Deleting People From Facebook

Bill CammackBeing connected with people on social networks like Facebook, Twitter & Foursquare has taken on a new importance in people’s lives in 2010 AD.

It used to be a frivolous decision whether to add someone as a “friend” or not. It used to be similarly unimportant whether you deleted someone after becoming friends with them. Those days are over. πŸ™‚ Friending and unfriending people is serious business now, as people’s IRL lives spill over into their online presence and “art” begins to imitate life… Continue reading “Deleting People From Facebook”

Digital Internet Snobbery

I need to get a new cell phone… Except…. I *DON’T* need to get a new cell phone. πŸ˜€

I just had a conversation with someone where they were saying they couldn’t get in touch with me. I had already informed them that they needed to email me with the specifics of what they wanted if they wanted to show up on the radar AT ALL. There’s a problem here that I find very interesting. πŸ˜€

Just last night, I was hanging out with Jane Quigley and was online via wireless. She saw how many contacts virtually LIVE on my desktop, taking up the full vertical space of the screen. Most of these contacts are live….. or…. Acually, now that I think about it…. If the people at the top of the list aren’t online, they’ve redirected their messages to go to their cell phones. The reason this is important is that the person was complaining that they couldn’t get in touch with me via their cell phone, and they could get in touch with everyone else. πŸ˜€

So anyway, Jane asks me (like everyone asks me) how I do so much stuff every single day. So, right there on the spot, I started four text conversations which included link-passing and browser page opening. I also showed her how I arrange my editing windows in case I want to leave a conversation visible while I work.

So you can imagine how surprising it was to have a conversation where someone says “I can’t get in touch with you”, after I’ve already told them HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH ME! πŸ˜€ This is another interesting effect of my digital internet snobbery and elitism which I touched upon in “Are You a Tech Elitist?”.

At that point, IIRC (because I don’t feel like going back and reading to see exactly what I said), my point was that in moving to Facebook, I ditched everyone that didn’t move up from MySpace. I didn’t MEAN to do it, hahahaha but it happened, because Facebook has a better system of communication, notification and contact.

Once I started heavily using Facebook, not only wasn’t there a reason to use MySpace, but I actually found myself looking DOWN on people that had MySpace pages and not Facebook pages. I remember meeting someone last year that told me she was involved in video production. Without thinking, I asked “Are you on Facebook?”… Her demeanor kind of slouched…. And then she goes “I have a MySpace page.” Basically, I felt like she had told me she has a rotary telephone. I got her information anyway, but it was like Dead Man Walking because I knew I wasn’t going to be in contact with her AT ALL. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I don’t have time for fancy MySpace pages to load so I can scroll through a million moving pictures of people to try to find information I’m looking for over some starry, busy background. Also, MySpace just doesn’t enter my mind. So I would have to think “oh… MySpace exists” and then “oh… SHE has a page on MySpace” to remember her at all. Not gonna happen. πŸ˜€

I had a situation just a couple of weeks ago… Maybe time reversed itself. Maybe that’s what’s going on. πŸ˜€ Just a couple of weeks ago, I asked this chick if she was on Facebook, and she starts stammering, trying to recall what she has. So, it clearly wasn’t Facebook, so I tried to help her out. I said “Myspace?”. No. Not that….. So I’m waiting, and eventually, this chick says “oh… HOTMAIL! :D” So I’m looking for the hidden cameras, because I know that in 2008, this chick didn’t just say that Hotmail was the best she could do as far as internet connectivity. Another one bites the dust.

