Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Freak Show Update

Dr. Levinson's thoughts on Facebook have motivated me to give a status update (see what I did there?) on my circus freak existence. His insights on Facebook in particular, but also social networking in general, have led me to examine if not Facebook, then how do I connect with others online? I have found a few examples illustrating perhaps I'm a bit more normal than I thought.

Oh my goodness. My life began anew when I found this site. More work of mine has gone incomplete because of this website than any other reason except for probably the second example listed below. The premise is you fill out a profile, with the most important part being a checklist of your interests. Next, click on the Stumble button and you'll be directed to a page that fits under your listed interests. Not only that, but you can connect with friends online and directly share pages that they've "stumbled upon" with you. Very cool, very fun, and ridiculously easy to waste time on. Although it's not a traditional social networking site, by the strictest definition, it definitely qualifies as one.

Playstation Network

Bear with me on this one, folks. Get all the nerd jokes out now. But in playing the game Madden 11, I have met over 300 PSN users and had some interaction online with approximately a quarter of them. Most of the time it's nothing more than trash talk, (if you think you can take me down, hit me up: PSN: xNotThatGoodx) but sometimes it turns into more than that. Offensive strategy discussion, real life NFL debates, even other games can become the topic of conversation. Although it is still relatively fledgeling in its maturity, voice chat and other innovations have taken PSN a long way as a legitimate form of "new new media".

So even though it's not Facebook specifically, I'm not quite under a rock as far as the Internet goes. Not having pictures or anything like that up of myself online prevents me from having to trust myself to be the camera police at any social gatherings or anything else of the sort. Every online interaction is headed towards qualification as social media, and there's nowhere to hide from it.


  1. Online video game networks like Xbox Live and Playstation Network definitely deserve to be considered a part of New Media. Live connects you to Facebook and Twitter, allows for voice and video chat, has Netflix, movie and music download services, and more. PSN has much of the same and also has Playstation Home, which despite rarely getting used, places user's virtual avatars in a hub world to allow for interaction. Wii offers similar alternatives as well, and allows users to compare avatars, vote worldwide, and chat. I think game consoles are very much a part of new media.

    And xNotThatGoodx only a level 3? Cmon, step it up.

  2. I love stumble, changed my life too haha

  3. Thanks for bringing these examples up, they certainly are important ones. Along with videogame networks, there are computer-based online gaming,MMOs for example World of Warcraft. Videogames and computer games started out as isolating activities, user against computer, the addition of social interaction is a very significant development.