Anonymous Hackers: Operation Blabbb

August 15, 2011
Last week, the hacker group known as “Anonymous” posted a video on YouTube, claiming that it would “kill” Facebook on November 5, 2011 and then confirmed its mission, known as Operation Facebook, with a Tweet, as well. The original video has since been removed, but it has been reposted by many:
While many laugh at the video; some are fearful and frightened. From the little we’ve read, it seems plausible that one day, Facebook could be hacked, just like any other website. Yet, based on most reports, this recent plot was simply a “dud.” So, have no fear Wyclef fans: Facebook will not be “gone by November.” 😉
We wonder: What would happen if we woke up one day and Facebook was gone? Such an online “killing” reminds us of the social messages from the endings of V For Vendetta and The Truman Show, where everyday people had to decide what to do with themselves once the whole Vendetta/Truman “party” was over.
If Facebook is “killed,” maybe we can take a deep breath and acknowledge the end of an era/addiction. Then we can open up a book or two and read more. We can step outside and go for a walk or a run. We can strike up a conversation with the person we’re seated next to, instead of using our smart phones and laptops as bumper zones, shielding us from human contact.
While we do not support vigilante behavior, especially hacking; this “threat” from Anonymous can, at the very least, provide us with a moment to self-reflect and think about what role Facebook plays in our lives and if we might want to consciously turn the Facebook “volume” down a notch or two.
What do “you” (not “u”) think, blabbbers? 😉 … 

Twitter Town Hall: President, Too, Is Confined To 140 Characters

July 7, 2011

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm)
that I will faithfully execute the office
of President of the United States, and will,
to the best of my ability,
preserve, protect and defend
the Constitution of the United States …
and Tweet with the blabbbing public,
within 140 characters, of course.
White House Woot!”

Many social media “experts” and political journalists reported and (over)analyzed President Obama’s first Twitter Town Hall yesterday. If you missed it, you can check out the Town Hall’s Twitter page or read the full Town Hall transcript.

As we have stressed over and over again, like them or not, Twitter and Facebook are modern forms of communication that, in one form or another, are here to stay. So it’s only natural for political figures to utilize such “blabbb.” After all, politicians are often accused of talking much more than acting anyway. 😉
Instead of analyzing the pro’s and con’s of the President using techno communications to interact with the public, Blabbb ponders the question: Why do we use Twitter? More specifically, why have 200 million (yes, two hundred million!) people jumped aboard the Twitter bandwagon and agreed to communicate within the constraints of 140 characters?
Where did the 140 character limit come from? According to Dom Sagolla, one of the original employees at founding company Odeo, Inc., the 140 character limit was, believe it or not, based on text messaging. According to Sagolla, the standard text message length in most places is 160 characters per message, and Twitter reserves 20 characters for people’s names. That’s it. Nothing random about the 140 character limit; no Twitter conspiracy theory.

Obviously, the 140 character limit speaks volumes about our techno world, how we now (generally speaking) do not read anything more than a headline, let alone a full article or a full book.

Does the 140 character limit bother you? Are you troubled by future generations (let alone the younger generations now) who will grow up interacting and expressing themselves within such limited confines? Should expression be controlled like this?

Let us know what “you” (not “u”) think, Blabbbers …
And, yes, this blog post is 1881 characters long. So thank you for reading more than the first 140. 😉

Happy Social Media Day: Woot or WTF?

June 30, 2011

Seeing as today is “Social Media Day,” we at Blabbb wish you a very very very … Happy Social Media Day! So … uh … are we supposed to say “woot” or “WTF” here?! 😉

What is Social Media Day? On the record, on one hand, this is the day for all those who use the word “woot” to get together and celebrate. And, off the record, on the other hand, it’s a time for us computer geeks to unite, a time to get together and celebrate all those quality human relationships that we’ve forged by typing on keyboards and smartphones while we’re lonely at home by ourselves. It’s even a time to meet total strangers at social media events and then return home and “friend” them online after one tiny conversation. (Yes, this paragraph was loaded with sarcasm.)

In all seriousness, today there are events scheduled throughout the country for people to get together and celebrate our online social networking groups. Mashable, Meetup, Yelp and other online social networking groups have meet-up events scheduled everywhere in honor of this grand day. So get out there and “woot” it up, y’all! 😉

This leads us at Blabbb to ponder the question: Why do we participate in online social networking groups? Why would we consciously elect to “meet up” with total strangers online first and then later forge human relationships with them in person? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Do you make friends with total strangers on Mashable? Meetup? Yelp? Happy Social Media Day, Blabbbers! Tell us what “you” (not “u”) think …

Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie (Where The “Pie” Tastes Like “Myspace”)

May 11, 2011

Alas, poor Myspace! I knew Myspace, Horatio, a website of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. Myspace hath bore me on its cyber-back a thousand times, and now how abhorr’d in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it.

