Be Your Selves

The internet and social media don’t create new personalities; they allow people to express sides of themselves that social norms discourage in the “real world”.

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We may come to see face-to-face conversation as the social medium that most distorts our personalities. It requires us to speak even when we don’t know what to say and forces us to be pleasant or acquiescent when we would rather not.

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Social media have turned a species used to intimacy into performers. But these perfor­mances are not necessarily false. Person­ality is who we are in front of other people. The internet, which exposes our elastic personalities to larger and more diverse groups of people, reveals the upper and lower bounds of our capacity for empathy and cruelty, anxiety and confidence.

→ 1843 Magazine

Kanye West Is A Human Being

Long life to The Outline, Joshua Topolsky’s new venture :

The pattern is by now familiar: a famous person makes a comment that inspires controversy and, in turn, sets off a public discussion about a number of serious issues. By the end, nothing is illuminated and someone has probably haphazardly apologized, publicly. It’s part of a broader flattening of the worlds of entertainment and news. In the online ecosystem where the two reside — more than 60 percent of adults in the US get their news on social media — everyone competes for attention by appealing to the same core emotions.

→ The Outline

How One Boy With Autism Became B.F.F.’s With Apple’s Siri

I have to say the subject of autism affects me as one of my uncle is also living in his own thoughts. It’s delightful to hear about the positive impact of technology on people who would not have access to it, just a few years ago.

My kindest thoughts to you, Eric.

“It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. I realized this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. “So it can visit its friends,” he said.”

→ The New York Times

Ello, goodbye.

Aral is leaving Ello :

When you take venture capital, it is not a matter of if you’re going to sell your users, you already have. It’s called an exit plan. And no investor will give you venture capital without one. In the myopic and upside-down world of venture capital, exits precede the building of the actual thing itself. It would be a comedy if the repercussions of this toxic system were not so tragic.

Personally, I don’t really mind VCs selling my datas to advertisers and brands. That’s the price I’m willing to pay for a good service.

The other way to build a social service like this would be to set a subscription, like App.net does, though it has not proven to be very popular.

Now, how to maintain a service without funding ?

This is mythical. I think Aral’s note falls short without explaining his ideal way to fund a company and feed its employees.

Venture Capital might not be the perfect match between privacy and social medias, but I think it sustains creativity and encourage entrepreneurs to take risk — sometimes in creating some pixel-perfect layouts.

→ Aral Balkan