Social networking is rapidly gaining on gaming as the premier time-waster of the digital age, and developers are responding to this demand the way developers do: like a flock of excited seagulls surrounding a small girl holding a bologna sandwich.
New social network sites and apps are popping up faster than the invisible padded arcade hammer of the market can smack them down and collect the invisible arcade prize tickets of the market to trade in for the invisible pencil toppers of the market.
Recent social network imi-vations have included networks to help dogs find other dogs to play with, networks to help fan-fiction writers find people willing to read their Scrubs/Dirty Pair crossovers, and about 3,000 new apps that are functionally indistinguishable from Instagram.
When I see a trend like this, my immediate instinct is to latch onto it, remora-like, and drain it of its delicious vital juices. Specifically, I’m going to throw out some ideas, hope someone inadvertently creates something I thought of, and sue them like a 50-bladed lawsuit machine.
With all these social networks, naturally some people are going to abandon responsibility, reality and basic dignity in favor of posting, pinning or tweeting. This social network will help these poor sots overcome their addiction, working on the same principle as nicotine gum, methadone and arena football. It will wean participants from their addiction, only allowing them to make a dozen posts every day. Unless they pay for a gold subscription, of course. Gotta make money off those idiots somehow.
The trick to this social network is that it doesn’t call itself a social network. Instead it bills itself as a “community center” for middle-aged and elderly people who don’t get this whole social network thing. Participants will be encouraged to complain about poor spelling, poor grammar and Nicki Minaj; to take and share photos of ridiculous youngsters with their bluepiece earbots and their airlap booktops; and to “check in” to places where everyone is over 40 except the busboys. The network will be accessible by web, smartphone and postcard.
It’s easy enough to find other people who like Thai food, The Wire and hiking. But where can you find someone who shares your opinion that Dishwalla is the most important recording act since Dylan figured out what that little jack in the side of his guitar was for, or that nothing refreshes the mind and spirit like a neighborhood bark-tasting tour? Weirdpinion encourages you to reveal your strangest beliefs and convictions, then matches you up with someone who feels the same way and will be happy to discuss why birds are, technically speaking, fish.
Many new social networks are exploring the concept of smaller, closer groups of friends, ranging in size from 150 members to two. Fyrehoz takes the opposite approach, insisting in its motto that “More Friends Means More Friendship.” Everyone who joins the site is automatically friends with everyone else on the site; you see everything posted by any other member, and there’s no way to hide or restrict your own posts. In addition, you’re not allowed to delete content or close your account. Fyrehoz recently received funding from Remorhaz & Trapper, “The Privacy Attorneys.”
Everyone has experienced the heartbreak of posting a funny photo or a personal revelation, only to attract no comments, likes, favorites or plus-ones. Well, not everyone. Losers, mostly.
Now, losers with money can sign up for FrennsPlz, a site where you can buy friendship like it was a card game booster pack. For a dollar a month, you can get a friend who will comment positively on a minimum of 80 percent of your posts. For $10 you get a dozen such friends, two or three of whom will consistently link to your posts from their own. And for $100 a month, you get no fewer than 235 friends, at least six of which will be attractive members of whichever gender(s) you prefer and who will send you their “secret photos” if you boost their ego enough.
There are plenty of ways to post to multiple social networks at once, but they all make the mistake of posting the same content, or a link to the same content, on each network. NetNetNetNetNet (pronounced “five nets”) will carefully massage your content to customize it for each of the five networks it connects to. Say you’re walking down the street and you see Charlie Sheen attempting to eat gummi bears with his nose. NetNetNetNetNet will distribute your event — or “meVent” — as follows:
• Twitter: “Hey jst sw ChaShee w/a nze full o gmmbrs! Lol! #charliesheen #nose #gummibears”
• Facebook: Your results on the “Which Nasally-Inserted Charlie Sheen Candy Are You?” quiz.
• Instagram: A photo of Charlie Sheen, blurred strategically and rendered in tasteful sepia, moss green and hot pink.
• DeviantArt: A colored-pencil drawing of Charlie Sheen as an elven unicorn dragon holding a magic staff and wearing a camouflage trenchcoat.
• Google Plus: “Hey, is anyone out there?”
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Born helpless, naked and unable to provide for himself, Lore Sjöberg overcame these handicaps to become a networker, a dockworker and a sex worker.