Tag Archives: Facebook

Modern Family: Send Out the Clowns

KIP MOONEY: Tonight’s episode suffered from a classic case of Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen. The script is credited to three of the show’s writers, and that leads to a very fragmented half-hour. The problem was not laziness, which…

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In Briefs: Monkeys

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Monkeys recognize their friends in photographs!

In other news, a monkey was fired today because facebook photos it had
been tagged in showing it drinking and partying last weekend were
discovered by management.

AKIE BERMISS: are monkeys getting smarter as we get stupider? is this how the scenario for Planet of the Apes really starts? humans start watching reality television and staying on facebook all day, Monkeys wake up to enlightened consciousness and just push us aside… Continue reading

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Taking Pictures

NAVA BRAHE: I’m not a picture person. I’ve never been one of those people who always has a camera with her, or albums of photos strewn about my house. Actually, all my pictures are in boxes right now, and that’s fine with me. Maybe that’s because I used to see so many stereotypical tourists in Manhattan wearing socks and sandals, with 35mm cameras hanging around their necks. Or, maybe its because my parents weren’t camera people. Don’t get me wrong, there were always plenty of pictures around, but my mom and dad were never jostling for position with the Kodak Instamatic at weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and other events. Therefore, neither am I.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I’ve found myself becoming concerned in recent years about the dearth of actual printed paper photographs. It seems as though in a world where we are increasingly living our lives online, our photos are now stuck there too. As there is almost never a situation in which there isn’t a screen handy on which to pull up a picture you wish to show someone—either on a phone, a laptop or an iPad—hard copies of photographs are becoming few and far between. Continue reading

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The Palin Kids

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: In case you missed the latest Teen Drama You’re Not Allowed to Avoid, it is this: Willow Palin, 16-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin, got into a Facebook argument that included homophobic slurs, fat jokes, and curse words. Dear Palin Household, I have two questions: one, did you have the conversation with your kids about “don’t say stuff that might make Mom (or Bristol) look bad”? And two, if you did, did you remember to include “homophobic things” under “stuff”?

AKIE BERMISS: Basically, I agree with Dani. When I was young, I know we used homophobic epithets for everything. That’s just growing up in Brooklyn and talking slang and being ignorant and insensitive (and also a childless clueless reflection of adult society’s context clues). But when I got a little older — that is, when all my friends hit puberty — and some of them started to “come out” AND remain part of the circle of friends… well, then I started to think more about my language. Also, I knew, no matter what kind of slang or profanity I was saying, that my parents would not approve of such things as were meant to subjugate an entire group of people to generalized negativity. Alas, I’ve gone to far inside, perhaps. I’m sure the Palins are VERY different parents than mine were. Why even the poorly disguised disdain for community organizers and educators runs totally opposite from my upbringing under a father who was, basically, a community organizer and a mother who was, to her very core personally and professionally, an educator. Continue reading

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SEO Optimization

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: It’s not that I don’t believe in the healing power of Search Engine Optimization, it’s just that…Ok, so I don’t really believe in the healing power of Search Engine Optimization. It’s not that it isn’t legitimate– it just seems like the kind of thing that is easily misused and abused. The same can be said for Social Media Marketing; it also seems to have been embraced by all sorts of companies that probably shouldn’t have bothered. Do I really want to follow an insurance company on Twitter, or be Facebook friends with my bodywash? Hmm…no.

NAVA BRAHE: Molly, SEO isn’t an easy nut to crack, but when it’s done right, there’s no disputing its efficacy, or its impact. I was as much of a skeptic as you, but when you get an “in” on the technique from the right people, the proof is very much in the pudding.

When I moved back to Toronto last year, I stumbled into the world of SEO when I answered an ad on Craig’s List, placed by an SEO firm looking for a copy writer. I thought, sure, I can write copy, but I really had no idea what “keywords” were. Google was something I used sporadically, and was told not to trust it in no uncertain terms during the semester I took “Research Methods” in grad school. Since I was new on the scene and needed a job, I thought, what the hell; I’ll give it a shot. It was tough in the beginning, but now I find it more challenging, and more rewarding than I ever imagined.

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Review: The Social Network

LAURA ROBERTS: I just got home from a matinee viewing of The Social Network, aka “the Facebook movie,” and I must begin by saying that all the naysayers who are upset that it “doesn’t capture the zeitgeist” are wrong.

It captures the zeitgeist perfectly, and that’s the scariest thing any movie can do.

HOWARD MEGDAL: It should tell you plenty that the primary criticism of The Social Network, or really of Aaron Sorkin’s work in general, is two-fold: the characters are too witty and intelligent for real life, and he doesn’t always stick to the facts.

