socal media

The Hive by Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden, Jennifer Beals and Tom Jacobson

Crowd sourced social justice, I can see why the idea could occur but as this book shows vividly some things are just built with way too much scope for manipulation.

This is a brilliant contemporary story, already we have a world where you can be taken to task on social media for saying the wrong thing, for backing the wrong idea but The Hive, a government initiative of social justice takes it to a whole new level. The concept is great, lets let the people decide what is right and wrong, lets unleash their opinion and use social media to praise or punish them.

Cassie’s dad was a brilliant IT guy, he was cutting edge brilliant and the government used his knowledge to make the beginnings of The Hive. But the very thing he helped to build is now turning on his beloved daughter after his death. Cassie knows her way around a computer, she knows how to hack but even this cannot protect her from the rage of people voting against her in The Hive. Her ratings skyrocket and she is being hunted to the death. Cassie can’t believe that this is what her Dad would have wanted, he was a good man, it must be something else and she is determined to find out the truth behind The Hive and the people who run it. She is in this danger because she tweeted a comment about The President’s daughter which has raised the ire of him as well as, it seems, everyone in America. She is going to be held to account for her comment and that might even mean that she is killed.

Cassie is rescued by an unlikely source, but can she trust him? Can she trust anyone? She is on the run and if it weren’t for extreme resourcefulness and clear thinking she’d be already dead. Something is going on, something very sinister and Cassie is going to have to sort it out but also keep herself safe.

This is a great book. The action is relentless and the pace doesn’t let up throughout. Cassie is a great character, resourceful as anything but even with that you find yourself yelling at her to take more care. She is reckless and sometimes that gets her deeper in trouble than ever. This is a great addition to any school library, your geeky kids are going to totally relate to a heroine who has the power to change the world.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me access to this fantastic read.

My Facebook Mini-Break

Wondering where I’ve been?  Probably not, but regular visitors will notice that there has been a long posting holiday.  I didn’t really mean for it to be that way, but when you give up Facebook and Twitter it seems you get out of the habit of blogging too!  Well at least I did.  For 6 weeks I stopped looking at, posting in and paying any attention to Facebook.  It all started at morning meeting one morning when I sat beside one of our staff who told me he was giving up online gaming for Lent.  I decided I would join in and give up Facebook.  Not for Lent exactly but because it was starting to really annoy me, and I wanted to know what would happen to my levels of annoyance if I took a break from it for a while.

What is it about Facebook that annoys me?

 

  • Turns out it isn’t Facebook it is the users.  It is the people who post constant updates of their life, be it miserable, be it chirpy, chipper, boring, adventurous or whatever.  Constant updaters need to leave the rest of us alone. It isn’t necessary for us to know where you ate breakfast, that you have a new handbag, that you want a new handbag, that your child is the most beautiful ever.  Constant updaters appear insecure and seem to need the constant feedback that Facebook can provide.
  • It is the people who share: the games they are playing, the quizzes they endlessly do, the highscores they just got, the online life they have.  Don’t do that people.
  • It is the constant urge to share which news articles people are reading, which pictures you’ve looked at, what you liked on Pinterist.  Risist the urge to share on Facebook please.  I’m following you on Pintrest if I care about the things you like.
  • It is the annoying, will not go away updates from games you used to play.  I blocked you once Bejewelled Blitz, how did you get back here again.
  • The friend requests from people I barely know.  Seriously, I have 144 ‘friends’ if you are not amongst them, and you consider yourself my friend, then either you don’t have the internet, you haven’t seen me in a bazillion years, or we have fallen out and please, send me a message not a friend request, I love a message, it is like getting an old fashioned letter in the mailbox.  Facebook is great for catching up with people you haven’t seen in years, but sometimes you haven’t seen those people in years because you aren’t the same person you were when you knew them!  There is certainly space for new FB friends in my life but only if they conform to my ‘rules’ (see above) and below – click the image!
But there is the stuff I missed.
I missed getting the fantastic links from Radio New Zealand and Booksellers New Zealand.  I love finding out about new books from several publishers I follow.  I love the Matinee Idle group I belong to, I enjoy some of my friends who are witty, clever and dry, their posts always make me laugh.  I missed seeing the photos my partner posted.  I missed the collegiality of posting in a group I belong to for work.  I missed the laughs and sniggers.
I enjoy finding out about my friends holidays, good fun times, new babies, witty and clever comments.
So, I’m back on Facebook.  Not obsessively looking at people’s profiles (I know people who do this), not really looking at anyone other than my family and close friends photos and status updates.  My Facebook has been pared back, invisibility spray has been applied to most of my annoying friends, as I would expect it to be applied to me if I am really annoying.
Anybody else taken a break from FB?  What did you think of your experience?  Has it changed your FB behaviour?  Will you go back to FB? Has it changed mine?  Hell yes!   I will think much more before posting an inane comment.  Will only share links I really care about.  Will try to cut out the drivel, because actually drivel seems to be the largest percentile on Facebook.

