Email. Not Facebook. Not Twitter. Not Phone. Not IRL…

In this time of social media, we have a lot of ways to communicate with each other.

Each one can be considered a level, or a gate, with one requiring more of a person’s time, energy, and focus than another.

Admission to the higher levels of interaction requires that you first prove yourself on one or more of the lower levels.

In this time of social media, we have a lot of ways to communicate with each other.

Each one can be considered a level, or a gate, with one requiring more of a person’s time, energy, and focus than another.

Admission to the higher levels of interaction requires that you first prove yourself on one or more of the lower levels. Continue reading “Email. Not Facebook. Not Twitter. Not Phone. Not IRL…”

Weiner Fesses Up

Anthony Weiner fessed up in a press conference about his role in the recent scandal that the internet’s been buzzing about:

Direct Link => http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/43301263#43301263

It would take me longer than it’s worth to figure out a coherent storyline for this article, so I’m just going to write about my experience with and thoughts about this situation.

I heard about it several days ago. Some politician was alleged to have sent a picture of tha dilznick to some chick on Twitter.

*yawn* Continue reading “Weiner Fesses Up”

Blog Subscribers, Commenters, Lurkers & Passers-By

Bill CammackI had a conversation a few days ago with a friend who asked me what I thought about blogging / podcasting / creating video content, specifically as it pertains to viewership and even more specifically as it pertains to NUMBERS of viewers for content we post to the internet. Continue reading “Blog Subscribers, Commenters, Lurkers & Passers-By”

Looking Desperate

A reader recently asked me a question about looking desperate. It was the basic situation of not wanting to overdo it or under-do it when contacting someone you want to kick it to.

If you contact them too much, you look desperate. If you contact them too little, you look disinterested. If you look disinterested, they might turn off to you. If you look desperate, they might think you’re a Herb or a psycho stalker. Continue reading “Looking Desperate”

How To Make A Blog Post

Bill Cammack explains how to make a blog post using WordPress (or pretty much any other platform).

Topics include hypertext / hyperlinking, images, media & style.

Recorded as part of New in November 2009 (newinnov.tumblr.com)

“One to Many” Communication

Which style of communication do you like better? One to One, or One to Many?

A “non Social Media” friend of mine asked me “What’s new with you?” just now. I showed her a multi-person live video/audio/text chat application that I embedded on my blog, and then she goes “So, what’s new with you?”

I would have thought she was kidding, except I could see from her face and her body language that she felt like I had avoided her question instead of answering it. WHAT’S NEW is that we have this capability now to interact with each other whenever we want to. WHAT’S NEW is that I don’t have to travel to DELAWARE to see, talk to and share a laugh with my cousin. WHAT’S NEW is that I don’t have to waste my time traveling from location to location when I can press one button and talk live to someone RIGHT. NOW.

Once I got her to understand what I was showing her, her response was that she wouldn’t want to use that stuff. She likes telephones, texting, etc. She’s clearly a fan of One to One communication. I’m a fan of One to Many communication. Continue reading ““One to Many” Communication”

Freedom of Consequences

Boo Hoo Hoo! πŸ˜€

Around February, 2008… approximately five (5) months ago, I decided to ask a member of the video message board, Seesmic if he REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted to represent himself as he did in a video that he made.

What happened? People started crying. BOO HOO HOO! YOU’RE BEING MEAN! YOU’RE TELLING HIM WHAT TO DO! BOO HOO HOO! πŸ˜€

Fast forward 5 months to this week’s events… where a *different* person got penalized for video that HE posted to the internet. Did he post it ~ a year ago? Yes. Was he penalized for it this week? Yes.

So now, maybe people can stop CRYING and WAKE UP! πŸ˜€ It doesn’t matter if you’re having a so-called private conversation with a so-called friend of yours if it’s AVAILABLE FOR THE PUBLIC TO VIEW. People are going to look at the one video that you did and make their own decisions about your content and about YOU as a person. They’re going to decide whether they want to socialize with “a person like this”. They’re going to decide whether they want to HIRE “a person like this”. They’re going to decide whether they want to SPONSOR “a person like this”.

The point I was trying to get across, almost half a year ago, is that all of your content is standalone. You have to treat every video and every text post and every picture as if people are going to look at that ONE item and form judgements about you. You can’t rely on OTHER posts to pull you back into the frying pan out of the fire. You can’t rely on other people vouching for your character, ESPECIALLY when your video is viewed outside the realm in which your friends have juice. If nobody’s ever heard of your friends or they just don’t care what your friends opinions are, you’re short.

