We all know that the social media world is a fickle beast at best, with ebbs and flows, trends and bad habits. This week I've seen more winners and losers or heroes and villains than usual in the online world which inspired me to put this post together. You may disagree with some of my choices or have some of your own that I might have missed.
Jennifer Lawrence - Winner
The actress, model and star of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay is no stranger to the perils of the internet, having been the victim of the recent icloud hacking incident where her private nude photos were shared around on social media sites. So why have I chosen her as a winner? Because she's not even on social media and it's not because she's taken some moral highground, it's because she openly admits "I cannot really keep up with emails so the idea of Twitter is so unthinkable to me. I don't really understand what it is, it's this weird enigma that people talk about. It's fine and I respect that but no, I'll never get Twitter. If you ever see a Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram account that says it's me, it's certainly not me."
I think she's got a point, if you don't know or don't like the rules then you don't play the game.
Dapper Laughs - Loser
The misunderstood 'character' created by comedian Daniel O'Reilly is, in his own words, "a 'proper lad' giving lad advice on romancing the ladies and being a geeza". Through his YouTube videos, and clever use of Vine videos and Snapchat, the character enjoyed an almost meteoric rise to fame thanks to his engagement through social media which ultimately culminated in his own ITV2 television series being commissioned. However, his unique brand of 'banter' wasn't well-received by this wider television audience and his attempts to defend his brand of humour, encouraging his fans to harass complainants over social media and laughing off reviews labelling him offensive, misogynistic and dangerous resulted in a massive backlash. As quickly as social media had been responsible for his prominence it was also to be responsible for his downfall. Online petitions which forced ITV2 to cancel his series and social media criticism from over 40 other prominent comedians resulted in him trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons until an awkward Newsnight interview saw him apologise and 'retire' the character.
Live by the sword, die by the sword. True even when it comes to social media.
Kim Kardashian - Winner
Love her or hate her, you can't deny that Kim is highly adept at using social media to grab herself a lot of attention and there can be absolutely no doubt that she knows exactly what she's doing. Her most recent stunt saw her pose for world famous photographer Jean-Paul Goude in a series of revealing poses that peaked with full frontal nudity. The shoot was part of an article and interview for Paper magazine labelled #BreakTheInternet. Whilst the stunt clearly did not break the internet, it's safe to say that it went viral, being shared on every social platform imaginable with both fans and the disapproving seemingly happy to talk about Kim and her 'assets' at great length. As part of the interview she was asked whether she would exist without social media. "I don't think so..." she replied, "I don't think social media was that heavy when we started our show, but I think we really evolved with social media. I love sharing my world with people. That's just who I am."
It's safe to say she's made a career out making her life her career, through social media.
Who are your winners and losers in social media this week?
Finally a social network that gets it right. I love the Ello manifesto, as it hits on many of the unspoken aspects of social media. Completely breaking free of the big players has yet to be done, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Your social network is owned by advertisers.
Every post you share, every friend you make, and every link you follow is tracked, recorded, and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.
We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity, and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.
We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce, and manipulate — but a place to connect, create, and celebrate life.
You are not a product.
Read the complete Ello Manifesto and let me know what you think.