So now that I’ve figured it out that while I wasn’t looking, the Earth turned backwards to 1998 and is hurtling in reverse, I’m no longer surprised by the conversation I had this morning. It was so surprising that I didn’t even have any answers for her. I had already TOLD HER how she could get in touch with me. EMAIL. PERIOD. How is it that she can’t email me from her phone? How is it that she can’t text my online presence from her phone? The answer is…. That her telephone is NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET other than to send text messages back and forth to other people that use the same system. So she was complaining to me that SHE’S NOT TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED ENOUGH to get in touch with me, and this is supposed to be MY fault! πŸ˜€

Her suggestion was for me to have my cell phone around me so people could text me. Like I said earlier, I was so shocked by this unsophisticated, non-technological conversation I was having that I didn’t realize that people text me all the time, right to my computer. So what I’m going to do is tell her to RTFM and figure out how to access an instant messaging service from her cell phone. Problem solved. She’s going to become one of the names that sits on my screen or remain in oblivion.

Of course, by now, you’re wondering how come this person is trying to live from her cell phone to begin with. πŸ˜€ The people that I’m in contact with via phone have that set up as a backup system so that when they’re away from their computer, they can still get messages from people. This means that they HAVE a computer to begin with. This also means they know how to USE their computer. I’ve now recognized a new high (low???) in digital internet snobbery, because as much as I’ve neglected the people who still to this day socialize on MySpace… I’ve completely, and I mean COMPLETELY forgotten about the people that either don’t know how to use or totally DON’T HAVE COMPUTERS!

I know how this happened. Via the internet, you get to meet like-minded people, people you enjoy talking to, people you respect, people you do business with. There is just too much choice right at your fingertips and too many people that ARE connected to even have time to consider the people that aren’t. Something else to think about. An entirely deeper level of ghosts… NOT in the machine.

As far as the “Keep the phone by you” suggestion, forget it. If I’m editing, I have to WATCH the video and I have to LISTEN to the audio and I have to manipulate the controls. For those reasons, I am NOT going to pick up a phone and listen to what you have to say. On top of that, GOOD editing is done by feel. You have to live in the situation to absorb the meaning and you have to feel when the piece moves *YOU* so that the piece will move other people. I am NOT going to break my mood. Therefore, even though I *HAVE* a cell phone, it’s not going to ring. Even if it buzzes, it might not be on my person at all. If you leave me a message, I’m not going to check. If you send me a text on my cell phone, I’m not going to check. The only way that I can be efficient and do what I do and regulate my all-important mood is to communicate with you ASYNCHRONOUSLY.

That means, send me an email. I’ll get to it when I get to it. Send me an IM. I’ll get to it when I get to it. Send me SOMETHING that’s going to sit there until I’m “back in the world” from being inside my edit. When I’m wondering “hmm… Wonder if anyone sent me anything”, that’s your window of opportunity to receive return correspondence or conversation.

Another thing is… Time is Money. If I’m not doing what *I* want to do, that’s because someone paid me to focus on what THEY wanted me to do. So… I really don’t want to hear about “I can’t get in touch with you” when I told you how to do it. I don’t get paid to pick up my cell phone. I don’t get paid to have my cell phone on my person. I don’t get paid to receive telephone calls AT ALL! πŸ˜€

Having said that, I’m going to give this new layer of ghosts some consideration… Rather, I should say, this layer of ghosts that I’m newly aware of. How do I reach back to the people stranded in MySpace? How do I reach back to people that don’t own or know how to use computers?

I really wouldn’t know, because I’m a digital internet snob.

Sharing Breakfast

Yesterday was a fantastic day. πŸ˜€

I got to meet Kfir Pravda, who was here for a few hours in NYC Friday morning awaiting his connecting flight to Israel. I was familiar with Kfir from blogging as well as our involvement with the Yahoo Videoblogging Group.

Bill Cammack & Kfir Pravda

We’ve had interesting discussions about the direction of online video and television, but I never figured I’d meet him in person, since I had no plans to travel to Israel.

Fortunately, our schedules and locations coincided, and I was able to enjoy the morning with Kfir, Kathryn Jones, Jeff Pulver and Keren Dagan.

Jeff, Kathryn, Kfir & Keren

One of the benefits of social media is that you can learn about people and their ideas at your own pace. If you see something interesting, you can bookmark their site or add them on a social network or follow them on a status update service. The effect is that you can gain a respect for someone without ever having met them in person, or if you’re a lurker, without them ever even knowing that you exist. I already appreciated Kfir for his ideas before I walked into “The Library” at the Regency Hotel. The intangibles of meeting him in person amplified that appreciation.

