Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Merlin Mann and Colin Marshall on Social Media

I finally got around to listening to their interesting Marketplace of Ideas podcast, which you can find here (ctrl-f "Mann" and the download button). I highly recommend it if you have about an hour to dedicate. First of all, it touches on the perils of social media without mindfulness. I agree that as a society we do have to be carefully of what social norms we are sleepwalking into. A few other ideas I found particularly from the podcast:
  • Instead of a statute of limitations, Colin thinks he can give away spoilers to movies without feeling bad because if the plot relies too much on the narrative then it's not good enough to begin with. I actually sort of disagree with him here, not theoretically but just empirically.
  • It's almost impossible to trace back to exactly where an idea originated from.
  • When anyone is telling you an emotional story you have to watch out for what they're trying to get out of it. If they're actually interested in telling you a story, then that's fine. But if it seems that they're just looking to be profitable, then be careful.
  • Blogs started out as personal publishing made easy. By mid-2000s you could make a lot of money from a blog by posting often every day. You need to post a lot and get people look at as many pages as possible because those ads are how you get paid. Mann decided he didn't want to have to be an ad salesman for the rest of his life, to make money posting whatever for whoever. Apparently people reading blogs mainly just want something to distract them for a little while.
Tons of other mind candy nuggets in there. Do check it out.