B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Archive for the ‘Instagram’ tag

The Internet IS The Public Square

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Can t Remember What I Was Thinking Of
Can’t Remember What I Was Thinking Of

Brent Simmons writes about something I’ve been thinking about for the last few months:

My problem with Twitter remains the same: centralized social networking concentrates way too much power in one place.

Twitter is awful in other ways, sure, not just for that reason. (The issues with Nazis and harassment and abuse. The way it treats third-party Twitter developers.)

And Facebook, too, is awful in its own ways.

But, even if it were well-run, centralized social networking is still a deeply bad and unhealthy idea. Josh Marshall writes that we should be concerned about

…ceding so much of the public square to private platforms which really aren’t about free speech in any way and don’t have free speech in any way. They’re all ordered by algorithms designed to maintain time on site and service ad sales. In no sense are they open or free.

Twitter is not the public square. It just wants you to think it is. The web itself is the public square.

(click here to continue reading inessential: The Public Square.)

Ghosting all of my social media accounts is very, very tempting. Especially Facebook and Instagram which I care less about. I’ve already started the process of culling my interactions with both of those platforms. I only log in to Facebook using my Mac’s alternative browser, and since I have two-factor authentication turned on, it is even more time consuming to log on, thus I log on once or twice a month. I am considering removing most of the ephemeral contacts there as I have already done on Instagram. I deleted the Instagram app from my phone, and don’t miss it yet, and maybe never will. 

Defunct Tweets
Defunct Tweets

Twitter is slightly different, as I mostly use my Twitter account as a microblog. I’d guess that 90% of my posts contain URLs linking to a news story, or to my own photographs. If there was a quick, painless way to delete every Twitter post that didn’t contain a URL, I’d do that right away, but I’m not sure if that is possible, or tbh, even really worth it. I’m low profile enough that I don’t interact much with strangers on Twitter, nor do I seek out heated political arguments with the mouth breathers; so I’ve yet to encounter that toxic part of Twitter.

I never found a good method to integrate Twitter with my blog, perhaps I should look for a solution to that. My tweets1 are archived in a Google Doc spreadsheet; if I use Buffer, my tweets are also posted to my Tumblr, yet I’d rather there was a place on my own domain which hosted this running link history. 

Perhaps the microblog tool will work2.

I don’t miss the amount of fiddling Moveable Type required, Twitter’s main attraction for me is the ease with which I can create a link to something interesting I’ve encountered, Twitter is integrated into iOS and MacOS in a way that self-hosted WordPress blogs are not.

 Frostpocket Kitchen

To the bigger question, I miss the character of the web before Facebook et al existed. I doubt we can return to those days. It sort of reminds me of the back-to-the land movement of the last century: folks like my parents eschewing the technologies of the day to go to farms and communes and try to exist with one foot in the future and one foot in the past.

Footnotes:
  1. using the magic of IFTTT []
  2. though I’m unclear at the moment if I can quickly integrate it into this blog, and whether or not I’d have to pay for use for the tool []

Written by Seth Anderson

August 19th, 2018 at 8:37 am

Posted in Blogtopia,Business

Tagged with , ,

Instagram Purge Hits Brands Who Artificially Built Up Follower Numbers

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Stop Following

Stop Following!

I am no self-described expert in social media, just a sometime user of it, but from I sit, obsessing about follower counts is stupid, and a waste of everyone’s time. I guess certain digital agencies sold the concept to their clients, and then cut corners in building up follower counts by utilizing sleazy tactics and spam-bots.  Follower counts are a nearly meaningless number to be used on a PowerPoint presentation to clueless executives. As the poet sang, numbers add up to nothing.

Instagram in recent days has revealed “corrections” in the number of people following many users, after announcing last week it had removed a significant number of fake accounts from the Facebook owned photo-sharing service.

Celebrities including Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez each lost more than a million followers, according to Zach Allia, a Boston photographer and Web developer who tallied the losses in this chart. Each of those celebrities still counts more than 18 million followers. Allia estimated that the average Instagram user lost 7.7% of his followers from the purge.

The purge reflects a persistent problem for social networks: separating real users from computer-generated “bots.” Instagram conducted a similar purge in May. Twitter says fewer than 5% of its 284 million monthly active users are fake, though outside researchers think the number is higher.

In an interview last week, Instagram founder and CEO Kevin Systrom declined to say how many accounts the service deleted. Systrom said fake users are most often created “for commercial reasons.” Users are either “paying to buy followers” he said, or “trying to get attention for some product they’re selling or some email subscription.”

(click here to continue reading Instagram Users Finding They’re Less Popular Than Thought – Digits – WSJ.)

from Adweek:

National Geographic, Nike, Adidas and Forever 21 were among the top 100 Instagram accounts that saw their follower counts pummeled after the spam hunt. The photo- and video-sharing app said last week that it would cull fake and inactive accounts, and it did its best to prepare brands and fans for the worst. Today, Instagram users were lamenting their fallen following with memes and jokes to cover the hurt. The shock of a diminished audience is just a short-term hit for marketers, who ultimately want to know if their fans are fake, said Eric Brown, head of communications for social influence measurement tool Klout and its parent company, Lithium.

(click here to continue reading Instagram Purge Hits Brands Like National Geographic, Nike, Forever 21 the Hardest | Adweek.)

Numbers Add Up to Nothing
Numbers Add Up to Nothing

For myself, I stopped caring long ago how many Twitter followers1 I have, how many people2 follow my Tumblr feed, or my Instagram account3. It  means nothing, it isn’t as if I get a financial incentive to have more followers. Neither does Nike, or any other brand. It is nearly meaningless number to be used on a PowerPoint presentation to executives basically.

