Some stuff about me: I am obsessed with all things new and techy-like. I spend equal time getting bruised up on my bike and prancing around in pink and sequins. I dislike spit on the sidewalk, mayonnaise and the seams on the toes of socks. I enjoy french bulldogs, cupcakes, post-modern philosophy and fat snowflakes that fly back up. I have a tendency to social theorize everything, but I also have an appreciation for the just plain absurd.
The concept of entertainment media is changing. At least for me. I would much rather be listening to a playlist on 8tracks while exploring the web using stumbleupon and posting things to my tumblr than say, watching a movie (though I am also downloading tv shows as I type this…)
After starting applications for 7 schools, I’ve come to the conclusion that online applications suck across the board. It’s like they were all designed in 1997. By high school students. UI designers were clearly never involved.
Maybe they’ve decided “fuck it” because whoever wants to apply will just suffer through it anyway, but I think that’s lazy. It’s not my future, but please, someone propose to the thousands of universities in the US that it’s time for a change. And hey, it could be a pretty sweet job.
I’ve been deeply troubled the last few weeks about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but haven’t known what to write about it until I stumbled on the streaming footage of the leaking oil. This oil spill isn’t the first of its kind, but the internet is revolutionizing the way we understand the damage. Just as Twitter provided a window into a social crisis in Iran, mobile carriers inspired millions to donate to Haiti’s hurricane disaster, and Facebook groups mobilized both sides of a debate about free speech vs. sanctity of religious symbols, technology is again completely altering the way we experience a crisis.
Unlike in the Exxon Valdez oil spill of the late 1980s, we’ve been presented with an image of how much oil is flooding the Gulf of Mexico in real time. The immediate result has been that the crisis has been impossible for authorities to ignore, but I think we’ll see a deeper cultural impact as well. What would have once been a distant, abstract problem is now a very real and in-your-face issue.
Further, the PBS News Hour YouTube channel invites users to submit video responses with suggestions about what we should do to stop the spill. People are invested in both this now very real crisis and in working together to come up with a solution. I think we’ll see more and more of this type of real-time community awareness and response in the future.
Hopefully, with greater awareness and involvement, we stop and clean this oil spill before it becomes too great a tragedy to appreciate the important step it has inspired in social media. So check out the footage and see how massive this crisis is, and then submit a suggestion of your own for how to help.
(originally posted on Getting Viral With Oddcast)