As much as you might be able to tell about someone from reading their blog posts or comments, there’s much more to be gleaned from having real-time, F2F conversation with someone. How do you greet each other? Do you have similar senses of humor? Is this person as sharp in a real-time, constantly-evolving conversation as they are in text, which they may have taken an hour to write, or in a video which they may have scripted or rehearsed many times before recording it? Is this someone with whom you would probably have been friends, had the “accident of birth” placed you in the same geographical location?

Previously, I asked “How Social is ‘Social’ Media?”. Yesterday, there was a ton of “Social” and a ton of “Media”! πŸ˜€ Jeff Pulver was broadcasting live to Qik utilizing his Nokia N95 and his portable hotspot (described/shown in the video below).

I recorded a Seesmic video with my MacBook Pro. So, not only did we share breakfast with each other, we shared ‘sharing breakfast’ with our friends on other social media sites as well. πŸ˜€

This time, social media came through BIG TIME! πŸ˜€ Fortunately Keren was keeping an eye on the clock, because our conversation had become three hours long with no end in sight. There really ought to be laws against having so much fun before 2pm! πŸ˜€

It was a pleasure meeting Kfir & Keren. It makes such a difference when someone steps off of a blog page or computer screen and you get to experience them IRL. It was great to hang out with Kathryn & Jeff as well. I’m going to strive to sift through the QUANTITY of consistently increasing adds and contacts and have more QUALITY interactions like this one through social media. πŸ˜€

Bill Cammack Ò€’ Cammack Media Group, LLC

Are You A Tech Elitist?

Are *you* a Tech Elitist? If so, how’s that workin’ for ya?

As it’s now Christmas, and we think of The Grinch sitting high on the hill, looking down on all the little people of the village with contempt… Let’s consider our own positions in our respective fields and how we’ve chosen social media sites & groups as well as whom we’ve chosen to affiliate ourselves with.

There was much change during 2007. More ways to communicate. More social sites to join. More video hosts with their own little gimmicks that made them slightly different from the rest. New video editing software. New storage solutions. New live streaming options….

As new opportunities arose, there was a lot of bandwagon-jumping. Sometimes it stuck, sometimes it didn’t. When Twitter was initially unreliable, OFTEN, eventually, Jaiku came along, and there was a mass exodus. The backup plan for when Twitter would go down was for people to immediately start posting on Jaiku until the problem was resolved. Eventually, Twitter became stable, and I didn’t hear a peep about Jaiku for months until they got bought by Google. All of a sudden, here come the Jaiku friend requests.

Even within Twitter, there was bandwagon-jumping. Apps were created so you didn’t have to use the twitter web page with your browser. Some people stuck with them. Some people bailed back to the web site when they realized how many twitter posts the apps weren’t picking up. Eventually, people found found satisfaction in how they received twitter posts. At some point during ’07, Pownce became a player as well.

There was much debate about which status update application was better between the three of them. I ended up sticking with Twitter, and once every so often, I copy/paste redundant posts to Pownce & Jaiku for people that primarily (if not exclusively) use those sites. I’m also biased towards Twitter because I have 341 contacts there vs. 117 on Pownce and 50 on Jaiku, many of which are redundant for the reason I stated earlier. So, for the sake of this post, I’ll say I made the ‘elitist’ decision that Twitter was better for my purposes and essentially neglect the other two services.

On the social site front, I used to have a regular MySpace presence. I had somewhere around 500 “friends” that were rather randomly acquired. What I mean by that is that I had probably 100 contacts that I knew from some other site or forum or that I actually knew IRL and then another 400 or so people/companies that sent me a friends request and then essentially never talked to me “again”. πŸ˜€ … “Again” has to be in quotes, because they never TALKED to me the first time. All they did was click a button that sent me a friends request, and I accepted it. I enjoyed interacting with my actual friends on MySpace, but the vast majority of it I found to be utterly worthless. MySpace is fantastic if you’re a musician or an artist, but I didn’t make many new relationships on MySpace that were worth anything.

