Archive | November 2007

Check It!

Hip hop started in China.

This was actually produced by Nokia to promote the N-Series in China. Cool. What’s Cool?

Social Networking Websites Don’t Democratize

I’ve been thinking about the comment that Louise left on this post. I realized that I didn’t consider social networking into my answer because I don’t feel that it is a democratizing force online. For me, this issue of democratization is wrapped around power and access and social networking websites do neither.

It all starts with content. On the web, content is analogous to real estate in the real world. The more content you own (and the higher the quality) gives you more power to throw around on the web because it shows expertise and drives an audience. It’s the reason why everyone reads Russell Davies’ blog and not mine. Social networking websites, I feel, don’t encourage the creation of content, rather they encourage you to categorize yourself based on content you consume like those favorites lists and so on.

Since there is little content on social networking sites, it’s closed off to search bugs from Google- though it may also be due to IT magic. However the point is that Google is the gateway for information and if content from SNS websites can’t be retrieved then it’s useless. This is the information age and power is partly derived from having open access to information.

And lastly, the point of SNS websites is not to make new friends, but to keep in touch with the ones you already have. We did a survey at R/GA once to measure behaviors on Myspace and Facebook and we found that making new friends was ranked near the bottom when we asked what they usually do on those websites. The way we use these websites infers that SNS websites don’t necessarily have the reach and influence to be a democratizing force all on its own. However, that doesn’t mean we can change that behavior so that we can use it to garner power.

Conversation on Gtalk

I was up late working on something and saw my friend online.

me: wow! up late?

Friend: it’s just midnight? I’m more surprised that you’re up (she’s on the West Coast)

me: ah, never mind

Friend: go to bed!

me: i was. then i had this revelation about how to sell appliances to gen x women

Friend: wow

Democratization of the Digital World

The mad dash for post school employment has officially started. I’ve shaved my head already and am planning to acquire a set of emo glasses and a British accent to set myself ahead of the pack. =)

Seriously though, I was going through the WPP Fellowship application and it had an interesting question that makes for a good blog posting:

A new book about the growth of blogging and social networking claims that ‘the democratisation of the digital world is destroying our economy, our culture and our values’. What do you think – and why?

So I says to them I says:

The main idea from that quote is power. The author is a traditionalist who carries their ideology from a different era that values the centralization of power. His issue is the fragmentation of power. I agree that democratization will destroy all those things – but not without recreating something else that will sustain us just as well as the old model is doing now. I believe there is a generation of business, cultural and social entrepreneurs who can be more efficient and effective than the long standing institutions.

However, it’s not as democratized as it may seem – it’s only because the digital world is still young. Note that there are companies that are putting together large networks of premium content – such as the NBC/FOX online video streaming website Hulu. They are relegating Youtube to total amateur status the way the same TV networks positioned against public access TV. Because so many things in life – including power – are driven by money, I would venture to say there is no democracy to begin with.

However, with enough time, I could see someone from my generation making the same argument as a future generation is tearing down the model we built to create something new.

The Way ‘Zines Should Be

Who says magazines are dead? They’re alive and kickin’ on the web – but not like those ‘zines or ezines or whatever they’re called. An online magazine for me was always defined as a PDF you download or a website/blog. The thing is, those forms of online magazines don’t take advantage of technology to make their content and presentation more interactive and engaging.

Through some random clicking, I found Coldtea – a Chinese online magazine that focuses on fashion, photography, style and culture. To view this magazine, you download an .exe file that runs like a little program. Below are some screenshots, which don’t do the experience much justice.

Everything is in Flash so things are animated – like the turning of the page and some of the art pieces. There is also a soundtrack that plays in the background as you read through it. And lastly, they embed videos and voice tracks inside to give the written words and photos some more dimension.

This takes magazine reading from a thing we do to something we experience. I can’t wait for some of my favorite magazines to start doing this. Oh, and there’s another online magazine called Certain that does something similar, though with no animation

My Little Dead Dick

I was browsing my new favorite website “We Make Money Not Art” and found [NSFW] My Little Dead Dick. They are a couple who decided to just pick up and leave their homes to travel and take photographs. I am jealous and I intend to live vicariously through their work, check out the little description below the picture and you will too.

A review from their website:
These photographs make me want to flee — not flee anything in particular, but simply flee for the pure elation that comes from irresponsibly picking up and leaving. Because what starts as irresponsibility so often turns into opportunity, and sometimes you just need a little nudge to make that leap. This series feels like a good, hard shove.

Picture Story

I found this stuff in the trash can last night. The stuff in there infers an interesting story whether or not it’s true to what actually happened.