The reason people were CRYING is because they want the internet to be about freedom of speech. Unfortunately for them, they’re missing the other side of the coin…

Freedom of Consequences

Yes, you are free and clear to use whatever low-class terms you like when you make video, audio or text posts to the internet. What happens next is… PEOPLE SEE YOU AS LOW-CLASS. Good for you. You’ve achieved your goal. You expressed yourself, and people have a new image of you that you’ve created. Similarly, if you create a video that people see as offensive… PEOPLE SEE YOU AS AN OFFENSIVE PERSON. That’s the way it works. You express yourself, and then, as Otir pointed out, you have ZERO CONTROL over what other people receive and internalize based on what you posted. This is what’s simultaneously fantastic and unfortunate about communication, especially on the internet.

Does it matter that whatever video you’re getting penalized for is a year old? No. People that saw it for the first time TODAY… feel upset about it TODAY…. NOT last year. Unfortunately, the fact that posts, especially video and audio are STANDALONE items means that whatever the focal point is of people being upset can now be embedded ad infinitum all over the web. Guess what? Your context is GONE! The text you wrote on your original page with the video? GONE! The links you had on that page to supporting material? GONE! Your entire library of work up until and surpassing that time? GONE! Comments from posters and/or supporters? GONE! The only thing that’s left is the content that you uploaded and the thoughts of the person who’s newly embedded your video on their page so they can show THEIR FRIENDS that you’re “a person like this”.

I was having a conversation IRL just last night, in which I thought I was anonymous, and then the chick… um… woman says “I’ve read your blog“, hahaha and it was time to change gears. Not because I was being inauthentic beforehand, but because now, I was aware that I wasn’t working with a clean slate. πŸ˜€ We still had a great and interesting convo, but it had already been tinted by her impression of who I am or what I’m about from reading my blog.

That’s the way it works. You express. Other people receive and take away what they want from what you expressed, regardless of your intentions when you posted the text, audio or video. I touched on this in a joking way in “Do NOT Let This Happen To You! :/”. I was saying “some stuff” and then Annie broke out her xacti and it was time for The Kid to say “other stuff”! πŸ˜€


Permalink: http://pixelcurrents.tv/post/33454768
Again… Not because I was being inauthentic when the camera was off, but because what I was saying wasn’t for general consumption. It was a conversation I was having with my friends and totally wouldn’t have made sense outside of the context that they all had from being friends of mine and actually knowing me. I mean… It would have made sense, πŸ™‚ but I can’t express to randoms the same thing I can express to people that have background knowledge of who I am, what I do and why I do it with anywhere near the same effect.
 
Similarly… If you do a video that you put out on public channels that for some odd reason, you consider private… be prepared for people that you didn’t intend to watch that video to view it and make up their minds about “who you are” as a person. If you do a video that you think is funny to your friends and people that know you, and put it on public channels… be prepared for people that you didn’t intend to watch that video to view it and make up their minds about “who you are” as a person. Is there freedom of speech? Of course there is. There’s also OWNERSHIP. OF. CONSEQUENCES.

That was my whole point back on Seesmic.

I couldn’t care ANY LESS how people express themselves on the net.

I wanted people to realize is that they eventually might have to OWN the consequences of their actions/words/videos, and that’s what we all got a front row seat to this very week.

Welcome to the real world, Neo.

Communication [Part 2]

Continued from Communication [Part 1]

So now we get to the point where people have this expectation of entitlement to intrusion. This is one of the reasons why I wrote “Digital Internet Snobbery”. I was getting flak from someone because I am not available by text. This was after I SPECIFICALLY TOLD HER how she could get in touch with me, which was via email… which she can do from her phone if she can text from her phone, so I didn’t see what the problem was. Unfortunately, she had been hoping I was going to live into someone else’s style, and it ain’t that type o’ party. πŸ˜€

I missed the text revolution because I went directly to AIM. The reason I haven’t updated my ancient phone up until now is that I’m available via lots of services which are more efficient for my style of interaction. As a matter of fact, my contact information’s listed in the sidebar to this very post. If you can’t figure out from there how to contact me, I’m still currently the #3 “Bill” on google, behind Gates & Clinton.

I know too many people to be randomly available via phone. I’d never get anything done. Most of what I do requires A LOT of mental processing, as you can tell by these epic posts I keep dropping. I can’t ‘afford’ to get continually taken out of the zone to have random conversations whenever someone feels like contacting me. This is why I herd people towards email or iChat so I can get back to your message when I get back to it. This is why it was so funny to be told that I need to get with the program when it comes to texting, because I’m so far beyond texting. However… Whose problem IS that? πŸ™‚ Is that MY problem, or is that HER problem? Actually, it’s the problem of the person that loses the most if we’re out of contact, which isn’t ME, so that answers that. πŸ™‚

So we got up to text, and like I said, I missed out on the revolution because I was already on AIM (which became iChat when I ditched PCs hahaha, but that’s another story πŸ˜€ ). At this point, instant messaging services are the final frontier, because you can perfectly craft your socialization experience. You inform people via status update whether you’re online or not, and if so, whether you’re likely to respond to a message they send or not. You can inform them if you’re working or AFK (away from keyboard) or fully welcoming conversation. You can turn sound on or off so if you need to concentrate on writing another epic post, you can still receive messages that don’t break your state. You can have an icon bounce in your tray in case you get a message while you’re AFK and your iChat windows are all hidden. This way, you know to check your new messages. You can start or accept audio conversations or video conversations.

