Tragic Incidents and Social Media

There was a 23 year old beaten and murdered outside of a California club. The news has been passing through my Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds all day. I’ve been meaning to Tweet or Facebook or something about the incident, but think it deserves more than a Facebook post or a 140 character tweet.

This is a tragic incident and my heart is absolutely broken at the notion of such a young girl meeting her death from such an every day activity as going out. This could’ve happened to anyone and it does. Just Google “beaten to death outside of club” if you’re into that sort of thing.

What’s really disappointing, is how people took the time to take photos and video to upload onto Instagram, Twitter and Facebook while this young girl was getting the living daylights beaten out of her. And then she ended up dying.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s up to the spectators to be superheros but I wonder what it was like before all this social media stuff.

I mean, if people have the time to take photos and video, shouldn’t they… well, call for help? There are club bouncers for a reason. Or at least call 9-1-1 before taking the photo and choosing a filter.

Think back to when we had our Nokia phones, BlackBerries and even Sidekicks and we saw someone getting beat up. Did we still stand around and watch? Did we pretend not to notice? When did we start thinking collectively as a society, that it’s ok to share with our networks vs. helping?

Or is our sharing, just a way to help us humans process such shocking events?

Either which way, something to think about as functioning humans in civilized societies. And especially, for our next generations.

Coverage on the incident are here and here.

Finally: Facebook ‘fesses up


AdAge just told their readership Facebook states in a sales deck that:

We expect organic distrobution of an individual’s page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have meaningful experience on the site.

What that means in normal people talk is this: we are tweaking our algo so all you brands with your millions of dollars in marketing funds can no longer free-load. Pay up or your ‘introducing our deliciously fresh new toilet cleaner’ announcement will be buried in a mountain of “I hate my job, my life, my friends, I’m so fat I want to die” and “look at the bajillionth photo of my kid from an angle shifted 0.00099090809890834 pixels to the right” posts in the newsfeed.

Paying Facebook to make posts more visible isn’t a new practice, as I started seeing the shift back in 2011. I did a lot of digital work for major brands and entertainment properties that heavily relied on Facebook’s look at this post…again and again and again again every time someone comments or LIKEs effect. Hell, even regular people can pay to have their “my piece of shit boyfriend just cheated on me. I hope he dies.” Facebook update pinned to the top of our newsfeeds (I’ve seen it happen before haha).

I really don’t blame Facebook for finally cracking down and expecting mega brands with their super budgets to pay-up. The bummer lies with the small to mid-sized business looking to extend their reach. Or even startups that focus their entire traction strategies on social — namely Facebook.

Just like how we never saw another phenomenal success like Farmville on Facebook’s gaming platform (remember that?) I guess TOM’s success — the Japanese 500 portfolio company that reached 10M fans in less than a year — will never be repeated. Maybe they will go down in the Guinness Book of World Records or something.

I for one, welcome the change. It’ll be fun to see how the fluffy social media gurus-ninjas-futurists-[insert whatever else douche-y name here] will scramble to step their strategic games up.

May the best man or brand or strategist or agency win!
source: AdAge

How a Relationship Dies

Russell Clayton, a doctoral student at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, who surveyed two hundred and five Facebook users about relationship conflicts related to Facebook. “Our study found that excessive Facebook users are more likely to connect or reconnect with other Facebook users, including previous partners, which may lead to emotional and physical cheating,” Clayton said, according toScienceDaily. He went on, “Facebook may be a threat to relationships that are not fully matured.”

via “How a relationship Dies” — The New Yorker

When trust and security  two of — if not the most — important factors in a lasting, healthy relationship, excessive Facbooking (basically creeping on people’s profiles and photos) can be detrimental. But we are so used to mindless stalking, it doesn’t really register.

I was in a long distance relationship for a while and I agree, it’s really difficult, near impossible not to be jealous when the underlying trust isn’t built yet. A lot of his activity would pour into my feed and his LIKEs of photos of random girls and flirty comments he would leave started bothering me.  The worst, was when I started questioning myself for being bothered by his actions. So I unfriended him.

That said, although I’m well beyond my teenage years, I use the Internet and social networks like one. I constantly have several apps open, have several group chats, one-on-one texting sessions going while browsing Twitter and Instagram so I’m probably biased to the above opinion of this one Russell Clayton. Plus, I have experienced it first-hand.

Ah, social networks — or more like, no more long distance relationships for me. Either way, I learned something about myself and in the end, that’s all that matters.

Twitter and Facebook

I don’t know what happened but since I moved to Tokyo, I’m bored of Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong, I still keep up with everyone’s lives but reacting with a comment, at reply, LIKE or favorite is no longer fun for me.

I only use Twitter now to get information (ex: latest news, find funny things, see what’s going on in the world outside of Japan / APAC, etc.) when before I used to give information as well. And Facebook? There are times I don’t log-on for days, when before I used to be glued to my newsfeed.

