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Remember the Pet Rock and Disco?

I was rich and famous once too
I’ve been toe deep in the social media pond for a little while now and the currents of tributaries change faster than a river during a flash flood. In reality what you thought was safe and a sure thing one day is quickly swept aside the next. 

I was watching my incoming streams this morning and I ran across two interesting articles. The first was from Adrienne LaFrance and Robinson Meyer both writing for The Atlantic. Their piece was called “A Eulogy for Twitter; The beloved social publishing platform enters its twilight”.

Even though the article was dated from April of last year LaFrance and Meyer both spell out several trend that are clipping the wings of Twitter’s mascot “Larry’s” wings:

Twitter users are less active than they once were.

•Twitter is following a similar trajectory as chatrooms had. They used to be the Wild West of the internet but now they have become more closely monitored making the content boring and predictable.

•Twitter has also attracted a larger amount of commercial users hocking goods and services.

•The average Twitter user is also spending less time on Twitter too so that can’t be good for ol’ “Larry” either.

There are a couple of more things going in too but like any good party it doesn’t last forever. I tell you one thing the hangover is going to be a bitch.

The second article was written by Jim Boulton for Digital Archaeology called “The Imaginary App” and is an interview with "DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid".

Paul D’Shonne “DJ Spooky” Miller lives the life of a modern day Renaissance man and is a Professor of Music Mediated Art at the European Graduate School and is the Executive Editor of Origin Magazine. Not to mention a slew of albums, mixed media work, film restoration projects and Antarctic research projects.

(Miller makes me realize I’ve also done nothing with my life).

When asked question : Why don’t app developers identify as workers and collaborate rather than compete?

Miller said;

“The market for Apps is volatile and there is extremely high compensation if you play your cards right. Of course they’re not going to identify as humble factory workers! They’re going to look at Sean Parker, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos etc And that too, is kind of OK. But we need new models for thinking about this kind of aspirational aesthetics. The Imaginary App was thought of as an irreverent collage of different approaches to how Apps have changed the way we look at modernity. From mathematicians like Stephan Wolfram on over to map inventors like Noel Gordon (one of the principal inventors of Google Maps) on over to art Apps like what Scott Snibbe designed for Bjork’s Biophilia App, we’re presented with a dynamically engaged portrait of App’s as they appear both in current culture, and what will be going on in the near future. You can think of The Imaginary App as the past, present, and potential of Apps.

I wanted to inject more politics into the idea that data is not neutral, there are many underlying ideologies about the way devices are put into our society. Apps are a tenuous link between platforms and portals, between ideologies and networks. Apps are just like portals – you have to be thoughtful about what path they take you on. The map is not the territory. The territory is not an App. Press play, loop, re-edit. Repeat.

The final section is about Remediations. From Digital to Tentacular, or From iPods to Cephalopods: Apps, traps and entrées without exit by Dan Mellamphy and Nandita Biwas Mellamphy likens the network of smartphones to the tentacles of a massive cybernetic octopus. However simple and benign they might appear, apps are hyper-camouflaged bait in a predatory framework that aims to appropriate our identities. Apps, they suggest is short for appetizers.”
To quote Admiral Ackbar from the film “Return of the Jedi”, “It’s a trap!” Not a physical trap but an intellectual and creative one.

Personally I see a point when people are going to get tired of the online services that over promise and under deliver and will eventually find something else to do with their time.

Remember the Pet Rock and disco? Probably not. But they were big at one time too. 


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