—Andrew Noyes, Facebook’s manager of public policy communications on the recent update to include options of Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships for Relationship Status!!!!
More info: Facebook has added two options to its list of relationship statuses for users: “In a civil union” and “In a domestic partnership.” The options were introduced last week in the United States, as well as Canada, France, the U.K. and Australia. Facebook reports that this has been a highly requested feature from users, and the network wants to “provide options for people to genuinely and authentically reflect their relationships on Facebook.” Before the addition, options included single, in a relationship, married, engaged, it’s complicated, in an open relationship, widowed, separated and divorced. The new changes were made in consultation with Facebook’s Network of Support, a group that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations.
WAY COOL!!! :)
Edward Castronova, Synthetic Worlds.
I’m not sure I’d agree with that outright, but when applied to addictive gaming, Castronova absolutely has a point. The documentary “My Gaming Addiction” — originally titled “Second Skin” — addresses this by following several people who self-identify as gaming addicts. I can’t really outright identify with any of these, as I’m not a hardcore gamer myself.
<stream o consciousness ahoy — may eventually tighten into something more cohesive>
I never had Nintendo growing up. My parents gave my sister and I each 30 minutes of TV if we had finished our homework and done a host of other daunting tasks like taking baths, reading books, practicing instruments, chores, etc. (We’d usually not get the tv time and if we did, we’d bicker about aligning them so we could watch a 1 hr show or not. Could each of us watch the other’s 30 mins etc was all grey area and hotly debated. In any case, she and I both became avid pop culture vultures in spite of this / as a result?).
I have an early childhood memory of discovering the no-coin-required Pacman at the dentist and playing for like 2 hours once when waiting for an appt when a friend I was having a playdate with fell and knocked out a tooth. It was amazingly fun and I begged my parents to switch dentists after that.
But mostly, I only really engaged with gaming through friends. I went to an all girls school and somehow that kept me from noticing the huge absence of SNES in my household until I was about 9 or 10 and hebrew school friendz would discuss at length and I realized, shit, my life sucks. Managed to score a gameboy for my birthday and would play the same 3 games i got with it (bart simpson, tetris, and something else forgettable) a lot. But I never got really good at them. As a result, I blame my lack of gaming dexterity on this lack of early childhood skill-building. In college I got a busted old tube tv for an art installation (i never ended up making) because we figured out it worked. The dorms werent wired for cable tv, so we scouted yard sales and found a SNES and several games. this became my only opportunity to experience the tshirt on cartridge magic:
in any case— all of this gaming & me history is tangential. I just really loved & highly recommend this documentary. It gave me another level of insight into many of my friends who are / have been hardcore gamers. Also, working with gaming from a brand / advertising side, I guess you see the artificiality of it? Plugging brands into it for immersive experiential ad experiences or even the game as a product vs a recreational / lifestyle choice.
I’ve read Edward Castronova’s Synthetic Worlds twice now but think I might reread, given how the documentary pulls another thread of insight through it. One thing especially intriguing from a synthetic / theoretical perspective is whether the choice between in-game and reality seems constructed as being binary or fluid. Depending on the “success” of the people addressed in the documentary, it seems that gaming is either a fluid extension of their terrestrial life or a totally different / preferred escape. That’s probably where coping skills / overall wellness / some ineffable metric for how together you are comes into play. One couple in particular met through Everquest II and while they dealt with typical rocky relationship ups and downs, they seemed fairly adept at Regular Life and weaved EQ2 into their lives rather seamlessly.
That end of the gaming spectrum versus the strung out, fast food-only, isolated, peeing-in-a-bottle style seems more sustainable and more likely to be what the idealized mainstream for our future looks like.
I’ve been stewing on this smart piece from my colleague Nicholas for a few days now and when we just caught up in the hallway earlier, I was reminded to finally post about it. His op-ed represents the culmination of so many undocumented conversations with clients / internally / via twitter / with friends. That is to say, it is very much in the zeitgeist of today, and in the thoughts of influential futurists considering what’s coming next.
The notion of context is so expansive and scalable that it can apply to everything (and should, really.) Beyond stakeholders even, the notion of message customization and optimization is moving from holy grail to gold standard. It’s not just clients that expect it — everyone does.
So Nicholas takes this further, recognizing that not only is there potential for every brand to get their message out there but also, there’s an opportunity to add real value to conversations that are happening in real time (and whether or not your brand is listening or engaging). This very issue is addressed by Ken Martin & Ivan Todorov in the Spring 2010 Journal of Interactive Advertising:
“Consumers (even have) come to expect innovation from their beloved brands…Every brand has the potential to become interwoven into every moment of every day of its consumer’s lives….”
What I love the most about the above and the way that Nicholas builds on it, is the implicit and explicit CALL for authenticity in all branded communications. Consumers want value. If you aren’t adding value with your content in a way that serves the particular and immediate context, you fail. While that may appear to be a dire set up, it’s actually one of the most refreshing opportunities I’ve seen in a while. It gives us a chance for PR / advertising / corporate communications / social media to all infuse what we do with insight and consideration of the end user or customer. Super basic, but again— ultimately the most important & most delicate consideration there is. Basic objectives like this are often the trickiest to address, and this is absolutely an example of that.
In short, that is: Consider Context. Add Value.
Now, take a stab at captioning the bubble clouds above context here?
[The] tension between governments and leakers is so important, and because WikiLeaks so dramatically helps leakers, it isn’t just a new entrant in the existing media landscape. Its arrival creates a new landscape.
This transformation is under-appreciated. The press often covers WikiLeaks as a series of unfortunate events, one crisis or scandal after another. And Julian Assange, of course, is catnip – brilliant, opinionated, a monocle and a Persian cat away from looking like a Bond villain. The press has covered him as dutifully as any movie star, while paying too little attention to what his invention means about the wider world.
Assange has claimed, when the history of statecraft of the era is written, that it will be divided into pre- and post-WikiLeaks periods. This claim is grandiose and premature; it is not, however, obviously wrong.” —
Clay Shirky for the Guardian UK (full article)
i couldn’t agree more with Clay. Incredibly objective portrayal of one of the most exciting (if controversial) minds of the 21st century so far. Speaking of which— here’s a diagram of it. Click for full image.