Eventually, Facebook stepped its game up, and I migrated to “the better site”. Similar to my Twitter bias for status updates, my MySpace dealings dwindled to ZERO. In fact, if someone didn’t have a facebook account, I wouldn’t even bother to look them up on MySpace. πŸ™‚ “Everybody who was anybody” was on Facebook, so there wasn’t any need to ‘waste’ time on other mass social sites. Recently, someone mentioned MySpace to me, and I inadvertently laughed and said something like “You *still* use your MySpace account?” She replied that she interacts with the people that she knows because of business on Facebook, but her IRL friends are all still on MySpace. I hadn’t thought about it before, but as I sit here on my Facebook hill with contempt… I’m now wondering how many of my ACTUAL friends are still down in the MySpace village, having never made the jump to “the better site”.

The reason Facebook is better for me is that I deal with social media every day of the week. Now that I’m thinking about it, for the average joe, MySpace is more than enough, and there’s no reason for them to look for better connectivity to more REAL people. So now I have to consider whether it’s more beneficial to me to move some of my Facebook-time back to MySpace instead of concentrating solely on the site that’s clearly superior for my purposes.

Next, you have video hosts. I use blip.tv because the options and functionalities serve my purposes as I maintain my own video blogs using WordPress, Show-In-A-Box and vPiP. Meanwhile, other people talk into their webcams and post videos to YouTube. I’ve posted a few videos to YouTube for test purposes, but I wasn’t impressed with the video compression quality at the time, I wasn’t impressed with the Terms of Service and I *CERTAINLY* wasn’t impressed with the dimwitted remarks people love to leave in the comments sections.

For those reasons and others, I’ve left YouTube just about completely alone… However, you can’t argue with the numbers of views that people get, assuming they get “featured”. YouTube has become the go-to for people looking for any kind of video under the sun, so just by having your video there, you have more of a chance of it going viral than if you oh-so-elitely plan, film, edit, compress, upload, post, tag and advertise your own videos like I do. πŸ™‚

The question, again, is “How’s that workin’ for ya?”. Fortunately, another 2007 development is TubeMogul which enables you to upload a video once and have it distributed to multiple video sharing sites. TubeMogul also tracks statistics for you across several sites. So now, there’s less incentive to keep “all your eggs in one basket”.

I’m sure we can look forward to lots more fantastic developments in 2008. πŸ™‚ Personally, I’ll be paying more attention than I was this year as far as whether I’d like to consolidate or expand in the areas of status updates, social sites and video hosting sites. I didn’t even get to talk about live streaming options, like how I think Operator11 is infinitely better than BlogTV….. except Operator11 went completely offline for more than a week, so people like Jonny Goldstein had to retreat to other live streaming sites to keep their shows going. Of course, there’s no way to add a BlogTV archive to your Operator11 show archive, so c’est la vie. :/

Anyway… I think it’s in all of our best interests to pay attention not only to which new app or site has cool features or the elite people flocking to it, but also to whether we’re trading away communications with our core viewers, friends, contacts and followers. Just like The Grinch found out… it’s lonely at the top.

Bill Cammack Ò€’ Cammack Media Group, LLC

end of days…..

On December 31, 2006, almost 10 months ago, I decided I was going to do a text blog. I needed a title, since I didn’t want it to be called “Bill’s Blog”… *YAWN*

As I searched my mind for a title that meant something to me at the time, “Wasted Days” is what I decided was the most relevant. At the time, I wrote:

The blog is named Ò€œWasted DaysÒ€. I donÒ€ℒt know why. I just like that name. WellÒ€¦ I think I DO know why, but the reasons arenÒ€ℒt tangible right now, so thereÒ€ℒs nothing to say/print/type about it.

