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Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

I love getting emails from Facebook like, “We’ve missed you. You’ve missed a lot of great stuff that’s been going on.”

Really? Missed me? I’ve missed out on ‘great stuff”?

I don’t think anyone missed my posting about what I had for lunch the other day. (by the way it was Cheetos and water and some Ritz crackers left in the bottom of an old lunch bag.) And I could have updated my status but you know I was also thinking about what I do. Literally, thinking about the work I do.  I could have posted something like, “Been sitting here for an hour, staring at the computer monitor trying to figure out why this book outline sucks.” But instead I was, you know, thinking and working on it.

And as far as them saying I’ve been missing-out on stuff –that’s impossible. Are they saying that whatever it was that was posted is GONE NOW FOREVER. Let me explain this thing called The Internet – Every stupid thing that’s on it will still be there, somewhere, till the Earth is swallowed-up by the sun. I will be able to read everything posted (ever posted!) for as long as I live. Hell, long after I’m dead people will be able to scroll though my Facebook posts and see that on October 1st, 2012 I LIKED a picture of my friends dog. You can’t MISS anything. It’s a version of hell actually. No matter how Facebook wants to treat this like a feature, I know it’s a bug. Why would the universe WANT all this crap stored – FOREVER? It’s a bug.

I already waste time with this blog. I don’t know why. And it’s embarrassing to try and make up answers when people ask, “Why do you have a blog? Do you think I should keep a blog? What do you talk about on your blog?”

How dumb blogs are?

But my blog is MY blog. I can post once a week. Twice. I can ignore it for a month…no one cares.

And at least my blog doesn’t write me idiotic e-mails telling me I should post more. “Hey Mark! I’ve missed you. You only posted once last week. Don’t you like me? Come on back!”

I know, I know. Facebook doesn’t have anything to make money from if people don’t constantly provide it with fresh content. So yeah, I get it. If all those Facebookians want to buy new cars I better get back there and post more. After all, I wouldn’t want to hurt Facebook’s feelings. Or miss out on stuff that…can never, ever be missed out on.

Facebook is like a Ferris Wheel ride…it’s interesting at first. It’s amusing. Wow. Look at all those roofs. But now 7 minutes have passed and we are still going…now 30 minutes. You start to yell. But everyone just smiles back at you. 39 hours later the novelty is gone. But the puking has really kicked in. And this Ferris Wheel NEVER ENDS. It never stops. The Ferris Wheel operators have your credit card and they just keep swiping it. And once in a while they yell as you WIZZ by, “Isn’t this awesome! Don’t you want to keep going?!” And you yell, “NO! Please if there’s a God above, no, stop!” And the operators just give you that finger pointed to the ear gesture like they can’t hear you.

Something like that…And this will be cross posted to Facebook. So there you go…

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Social Media Apocalypse

A friend mentioned that you could write an entire paragraph about social media that no one would have understood 5 years ago.

I’ve got my Twitter posts tied to my blog postings, linked to LinkedIn and showing up on my Facebook wall. Technically my WordPress Blog posts are broadcast to Twitter and my Facebook timeline and LinkedIn, but not to Google +. Honestly, I’m not sure who is in my circles on Google + and whose circle I’m in. I’m not even sure I understand the concept of ‘circle’ the way Google has applied it to Google +. Instead of circles, I think they should use fractals. Isn’t social media, in some way, just chaos theory with pictures of kittens?

I think I have a social media disorder (SMD). That is different from Social Media Obsession (SMO), which has taken out a few of my friends these past years. I still love them, but I don’t really care if they LIKE – 100% cotton socks…

I don’t know about 10 years ago, but I can hardly understand it all now.

But I am a survivor. SMD will not stop me from reaching out 3, 4 or 5 times a week and using the internet to bug people. To bug people whom I have never met, except on the net. And I get bugged right back. And that’s communication in the 21st Century.

Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ my Earthling! page.

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Jaron Lanier has a very good piece in the New York Times (go read it!) about what the internet has turned into. He looks at the SOPA protests and compares it against – reality. Which is that the Internet has turned into a giant, traveling salesman now. The unintended side effect of ‘information must be free’ on the internet, is that your information is given away for free and is collected and turned into money by the companies that collect it.

Lanier makes some great points about how this freedom issue has lead to everything being ad supported online. And that has lead to our lives being a commodity in the great virtual sales matrix. Places like Facebook will build a tidy profit in hosting your life, in ways we can’t imagine. And none of the monies will be shared with you, the content creator. And he warns, maybe it’s all well intentioned social outreach now, but are people really prepared to have their entire life sitting on Facebook servers for the next…well, forever? What kind of business plan will the people who run Facebook in 30 years have for everything you’ve given them?

At the end of Lanier’s essay he writes:

“This belief in “free” information is blocking future potential paths for the Internet. What if ordinary users routinely earned micropayments for their contributions? If all content were valued instead of only mogul content, perhaps an information economy would elevate success for all. But under the current terms of debate that idea can barely be whispered.”

That sums up part of the issue for me. We are gladly giving up so much of ourselves, just to be liked (literally) that we are gladly handing over our actual life to companies who will sell it in ways yet unimagined. Most of us are the proletariat of the internet economy.

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I did some animation for a game that has recently gone live on Facebook. Not that I even know how to install a game on Facebook…or how to find it. I THINK it lives here and if you have a Facebook account you can play it, though it requires Flash. So don’t try it on an iOS device. Maybe we’ll have news on that front soon!?

Anyway, I designed and animated jumping pigs, parachuting trolls and flipping coins. Yup, you guessed it! It’s a retirement savings game! (As if the trolls didn’t give THAT away!) It’s called, Stash and Dash – a Retirement Savings Game. Actually, my retirement savings is more like a joke than a game, but that’s another story.

Find it, play it, practice saving retirement money with it. I guess while you play you could consider the time well spent as you would theoretically be earning say point 3 or point 5 on your real retirement savings. In my case, if I spend an hour playing the game I’ll earn about a third of a cent in my real retirement savings. So when I retire in 30 years I will have about thirty eight bucks in actual savings. But in the Stash and Dash game I’ll have saved the $1.2 million the game says you need when you retire. So then I can virtually retire with some virtual comfort. Ugh. This is depressing. Just play the game and have fun!

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It’s off-topic Sunday! Where I, well, you know, write an off topic post. Today it’s Facebook.

So I have a Facebook account. After 6 people emailed me in like a two week span, I gave in and got me one. I don’t know exactly why it fascinates me. I’ve grown to think of it as a 2nd-Life for people who don’t play 2nd-Life, Web 2.0, social application, white noise generator. It’s like the Midway of the Internet, except all the Carnies can not only guess your weight and age, they know your email address and what website you last visited.

Top 5 applications I want to create and install on Facebook:

1- PAY ME – once anyone installs the application it automatically deposits 25 cents in my Paypall account every 45 minutes.

2 – EMERGENCY – once someone installs the application it randomly dials the local 911 number of one of my Facebook ‘friends’ and demands a swat team at the residence.

3 – MARKY’S BIRTHDAY – when you install this app it triggers an automatic email message to you and and all your Facebook ‘Friends’ reminding them when my birthday is.

4 – CASUAL FRIDAY – a user installs this application and they get a daily email, fax (if number provided) and robotic phone call reminding them that every Friday is a ‘casual Friday’.

5 – BUY THIS – once this simple application is installed it rifles through all your personal emails, websites, voice mails, instant messages, web cookies, passwords, Amazon lists ETC and sends the results to the top bidder of the day. (Oh, wait, I think Mark Zuckerberg already made this app…)

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