Bill using iChat video
Photo Credit: Rob Boudon

Most importantly, you can carry on several completely different conversations at a time, which you can’t do via audio on a phone. This means that if the person you’re talking to is a slow communicator, it doesn’t matter. They’re not hogging your bandwidth, and you’re talking to six other people while you’re waiting for them to send you something back. It also means that if someone’s a flooder, you can minimize their window and respond to them when you feel like reading the novel they wrote. If people are annoying, you block them so you can go about your day without being disturbed. If you want to find out what’s going on tonight, you can message people in different cliques at the same time and you get back what you get back.

However… If you depend on instant messaging services, you’re at a distinct disadvantage when you go out….

I went over to Ryan’s the other day… specifically NOT pictured here on the right…

And hadn’t bothered to put his cell number in my phone, because I didn’t imagine the party would be in the garden out back and not inside his actual apartment, haha so between that fact and the fact that I hadn’t bothered to charge my phone’s battery, I took a short in that situation, haha πŸ™‚ If I had had a modern phone, I could have emailed him or checked my own email for his number or used any number of services to attempt to bypass the physical barrier of being stuck outside a door, buzzing a buzzer that nobody could hear. πŸ™‚ The same thing happened to me going to Justin’s party…

Bill , Marissa & Justin

… but luckily, Amir had to go to the bathroom, so someone was in the apartment to hear me buzzing, haha. πŸ™‚

The point here is that obviously, communication is returning to the pocket from the computer, except in the form of text and visual information instead of voice. Google Maps, GPS, everything’s going back into people’s pockets, specifically at this point in the form of Blackberry devices and iPhones. This is why the iPhone SDK is such a big deal. You get to create something that people all over the world might buy, because you get to place it in the Apple Store, online.

The next big deal is going to be hand-held video chat, so we’ll see if Apple stops ****ing around and releases an iPhone with the camera in the proper location for people to video chat before someone beats them to the punch and Apple gets the fail whale for once! πŸ˜€

Bill Fail Whale

Do you miss potential job and socialization opportunities by not being randomly accessible or checking voicemail? Yes. Definitely. What you receive in return is increased efficiency and focus. By minimizing my distractions, I probably got this post done in 1/2 the time it would have taken otherwise.

Speaking of the dreaded, yet oft-appearing “Fail Whale”… Twitter has found a new way to not crash so often. That’s to implement Denial of Service when it comes to our @ messages. For people unfamiliar with Twitter, you can send a message to someone’s “replies” folder by using the “@” sign with their username, like “Hey @username, what’s going on tonight?”. If you use the website, like I do, instead of using a standalone client, you find out who sent public messages to your attention or mentioned you in your “replies” folder. Without that folder, all you have is the ten latest pages of Twitter posts from the 800+ people that you follow that you can search through if you feel like it and have time to waste, or you can use search sites like TweetScan and Summize, but you’d better hope THEY were able to pull the entries from Twitter themselves.

So that’s where we stand right now. We live in a world where people expect immediate attention and there are lots of ways for them to get that. Are they entitled to it? No. It’s just that “everybody’s doing it”, so you seem to them to be “odd man out” because your phone has a little alien on it that jumps rope, eats apples, skateboards and takes baths when you open the phone up. πŸ˜€ Meanwhile, the fact of the matter is that I went out for a reason… to hang out with specific people or do specific things. IF having my email on me, and my calendar, and my answering machine, and my instant messaging, and my audio software, and my internet browser, and my quicktime player, and my video compression software was important to me, I would have brought my computer and my EV-DO card with me.

The funny thing is, πŸ™‚ when I finally buy an iPhone, or whatever great all-in-one gadget someone comes out with, that’ll only increase my options for technological offense….

Psychologically, I’m not going to be any more accessible than I am today. πŸ˜€

Communication [Part 1]

I’ve been meaning to write this for a long, long, long, long, long time. Probably over a year. I touched on it a little with “Digital Internet Snobbery” and “Are You A Tech Elitist?”, but I need to go back to the beginning.

