapons off my hands. Or, um, out of my body.

The single problem here is that the Mashable Men assume that, once birthing, female interests shift to some generic, home-based mother category from whomever they might have been before. Even if this new breed of thin-framed, notebook-totting patriarch uses 43 Folders for excellent file system organization, a devalued housewife is still a devalued housewife.

So thanks Mashable Men for using Mother’s Day to remind me of how insignificant I am to the denizens of social networking because my destiny is to sacrifice my identity for the production of others greater than me. The men can then be free of my menacing feminist critiques to handily carve up the cultural landscape in the mirror image of themselves. I’ll never forget how special you’ve made me feel.

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Posted in Web 2.0 Museum  •  5 Comments

Want Social Search Action?

Fruits of a social search

Want to scan and analyze the chatter of millions of conversations? Have an idea for a story, a song, a research paper, or are you a voyeur like me?

Go to Tweetscan.

Pick a word. Enter the word. Presto. You can even subscribe to the search and have it in your RSS feed.

Following the word walrus I have learned that they play an important role in the semiotics of the phallus (the beast not the magazine of course). And that those damn baby boomer idols The Beatles are quoted daily. We at The Walrus have a lot of work to do to remove that pantagruelian taint.

I also follow my own name and reply to everyone who uses it with a short explanation about how I am the real Chantelle. With each explanation I attempt to create the perfect and elusive self-obsessed, 140 character, haiku:

Bloody hammer finds
the lies that chantelle told you
selfish memes us two

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Posted in Web 2.0 Museum  •  1 Comment

Am I Catastrophic?

Am I a just a myopic textard? A horsegeek of the updated apocalypse?

From Lifehacker comments:

Everyone join in and repeat after me…

Social Networking Will Destroy the World.

Yes, you heard me correctly. Social Networking is the glue that binds retarded anti-socialites together; without it, they would need to ACTUALLY interact with real humans or just accept being shut-in couch potatoes (what we used to refer to these people as before they could all join together virtually in one giant blob of mental mush.

Twitter is for those people with too much time on their hands and too few REAL friends to spend it with.

Come on everyone, detach your fingers from the sticky keyboard (or keypad, you textards) and go outside and just breathe… just breathe fresh air and then go knock on your neighbors door (you know the strange people that live next door) and say hello.

My keypad isn’t sticky! It’s protected by a kbcover. I get plenty of fresh air at wifi cafes with patios. And, when I last spoke to my octogenarian neighbour all she said was “WHAT? SAY AGAIN!” and “WHY DON’T YOU HAVE THE BABIES YET?” so I retreated.

But, after smashing my grocery cart head-on into scuppie couple searching through the organic coffee at Dominion for the Decaf Cliff Hanger Espresso because I was mid-tweet (and then naturally twittering the entire event during the aftermath) I have to wonder:

Am I a just a myopic textard? Am I a horsegeek of the updated apocalypse (physical atrophy, social apathy, emotional starvation and digital immortality)? I don’t have a horse—but I do have a thin, small and pale-coloured dog!

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I’m a Liar

Mary-Kate's masked wedding

While I was posting surveillance footage of a crime I saw last night on postacrime (a group of undergrads were doing keg stands while chanting patriotic gibberish in unison) I got another beta invite. This time to Twingly—a European blog search engine with Digg-like ranking systems.

Each time I sign up I have to give yet another username. I used to try being clever—give as my username the title of Crispen Glover’s novel, the name of the woman who used to sell my dad cheap booze, or microcelebrity names like Calcanis—and then fill out all my personal information accurately.

No more. I’ve put on a social networking mask. I prefer corporate names—like Google or CocaCola. My age, gender, interests, vocation all vary depending on mood. With Facebook truth-telling became necessary to open up its utility. If you didn’t use your real data, no long lost friends you always hated could find you. But on betas, with such a high likelihood of failure to reach any eyes other than my own, I feel it is a good time to have some fun.

Like Mary-Kate and Ashlee Olsen, who just went to her stylist Estee Stanley’s wedding in a mask so she wouldn’t overshadow the nameless faceless bride with her fame, I wear a mask for mystery. Ever the famewhore, MK knew the stunt would catapult this Z-list event into the spotlight because we’d all have to guess who was who in the wedding party. Mystery, even when fake, is irresistible.

I am followed and follow several persons of mystery. No pictures, no names, no easily traceable identity. Like Roamin and God on Twitter. What didn’t work on Facebook seems to work there.

It makes me wonder, though, if I unknowingly follow the same person repeatedly or vice versa? And how many people wear a social networking mask for fun or spamming profit?

Or if maybe Twitter only has fifty-two intensely active, creative people with access to tens of thousands of different email sign-up accounts.

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