Group show Unlike is on at Chapelle Des Augustins in Poiters, France, opening February 2 and running to February 26.
Unlike brings together, for the first time, a group of artists who each appropriate Facebook in their work directly. Be it tape recording and archiving statuses or posts about media art, or ‘Bliss’, a new website by Anthony Antonellis that enables you to actively administer Facebook notifications, the show seems to be going for a different kind of appropriation of social media technologies than some art that also deals with the subject. It’s not just using blues and whites in your work.
Another piece by Benjamin Grosser called ‘Demetricator’ is a plugin that stops you counting likes and instead provides summaries of actual interactions.
It is not clear how the exhibition will be presented in a room. Definitely worth checking out, though.
We, like labs, love robots too. And we, like labs, have played extensively with virtual pets, on-line avatars, alter-egos and maxi-egos… even Maxis’ SIMS (or EA can’t remember) back when facebook, twitter and all our other mini-mes didn’t even exist.
We gave them all our own personality, we projected our likes and dislikes, virtues and vicious ideas on their actions… and the people at labs did too. So a few weeks ago they announced one of their many crazy pilot projects: Robotify.me, which as of today, it’s still on private-beta and only has one of those launch-rock register-pages.
A tamagotchi on facebook and on steroids? That sounds like Zynga’s next best hit! BBH Labs (the “try anything – try everything” arm of the Brit advertising giant BBH) are willing to give your online persona some independence and let that robot grow and shape itself based on your virtual you. Obviously, being the lab branch of an advertising agency the real interest behind is to figure out how to perfectly measure and quantify the data we pour each day on our networks and not only create a static picture (robot) of you at a certain moment, but allow that picture to become a movie: a living robot.
This is how they put it:
We hope robotify will tell us, because the other trick is this: the characteristics and features of your robot will be determined entirely and exclusively by your social network data. So if you post lots of pictures on instagram, your robot might grow a telephoto lens in its belly. If you click lots of odd links, you might develop tank tracks – negotiating rough digital terrain, you see.
Nothing out of the extraordinary for this first version right? Their ultimate objective (and we’d really like to see that) is for those robots that live within the on-line “Robosociety” and robotify.me to interact upon each other independently. Us, personally wonder if we would ever allow a virtual version of us, post, interact and decide on-line for us… even if it’s a persona that would replicate our behaviors with a 99% of accuracy.
“You can call it a story, many people would call it an advertisement”. Emily Maitlis’ report on life inside Facebook, and the money making machine Zuckerberg has successfully managed to transform the social network into, is going viral, like everything Fb does these days.
With an IPO just around the corner that would value Fb at more than US$100 billion and each of us, users, at more than $125; the word “privacy” still gives hives to Mr Zuckerberg and his team.
It’s not the first, nor the last, Fb will get an “insights” documentary shot within their premises with interviews of their top execs, pre-founders, employees…. but if each time there’s a program or news piece on the company “issues” and “voices” warn about the same old ghost, then something is not working properly.
Right now on our fb page (and we know this changes every time we log in) we have two sponsored stories and 4 ads occupying an entire column of the 4 column-layout the current version has. The “people you may know” suggesting tab barely appears from time to time and those tricky “sponsored stories” telling us how much our friends love another brand (who has paid to be shown there) are more omnipresent than ever. This is their latest ad-engineered baby, and it’s proving successful, while it plays with our feelings.
Would you agree for fb to use your name and photo when saying “Mr or Mss so-and-so likes this brand” without you knowing? The latest controversial advertising service in a long love-hate relationship between the blue giant … and our personal privacy.
The program is still available on BBC’s iplayer, and you can even download it, a definitely must-see report and great work by the people at Money Program.
Here’s another powerful demonstration of why Facebook is and will be ahead of any other social attempts for many years to come. Like Apple with their iOS ecosystem, FB is THE ecosystem where to publish your casual & social games (& MMOs). From the rise of Zynga as a gaming giant thanks to Zuckerberg’s platform there’ve been 534534 other companies trying to replicate their success. Well here we have Idle Games (founded by Rick Thompson (a co-founder of Playdom) and Jeffrey Hyman) with a title that could be come an instant hit… Idle Worship.
You could think of IW as the new Black&White … for Facebook, a game where you’ll play the role of a god vying for the worship of friends, strangers, and the rather dim indigenous population called Mudlings. Your actions & decisions have a direct impact obviously on their lives… by creating structures, wildlife, landmarks or new islands. Your main goal should be to inspire them Belief! which is used as the game’s default virtual currency.