Before all this social media stuff jumped off, people had land lines and answering machines. Actually, forget the answering machines. People had land lines. If they weren’t at home… Guess what? You Couldn’t Talk To Them. Period. That’s it. No way around it. The only way around it was if they went to a pay phone and called you from the street. But basically, if you weren’t NEAR YOUR PHONE, you were completely out of contact unless you were in physical proximity to people.

Next, we got answering machines, so now, if we’re not at home, when we DO get home, we know who called us and what for. We also got Caller ID so that we could tell who called us and didn’t leave a message. Still, no contact other than when we’re in our houses where our phones and answering machines are.

Next, we got pagers, so that when we were in the street and people wanted to speak to us, they could send us their number so we could go to a pay phone and call them back. This was probably the beginning of intrusion & entitlement. This was where people started making big deals out of the fact that they paged you and you didn’t call them back. Before this time, there was no guarantee that whatever device people tried to contact you on was attached to your person. You could be at home and ignoring them, and they’d have no clue with phones and answering machines. The reason people got pagers was either because they wanted people to be able to contact them on the run OR they had to have it for business. In either case, it was assumed by people that you had this device with you and didn’t leave it at home, so the “burden” switched from the callER to the callEE as far as whose fault it was that a conversation didn’t occur when the caller wanted it to.

The typical excuses for not returning a page were a) I was in the subway and didn’t get it [since pagers wouldn’t hold the message for you and try again when you came above ground], b) my service sucks, and I didn’t get the page [when you got the page and erased it from your memory list in case the caller *COUGHyourgirlfriendCOUGH* checked it], or you got it and didn’t have change on you to call her back or none of the pay phones where you were worked [which was valid because a lot of the phones were broken in NYC for some reason, mostly people doing scams to try to get the change out of the machines]. Still… the ‘problem’ here was that the callEE had to give excuses to the callER, when the fact of the matter is that they didn’t feel like talking to you and ignored your page (or, ACTUALLY didn’t get the page. πŸ™‚ ).

Next up was cell phones. Same problem with intrusion & entitlement. The fact that you had a cell phone with an answering system meant that you were assumed to understand that the caller called soon afterwards, therefore receiving the burden of calling them back. This was especially true if they called you several times in one day. Also, the subway excuse disappeared, because cell phones will repeat sending you the alert that you have messages when you come above ground. To make matters worse, cell phones ring differently if you have them online when you get a call and when you’re not attached to the satellite system. If it rings 4 times and goes to machine instead of going directly there, it’s assumed that you saw the call and ignored it (or perhaps weren’t around your phone). Either way, it’s assumed that the phone is active and has batteries in it, so, again, the burden’s on the callEE to pick up the conversation where the caller left it.

Next was cell phones with the ability to send text messages. This completely flipped the script. Completely.

I didn’t catch on to the importance of this for a long time. I finally got it when I would try to contact my friend Masami to go out…

Masami Snow NYC

I would call her and get no response. 45 minutes later, I’d text her and get a text right back. I thought this was odd, because both the call and text go to the same device… except depending on how you SET the device, it notifies you differently about different events. Let’s say the notification for text messages had higher priority on her phone than the notification for voicemail. When I was calling her, it basically dropped into an abyss. When I sent her text messages, they went right to the top of the list and she became immediately aware of them.

A part of the reason for this was that A LOT OF PEOPLE had switched over to using text instead of voice. By the time I was in contact with Masami, she was very used to interacting with people via text from her phone. I was probably the only one leaving voice messages. πŸ™‚ I found out another reason for the changeover by watching television. These guys were sitting at a table with these chicks on some reality show and texting to each other about the chicks. Before seeing this, I hadn’t considered that people use text to communicate in stealth mode, when they can’t actually talk. If someone’s in a business meeting and you call them, it’s going to go to their machine. If you text them, they’re likely to check it and even text you back while the meeting’s still going on. So the fact that you didn’t have to LOOK LIKE you aren’t paying attention to whomever’s speaking was an important factor in people switching to text.

Another good reason to use text is the sound factor. There are a lot of places where people might be in Manhattan where you just can’t hear what’s going on… but you can READ it. This happened to me a while back when I tried to call Dave, and he couldn’t hear a thing I was saying…

The only way I caught up with him was to have a friend of mine do me the solid of texting him for me to ask him where he was hanging out. So once again, text defeats voice. Text is better when you can’t talk. Text is better when you can’t hear. Text is better when you need to look like you’re paying attention to someone you’re standing/sitting in front of.

Text is also better because it’s asynchronous. Technically, so is leaving a voice message, but you can text someone back under just about any conditions, including being in the subway, having already received your messages to your phone. You can reply to a bunch of messages and have them sent out when you get signal. You wouldn’t even be able to RECEIVE your voice messages underground in order to reply to them.

This is where I got to the point of “Digital Internet Snobbery”, which I’ll address in “Communication [Part 2]”.