“I hope you’re not Tweeting this…” Image (cc) Marcn.
Bill Clinton has never been attention-shy, but apparently he isn’t keen on Twitter-based attention, at least not during his speeches.
Some commenters on the RWW piece where I heard about this suggest he wants everyone in the room to give him their full attention. From the Primary Colours caricature, that would be a palusible explanation, but since no explanation has been offered by his team, we don’t really know.
Maybe as an exemplar of the the pre-web communications arts, he fears the backchannel?
Or now that Twitter and Facebook posting are so main stream are we seeing the beginning of a bit of a backlash as we go through a norming process about how we pay attention and communicate during speeches?
I wonder if we will see more policies like this for speakers? Who would be able to get away with it? Will there be anti-Twitter goons on patrol to enforce it?
Mikalah uses Facebook but when she goes to log out, she deactivates her Facebook account. She knows that this doesn’t delete the account – that’s the point. She knows that when she logs back in, she’ll be able to reactivate the account and have all of her friend connections back. But when she’s not logged in, no one can post messages on her wall or send her messages privately or browse her content. But when she’s logged in, they can do all of that. And she can delete anything that she doesn’t like. Michael Ducker calls this practice “super-logoff” when he noticed a group of gay male adults doing the exact same thing.
Mikalah is not trying to get rid of her data or piss of her friends. And she’s not. What she’s trying to do is minimize risk when she’s not present to actually address it.
It goes to show that despite a platform’s desire to push people into disclosure by default, users will find ways to make their own choices about how publicness works. Because for many young people not being on Facebook just isn’t an option.
I asked Shamika why she bothered with Facebook in the first place, given that she sent over 1200 text messages a day. Once again, she looked at me incredulously, pointing out that there’s no way that she’d give just anyone her cell phone number. Texting was for close friends that respected her while Facebook was necessary to be a part of her school social life. And besides, she liked being able to touch base with people from her former schools or reach out to someone from school that she didn’t know well. Facebook is a lighter touch communication structure and that’s really important to her. But it doesn’t need to be persistent to be useful.
In the comments and related Tweets to this post, we can see that this hacking of the way Facebook works to suit personal reputation / presence management is common. One Tweet from @Tremblebot says their students call it “Whitewalling” or “Whitewashing”, and that the practice requires an investment up front and then makes it easy to stay on top of what people are posting about in the way of comments, tags and photos.
Perhaps this is something I should add the second edition of Me and My Web Shadow in the workflow for managing reputation. Certainly, if Facebook were to take a leaf out of Twitter’s playbook it would think about adding this as an easier to use or more prevalent feature.
“Whitewalling” also looks like evidence for the notion that people, yes even digital natives, want to retain some control over their privacy and what the world sees and hears about them.
* * UPDATED: corrected from draft which was published. Facts/links/opinions unaltered. * *
Alan Patrick’s pure class in my book. His blog is prickly, argumentative and pushy in the very best kinds of ways. I reckon it’s blogs like Broadstuff and DotBen that help me keep questioning things. Without them the idealistic eejit in me decides to dance off into a digital daze chanting lines from Clay Shirky and waiting for the Singularity to arrive in the style of an evangelical rapture and sweep us up to the all-too-virtual promised land.
What was interesting to me was the massive degradation in the User Generated Twitterstream. Last year, and early this year, you could tune in to such Twitterstreams and get a fairly decent “user generated media” view of what was going on. The “User Generated” Activate Twitterstream yesterday was….well, “unhelpful” would put it mildly.