Jarter Jargon

Archive for March 2012

A little while ago, my dad and I were talking about social media and how sites help make someone’s online experience that much better. We got to talking about how the internet has changed business and its influence on culture today.

A little more recent, my dad called me and frantically told me how these sites were tracking what he looked at and what he clicked and that he promptly deleted his Facebook account.

This, coupled with the trouble Facebook has been running into lately with privacy issues, got me thinking about how much personal information and habits we give out freely online. We essentially give people (well, anyone who wants to add or follow us) our lives. We allow countless apps to access our Facebook and Twitter info. We post what we are doing on Facebook along with pictures of ourselves doing those things. We check into places when we do those things. We tweet out random crap about us. But where do we draw the line?

Facebook is starting to implement ways to connect your shopping habits and track and share with friends. Say you “Want” a shirt integrated with Facebook’s soon-to-be “Want” button. Facebook then shares that information on your profile. But behind the scenes, Facebook tracks what you like and sites you look at and tailor ads and suggested links accordingly.

Obviously different browsers have ways around online tracking (i.e. Google Chrome’s ‘Incognito browsing’), but when can we feel safe enough to browse without fearing someone looking over our shoulder at what we are looking at? The FTC is teaming up with the Digital Advertising Alliance to create an “easy-to-use, persistant and effective Do Not Track system.”

Sounds hopeful, but just reminds me of when I signed up for the “Do Not Call List” yet still continue to receive those calls…

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Before people realized the power of Facebook, I was in high school. Before the Twittersphere blew up, I thought Twitter was the dumbest thing ever. Soon enough, people found that Facebook and Twitter could be used for something more than just posting photos and updating people on your life.

Companies were creating online, social presences. New systems, new positions, and new research had to be made to truly understand the power and reach of social media. But what does it mean for the every-day user who isn’t looking to gain sales and customers? Do not underestimate your own voice in social media.

I have been making music since I was 14. On my 14th birthday, my parents gave me a drumset and sparked a passion that would become somewhat of a living, really, my personal identity. But after using Facebook and creating a Twitter, I soon found that social media was to be used, well, socially. I began connecting with like-minded people, collaborating on mixes, beats, and music in general. I started writing for some blogs, and decided to start my own. Snowflakes In The Ghetto was born and my music career hasn’t been the same since. I was hanging out in studios with rappers, making and selling my own music, and even gaining a brief stint of internet fame with my Jay-Z Matt & Kim mashups (hitting almost 10,000 downloads the first few weeks).

ImageI’m done tooting my own horn for now. But really, how can the every-day user get out there and make a presence? It’s a lot easier than you think. Again, social media is meant to be used socially. Pages on Facebook, hashtags on Twitter, all these features are made to help people connect!

It’s easy enough. Take something you are passionate about, find people who are passionate about it as well, share your passion, build your passion into an image. It’s basic personal branding.

It’s one of the biggest cliche’s that comes to my mind, but KeyWifi is doing just that.

Adam Black, founder of KeyWifi, estimates that he standard residential Comcast plan offers users 250 GB a month—maxing out would entail sending 50 million emails—and the median user draws only two to three gigs a month.

Black wants to put all that excess capacity to good use—and earn you some money in the process.

About one third of Americans don’t have access to the internet. The most expensive element being monthly subscriptions. “The way we look at the world is there’s lots of spare bandwidth out there, just like there’s lots of cars parked on the street and lots of spare rooms.” Black argues that a peer-to-peer approach to sharing wireless bandwidth will cut that cost for urban dwellers.

Black’s idea is that for $10 a month, KeyWifi users can login to wifi hotspots hosted by people signed up for the program, with two thirds of the $10 fee going straight back to the hotspot host. This is ideal in urban areas where families cannot afford the pricey annual fee for internet services.

This opens so many doors. For children previously not able to access the internet, it’s a great educational facet. The internet is a top-notch educational tool, and giving that gift to younger generations is really the gift that keeps on giving.