 

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Google – marketing 101

If you ever doubted that Google is HUGE then you haven’t been aware of the sheer marketing power and pulling power of Chrome and Google+.  Whoever does the marketing for Google is doing it so brilliantly.  You want the geek peeps to be desperate to try your new product?  Then make it by invitation only.  We will all be hanging out waiting, begging out Twitter buddies and FB friends for an invitation.  I got mine yesterday from the fabulous @heyjude from the Hey Jude blog and have spent a little time playing with it today.  Its my first day back from SLANZA conference where I was challenged, inspired and given a mission or two for my library.  One of those missions is to further engage my library with social media, be that Facebook, Google+ or more engagement with Twitter, I haven’t figured out which direction I’m going to go yet but I’m definitely going there.  In the meantime check out these two marketing videos from Google for the Chrome browser – If you haven’t tried Chrome you should really give it a go.

This is so gorgeous it may well make you go all gooey.

Now let’s hear it for Chrome via Lady Gaga (this woman is so cool – they will study her in marketing papers of the future I’m sure)

Social Media Updated (again)

Courtesy of Beccablog this is the latest update on the stats for Social Media and it is based on the book Socialnomics.  Frankly, it is just amazing that these things have to come out so often, sometimes more than once a year.  This is a result of how much influence the social media is having on the way we communicate, do business and relate to each other.

Changes in my wake up call

If you have looked at this blog from the way back when, you will know of my penchant for the lovely Sean Plunket.  He and Geoff Robinson are my morning chorus, the light that leads me into the day.  You will know how I hated people being unkind to his sensitive personage, and how I promoted ‘his’ blog Sean does craft.  The blog is not being updated but the last posting had me rolling in the aisles  of my lounge (I remain unconvinced that the blogger is actually Sean himself but I’m sure he would have approved).

Today the sad news that Sean is leaving Radio New Zealand.  I had to pull over and have a small moment of silence when I heard the news driving home from work.  Story here.  The Save Radio New Zealand Facebook page is full  of wailing and moaning about this terrible news.   I’ve even had to contribute my thoughts twice.  He leaves in September for places as yet unnamed and while I wish him every happiness in future endeavors I will miss him.  He and Geoff have been my regular mates of the morning.  They take on the forces of politics and grill them until well done with the truth extracted.  Oh yes he can be acerbic, he can keep be aggressive and I’ve heard that interview that got him stood down for a wee bit, but he makes me smile, his creative use of English is always entertaining and who am I to cast nasturtiums on that anyway.  I like his sharp wit and wicked tongue.

Sean in these months leading to the time of our separation I will try to come to terms with this impending doom and hope that you go somewhere I can find you without having to listen to advertising.  If you want to go and be with Marcus (Lush) that would be okay.

Don’t say that around me please

I think I’m getting old.  I’m noticing the new trends in our language more and more.  In recent times, particularly when politicians and officials from any government department speak in public they insist on using the word ‘around’ to replace the words about and of.

Example: ” discussing issues around alcohol”  “issues around mobile banking” “issues around outsourcing”

I could find dozens of these examples.  They are in official, and wanting to sound official documents galore.

Is the word about going to disappear.  Is this new useage of the word around going to be around forever.  I thought it might just be a New Zealand phenomenon, but no, it is all over the place, a hunt around the interwebs (I know, but it is cold and I’m avoiding leaving the house.) leads me to believe it is becoming all pervasive.  I HATE it, it makes me cringe, it makes me want to hurt the speaker, and it makes me turn off the news.

Where did it come from?  Why is it here?  Who started this terrible trend?  Why do I find it so annoying?  Is it only me that finds it so?   Am I all alone in my hatred?  Should I start a Facebook Group and see if people join me?  Together we could stamp it out … or not.

