The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on October 10, 2010

  • Loved this insight into “back to school” by Sam Ladner:
    Why is the father in the Staples ad so happy? Because his children are reminded that they do not occupy a privileged state in today’s culture. Dad likely works for a company. He likely lives on the earn/spend treadmill. He likely controls few things about his working life. Come September, his children’s summer bubble is over. Just like him, they must consume and plan. Just like him, they must conform to a role set by others. Just like him, they must go “back to school.”

    tags: copernicus_consulting sam_ladner socialtheory

  • I like this post by Sam Ladner. I find that the points she makes mesh nicely with the critiques lobbed at The Social Network (the movie), and the inability of Sorkin’s take to understand the social transformations that have taken place (and the many more that will take place) via social media platforms.
    He [Gladwell] makes the classic mistake of arguing that a particular technology may (or may not) lead to a particular result. In the real, messy, social world, X technology is not guaranteed to lead to Y results. Nor is X technology guaranteed NOT to lead to Y results. Gladwell commits the same sin as those of social media pundits he so blithely condemns. Namely, Gladwell is a technological determinist with a poor grasp of actual social interaction.

    Sociologists, by contrast, recognize the social world is complex and full of exceptions. Their contribution to the phenomena of social change is far more nuanced than Gladwell suggets.

    tags: malcolm_gladwell sam_ladner socialmedia socialjustice socialcritique social_capital facebook

  • Article about Sean Parker (who is portrayed in Aaron Sorkin’s film, The Social Network, as a jerk):
    …Parker, a svelte, wavy-maned clotheshorse, is a uniquely quirky figure in the annals of 21st-century business. At age 30, he is already worth close to a billion dollars, thanks mostly to the cache of Facebook stock he still owns. An autodidact who barely finished high school, he is nonetheless almost painfully cerebral. A sickly child whose asthma sometimes landed him in the hospital, he devoured books from a very young age; his father, a U.S.-government oceanographer, began teaching him programming at age seven. There is hardly a topic—literary, political, medical, or technological—about which he cannot offer an informed and nuanced opinion in his rapid-fire patter. (Don’t get him started on Ben Franklin’s role as a media pioneer.)

    Most of all, he turns his knowledge and instincts toward Internet business strategy as a way, he says, of “re-architecting society. It’s technology, not business or government, that’s the real driving force behind large-scale societal shifts.” Indeed, Parker has such a superb track record for predicting where technology is headed (and which type of product and service will appeal to consumers) that companies often invite him to invest simply to tap his brain. “Few people are as smart as he is,” says Facebook’s Zuckerberg, aged 26, who still consults quite frequently with his former partner.

    tags: facebook innovation web2.0 mark_zuckerberg internet aaron_sorkin sean_parker vanity_fair hollywood

  • Larry Lessig nails it in this brilliant review of Aaron Sorkin’s film, The Social Network. Read the whole article, especially the 2nd part where Lessig (a lawyer/ professor of law) spells out how the legal establishment is completely missing the point.
    Zuckerberg faced no such barrier [of entry into a market, as the makers of Nantucket Nectars did]. For less than $1,000, he could get his idea onto the Internet. He needed no permission from the network provider. He needed no clearance from Harvard to offer it to Harvard students. Neither with Yale, or Princeton, or Stanford. Nor with every other community he invited in. Because the platform of the Internet is open and free, or in the language of the day, because it is a “neutral network,” a billion Mark Zuckerbergs have the opportunity to invent for the platform. And though there are crucial partners who are essential to bring the product to market, the cost of proving viability on this platform has dropped dramatically. You don’t even have to possess Zuckerberg’s technical genius to develop your own idea for the Internet today. Websites across the developing world deliver high quality coding to complement the very best ideas from anywhere. This is a platform that has made democratic innovation possible—and it was on the Facebook platform resting on that Internet platform that another Facebook co-founder, Chris Hughes, organized the most important digital movement for Obama, and that the film’s petty villain, Sean Parker, organized Causes, one of the most important tools to support nonprofit social missions.

    The tragedy—small in the scale of things, no doubt—of this film is that practically everyone watching it will miss this point. Practically everyone walking out will think they understand genius on the Internet. But almost none will have seen the real genius here. And that is tragedy because just at the moment when we celebrate the product of these two wonders—Zuckerberg and the Internet—working together, policymakers are conspiring ferociously with old

    tags: facebook innovation larry_lessig law copyright internet web2.0 tnr mark_zuckerberg aaron_sorkin sean_parker

  • Provocative, interesting talk by Johanna Blakley on copyright (absence thereof) in the fashion industry, and what that might mean for IP reform in other fields.
    Copyright law’s grip on film, music and software barely touches the fashion industry … and fashion benefits in both innovation and sales, says Johanna Blakley. At TEDxUSC 2010, she talks about what all creative industries can learn from fashion’s free culture.

    tags: copyright johanna_blakley ted_conference video fashion innovation

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

maria October 11, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Wow, the article by Lessig on Sorokin vs Zuckerberg made for a compelling read. It reminded me also of the other article you linked to in a tweet about why monetizing a startup is not the best idea:

Along these lines, though not in the same trench exactly, I’ve been participating in a dialog about the state of blogging these days. Since both readership and participation through comments seems to be down in our blogs (these are blogs of people such as you too, who have been at it for years before social networks sprung on the scene), we were wondering if it’s because we are somehow missing the “branding” bandwagon in this brave new world of the Web as refashioned old media. Some of us have turned to Facebook, not to start “branding” ourselves, but to use it as just another tool, the way we adopted RSS feeds, I suppose.

Anyway, plenty of food for thought here. I do appreciate your Diigo links.

Yule October 11, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Interesting insight, Maria, on what I guess might be termed the death (again!) of blogging.
Tricky issue. I know I’m not nearly focused (nor “branded”) enough, but I don’t want to put myself inside a frame, either.
Back to the post at hand: here’s another Facebook-related post I came across today:
See Ken Levine’s post, Aaron Sorkin responds to a commenter in my blog. Fascinating response on the question of what’s up with how women are depicted in The Social Network movie.

Yule October 11, 2010 at 11:11 pm

PS: Just saw your comment on Facebook regarding the Levine article / Sorkin comment. I haven’t read through Levine’s comments board, but agree with your observation, “The comment that made a lot of sense for me was the one by a ‘Liz,’ who seemed to feel that Sorkin’s ‘response here seems to seek to portray the events of “The Social Network” as if it were a factual documentary with a few names changed rather than a fictionalized depiction of events.'”
That brings to mind Alexandra Samuel’s The Social Network: A Good Movie That’s Not About Social Networking. She writes:

You could take just about any business involved in a juicy legal dispute, and make more or less the same film. The action is punctuated by membership milestones, but these are numbers, not people, and the fact that these numbers are essential proxies for market valuation becomes abundantly clear at the movie’s climax, when membership figures and dollar figures are explicitly overlaid. The Social Network reminds us periodically that Mark Zuckerberg didn’t care about Facebook for the money, but the movie sure does. This is a movie about getting rich; a movie about business.

Well, it’s still a pretty damn good film. But, yes, caveat emperor and bring a bag of salt, I guess! 😉

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