Note what is missing there: no one looks to criticize the entertainment value of the writing itself, the pace, or the gripping nature of his stories. And that’s because they can’t.

THOMAS DELAPA: As well as The Social Network works with its wit and drive, it also leaves you unsatisfied on a deeper level, not unlike Fincher’s Fight Club and his other punchy contemporary dramas. He and Sorkin are so busy turning the Facebook/Zuckerberg back pages, they don’t seem to much care about what’s going on between the lines.
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AKIE BERMISS: We, twenty-somethings! They speak ill of us. Our youth, our beauty, our unbridled exuberance. They are jealous of us, of course. It was ever thus. To be old is to be cynical — and much of that cynicism is aimed at the young. Of course, dependents are off-limits. Even 18, 19, and 20 are still considered childhood (mostly) in our society. Soon as you his 21 — that magic number — suddenly you are no longer above (or is it beneath, perhaps) reproach. Everybody knows how to do it better and everyone thinks you’re doing it wrong. That’s fine — that’s what being 20 is all about. Gotta let all the old-timers take pot-shots at you.

NAVA BRAHE: For those of you who are of my generation: born in the late 60s, screwed over in the late 80s, prosperous in the late 90’s – until the bottom fell out 2 years ago, you’re probably wondering what all this “emerging adulthood” business is about. Let me put it in a somewhat generational perspective for you, reminiscent of Gilda Radner’s beloved Saturday Night Live character, Emily Litella: “What’s all this I’m hearing about ‘emerging adulthood?” Well Emily, it’s just the 20-somethings’ way of postponing the inevitable; winding up like me.

THOMAS DELAPA:: I agree that generational generalizations can be simplistic and even misleading, but it’s one way (of many) of grappling with and understanding social trends… A lot of what we’re discussing seems to involve the changing American Dream for ordinary workers, young and old, if not its collapse. The financial stress and crushing foreclosures many people are experiencing mirror the monstrous national debt the country is facing. Individuals spent all that money on whatever (SUVs, big homes, home theaters, college, stuff) without thinking about the consequences, betting their home prices and wages would continue to rise. Likewise, the US of A. $1 trillion for a war in Iraq? No problem. Just borrow it. Whatever you do, don’t tax anyone to pay for it. In fact, lower taxes to get (re)elected. Continue reading

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Facebook and Hate Speech (And Breasts)

HOWARD MEGDAL: Facebook has every right to limit speech on their site. But that doesn’t mean they should, even if it is so-called hate speech. And believe me: I’m no fan of Holocaust-deniers.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: The right to kick customers out if they don’t like what you’re saying or doing is wielded liberally by restaurant and nightclub owners everywhere; it is also the right of librarians, even though libraries are public. Thus, I don’t really have a problem with Facebook’s administrators taking measures to censor or disallow certain types of content, as long as they are fairly consistent with regard to removing content that is fairly universally offensive. The problem is, they aren’t.

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: A private entity (including even a publicly-traded company) can make its own rules/allowances/proscriptions, as long as those do not violate the legally protected rights of persons. But freedom of speech is not something that has no limits. Recall that one does not have the right to yell “Fire!” in a crowded playhouse (or, for that matter, “Play!” in a crowded firehouse). I don’t have to let a visitor to my house deny the Holocaust. Facebook doesn’t have to let subscribers say anything they want.

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CNN Reporting On Its Own Twitter Feed

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Meandering out of the gym one afternoon last week, I happened to glance over at one of the giant, ubiquitious plasma TVs that line the walls of every self-respecting gym. Because you can’t have working out without TVs! In any event, this particular TV was tuned to CNN, and at the moment I looked over, the main camera was zooming in for a close-up of…a Twitter message.

HOWARD MEGDAL: CNN’s dangerous decision to start reporting from its own Twitter feed has nearly as many disadvantages as advantages. The biggest problem is the extent it strays from the vital pillars of journalism: random blog posts, what other networks are reporting about, Facebook rants and iReports. Continue reading

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Super Sad True Love Story: Shteyngart’s Latest

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: I love Gary Shteyngart. I’m just not quite yet sure what I thought about Super Sad True Love Story.

HOWARD MEGDAL: At the risk of disagreeing with Jillian, I found Super Sad True Love Story to be both his best book to date, and the most important work. While Absurdistan does a fantastic job lampooning what has just happened in the world, Super Sad gives the identical treatment to what is to come if we aren’t vigilant- and perhaps, even if we are. Continue reading

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