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.

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?

No?

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

The BBB’s Creepy PR Video #unnecessary

I came across disturbing news about The Better Business Bureau, and how they were accepting bribes for grading businesses.

It’s a bummer, since the BBB is quite useful for online shopping when I need to check if a merchant is legit. Now that I think about it, the main alternative to the BBB is Yelp…another offender of selling out the public but at least Yelp posts reviews from real people.

Anyway, the BBB addressed the public by responding on Twitter and linked us to their public apology. The press release with all that PR bullshit was expected but they included a video message from the President/CEO. While I highly commend them for attempting to connect with the public, that post and video creeped me the fuck out. The President/CEO guy’s body language, mannerisms and intonation reminded me of the guy from America’s Most Wanted. Note: I couldn’t embed the BBB video here but you can watch it by clicking this. YouTube clip of America’s Most Wanted is here.

Sorry (well not really) but once an organization catering to the public breaks my trust, it takes a lot to regain it…and that lame video didn’t do anything for me. Actually, the correlation between the CEO guy and America’s Most Wanted makes me distrust the BBB even more.

That’s me though. Will you still trust the Better Business Bureau?

Harvard Library Tweets Books Checked Out but One Problem


Harvard University put up a beautifully executed site where the books checked out from their five respective libraries are aggregated, Tweeted and integrated with their proprietary catalog database (Hollis)


Fascinating and educational, as I am always looking for new ways to learn. Times like these I fall in love with the Internet allllll over again.

However. Where do past Tweets go? How do I pull up archives?? Am I the only one who wants more than real-time data???

There are ways to look up and archive my data (Tweettake, BackUp-ify, even FriendFeed) but there are so many neat Twitter API based services. Such a bummer there is no efficient search or archive.

Anyone have suggestions or methods they want to share?

Proof Number of Followers Don’t Matter on Twitter

It’s frustrating to see so much weight placed on follower count, but articles like these give me a glimmer of hope. From AdAge:

“[…]But his first round of magazine-cover appearances suggest that the conversion rate between dollars and tweets is still pretty unclear. And not everyone, it seems, can cash in yet.

[…]
The issue sold just more than 1 million copies at newsstand, about 20% below the newsstand average for early issues this year and 20% below its newsstand average in April 2009.

People’s later cover with Sandra Bullock, who doesn’t appear to have a Twitter account but does have an Oscar, sold more than twice as many newsstand copies.”


Separately, there was an article in HBR today dissecting Twitter followers and how it correlates to influence.

Totally gonna toot my own horn, but I’ve been saying since lord knows when: Grow out of the Tila Tequila mentality. Follower count does not equate to influence. If 3 million people are following, but no one is listening, are you popular and not an influencer? Why didn’t Beiber’s People issue sell more than Sandra Bullock’s issue? Does popularity equate to conversion? Or even reach?

Only time will tell, but me? I’d rather have a fraction of followers who actually engage. I think it’s time we re-think the terms: influencer and popular. #fridayfoodforthought