Chris Anderson wrote about the exceedingly narrow niches that were to populate networked society in the 2006 book, “the Long Tail”. It turns out, however, that the squabble on social networks is generally dictated by common shared experiences. New York Magazine reminds us that the most discussed topics on networks like Twitter revolve around the news cycle. While there are no doubt in-depth discussions about Dutch painters (see image), we mustn’t forget that the majority of what people talk about online, as in the real world, retreads already worn ground.
The hegemonic effects of globalism, says Rob Horning in an n+1 article, have given rise to forms of individualized self-expression like Twitter and Facebook. These forms give us the ability to express ourselves, but only in terms of what can be shared on the site, and what can be harvested by advertisers. “[M]ore and more of our social energy is invested in self-presentation—selling ourselves like we are consumer goods.”
And finally, in an affair that brings to mind Guy Debord’s spectacle, Apple unveiled the latest improvements to its i-devices at its developer conference. I think what’s most interesting about every Apple announcement is that they’re already deemed revolutionary before anything is announced. The announcement justifies its coverage and peoples’ interest. The company has control over the means of its publicity, and, therefore, a great ability to control our perceptions of it.