Perhaps I’m simply over social networks, especially since I started blogging on my own domains. (if you’re interested, I have a blog about my life in Tokyo here). I’m also blogging a lot more here, which I guess is a good thing?

Maybe I’m just weird — someone even told me on Facebook that I’m “backwards”, when I announced I started a Tokyo blog haha

Oh. Now I Get It. #netneutrality

I kinda got I should care about net neutrality because I love -well live- on the Internet. So I should be ashamed to admit I had no idea what net neutrality was and why I should care.

But I’m not.

I mean look. It’s not my fault most net neutrality articles read like research papers. The worst pieces are the ones that sound like LSAT sample questions. FCC this. Regulations that. Proposals. Rules. House. Senate. Law. Hmmm what?

In one ear, out the other.

Well.Thanks to Fred Wilson’s post here and USV’s post here, I finally comprehend what net neutrality is, why I should care and why you, fellow Internet user, should care too. So click on those links. Stat.

Still here?

Ok fine. How about this. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have Google (Gmail included), Facebook and/or Twitter always open in your browser?
  • Do you go on YouTube, Vimeo or any other video site?
  • Do you stream video on Netflix, Hulu or any other site?
  • Do you download music or movies? (it’s ok to say yes btw, I won’t tell.)
  • Are you an entrepreneur?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, net neutrality applies to you too.

Pretty serious, right?


Ok then how about this: picture the Internet ending up like cable TV or worse, the radio, where the things we (the public) see or hear is controlled by $$$.

Do I have your attention now? Read this

Ugh. The notion of money hungry a-holes trying to destroy the Internet makes me ill. I mean it’s one of the last places where everyone has a voice, no matter who you know, where you come from or what you look like.

So gross.

ps: don’t forget to read this

Why Facebook Usernames are Such a Big Deal.

Simple: you will be Googleable*.

Take it a step further, and you can potentially turn your Facebook into your business card…or personal website…or where you send your family and friends to keep up with your life. The possibilities are endless.

One of the best things about Facebook is consolidating a lot of your web stuff into one place. You can do it from your wall by clicking “Settings”. Then the sites available for importing will pull up: i.e. YouTube, Flickr, Yelp, etc. like this: (points below)
Picture 2-1

So instead of directing people all over the web, just point them to your Facebook page for a one stop shop. Awesome.

But the most important thing to know, are your privacy settings**.
If you don’t want people to see your activities, set your privacy!! (Settings -> Privacy Settings -> Profile) I only allow tagged photos and videos to be seen by my eyes only — don’t want incriminating stuff floating around the web. ;)

Facebook | Profile Privacy

I’m super excited because I know all the crap my peers had to go through in order to generate traffic to their various sites. We have it so frickin’ easy, it makes me respect the Internet OGs even more. Chris, Dave, and Scoble, I’m looking at you guys!

You better believe I am drinking Facebook’s Google Juice.
Frankly, I’ll be chugging it down!

* Expanded discussion on how you will be “Googleable” on my Facebook.
** Nick also has a DOPE write-up about privacy: “10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know.

Facebook Change of Policy: Why You Should Care

Basically, they are saying:

“What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine.”

Now it’s no secret TOS (Terms of Service) concerns didn’t start with Facebook. Facebook also isn’t the only site telling users: “Hey, we own your content.” My problem is with the licensing and sub-licensing and what they can do with content we put on their site. But the worst part is, Facebook makes sharing everything SO easy.

So why is this relevant to you? Picture this:

  • A video that you uploaded of your baby eating was so cute, it became super popular in the say – Mommy Application you installed. If Facebook catches wind of that, they can sell it to like say… Gerber to turn into a commercial/ad. Who gets paid? FACEBOOK.
  • You write poetry and upload to your Facebook notes and blog. You write more poetry and upload to Facebook notes and blog. Your poetry becomes popular and published. So who really owns the rights to the book?
  • That one picture of your dog is so damn cute, people are sharing it with everyone else. Facebook finds out about it and decides to sell the image to saaay – Alpo. That commercial becomes super popular. Who gets paid? FACEBOOK.

See the pattern?
If you think things don’t spread, you are wrong. Take the 25 Things, for example. People were complaining about how stupid it was, but fact remains, it spread. Even TIME Magazine wrote an article about it. No one can predict what will spread.

I am not trying to make you paranoid nor am I trying to start a TOS revolution. All I’m saying is remember the next time you upload or import something to share, Facebook WILL own it and you have given them the right to redistribute – and profit.

Further discussions on my Facebook here and on FriendFeed here and Mike has a great example of why we need to be aware in: “Facebook Lays an Egg
Edit: Mark Zuckerberg’s response here. And usual, Duncan Riley of the Inquisitr says it best: “Word of advice: get your blog content off Facebook ASAP .

Edit 2/18 Facebook Reverts TOS