It isn’t magic, but a good indicator might just be in taking note of who spoofs you.
“I am on a horse…”
I finally broke down and saw The Social Network, despite my personal prohibition on ever seeing another movie where the dialogue includes the cheesy line, “This is our time!” The movie is a dramatization of the founding of and eventual lawsuits over Mark Zuckerberg‘s founding of Facebook.
My first thought was that this movie should do for Facebook what Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price did for Wal-Mart in terms of negative publicity. And at the end of the day, that’s probably apt. Anyone who’s seen the movie can easily see the negative impact that Wal-Mart has had on communities and will deplore many of its corporate practices. They might even remember that as they stand in line at the checkout — but they won’t stop shopping at Wal-Mart. So maybe the comparison works. When something has that much momentum, you can change your opinion of it, but you still end up supporting it one way or another.
Last week I finished Amber Mac’s (that’s Amber MacArthur, or @ambermac; also on Wikipedia) book, Power Friending: Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business [Kindle Edition]. I admit to being hesitant because of the title, which I didn’t really like, but I do appreciate Amber’s take on all things social media, so I overcame my apprehension. And the title can’t be hurting sales — at least not more than is made up for by Amber’s smiling face on the cover. And the book just hit one of the Globe & Mail’s Top Ten book lists, probably because Amber knows her stuff and presents it well.
Malcolm Gladwell’s been wrong before, when he disagreed with Chris Anderson’s thesis in his book Free: The Future of a Radical Price. But this time, it’s a little stranger… this time I have to wonder what he’s thinking in his latest piece, “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted,” where he discounts social networks, saying they cannot product the kind of passion necessary to drive social change because they really only affect weak ties issues.
I’ve just upgraded my test blog to WordPress 3.0 Beta 1, with the new default Twenty Ten Theme. It’s yet another beautiful evolution for my favorite CMS, WordPress. That’s right, I didn’t say “blogging engine”.
I’ve been using WordPress as a CMS for a while already, and no, there’s no reason a WordPress site has to look like a blog, or that it even needs to look particularly “WordPress-y,” though a lot of them tend to. The giveaway is often in the post comments area, which a great many themes do not bother to customize very extensively, though they should. (Mine is customized to a degree, even if not extensively.) I had read someplace that in 3.0 it would be easier to customize this part of a theme, but I haven’t dug that deeply. In any event, a theme developer with a modicum of php-chops should be able to hack out a custom look for it even in the old system.
Ten years ago I was educating people about what they might expect from their websites. For many medium and small businesses, it was their first website, and they wanted to know how it was going to make them money. Nowadays, a web presence has become a part of almost every business’ “price of admission”. Ten years ago, you weren’t credible without a business card and a Yellow Pages listing, and people were already seeing that before long a website would become a part of the minimum credibility standard.
Hugh MacLeod really captures it sometimes, even if you sometimes have to pause a minute to decide whether you agree or disagree, and in what way. That’s how it is when he explains the main point of the Internet.
Perhaps the Internet has helped redefine “socializing” as well. But it’s just that — the Internet is all about connecting. Whatever your ulterior motive, it’s about connecting first. And even if the Internet really only represents a potential cash cow in your mind’s eye, if you don’t connect, really connect, it won’t ever become that for you. So consider what it is you’d like the Internet to be for you, then ask yourself: “What kind of connections do I need to make in order for that to take place?”