The Internet’s importance as a preserver and driver of language use has been reinforced this week with two key symbolic developments.
The first is the news that the Internet-isms OMG, LOL and the usage of “heart” as a verb have made the Oxford English Dictionary, throwing purists into a tizzy, because basically people generally hate change (it took about fifteen years for people to finally accept that the doubled-up adjectival noun “web site” would inevitably become the all inclusive noun “website.” And it took the AP Stylebook about twenty to eventually join the two).
The second development is that you can now search Google in Cherokee; In an effort preserve the endangered language Google has partnered up with the 300,000 strong Cherokee Nation, adding the traditional language to its repertoire of 146 interface languages here.
The most significant action the OED has taken for the development of linguistics in my lifetime is the inclusion of ” < 3 ” (the ASCII graphical-art representation of the noun [and now, verb] “heart”) in the dictionary as a word.
New ABC show Happy Endings may get off to a strong start with a mobile-to-Facebook push the network hopes to use as a template for future campaigns.
The network, working with Mogreet, is asking consumers to text “happy” to 21534, which returns to them a video featuring the show’s stars. Videos are updated every Wednesday when the show airs. The clip then shows up on each user’s Facebook wall. (See image below.)
The idea, like that behind any social media campaign, is to give influencers — who have so far been targeted with a back-page ad in Maxim with more traditional media placement coming — some social currency, which they can spread among their various networks to create buzz for the show.
This ‘social currency’ will be a terrible important concept in the upcoming years. It’s still a rather ham-handed attempt to excite people with b-grade content, but ABC is trodding down the right path.
I’m afraid this is a conscious decision to limit the attractiveness of the VOD/delivery service. I fear we’ll see other studios follow suit, as they realize just how powerful Netflix will become once it starts producing original content, and amassing great content from other production houses, cheap.
All Facebook found an area of Facebook’s site pointing to the ability to check-in to events. And just now, Google has pushed an update to their Latitude iPhone app to allow users to check-in for the first time also.
“After reviewing our options, we decided to extend the policy of five free clicks per day to all major search engines by the global launch on March 28. Our pre-launch period in Canada was undertaken to enable us to test the systems and fine-tune the model.”
Apple is suing Amazon.com for trademark infringement and unfair competition over its use of the term “App Store.” The complaint, filed in US District Court for the Northern California District on Friday, asks that Amazon be ordered to stop using “Appstore” to refer to its Google Android Market alternative, set to launch Tuesday.
It’s a trick that most web-savvy news consumers know. Is a WSJ article behind a paywall? Just Google the title of it. Click on the resulting link and boom, free access to the entire thing. No questions asked. This new NYT model is taking that idea and flipping it.
The Google loophole will still be in play — but only for five articles a day. It’s not clear how they’re going to monitor this (cookies? logins?), but let’s assume for now that somehow they’ll be able to in an effective way. For most readers, the five article limit will likely be more than enough. But that’s not the important thing. What’s interesting is that the NYT appears to be saying two things. First, this action says that spreading virally on social networks like Twitter and Facebook is more important to them than the resulting traffic from Google. And second, this is a strategic bet that they likely believe will result in the most vocal people on the web being less pissed off.
Why even erect the damn thing in the first place? I guess they’re trying to really just charge the long tail of users, resigning themselves to give their content away for free the vast majority of previously paying customers, and make their profit on – essentially – residuals.
It’s totally the opposite of the standard business model, but there’s a lot of that going around these days, isn’t there?
One scheme that recently piqued our interest was concocted by the folks at Distracted Media. The Australian company is crowdsourcing its latest production, The Tunnel (not to be confused with Chunnel: 32 Miles of Danger) by selling individual frames for a buck a pop. Of course, “owning” a frame gives you nothing more than the opportunity to say that you helped an indie filmmaker out, but it’s a worthwhile cause. And at 135,000 frames that’s a lot of dollars! When the film is done, it will be distributed via BitTorrent for free — alongside an actual DVD release by Paramount Pictures which, when you think about how reluctant Hollywood has been to embrace the internet, is pretty wild.
How is social media design lacking? How can it be improved?
Paul Adams: I’m not sure we should even start with the concept of “social media design.” Social behavior in humans is as old as our species, so the emergence of an Internet based on social behavior is simply our rudimentary technology catching up with offline life. Thinking about “social design” should be embedded in everything we do, and not thought of in isolation. We should think about it the same way designers of electronic appliances think of electricity — it’s just there, it’s the hub, powering other things.