Then you can spend that Belief on building-up your city, buying decoration items and “God events” that directly influence the Mudlings. The money for Idle Games comes obviously when you buy the virtual goods they offer you.
The game is now on private beta (you can enter your e-mail to ask for a code) and fully accessible via FB but should make it to other platforms eventually.
Now who was expecting this? Everyone! Techcrunch have been talking about circles, rumors, Google’s internal super secret Facebook killer project for months… ages? And it has finally arrived… “Google +”. Nothing to do with all their previous social attempts (Orkut, buzz which never really took off, or +1 which will definitely match in this new experiment besides already being a sharing & search-help positioning tool).
Let’s see if we can summarize what Google + is without needing a 30min post….
In essence Google+ is the Google approach to how on-line social interaction should be done on-line (not only sharing)…. Google is still first amongst the most visited places on planet earth… but Facebook is just behind so what can they do? Add a social layer that truly covers ALL of its on-line services. And how can we do that? With an omnipresent bar that reminds EVERY Google visitor (not necessarily a user) on earth of the presence of this product / sharing tool. Breaking Google+ into 3 main subtools:
Circles is the core functionality allowing users select, organize & filter contacts for “optimal sharing” (nothing new here) from their Gmail & Google contact list (we imagine you can import facebook + twitter contacts too?).
Then lets say you’re searching for a trending topic on Google, once you get the result you can instantly share it with those people circles which you can access from that famous black bar. No need to click on the search result itself… and the same applies if you happen to be using/visiting any other Google product and be logged-in… think of youtube, maps, picassa, blogger, docs, sites….
Then come the “Sparks” which is some sort of a contacts-universal “interests search box”, when searching for one of your favorite topics Google will propose what they think is purely related to your “Interests”, how? We assume using +1, your contact’s +1 hits, your navigation history (kept by Google when you’re logged on obviously), your personal and your close “circle’s” interests will have something to do with those results. “For nerding out together”….
And finally come the “Hangouts”… some sort of “I wanna chat” alerting feature (and a redesigned video chat tool) for those circles you chose to constantly keep in touch with (imagine video chat with up to 10 people).
Seems like Google have also understood that their minimalistic… nearly rudimentary design approach to all their services needed a strong user interface redesign, just like Microsoft with Windows Phone 7 or Windows 8. Let’s see how successful G+ is.
When you’re targeting Google or Msoft or any other big blue chip with the ambition to finally crack the success of your own company you just don’t stay there and sit. You use the same weapons and “cool” philosophy installed all across the Silicon Valley to make your company look as attractive as others.
In the case of facebook is not only about making their working environment look as “edgy” and absorbent (but relaxed at the same time….) as Google popularized several years ago but more like cleaning up all the past troubles and negative bubble / aura that surrounds everything that Zuckerberg touches.
So what can they do to become the “hottest” place to work and substitute Yahoo or El big G as a brain & talent pole….?
Get MTV inside your offices (even if we had already seen hundreds of photos from their HQ ) and make a free campaign about you! Unfortunately for us (but this is our very personal opinion) this FB mini-documentary looks more like a horror movie than a nice PR piece. Definitely not a nice place to work at. Is giving your employees the chance to work (“experiment”) with new products / services during nighttime any cool? How does this differentiate from Yahoo’s hack day or Google’s 20% personal time policy?
In any case the truth is that FB and in particular its founder have tried to keep the “hacking” ideal very present and as someone at TechCrunch pointed once… why is Yahoo going down? Because the number of programmers and engineers in top positions has dramatically gone down (now run by businessmen).
Nevertheless such an American cheesy ad of a company could only (and obviously) come from a TV channel which stopped meaning “music” a long time ago; but I’m sure there’s many FB fans out there who will be delighted (and keep dreaming) with these truly exceptional intimate facebook moments. Thank You MTV!
Controversial video the one just posted by Greenpeace earlier this week blaming Zuckerberg (and his “invented” FB social network) for not going green. It’s certainly gone viral and within the last 24h it has tripled the number of views, effective but… is it fair?
He needed attention, he wanted to have control, get noticed… by girls, by clubs…. and when big Internet players like Google, Yahoo or even Msoft failed to buy his company a few years ago he managed to make it profitable. Now everyone is scared of what he could achieve…