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January 31 at 8:30am

Graph Search and the Triumph of Internet Foolishness

By Reid Rosefelt

One of the most stunning achievements of the Internet is the speediness with which it can spread misinformation, stupidity and lies.   There have been dummies since the dawn of time, but they have previously lacked the technology to unleash the virus of their brainlessness to untold millions with the swiftness and ease we enjoy today.   There is no way that so many seemingly sentient people could believe that the President of the United States wasn’t born in the U.S. if it wasn’t for the power of the web.  Even as big a blowhard as Donald Trump would not to be able to accomplish this without the Internet.

And now we have Graph Search.  As I wrote last week,  Graph Search has the potential to do enormous good, but quickly I realized that it would also be another force for the triumph of stupidity in the modern world.

As I was turning in my blog copy,  a guy named Tom Scott put up a Tumblr blog, “Actual Facebook Graph Searches,” which quickly went viral.  Scott searched things like married people who like Prostitutes, current employers of people who like Racism, and more disturbingly, family members of people who live in China and like Falun Gong and Islamic men interested in men who live in Tehran, Iran.  Gizmodo  also found people who announced on Facebook their liking for “Shitting my pants,” and Mashable  used Graph Search to suggest that People Who Like Honey Boo Boo Like Playing Dragon City,  Musicians like to play Tetris Battle, Apple Employees listen to David Guetta, Google employees listen to Pink Floyd, and Mashable readers like “Inception.” [...]


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January 10 at 8:30am

The Dream: Mark Zuckerberg’s Future Plans

By Reid Rosefelt
Imagine if an idealistic multi-billionaire became determined to reinvent independent film.

Imagine if he sought out the most talented, but not yet established, filmmakers in this country–the stars of the film schools, people, festival prize-winners, critically acclaimed directors whose movies have not turned a profit.   He invites each of these people to his office in California, where he takes them for a nature walk to explain his dream of a colossal experiment in cinematic collaboration, larger than anything the world has previously seen.  Not incidentally, he offers each of them a substantial salary to take part.    Most will grab the money or be curious; others will be suspicious of his motives or wary of being tied up and say no.  It will take awhile to put together the perfect group, but the entrepreneur is patient and won’t quit until he’s assembled hundreds of people, the best of the best of the best.  Of course, sometimes he’ll make the wrong choices, but one thing he’s known for is his decisiveness about letting people go when necessary. [...]


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January 3 at 8:30am

Don’t Think Facebook is Helping Your Film? Maybe You’re Not Doing It Right.

By Reid Rosefelt
Can you really sell your film on Facebook with one of those dinky ads on the right side of the page?

 

Let’s begin by taking off the table the fact that many people really hate them.  Assuming that that’s not the case,  usually the 100 pixel x 72 pixel size is too small to even show the poster image, and the maximum 90 characters makes a tweet look like a novel.   It’s true that Facebook ads can be dirt cheap– for the price of one weekly ad in IndieWire– I once got 60 million “impressions” (times displayed) on Facebook– and it offers prodigious targeting abilities allowing you to zero in on fans of any director, actor, movie, social issue, among other  things, but still, you end up with a bargain price on a zillion itsy-bitsy ads that I personally don’t think will directly lead to anything as big as a ticket purchase or a video viewing.  Selling shoes or an exercise program or ice cream cones, yes; movie tix, no.  In my opinion, the sole purpose of those itsy-bitsy teeny-weenie ads on the right side of the page is to drive people to like your Facebook page.  It’s worked for me and countless others and it can work for you (if you do it right).

[...]


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