I did know why I was writing “Wasted Days” at the time, however, I didn’t feel like ‘flavoring’ the blog with the reason, so I left it out. Also, the reason didn’t permeate my existence, so it wasn’t really fair to call the blog “Wasted Days” to begin with. I didn’t want to add to that unfairness by clarifying my personal meaning for the title.

As this seems to be the season for people ending things, such as blogs, and starting new ones, I was prompted to revisit my text blog, which I had long since abandoned anyway. I figured I’d wrap it up, so that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m ending “Wasted Days”, because the ‘period’ is no longer relevant, and things have morphed so much in the last 10 months (really, even the last three months) that it’s really time for something new. πŸ™‚

To me, Days are Wasted when you know there’s something you want to do or that you feel you *SHOULD* be doing, and you’re not doing it. For me, at that time of title-creation, my not-doing was that I had (and still have) a very special and important-to-me friend that lives on the other side of the country that I had never met IRL, and I knew that as inspiring to me as she was [is], that I wasn’t going to go see her.

Bill Cammack - Wasted Days
The Ghost in the Machine

This was a strange situation for me at the time, because I’m not a long-distance person. It’s basically “out of sight, out of mind”, and I’m not usually inclined to even consider girls that don’t live in Manhattan, and even then, within about 15 minutes on public transportation from my house. πŸ™‚ Nevertheless, thanks to the wonders of the internet (no… not J-date), here I was, admiring someone that I would be bugging every day to hang out if she lived within my AO [Area of Operations], but since she doesn’t, I remained here and she remained there, and my days remained wasted.

“Wasted Days” had the fringe benefit of loosely alluding to alcoholic beverage consuption, πŸ˜€ but it was really about “What would you do if you couldn’t [wouldn’t] do what you really felt like you *should* be doing?”. This is why, in December of last year, my days were wasted.

I believe the first thing I noticed was that since I was blogging, the days weren’t actually wasted, almost from the beginning. I was being creative. I was doing something I felt was interesting and worthwhile. I was also learning… Learning about the process of blogging, tagging, social sites, myspace, facebook, linkedin, ning… I was learning about editing with new software & incorporating new techniques. I was learning about compresson, flash, h.264, fps, data rates… So, once again, even though, inspirationally, the days were wasted, they really weren’t wasted at all…..

Meanwhile, I was making new friends.

Frisbee Group, April 14 2007
Bill, Grace, Rachel, Charles, Obreahny, Sandra, Mike

I’ve always been blessed with fantastic friends… the few, the elite. Ever since kindergarten, and probably before I can remember, I’ve always had my “crews”. Necessarily, as time goes on, we move from social location to social location, from Elementary to JHS to HS to College, some folks to Grad School, then to the workplace, different neighborhoods to live in, different gyms to join… There’s always the building and eventual dissolving of “crews”. The internet in general, and videoblogging in particular has now changed all of that. People are seeing, hearing and learning about like-minded individuals and groups all over the planet and making global, international alliances. This has completely replaced… for me, anyway… local interactions based on physical proximity.

Without recapping the last ten months, which has included 202 linkedin contacts, 279 facebook friends, 247 twitter followers (lots of overlap between all three), etc etc etc… (which I only bring up because it’s an OUTLANDISH number for someone like me that’s used to selecting a few CLOSE, CLOSE friends and staking our claim in the universe)… there were a couple of events in particular that really made me “sit up and take notice” as far as what was really going on and how my Days were TOTALLY not being Wasted….

