Tag Archives: Web Culture

Facebook’s New News Feed

In the world according to Facebook we are bits expressing ostentatious enthusiasm or we do not exist. So argues Rob Horning at The New Inquiry.

Facebook is like a television that monitors to see how much you are laughing and changes the channel if it decides you aren’t laughing hard enough. It hopes to engrain in users the idea that if your response to something isn’t recordable, it doesn’t exist, because for Facebook, that is true. Your pleasure is its product, what it wants to sell to marketers, so if you don’t evince it, you are a worthless user wasting Facebook’s server space. In the world according to Facebook, emotional interiority doesn’t exist. Introspection doesn’t exist, and neither does ambivalence. There is only ostentatious enthusiasm or null dormancy.

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LinkedIn And The Invisible Employment Screen

My new piece at The New Inquiry:

Far from a buggy nuisance, this kind of openness is LinkedIn’s hallmark feature. As BuzzFeed’s listicles overlord Ben Smith chirped, “LinkedIn’s stalker problem is not totally unrelated to how awesome it is as a reporting tool.” Unlike the more social networks whose overriding ethos is YOLO, the employment site only wants to see the front, business-side of your mullet. By showcasing CVs and work affiliations, LinkedIn operates as a professional safe space. Here, you know for sure prospective employers are looking. As a designated network for the interaction between us and our would-be bosses, LinkedIn ostensibly guards against the rampant and potentially illegal practice of the invisible employment screen.

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A Radical New Way To Look At Facebook

Matt Buchanan of the New Yorker Elements blog writes:

Graph Search will eventually index virtually all of the content on Facebook—every link that’s ever been posted, every status update, every piece of data that outside Web sites have shared with Facebook through its Open Graph program—but what users will get starting today is fairly limited in its scope, restricted to searches of photos, people, places, and interests. It doesn’t work on mobile yet, either. And it is ultimately limited by the kind of information that people share on Facebook. But it is already a powerful tool for excavating information that would otherwise go unnoticed, and for spotting previously undiscovered patterns.

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The Rise Of Walled Gardens And The Future Of The Web

“In many ways, Google’s shutdown of its RSS reader is just a small part of a larger move away from open web standards and towards closed, proprietary platforms that are easier to control and monetize,” observes Mathew Ingram of GigaOm.

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Mother’s Day And Actual Vintage Photos

Interesting stuff on Facebook today. Serious nostalgia for our moms when they were younger.

Does anyone else find it interesting that REAL vintage photos of moms are cropping up today? As opposed to faux-vintage of the Instagram variety. What do faux-vintage filters attempt to accomplish/convey?

Nathan Jurgenson says they manufacture nostalgia. They are attempts to reproduce “classic,” memorable moments. A yearning for something important.

What do you think?

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Paul Miller Returns To The Internet After 1 Year of Solitude

Evan Rodgers writes at The Verge:

Paul Miller left the internet for a year, and he’s finally coming back. At midnight tomorrow, he’ll plug back in after 365 days away, capping his experiment by returning to the connected world. Is he a new man? Ready to return or dreading the web? We’re having a special late-night Vergecast that kicks off at 11PM ET on April 30th to celebrate the occasion, followed by the debut of Paul’s personal story of disconnecting and a livestream discussion of his return.

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Europeans Reach Deal With Google on Searches

“Google has for the first time agreed to legally binding changes to its search results after an antitrust investigation by European regulators,” writes Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times .

After a two-year inquiry, the European Commission has accepted Google’s proposed settlement, according to two people briefed on the agreement who spoke anonymously because the proposal was not yet public.

Google will not have to change the algorithm that produces its search results, the people said. Under the proposal, Google agrees to clearly label search results from its own properties, like Google Plus Local or Google News, and in some cases to show links from rival search engines.

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White House Reverses Its Stance On Cell Phone Unlocking After Citizen Petition

After being interviewed on Monday by Amy Goodman on “Democracy Now!” the political activist and former GOP staffer, Derick Khanna received a call from the White House. Khanna was told that the Obama administration would change it’s stance and come out against the Librarian of Congress who, in January 2013, decided that cellphone unlocking was a criminal offense.

The Administration said it will also put forth its own legislation that will decriminalize cellphone unlocking and would be in favor of tablet unlocking as well (so long as the consumer owns the device, and is not under contract by a carrier).

Khanna, along with Sina Khanifar, collected over 114,000 signatures on their online petition at “We The People,” a website run by the White House.

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Adrien Chen On Theorizing The Web

Betabeat has a write up of the awesome conference that went down last weekend on internet issues and social media, Theorizing The Web. Gawker writer Adrien Chen has some reflections too.

If you read Nathan Jurgenson’s pieces on Snapchat or Instagram, you see someone who really values and understands the technology but is also highly skeptical and curious about how it really works. It all goes back to the question of control: Are we letting these technologies control us while Silicon Valley billionaires get rich? Or can we maintain our critical facilities and agency, while still taking advantage of social media? Theory can help us address the very real issues about social media without falling into the technophobic “is facebook making us lonely” panic that characterizes so much mainstream discourse around social media and the internet.

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