Friday, February 4, 2011


Anyone had a look at LinkedIn, or got their profile on there?

And does it strike anyone like... Facebook?

I will admit I have a profile on there, but it really does feel like yet another social network trap, just under the guise of professionalism and business.  The pressure is there not to be on LinkedIn because you particularly want to be, but because everyone else is, the implicit message being youll be the odd one out.  Of course now its not just socially uncool to be the conscientious objector, but its professionally damaging too.

All of a sudden, its SpaceFaceMyBook all over again, trying to see how many friends/connections you can accrue, in the mistaken belief youre encouraged to develop that this actually means anything in the real world.

I suspect the reality is that just like Facebook is actually a way to provide enough functionality to get people to voluntarily agree to stare at advertising, LinkedIn in a trap to get people to buy useless premium subscriptions to something they dont need, by scaring them of the consequences otherwise.  And then in the future, theyll start providing webmail, online collaboration, secure document storage and hosting etc and well all just have to buy into it... because its the new paradigm.  By the time people realise its an artificial construct its too late, youve already taken the blue pill.

The more I think about this sort of stuff lately, the more I realise that increasingly were all being very cleverly manipulated.

Everything from moving away from in-TV adverts to in-program product placement, which you cant avoid, and is so subliminal that you dont even know its being done to you.  The human brain has an excellent ability to discard rubbish, the average person ignores at least 85-90% of what they see and hear every day.  Can you remember any of the billboards you drove past on the way to work?  But the ability and facility to do that is something weve learned by recognising advertising when we see it, thus giving us the ability to isolate it from what we bother assimilating

 I know I do it now with banner ads on websites, to the point where SWMBO fairly frequently points out I have porn open on my screen at home in a banner somewhere; I honestly dont see the damn things.

Now, how do you do that when the message is ingrained into the content you actually want to absorb?  Like your TV program?  Or the SpaceFaceMyLinkedInBook web page youre looking at?  Or when its ingrained into your daily and professional pattern via communication and resources and you cant escape it?

I used to think that wed be in trouble when Minority Report-style targeted advertising would be popping up in front of us as we walked down the street, but now I tend to think otherwise; this

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