@methadonna: I definitely think - and this is an attitude that you see in forums like FYAD, and going back to usenet and IRC and stuff - that the internet is meant to be a playground and whenever people try to treat it purely as a place to make money, they are going to run into this sort of static.
When I was working on Thief with Doug Church, way, way back in the day, we always said that vibe was more important than story. I think that's the same thing as what you're saying. Put the player in an interesting world and make him feel like there's interesting things around the corner. That's way more important than specific details about what's going on.
We have a new real-time, global culture that is not only technological but also social. Experiences like imitating the YouTube videos for “Single Ladies,” “Somebody That I Used To Know” and “Call Me Maybe” create instant traditions, or “meta-memes,” that prime us to become ultra-efficient human information routers. Memes become themes become meta-memes become norms. A few years ago, few people... would have posted a video of themselves singing or dancing on YouTube. Today, for many, doing so is not only second nature—it’s urgent. In our real-time culture, meme speed matters. Primacy is more important than privacy.
The Web is a regular medium whose language is the hyperlink. The varieties of hyperlinking constitute the vocabulary of the Web. If I give you an isolated URL to type into your browser, for a stand-alone web page with a video or a piece of text, you are not really on the Web. If there is no clickable hyperlink involved, you are just using the browser as a novel reading device.
In 2008, Duncan Watts published a paper that proved that it wasn’t actually a small, powerful group of influencers in that encouraged massive change. The masses basically adopted something when they collectively wanted it. While this is unfortunate for Gladwell, it leads us to this reminder that networks themselves have a preference, and they collectively filter and promote. In the infancy of the... net, it was predicted that one day we would have a great collective discourse that would drive change. Sadly, this never happened, the networks propensity to act as a hive mind leaves us more polarized than curious. So given the limits of our own networks it becomes important to work across many desperate networks. When we think about how networks filter for content, we’ll do better spending time where there’s a large amount of anonymity and the community acts as a meritocracy.
In the past, I’ve written about the power of committing to an idea. But I had argued for commitment in order to psych yourself up for a gnarly challenge, or work through a problem by sketching your ideas. I hadn’t considered how much committing might help shape your environment, which is such a powerful idea. It’s human nature for people want to help others, and this type of commitment plays right into our best intentions.
Further twitter isn’t a merely a news or broadcast medium. It’s something completely different. Importantly, there is a back channel. It’s alive and well. And we all have a voice. We can tweet back. We can @reply. We can use hashtags. Our voice and our 140 characters belong to us. And we can use it to shout, sing, laugh, cry, celebrate, mourn and yes, we can even argue.
Jan Baetens writes that words and pictures are two types of language: verbal and visual. Pictures organized within comic book panels must be perceived as a whole text if a story is to be conveyed to the reader. Through a model of what Baetens calls “relatedness,” the panels of a graphic novel are “related to one another so as to form . . . a unified whole” (Saraceni 167). In graphic novels, the... ‘text‘ is formed by the sequence of panels; panels are identical to the sequence of sentences in a text of just words; ” – sentences and panels represent the most identifiable units into which language-based texts and comics are respectively arranged” (Saraceni 169).
Social media, especially highly structured sites like Facebook, are partly akin to the amusement park in providing a controlled way to take risks with identity and behave in risky ways (stalking, sharing “too much,” etc.) and partly akin to old vicarious entertainments, only the risk-taking heroes are peers, not fictional characters or celebrities. They are instead the microfamous; they are... ourselves. The commercial fantasies are about ourselves. Like the action at plush casinos where you get to play at high-rollerdom, this social media action is “at once vicarious and real.” The different social media sites offer different ways to calibrate this balance, but it is easy to get wrong and they encourage that we lose sight of the more far-reaching consequences of impulsive behavior. The vicarious thrill of being able to broadcast, to seize a moment of self-definition (which must be risky — shameful, if you buy into Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s gloss on Silvan Tomkins’s affect theory — to feel rich and true) is social media’s product for users.
For one of the most profitable English-language apps of the last year, Rage of Bahamut’s interface is shockingly ugly. The fantasy-themed trading card game looks like two Yahoo! Geocities went to war with each other, with text scattered everywhere and dial-up speed load times between every page.
In the immediate aftermath of my resignation, I didn’t think I was ever gonna write again. I thought about going back to graduate school and becoming a teacher, and maybe one day I will do those things. But what I found was that, at my lowest point, when I didn’t know what else to do, I found msyelf at 3 a.m. trying to write, typing, just trying to get it out, trying to learn myself, trying to... figure myself out, trying to grapple, trying to wrestle with it. And as the months went by and I kept on writing — I’m still trying to write for a few hours every day — i was rediscovering … that writing was my own way of making sense of the world, making sense of myself. And so that’s why I’m still trying to do it. And I have no idea if i will, but what I can say for now is I have rediscovered my love of the job. … I still want to write because I remembered when it was too late how much I love writing.
Slater seems impressed by this pitch, declaring that “the measure of power that [online connecting] abdicates to the user is unprecedented” and trumpeting the “choice and control provided by these revolutionary means.” But the only way to become empowered by this form of control is to accede to being controlled on a higher level. To capitalize on convenience and autonomy in a consumer marketplace, we must first allow our desires to be commodified and suppress the desires that don’t lend themselves to commodification.
What Losse told me she meant is that there was no worth for a woman in sharing herself online before there was Facebook. There is a you, she said, a “Facebook you,” which is near to the real you, and an anonymous self, who is not you. For Losse, to share her “real” self online brought more risk than reward. The pseudonymous self, of course, can also be put to work, and can protect the “real” self... in the process. In fact, this is precisely why to a generation of people who came online before social media, the idea of ever using your real name was dangerous—until, Losse claims, Facebook. The reason Facebook made it preferable or valuable to be online as the “real” you, Losse told me, is also the reason why she believes people use Facebook at all—it isn’t necessarily to just look at these women, but because “women use it. And it feels safe.” That is, it’s not just the promise of women and women to look at it; it’s woman as hostess, woman as civilizer, woman not just as object of value, but, through her presence, a producer of a more valuable Facebook. The trade-off, however, to building this “safe space” for women that women never asked for, is the cut Facebook earns from our time on it. This isn’t to say Facebook is pimping us for kicks; they’re just a boss.
“His was a chariot of pure intent in a city out of control,” Hockenberry remembers. “Design blew it all away for a moment.” And this matters, he adds, because “an object imbued with intent has power. It’s treasure; we’re drawn to it. An object devoid of intent is random, imitative, it repels us. It is junkmail to be thrown away. This is what we must demand of our lives, of our objects, of our things, our circumstances: living with intent.” - John Hockenberry's TED talk
We haven’t yet formed good answers to this online. Streams reflect our ability to instantly put things out there, but what is the right amount of time to talk about an idea? To deep-dive into a subject? To have an argument? To celebrate, or to mourn?
“One could view the past five thousand years of painstaking, careful writing as the anomaly. Modern technologies allow written language to return more closely to the casual, personal style of pre-literate communication. And this is the style that resonates, and is remembered.”
Of course, no fossilized record can really tell us how people behaved or thought back then, much less why they behaved or thought as they did. Nonetheless, something funny happens when social scientists claim that a behavior is rooted in our evolutionary past. Assumptions about that behavior take on the immutability of a physical trait — they come to seem as biologically rooted as opposable thumbs or ejaculation.
In the future, Stein suggests, we'll think of a book less as a physical object than as a "place to congregate," in response to which David Weinberger, a researcher at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, tweeted provocatively that "private note-taking seems selfish to me. Make it all public."