Defunct Tweets
Defunct Tweets

Adweek reports that these are the brands that should fire their digital agencies, or at least ask a few hard questions to their digital team at the next social media meeting.

  • National Geographic: 229,000 followers lost. New count: 9.75 million
  • Nike: 257,000 followers lost. New count: 8.75 million
  • 9Gag: 120,000 followers lost. New count: 8.38 million
  • Victoria’s Secret: 215,000 followers lost. New count: 7.7 million
  • The Ellen Show: 270,000 followers lost. New count: 7.47 million
  • Forever 21: 245,000 followers lost. New count: 5.33 million
  • Real Madrid Club de Fútbol: 159,000 followers lost. New count: 5.36 million
  • FC Barcelona: 133,000 followers lost. New count: 5.33 million
  • NBA: 196,000 followers lost. New count: 4.15 million
  • GoPro: 94,000 followers lost. New count: 3.64 million
  • Adidas: 101,000 followers lost. New count: 3.6 million
  • Louis Vuitton: 107,000 followers lost. New count: 3.55 million

Amusingly, I noted the problem with Instagram followers being spammy right away:

As a side effect of this growth, there are a lot of spammers who take advantage of Instagram’s audience, and offer to sell you “likes” or other sleazy tactic

(click here to continue reading Notes on Instagram after Using It for A Month or So at B12 Solipsism.)

Footnotes:
  1. currently 1,015 []
  2. currently 589 []
  3. currently 144 []

Written by Seth Anderson

December 22nd, 2014 at 11:21 am

Posted in Advertising

Tagged with , ,

Notes on Instagram after Using It for A Month or So

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Tired Of Keeping Track
Tired Of Keeping Track

I signed up for an Instagram account on October 26, 2010, but I didn’t use it very much until September of this year.1 I’ve always been more of a fan of Hipstamatic, which is by far the better camera app, and of course, I am an especially active Flickr user.

Instagram is a mature app now, it even works on second string smart phones2 and yet its’ filter options are quite limited. I currently have 30 Hipstamatic favorite settings defined, and there are plenty more I could create. Instagram has a black and white filter, and a couple of filters that add retro tones, basically that’s it. The only advantage I find with Instagram is that the social network aspects are more established. As a mobile camera, there is no contest – Hipstamatic is an “A” app and Instagram is a “C+” app.

These are the Instagram filters, as described by Wikipedia:

  • X-Pro II – Warm, saturated effect. Emphasis on yellow.
  • Earlybird- Faded, blurred, focuses on yellow and beige.
  • Lo-fi- Slightly blurred, with yellow and green saturated.
  • Sutro- Sepia effect. Emphasis on purple and yellow.
  • Toaster – High exposure
  • Brannan- Low key. Focus on gray and green.
  • Valencia- Highly contrast, slightly gray and brown.
  • Inkwell- Black and white filter with high contrast.
  • Walden -Washed-out color with blue overtone.
  • Hefe- Fuzz, with focus on gold and yellow tones.
  • Nashville- Sharpens the image with magenta-purple tint. Framed with a border
  • 1977- 1970s flair
  • Lord Kelvin- Super saturated, retro photo with scratchy border.

Hipstamatic has a much, much richer feature set of films and lenses. I don’t own all, but I do own most. I’ve taken thousands of photos with the Hipstamatic app, and I still don’t know all of the possible combinations. Instagram is a lot simpler – some photographers might even prefer the more limited palate, but I like options and variety.

So how did Instagram become the smart phone camera app behemoth? Being bought by Facebook helped, but Instagram’s social media infrastructure was already well developed, and that’s probably a key reason Facebook purchased it. Being available for Android phones probably also contributed to Instagram’s growth. As a side effect of this growth, there are a lot of spammers who take advantage of Instagram’s audience, and offer to sell you “likes” or other sleazy tactics. 

Anecdotally, if I use hashtags (#), my Instagram shots get a lot more views/likes. I’m guessing a lot of Instagram users search by hashtags. 

I’ve found a happy medium though – take photos with Hipstamatic like I always do, and then share them, unedited, on Instagram. I’m less selective on Instagram than I am on Flickr, thus I end up publishing a lot of food and drink photos, and snapshots of my cats…

Oh, using the magic of IFTTT.com, all Instagram photos3 get automatically posted to my blogger page, here.

Footnotes:
  1. When my phone got wet, to be exact, and I borrowed my sister’s phone for a couple of photos []
  2. again, in contrast to Hipstamatic which still is only available on the iOS platform []
  3. and photos I liked on Instagram, and Flickr faves, etc. []

Written by Seth Anderson

October 11th, 2012 at 11:06 am

Posted in Apple,Photography

Tagged with , ,

Swanksalot’s Solipsism

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I Don't Wanna Look Down
I Don’t Wanna Look Down

I finally found a use for my long-standing Blogger account – all of my photos from Flickr and Instagram end up there. Thanks to the magic of IFTTT (If this than that, a great service if you have a few different online accounts), every photo that I upload to Flickr, every photo I upload to Instagram, every photo I “like” on Flickr, every photo I “like” on Instagram, every YouTube video I “favorite”, and so on is automatically uploaded into a Blogger post. If you are ever bored, you can browse this page for visual stimulation…

(click here to continue reading Swanksalot’s Solipsism.)

Whatever it is called when you add a pickled pepper to a martini
Whatever it is called when you add a pickled pepper to a martini

Written by Seth Anderson

September 11th, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Posted in Blogtopia,Narcipost

Tagged with , , ,