Clay Shirky: Social Media and the making of history

This has been one of my favorite Ted Talks of all of time. It comes from Clay Shirky.

From his TED Talks bio:

“Shirky is an adjunct professor in New York Universityʼs graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he teaches a course named “Social Weather.” Heʼs the author of several books. This spring at the TED headquarters in New York, he gave an impassioned talk against SOPA/PIPA that saw 1 million views in 48 hours.”

Watch and learn.

The Internet in real-time

What a cool way of visualizing the Internet and its immensity!

Check this out!

Click the animation to open the full version (via

Connect with a stranger for 20 days

I stumbled upon this curious app that allows you to connect anonymously with a stranger for 20 days. It would allow you both to live vicariously for, yes, 20 days! Hmmmm. It’s a social experiment, and it’s coming from MIT Lab.

Check it out!

I’m out of Facebook, Part 2

Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesDays after I decided to quit Facebook, pressure mounts for me to come back.

I’m not kidding. Friends whom I met over dinner, my boss, and peers were all asking why?

For someone who is hyper-social, leaving the most popular social networking service is a big surprise. They are all skeptical and trying to figure out that SOMETHING  pushed me to drop Facebook.

It’s funny that my boss gave me a week to come back.  My other friends tell me that this may be connected to a virtual fasting with weeks before the Holy Week.

As I have learned over the past few months studying human behavior, big decisions were made due to life-changing situations. I went through that last year, and I must admit there was some purging in some parts of my life.

Let me share one situation: Months before I quit my job at one of the oldest Internet companies, I decided to give away all my books (well, almost all). I didn’t sell it. I just thought that they needed a new home–besides, my current rented apartment is too small to house them all. On top of that, I gave away my collection of DVDs and magazines (but kept some  rare guitar magazines).

Quitting Facebook is another purging, I guess. Relinquishing the most popular social networking service is hard. Yes, I’m going to miss the Groups. Yes, I’m going to miss on “breaking news” from friends. Funny, I still got wind of a big story through colleagues, old-school way.

I erred in describing myself earlier as a digital native. I’m part of a generation who still loves strolls at night. But with the explosion of the Internet, social, and now mobility–I was always first in line. First among my friends to join Facebook (they were on Friendster back then) back in 2006, I was a fast-follower. And boy, I latched on these innovations quickly, and learned from it, including the mess it made on my computers and phones.

In recent months, there has been an itch for me to look the opposite direction. I want to find alternatives. I want to find disruptions. I want to see the next BIG THING after social. Is it mobile messaging?  I don’t know. I’m also out of these mobile messaging services because they’re all too personal now.

There’s an end to this story, but at this point, I don’t know what it is. I might comeback to Facebook because the job requires it. But at this point, the “one-week deadline” my boss gave me will not happen. There’s nothing more compelling in Facebook that draws me in.

One last thing: if a thing/idea is interesting and compelling, it will always bubble up and grab your attention. I just don’t find Facebook sexy anymore. 🙂 [I’m going to get more weird stares and shaking heads for saying this, but that’s that 🙂 ].