• The Smooth Criminal And (Social Media) Society
    Americans have always had an ambivalent attitude towards criminals: for the most part they despise the chaos they bring into people's lives -- especially if it happens to be their own lives -- but occasionally they take a shine to particularly successful and/or charismatic villain, and then it's a whole different story. How about when said villain has his own Facebook fanpage?
  • How MySpace Wired The 21st Century's First Transistor Radio
    It was only a matter of time before the social networks became audio advertisers, and verily, it hath come to pass: MySpace announced a deal earlier this week making TargetSpot, one of the big online audio ad brokers, the exclusive ad sales representative for MySpace audio ads.
  • Half A Million Tiny Voices Converge On MinyanLand
    Sort of a weird coincidence: As I was pontificating about the social media usage patterns of young 'uns yesterday, MinyanLand -- a virtual world where kids can learn about financial responsibility -- celebrated its second birthday by announcing it has 500,000 registered members ages 6-12. My first thought was, Thank God it's a virtual world. My second thought was, Geez, that really is a lot of kids -- I wonder how big the age cohort is overall?
  • Digital Rites Management
    For some the phrase "rites of passage" summons up images of indigenous tribesmen dancing, or a solemn ceremony in a medieval Catholic church, or awkward height mismatches on the dance floor at one of the many absurdly-themed bar mitzvahs they attended in their younger years. But rites of passage exist in every society -- which logically means they exist online too, in some form or another. The most obvious ones are imposed by authorities, albeit lamely: For instance, when you're 17 you have to lie to look at porn, but when you're 18, you don't have to lie anymore
  • Crying Foul On Pepsi's Social Media Cop-Out
    In adolescence many of us discovered that you can get "cool" points by not doing what other people are doing, not going where other people are going -- i.e., rebellion. Then, sometime later, we discovered that we were bored and lonely: being cool wasn't particularly glamorous when it was just you there underneath the bleachers. Reminiscent of this adolescent phase is Pepsi's ultra-cool snubbing of the Super Bowl on Sunday after over two decades as the event's top soft drink advertiser, leaving the field to Coca-Cola.
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