In 2006 and 2007, Myspace was dominating Facebook, and, just four years later, Myspace is practically irrelevant. As Myspace is now up for sale and the bidding has already begun, Blabbb looks back, examines and applauds the social networking website that introduced many of us to our first taste of such delicious, techno drama as: personal Internet privacy issues, children’s safety on the Internet and cyber-stalking. Yes, Horatio, I knew Myspace.

Why does Blabbb “like” Myspace so much? Because original Myspacers forged online friendships and relationships with one another by way of proactive devotion and actions. Back in 2006, 2007 and 2008, Myspace did not have any News Feeds, Photo Tags, Suggested Friends or the like. When people communicated on Myspace, it was because Myspacers actually thought of their friends and proactively clicked on their profiles in order to see what was new in their online worlds. There was a certain “personal touch” with Myspace that Facebook seems to lack. In a way, the Myspace era was the early years of techno communicating before our communications were inundated with … blabbb.

So, in honor of our ole’ pal Myspace, we thought we’d jot down a tiny list of why Myspace was better than Facebook. This list encourages us to think about how our communications have changed in just two or three years time. Again, there is no absolute techno right or wrong. In fact, new technology is never wrong, per se. It’s how we use or misuse technology that can get us into trouble. (Didn’t we learn anything from Mathew Broderick in War Games?)


Blabbb “likes” Myspace because …

  • No Suggested Friends. Remember when you actually selected your “friends” in real life, instead of having a computer or an Internet-addicted spouse “suggest” them via an impersonal email or an automated list? Myspacers figured out on their own who they wanted to interact with online.
  • No News Feed. If you wanted to interact with people on Myspace, you clicked on their profiles. If you wanted to see if they added new photos, you clicked on their photos to check. Myspace didn’t turn our friends’ lives into the Bottomline sports news ticker on ESPN2.

  • No Check-In’s. If you were out and about, Myspace figured you could tell whoever you wanted of your whereabouts.
  • No Badges. Seriously, will someone please let Blabbb know what a “badge” is and what you’re supposed to do with it. Because we have an idea of what you can do with “badges” …
  • No Online Games. No Farms. No Mafia Wars. No Scrabble. Gamers already had Xbox, Playstations, Wii and so forth. Then they had to invade our social networking sites, too? Really?
  • HTML Images. Myspacers actually learned the tiniest bit of HTML in order to post images on each other’s Myspace pages. Meanwhile, it seems as if all we’ve learned on FB is that Zuckerberg looks like Eisenberg and the dude who started Napster really enjoyed crushing expensive sushi and overpriced appletinis as if he was Justin Timberlake … or maybe it’s the other way around.

In all seriousness, Myspace made us proactively work at our online relationships. Myspace expanded our online communications without force-feeding us “blabbb.” Blabbb wonders: Can healthy “friendships” and “relationships” be sustained by ease and convenience? Will Facebook’s News Feeds actually separate and distance us in a certain way? How are real, healthy friendships and relationships maintained in this techno world?

We recall Julianne Moore’s character in The Kids Are All Right passionately pleading with her loving partner (played by Annette Bening), surrounded by their two children. Relationships require hard work, Moore’s character stressed. (Note: Moore’s character turns the TV off to engage in this courageous conversation.)

Are Internet relationships any different? Blabbb asks: If we look for ease and convenience in our relationships, what kind of relationships are we left with? Lots of posts on our Facebook “walls?” Is that sufficient to maintain healthy relationships?

So, Dearest Myspace, Blabbb tips its techno cap in your direction and thanks you for our original online friendships and relationships, which were maintained by hard work and dedicated actions. There was something beautiful about the hard-working Myspace community, as opposed to the lethargic, easy-way-out Facebook community.

So, bye-bye, Miss American pie.
Drove my old Myspace to the interwebs,
But the interwebs were dry.
And them good old Internet addicts were drinkin’ FB — but why? —
Singin’, “This’ll be the day that Myspace dies.
“This’ll be the day that Myspace dies …”

What do “you” (not “u”) think, Blabbbers? Blabbb away …

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