YouTube Turns 5

I saw this and I thought, wow!  only 5?  YouTube is so embedded in out lives now that it feels to me like it has been around so much longer than that.  In all the social media tools I use I’m always shocked if something I’m looking for isn’t on YouTube, I’m always confident that I can find things like songs from the musicians I like, trailers for movies I’m interested in seeing and useful tools for work on there.  It has become such a tool in education that even our local Polytechnic have lessons on there for students.  Teachers in our school use videos from YouTube all the time in their lessons and I use Common Craft’s explanatory videos in the library often.  What did we do before?  Showing clips from YouTube has become ubiquitous,  just part of life.  I find it incredible to think that it’s only been five years since we started to use it.  I guess Facebook will be the same eventually.  Used as a advertising tool, to promote yourself and anything else you can think of.  I wonder what’s next?  I wonder how soon until YouTube is replaced by another tool and we look back and think “Oh YouTube, that is so 2010”.

YouTube have made a clip to celebrate their 5 year old birthday.

Now look here!

If you’ve been here before you will notice that I’ve been having a play with the look of the blog.  Trying for something a bit less bland, a bit more colourful, a bit more me!  Settling for this one at the moment, but well, watch this space who knows what it might evolve into next.  I’m liking the rounded edges and the flowery banner at the top.  Love the brown and green thing – so well – till next time I feel like a change this is it.

Dreadful things did happen on the way here though, I had a gorgeous, tasteful winter theme for about 48 hours, and then went to put a post on, and discovered that the transition phase had swallowed my log in box and I couldn’t get in here.  I knocked politely on the door and there was no way that anybody would let me in.  Had to go right back to my original sign up email and start again, thank god I kept it!  So moral of that little tale is, do not delete your original sign up email folks, you never know when you might need it.  All manner of these Web 2.0 things I belong to, many with different log in and passwords – my, it’s a drama.  I even went to the various forum the WordPress have and couldn’t sign in there.

I’ve been trying to sign up to TokBox so that I can have an alternative to Skype with multiple chatty types at once, and I have never been there before.  I sign up for a new account, enter my email and the password of my choosing and I get the message “incorrect password” What The!  I’ve now tried every email address I have and it won’t let me sign in, I always get incorrect password error.  So, fun and games, new technology is not my friend this weekend, and here was I going to try some other things I’ve been saving up but two experiences of being locked out in one weekend and I’m so not going to try again.  Might just slope off and watch some series 1 of Big Bang Theory, or even read a book, no password required there!

This is courtesy of boingboing

“Yelp is Tiffany Shlain and Ken Goldberg’s new short film that provides a glimpse at their work-in-progress, a feature documentary called Connected  about “what it means to be human in the 21st century.”

This is really interesting, and made me wonder if I could actually spend 24 hours without Facebook, email, and so on.  And actually I did this weekend.  But I was pretty keen to go online when I got home.  It is my first reaction these days to turn on my computer and check my facebook page when I get home, which is very sad as often nobody has commented anything on there and I am frankly not much interested in many of the things that flow through on my feeds, and as for Twitter, I am only using it for professional stuff anyway and can certainly have a break from that for any amount of time and although there will be dozens of links posted in there I will probably only look at about 20% of them.

The time taken up with my online life is certainly meaning that other things drop off.  This is bad, my house is grimy, my reading life is suffering and I need to get control.  So, I am going to back on track and get my reading the classics programme up and running again.  A quick squiz through my bookshelf this afternoon, and I have discovered a huge number of unread tomes to get started on.  – After I check my facebook page hahahaha!

What makes people happy?

A documentary by filmmaker Lisa Cypers Kamen and her daughter, Kayla Kamen.  Together Lisa and Kayla explore the hypothesis that every person, regardless of socioeconomic level, age, ethnicity, career, health, or life circumstances, possesses happiness or the means to feel happy. Their endeavor to discover possibly universal keys to human happiness leads the duo on an entertaining, deeply touching documentary adventure. Watch this: http://www.whatisyourhappiness.com/

happinessheadlines

Best Ads on TV

Thanks Jo for this.  This takes a bit to get to the point, but is great if you are over the Facebook/Twitter/Bebo/Myspace etc etc continuium.  Very cool and very funny.  Click the link below!

Sony VAIO: S.M.A.A

Set during a meeting of the SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTS ASSOCIATION, this humorous TVC created by Nascom Belgium promotes the new Sony VAIO. http://www.stopwritingonmywall.com

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Postsecret is fantastic

Hand out postcards to all and sundry, get people to write a secret on them and send them into an address.  That’s when you have postsecret.  Frank Warren started this about 4 years ago and it’s still going on.  I’m a big fan of these books, gave one to Tessa for xmas one year.  Check out the website and enjoy this video.  http://postsecret.blogspot.com/