Indy #ONAcamp: A few cool things

Lots of information from Friday’s ONAcamp in Indianapolis (see a Storify here). Here are a few things I found interesting:tumblr_inline_nlfe70fWXj1s49mrd_500

-NOLA Listening Post: You’ve seen those “We buy old houses” signs on the interstate off-ramps, right? Now imagine that with questions for your community. “Why did you stay in NOLA?” “What’s missing in New Orleans?” What an interesting way to engage in the community and get story ideas.
-No Slack-ers: Billy Penn is engaging Millennials in Philly by having conversations about stories (even if they didn’t write them). They’re starting to use a public Slack channel as a way to have conversation with their communities.  Plus they’re showing people how to take action after they’ve read a story:

-Why didn’t I think of that: When searching Twitter for people on the ground in breaking news situations, think what they’re broadcasting to the world: “I just saw…” “I’m OK…” “My (relation) works at …” Plus remember to SCREENSHOT EVERYTHING. In a matter of seconds, someone deletes a tweet or takes their account offline. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
-Video vision: Lots of people don’t listen to the audio on Facebook videos (because they’re at work, on the train, slyly scrolling in a meeting), so your video has to convey a point without sound. Add text, add graphics—make sure people can get the gist.
-Talking traffic: At USATODAY, 65 percent of traffic is on mobile. Mobile gets priority in their newsroom, for example when it comes to creating graphics. They have #MobileMonday where staffers are encouraged to use their phones to see how work translates there. (The same day, NYTimes announced it was blocking homepage access at its office.)

 

-Homepage? What homepage? NowThis News is only on social media now. They figure that’s where the audience is, so why coax them to their page when they can live on the social network? That in mind, each social network and its audience are unique—there is no one-size-fits-all approach to social. Their rule: If you wouldn’t share the story, don’t do the story.

“The Social Network” aka The Facebook Movie

Here’s my take on “The Social Network” which I saw today:

1. Don’t say it’s a biopic. We have no idea how much of this story is made up and how much is true, mostly because Mark Zuckerberg is an insanely private person. I spent most of the film trying to guess what was true and what was false – did Eduardo Saverin really face charges of animal cruelty? Is Zuck really that painfully awkward? I would almost have more respect for the story if it was about a generic social network and a faux CEO – of course this would have taken away a lot of the allure as “the real story behind Facebook,” but the creators also would have been able to take more liberties with the storyline.

2. The missing motive. The story is driven by this idea that Zuck wanted to do something big to get the attention of Harvard’s elite “final clubs.” This seems like flawed logic. Wouldn’t the invitation from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – members of the uber-elite Porcellian club – to join the ranks of HarvardConnection have been the perfect way into this crowd? Why wrong them? (Sidenote: The film makes Zuck out to be a criminal, but just because the guy appears to be an asshole doesn’t mean he stole the Winklevoss’ idea – sour grapes often follow someone’s successful venture.) It’s stated multiple times that Zuck isn’t doing it for money – what’s missing is his motivation. Is it to be considered “cool?” Is it to get back at/get back with the girl (Oddly enough, Zuck’s longtime girlfriend is missing from the film)? Is it to change the world for the better by creating another avenue of communication? The missing why is troubling.

3. Scope. Some people have been critical of the fact that many of the film’s creators/producers aren’t even on Facebook, and thus they are lacking insight into what Facebook has meant to the world. While it’s shocking that media professionals aren’t among the site’s 500 million members, that line of logic says the creators of “Walk the Line” are wrong not to appreciate country music or those of “Apollo 13″ born post-1970 can never appreciate the turmoil the mission brought the country. That said, the film is missing the big picture, though it touches on it – how Facebook impacted the way we interact with each other.

4. Acting. Oscar buzz is generating around Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Zuck, but personally I was drawn to Andrew Garfield who plays Eduardo Saverin and will take over Tobey Maguire’s role in the new Spiderman flick. Immediately I wanted to know who he was and what else I could see him in. Armie Hammer’s dual roles as the Winklevoss twins was equally interesting, as I could easily see him becoming the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. Justin Timberlake further showed he has acting chops, even if I was confused about his role (Is Sean Parker a bad guy? That was never clear to me).

5. Zuckerberg. He’s portrayed as obsessive and borderline Autistic at some points; babbling at light speed, not sleeping for days, running through snow in Adidas shower shoes, wearing his pajamas to an investor meeting. Lots of people are socially awkward, but I found this over-the-top. Again, I was questioning the validity of it all. Zuck’s “I don’t give a shit about you” persona seems to melt around Sean Parker, who he appears to have a boyhood crush on, which I found annoying, and again over-the-top.

Overall, I found the film enjoyable. I’m surprised at the film’s success since I don’t believe the over 35 demographic cares enough about Facebook to see the movie, and personally I could get neither my boyfriend nor my roommate to see it with me.