Seriously, this social media crap has got to stop.
Those 'share', 'like', 'tweet', 'pin', 'spam', 'show the world what shite you think is cool' buttons are the new MS paper clip:
- "I see that you're looking at a web page - how novel! - why not share than on facebook?'
- 'I see you're researching bomb making techniques, downloading child pornography and listening to country & western - why not share that with everyone - ah go on - install our app, it will automatically share it for you!'
- 'I see you've got a life of utter banality, why not take pictures, comment and share these most mundane aspects of your uninspired existence as a way of distracting you from the crushing realisation of your own inevitable death?'
Maybe I went a bit far there (I mean, nobody actually listens to country & western), but Arsebook has gone and encouraged marketing types, 'gurus' and middle managers with feck all else to do, to come along and say things like:
"Y'know that slim, efficient, well-designed site you've done? Why not drop 3TB worth of half-arsed, mangled 'widgets' that virus writers would be ashamed to have written, onto it too? Coz that would be cool & hip & down with the kids."
If you've ever worked with the mess that is the FB API (just hope you never have to), you'll see how one could equate voluntarily adding some of that code to your site with willingly having sex with a syphilitic corpse.
The other social sites are not much better. Combining all of the latest must-have buttons from twitter, pinterest, linkedin, google- minus, tumblr, flickr, foursquare, reddit, stumpleupon, delicious, etc, etc, Et Cetera; that's just increasing the number of corpses you're shagging.
Ok, if you're not into the syphilitic corpses idea, how about I regale you with a real-life analogy from:
The Dublin Web Summit 2012
(Yeah, I just put that title in as a page break/formatting device.)
Anyway, so let's skip over the practical problems there were with actually being able to connect to the internet at a web summit; and the lack of imagination with every second stand being $something-R and using the same pastel colour gradients & web2.0 roundy corner designs; and the fact that most of the speakers were talking shite; and get straight to what's really important:
The twitter stand had this brilliant idea that if you wanted coffee, you could connect to the net (or try to...) and tweet your order
(after downloading the app, going through the registration process, confirming your email, and all the usual crap - if for some odd reason you hadn't already got their amazing service already setup.)
Then, when your coffee was ready you'd get a tweet back saying what number box you were to go to in the display case thing (or something like that, I don't know, I didn't bother finding out.)
But yes, the whole process worked so perfectly smoothly that they only needed two people on hand to explain it, yet again, to every single person that came along.
I just went to the table with no gadgets or gimmicks and said: "Can I have a coffee?'
"Yep, here you go."
And as I drank that coffee with a smoke outside, away from the madness, I couldn't help but feel that most of this social media/nu-web crap is basically just like that coffee stand - a badly thought out solution to a non-existent problem.
Ok, so some people might like the gimmick; might really want to buy into the hype of the brave new world of ScamR2.0 where they can become millionaires with their killer-app start-up stock options.
Some of us just want the damn coffee.
"Social Media" is premised on the misunderstanding that 'people' are on the web. They're not - hardware & softfware, presenting and manipulating data are what's on the internet. People can use, abuse and be fooled by that all they like, but at the end of the day it's still just binary data.
If you actually do want to share anything on this site with a real-life human, you could just, y'know - tell them about it or something.