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The RAAKonteur #73 – The clash of the weak tie titans & know Reddit to do Reddit

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20 February 2012

Woody Harrelson gets massacred on Reddit


One of the often repeated things about Pinterest is that it is Reddit for females. So what is Reddit? In some ways it is the new 4chan (the arnachic community site said to have spawned anonymous). Other comparisons is with tech news community Slashdot. In other words a mixture of irreverence and in-depth technology discussions. They were the main driving force behind the January 18th anti-SOPA Internet blackout, and as a result, got thrown into the spotlight. That's probably why Woody Harrelson's PR team decided it would be a good idea to let him do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, promoting his new movie, Rampart. An AMA is kind of like a mass interview, with one main difference. Anything goes. And this is the point mr Harrelson's PR team did not quite research. It did not go down well. After being flamed to bits for only answering questions directly related to the movie, he was accused for gatecrashing a high-school prom after party, taking a girl's virginity, and never phoning her afterwards. Mr Harrelson, Rampart & Co. are still picking up the pieces of a shattered Public Image. Social Media pays, but it is powerful, and can blow up in your face if you don't do your research properly …

Clash of the weak tie titans

There's a reason why Twittter is so compelling. It's because it's a weak tie network (that is – not for close friends and family), which allow us to discover new stuff, interesting people and perhaps even sexual partners. But Twitter is threathened by the dramatic rise of both Google Plus and Pinterest, both of which are weak tie networks themselves. Pinterest has an added trick up its sleeve. It is tilted in favour of sharing (curation) rather than creation. Creation is much harder than curation. And a new study shows that 80 percent of all pins are re-pins, meaning that an overwhelming majority of content shared on site is recycled between users. To top that off, Pinterest retains and engages users two to three times more efficiently than Twitter did at the same time in its history. Yikes!

Trojan Tweets

But it's not all bad news for Twitter. The latest is that Apple will extend its integration of Twitter – which is already baked into iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, iPods), into the Mac operating system. That's not all – Vimeo and Flickr will also come along for the ride.

Pinning down Pinterest


We know Pinterest is big among women in particular. But like Twitter (and bicycling), if you have not done it, you can explain the action, but not how it works and how it makes you feel. Here is the best explantion we could find so far:

'Pinning' by any other name is something we all do every day. We clip out recipes, we bookmark blog posts, we note the cut of the jacket of a passerby, we take a mental picture of a neighbor's living room layout, we marvel at the colors in a photograph on the gallery wall, we read a passage we like somewhere and save it for later.

And Pinterest is much better placed to monetise its content:

Etsy.com, an online crafts marketplace with 50,600 Pinterest followers, is using Pinterest's price display feature. When Pinterest users "pin", an Etsy chair on a board for their followers to see, the image of the chair will automatically include the chair's title, and a banner showing the price.

Apple reacts to AddressBook-gate

Last week we wrote about Path's PR predicament, after uploading users' address books to their servers. The news was barely out, or other services started popping like popcorn, admitting that they've been doing it too. Including Twitter. Apple realized that the problem should be solved on platform level, and announced that they're going to restrict access to the Address Book in a near future iOS release, prompting users for permission before giving an app access to the Address Book. Interesting, on a technical note, is that all of this could have been prevented if developers used proper cryptographic hashing to protect the uploaded information. We're going to be flamed for this, but this is why the "closed" Apple approach, regulating developers' access to the system, makes sense.

Instagram fiddling while Rome pins

Instagram updated their iPhone app interface, added a filter and knocked one of the reasons to use the popular Camera Plus app – sharpening – on the head. But with Pinterest's mobile app including a camera and rudimentary editing settings, would their time not be better spent rolling out an Android, and even a web interface?

Popping on Instagram

popping on instagram

A few weeks back we featured a story by Dirk Singer of Rabbit on Instagram subcultures and group 'popping'. This week, thanks to Dirk, Wessel was invited into one of these closed groups for two pop sessions. At an alloted time, the group posts their photos, and they cross-like and comment each others pics. If this happens in a short enough space of time, your pic appears on the Popular page, giving you a lot more exposure, and your picture literally Pops with likes! Pop sessions developed amongst Instagrammers as a reaction when pics of celebrities, cats and girls started to dominate the Popular Page. Wessel never managed to Pop, but got a fascinating insight, none the less, into how Instagrammers organise.

Creative of the Week: Alex Allmont


Normally we discover our Creatives of the Week online. This week is different. Someone who works with us went to the Kinetic Art Fair here in London, and discovered Alex Allmont, a brilliant kinetic artist who builds amazing mechanisms out of Lego. From exquisite musical clockworks like this, to this automatic plaiting machine, his works are truly inspired.

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