On Social Media

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This project is something I have been actively pursuing since before giving it this formal title. From On Instagram to Mobile Ecologies, my chief concerns in the way media is changing is towards the social.


Shirky-Morozov Debate

Can be summarized as the "is social media a new space for active democracies or a heightened technology of control?" Shirky sits on the "utopian" side, while Morozov (and people like Andrew Keen) sit on the "control" side. Things came to a head when Morozov asked for more info about Shirky's work for the then-Gaddafi Libyan government [1]. Shirky tried to clear the air with a somewhat weak response [2]. A third-party blog post then summarized the back-and-forth [3]. The debate has returned with Morozov taking down Shirky "comrade" Jeff Jarvis in The New Republic [4]. A colleague at the recently launched Kernel has decided that this is the real end of Jarvis & Shirky folk [5] but that seems possibly premature. Is the debate reaching a conclusion? Or just an apex?

Niche Social Media

Niche social media, almost entirely located on mobile platforms, service very specific use cases with small but active communities. From a business perspective, their "exits" are almost entirely through acquisition. Sociologically, they require teams of 3-10 and are generally affiliated with incubators and co-working spaces.



  • Amen [10]
    • Made in Berlin
    • in TechCrunch [11]
  • Stamped [12]
    • Made in Union Square
    • TNW: Google only funds one project in NYC, it's Stamped [13]
  • Tiny Review [14]
    • Made in Silicon Valley
    • in Gizmodo [15]
  • Oink
    • Made in SF with Kevin Rose
    • Closed, bought by Google [16]


  • imGame
    • Made in Florida


  • Jotly App - Unreal video, if yours can't beat it, you are doing "social" wrong... [17]
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