Posts Tagged ‘web’

A free and open Internet, which I support, is frightening to most people. We all know the Internet’s a crazy place because many sites rely on their communities to police user-generated content. On social networking sites, we worry about predators and malware developers. And around every corner someone is trying to scam us out of our credit card number. We know this, but it’s still frightening.

There are two news items today that need some discussion.

pee-wee-hermanThe first comes from MySpace [via TechCrunch.] They’re boasting an increase in safety on their network, citing that 90,000 sex predators have been found and removed from the site. I’ve gotta say, that’s like me telling you that I cleaned out 90,000 rats from a mall… It’s a little disgusting.

Now, most of us view MySpace as a creepo stompin’ ground. But I think MySpace is doing the best job it can in the free and open Internet. Could it be more private like Facebook? Sure, but they don’t need to mimic Zuckerberg’s site.

Parents, your kids already think Fbook is infinitely cooler. If they don’t, introduce them to privacy settings.

Pervos, ugh, just take your stache somewhere else, or MySpace will find and remove you.

See? This free and open Internet isn’t too bad.

Now the second item is a stickier situation because it involves the saintly Google. If you don’t know, Google is on the vanguard of the battle against legislators who’d love to remove neutrality from the Internet.

It turns out that 4 Google executives are being accused of criminal activity. Now, we’re used to executives facing jail time for white collar crimes, but these four execs didn’t even commit a crime. A user posted a video on Google video of bullies teasing a kid with down-syndrome. The prosecutors intend to prove that the execs are to blame rather than the user.

It’s sticky. Is MySpace to blame if a sexual predator uses their service to create an improper relationship? If an airline sells a murderer a ticket that he will use to escape the crime scene, is the airline an accomplice? This case gets into the nitty gritty of community-regulated content.

YouTube can’t pull down all those naughty vids alone. They need help from the users. Just like Ebay can’t monitor all potentially fraudulent auctions. See, the execs can’t block all harmful videos, and they can’t monitor all videos because, let’s face it, the number of vids is in the millions.

Google released this statement:

As we have repeatedly made clear, our hearts go out to the victim and his family. We are pleased that as a result of our cooperation the bullies in the video have been identified and punished. We feel that bringing this case to court is totally wrong. It’s akin to prosecuting mail service employees for hate speech letters sent in the post. What’s more, seeking to hold neutral platforms liable for content posted on them is a direct attack on a free, open Internet. We will continue to vigorously defend our employees in this prosecution.

Basically, Google’s service does a lot of good too. It’s a neutral platform that news organizations, entertainers, and teachers can utilize to spread information.

MySpace, on the other hand, is also a great service. It’s a neutral place to connect to your friends and their friends, as well as socially interact with music and television content.

If the Internet were to lose its neutrality we’d lose our ability to create new and exciting services. The big dogs would run the show, and the little startups wouldn’t have a chance. The Internet doesn’t favor one company, one idea, one country, one religion…it is a truly diverse place because of its neutrality. Let’s keep it free (er, with a few, minor conditions…)

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Why niche social networks will become more lucrative.

There is a group of people that despise mainstream ventures. People that despise the Miley Cyrus/Jonas Bros. of the moment. People that despise the Hollywood blockbuster (or to theatre folk, those that despise film’s popularity over performance art.) This group instead prides itself in being part of a smaller group.

If you think about it, we’re all part of this group. Our social nature is not to be a part of the largest mass, but of a niche. Most of the time it’s easier to buy the mass produced product, but our social interactions are different.

Out of my friends, I can name a niche for each of them. They’re not iconoclasts — they don’t pride themselves in going against the grain — but each finds themselves part of a very exclusive group that shares their passions (even some you or I would find silly.)

Singer, politico, actor, photographer, they can each interact with others from their niche on social networks. The thing is that there’s a difference between being on a mainstream network and a niche network.

We have social networks like Facebook and MySpace, sites that allow users to accomplish interactions similar to Twitter, Flickr, and even community forums. It’s the mainstream, not the niche. They’re popular because they allow the easiest interactions. The primary use of a social site is to communicate, and no one does it better than these two sites.

Websites like Broadway Space, Flickr, DeviantArt are social network services for specific niches. Less users, but everyone on them has a more common thread. There is passion shared amongst users.

Most social network users will, in addition to their Facebook account, also have an account with one of these niche sites, despite the fact that Facebook can do it, and despite the integration of third party applications.

Everyone can upload photos to Facebook, and photographers can surely share their work with friends. Flickr enables the photographer niche to be a community. Suddenly, when the interactions become about photography Flickr makes it easier to interact with other photographers.

People can start groups on Facebook about Broadway and performance art, but Broadway Space enables them to be a community. So the users find themselves on Broadways Space instead of Facebook.

If you’re looking to create a social network, do not look to compete with Facebook and MySpace. Start a niche site. Yes, by nature you’ll never be as popular as a mainstream site. That’s okay. Your users will be more faithful and more active than Facebook users.

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Warner Bros. campaigns DK for Oscars.

“Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah Batman” – Old Gotham Proverb

There are two significant websites campaigning for Christopher Nolan’s second Batman film The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger’s haunting portrayal of The Joker.

One official; the other unofficial. BOTH AWESOME

///Warner Bros. 2008///


Warnerbros2008.com is the official Dark Knight/Oscar site. Hans Zimmer’s score looms in the background as you navigate through some awesome features.

My favorite feature, as a writer, is the PDF of the full Dark Knight script (spoiler below! Sort of..):


Also check out photos, trailers, the full score, and even production notes. (A little tease before next Tuesday’s DVD and Blu-Ray release.)

///Dark Campaign///


Darkcampaign.com is a grassroots website that updates fans on all Dark Knight Oscar news, including critics, articles, fan art, and other sites.

There’s a forum for you to chime in on whether Dark Knight should get an Oscar – though naysayers beware of these fans. They will eat you for dissenting.

And Dark Campaign also made this nifty vid (more spoilers):

Click for widescreen version.

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As you can see in Code Red Improv’s latest vid about hipsters, YouTube is now tailored for your widescreen needs. Now your vlog will appear more epic, and your old vids have those damn vertical stripes.

Oh well.

Go to YouTube>>

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{via Silicon Valley Insider}

Twitter was almost a Facebook property. Facebook, in a semi-narcissitic move, offered Twitter $400 of overvalued Fbook stock + $100 million in cash. (Silicon Alley Insider reports that the real value of that stock is $150 million.)

What a bum deal. I’m glad Twitter passed on that bogus offer.

The microblogging site will unveil a revenue model soon, whereas Facebook is trying to make ground with its targeted ads.

Mark Zuckerberg will need to set his greedy eyes somewhere else.

Jump to the Full Report>>

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Facebook speaks to the Sage in the Temple of Knowing Stuff.

“Oh great sage, I have traveled far to save my village from the evil spammers. A friend wrote on my wall that you would have the answer.”

“Young Facebook, I must tell thee a story. The prophets of Palo Alto once foretold of a young hero that would slay the demon spammers. My boy, I believe that hero is you.”

“But, sage, do I have the power?”

“How many lawyers do you have?”


“S#!* son. I think you’ll be fine…”


Facebook announced that it just won a huge case against spam company Atlantis Blue Capital. The social neworking site has always prided itself in protecting users against spammy content. The judge awarded Facebook $873 million, but there’s no way ABC can honor that. (Facebook admits the impossibility in the post.) But this win still sends a strong message to anybody wanting to spam Facebook users. Don’t.

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