In the middle of a revolution … so where the hell is Stringer Bell?
According to Paul Mason’s account of 2011, we are in the middle of a revolution; a moment of social upheaval that must be measured against 1848, 1917 and 1968. This article assesses Mason’s eloquent description of capitalist crisis by distinguishing between three different parts of it: ideological failure, politico-ideological refusal and social change. Slavoj Žižek’s theories of ideology and recent commentary on 2011’s revolutionary events are drawn upon to develop three sequential arguments relating to these three moments of crisis. First the paper argues that an obvious ideological failure (of neoliberalism) does not guarantee any kind of ideological rejection, by either political left or right. By extension, we must reassess the political and/or ideological refusal that characterizes many of the protest movements that were ignited by the recent economic crisis. Crucially though, this valuing of politico-ideological refusal cannot come at the expense of normative action. The paper concludes by exploring Žižek’s tripartite revolutionary persona – Jack Bauer, Homer Simpson and Stringer Bell. Out of these three characters, Stringer Bell is identified as a key figure of inspiration for critical urbanists. A purveyor of illegitimate goods whose very existence relies on his non-incorporation of the ‘legitimate’ world of corrupt capitalism can provide a template for those who argue for another type of city.
Haven’t had the time to read the whole thing myself yet, but you can find the entire paper here.
A very common sentiment. But is content discovery really broken? Or are we simply sharing the wrong way?
A large part of my Twitter timeline looks like this: “[Headline] [Link]” — and that repeated over and over again. There are exceptions, but most people, when posting a link, only copy the headline of what they are linking to.
I believe that is where the problem lies. Hardly anyone bothers to add value. Lazy “tweet”-button clicking so the account looks active and people think they consume interesting (sounding) content. I’d go as far as to say that most don’t read the things that they link to themselves. Of course not. It’s all about appearance and they do it — as usual — because everyone is doing it.
This practice is why I made a deal with a friend that I play link-ping-pong with a lot. If we want to share a link we have to write at least one sentence why the other person should click — and we have to have consumed the whole thing ourselves. There is no point in wasting each other’s time.
Explaining briefly why one should click and spend minutes consuming something has been great. I think three times before I send him something now and know that if I get something from him it is worth my time.
That’s why I came to the conclusion that this is how one should use platforms like Twitter. Add value. Don’t just post the headline and link. Users should try to briefly say why they are posting something. At least quote the most interesting part. Show that there is a reason to click through.
This might also give followers a reason to engage with the posts — and not just confuse the account with a bot.
startups take off because the founders make them take off. There may be a handful that just grew by themselves, but usually it takes some sort of push to get them going. A good metaphor would be the cranks that car engines had before they got electric starters.
I have always been rooting for Foursquare, but the latest update bummed me out as it didn’t improve anything for me and felt more like the opposite. Yes, discovery, search and lists are nice, but there is a lot of labor needed on my end (the wrong end) and others already do most of that already fairly well (as @TEK describes here). However, after over 11,500 checkins I’m still a heavy user. Checking in has become a habit.
I don’t participate much in the practice of browsing tips as they usually are in the hundreds here in SF and too often completely outdated which renders them useless and simply become noise. (Who cares if a diner had a special last Thanksgiving or didn’t take credit cards back in 2011?) I also don’t travel that much so I don’t require a tourist guide.
Since I was so bummed out about the latest update I tried to figure out why I’m still using Foursquare so frequently and noticed that quite a few times during the day I’m opening the app just to see what the people I’m connected with are up to.I believe that really started for me when Foursquare added picture support and included them beautifully in the stream. It was like going from black and white to color TV. (Tweetbot, my favorite Twitter client, has done something similar last month.)
Basically any app these days is tapping into Foursquare’s location database with the effect that almost everything gets automatically posted there as well. Hence no need anymore for me to open Instagram, Path, Soundtracking, Flickr or Eyem — which I hardly ever do anymore to simply consume. Granted, content from Facebook and Twitter isn’t there, but that is a good thing as that content is of different nature in my eyes.
At this point Foursquare is practically my social hub. I catch most of the pictures my “online friends” are taking, what music they are currently listening to, which concert they are at and what movie they are watching. And I’m interacting with that content. Lots of times I would ask others about a specific posted (e.g. “How was Iron Man 3?” or “How is that concert venue?”). And they do the same. All the time.
Interestingly enough that is exactly what Path (which I ultimately fell out of love with when they added stickers) is striving for, but Path is the app where everything has to start while Foursquare is where everything ends up now. I feel like what Path set out to do Foursquare somewhat — accidentally or organically — achieved.