The first event was meeting Roxanne Darling IRL (In Real Life). We had met via the Yahoo Videoblogger’s group and she had reason to be in NYC, all the way from her home in Hawaii. The first thing that was striking to me was that she just set up the camera and was ready to do an episode of her show Beach Walks with Rox… which now that I checked out that post, that was actually last November 9th, before I even started “Wasted Days”… Anyway… she was ready to just do an episode with no rehearsal, no talking about what we were going to discuss… NOTHING! :O … Just turn on the camera and talk to each other… I was like WHAT??? But I rolled with it, and it came out ok. πŸ™‚

That was a learning experience in and of itself, however, we hung out afterwards and had this really great, intelligent, fascinating conversation, mostly about videoblogging and “the space”, but also about life in general. As I’ve told Rox, that was the best IRL conversation I had had with someone I knew from the internet in AGES. I wasn’t aware at the time that *THIS* is the potential of the internet where people get to express themselves and align themselves with people who have similar viewpoints or even people who have opposing, yet intelligently articulated viewpoints. I knew there was something ‘odd’ (read: FANTASTIC!!!) going on, but I didn’t have enough data to figure it out.

The second event was in January, 2007 @ Andrew Baron’s house, which I have labeled as Rocketboom Party Photos. I don’t remember what the genesis of that party was, but I don’t believe I even had *MY* camera with me that night… Which shows how long ago it was, because I ALWAYS have my camera now. πŸ˜€

At some point, I saw Bre Pettis, whom I recognized from Jonny Goldstein’s show on Phovi.com, “Reinventing Television”. When I walked up to Bre, I introduced myself and started to explain something about myself (that I don’t remember) to him, and his reply was to look at me oddly, as if I had amnesia, and he said “…I know who you are”.

Now, this was somewhat shocking to me, because I considered myself a spectator of Jonny’s show. Until that very point in time, I hadn’t given a single second’s worth of thought to the possibility that people that I didn’t specifically personally solicit to check out my site might have done so. I CERTAINLY hadn’t considered that someone on a show might actually research members of the “studio audience” that were there in the text chat. Whatever the actual circumstances were, I never found out, because my mind was suddenly off on the tangent of “what’s really going on, here?”. I now had to consider my interactions on the net as TWO-WAY instead of one-way, like television. To me, that situation was as if I had walked up to Chow Yun-Fat and told him that I had seen his movie “Hard Boiled”, and he said “I know who you are”. Strange, yet fascinating, amazing and transformative all at the same time. πŸ™‚

Also at that party, I recognized Kenyatta Cheese. I had had a chat with him via blog comments over a quasi-contoversial topic, and I was aware that he had no idea what I looked like, but I knew what he looked like. I walked up to him and introduced myself, and he gave me this weird look, like “How come this guy I’ve never seen before is addressing me in a friendly manner?” I went on to bring up the blog comment conversation I had had with him, and his entire demeanor changed to one of recognition and acceptance. We went on to have an extended, IRL conversation about the blog post in question as well as peripheral topics that we most likely would never have gotten into in text comments.

I still didn’t “get it” after Drew’s party. I think I considered both the Bre and Kenyatta incidents to be easily explained away as isolated situations. I wasn’t getting that people were forming actual friendships and respect for each other that had never met each other IRL. I wasn’t getting that people were learning things about me that I didn’t tell them, because I posted it on the net and they read or watched it without telling me they did. I wasn’t getting that as opposed to selecting compatible people that are within our physical locations where we live, hang out or work, we now have the opportunity to interact… A. LOT…. with people with whom we share similar likes and interests that live ANYWHERE in the world.

I get it now… At least to the degree that I can write this post and wrap up my “Wasted Days” blog. What I get is that it’s not so strange… hehe well, to me at least! πŸ˜€ … to admire my friend across the country even though I’ve never met her IRL. It’s not uncommon to make friendships with people outside of one’s neighborhood, town, city, state, or even COUNTRY!

The Days aren’t Wasted just because I’m not in physical proximity to her. There are so many other ways that people communicate and get to know each other and build respect and create friendships and all formats of relationships that the only way your days are going to be wasted is if you aren’t figuring out what YOU want to do with your own life and your own time…. and DOING it! πŸ˜€


Fin.
Bill Cammack
2007Ò€¦ The Wasted Days
http://billcammack.com
http://reelsolid.tv

Bill Cammack GSX-R NYC Night
Photo Credit: Jay Batista