participation: connecting to a loud hailer

Social media has been around a long time. How long? Probably as long as people have been gossiping, searching true love and willing to share.  Certainly the Italians singing to each other as they hung out the  wash was-the origins of Italian opera- and could lend credence to their claim on  social media and user generated content. But electronic communication was inevitable. All that spying in the cold war had to be transformed.

"If you’re fortunate enough to have living grandparents that were around in the 50s and 60s, here’s what might be a good way to explain social networks and Internet services like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype to them. Just show these retro-style magazine ads created by the Brazilian advertising company Maximidia, and maybe it’ll make the future easier for them to understand." Read More:

The pervasiveness of social media, perhaps a form of Tomothy Leary’s log on, “tune in and drop out” opens up a question as to which direction things are moving. The technology, where politics can be banalized through “like” buttons” and problems electronically disappear into “older posts” —this problem has moved…temporarily. This problem has been archived. Comments to this political issue are closed. When Jacques Ellul examined technocracy in the mid-60’s he may have been prescient in asserting that the free play of traditional political forms was an illusion.

Later, America Online (AOL) gained critical mass with aggressive CD promotions and direct mail campaigns. AOL also did one of the most epic product placements of all time in the 1998 film “You’ve Got Mail!” starring Tom Hanks – bringing “social” online culture and romance into the Hollywood mainstream. Read More:

Can’t Beat the Concept: An interesting example of pre-internet social media is the dutch 1960s cult music zine ‘Hitweek’. This magazine was the first in Holland to write about the emerging alternative rock and beat music, while the existing music magazines where all industry-owned and acted merely as advertising for big record companies. The concept of this paper magazine was simple yet prophetic: let the readers provide 99% of the content and have the editors only acted as modifyers.This original and interesting experiment proved you could create media with user generated content and use word of mouth advertising to sell it. Read More:

"Hitweek would be printed on newsprint, away from the glossy look of previous youth magazines. Muller and De Ridder chose their printer Ruud Schoonman for his unconventionality and his new press which offered many creative possibilities. De Ridder combined many typefaces, placed elaborate frames around the text, and used found images throughout the magazine. His cut-and-paste style became characterizing for Hitweek. De Ridder said in an interview: “Hitweek doesn’t need to look familiar. We want to confuse the public; they should think that that’s our image. Why would we be consistent? Change in form is more important than form itself”. ---Read More:

The issues surrounding Hitweek are very similar to what Henry Jenkins has been writing about on participatory culture; the right mix between the owner of the product and the lattitude they give to draw larger participation within that structure:“Willem de Ridders biggest problem is how he can keep control of those advertisements. They won’t show cigarettes and alcohol anyways. But even the most modern advertisement for soda would look completely dusty and banal in Hitweek. It should be sponsored advertisement. Pay for the space, and let those kids fill it up themselves (…) Who would dare to take their product to Hitweek, and give those boys “carte blanche ?” Read More: a

"The Zuivelbureau (Dairy-bureau) was the first to answer this call with advertisements made specifically for the magazine. Throughout its publication years, Hitweeks advertisements kept responding to youth culture, with references to pop culture (the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine), and progressive politics (Het witte glazenplan) The advertisements also used Hitweeks graphic style with its cut-and-paste mentality and the use of a multitude of typefaces inspired by Jugendstil, Art Deco, or circus typefaces. Read More:


---The first real “blogs” / “podcasts” took place on hacked corporate voice mail systems called “codelines,” where phone phreaks would hack into unused mailboxes and set up shop until they were discovered and kicked out. You’d call a corporate 1-800 number, enter an extension and hear recorded audio broadcasts packed with social greetings and useful phone phreaking content: hacked calling card codes to make free calls, “bridges” (audio conference call lines), and plugs for other codelines. You could leave your comments and information as a voice mail, and the phreak would likely respond to you in his next update.---Read More:

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Theodore Roszak: So subtle and so well rationalized have the arts of technocratic domination become in our advanced industrial societies that even those in the state and/or corporate structure who dominate our lives must find it impossible to conceive of themselves as the agents of totalitarian control. Rather, they easily see themselves as the conscientious managers of a munificent social system. The prime strategy of the technocracy is to level life down to a standard of so-called living that technical expertise can cope with–and then, on that false and exclusive basis, to claim an intimidating omnicompetence over us by its monopoly of the experts. The business of investing and flourishing treacherous parodies of freedom, joy, and fulfillment becomes an indispensable form of social control under the technocracy.” Read More:

…This alternative form of consciousness, which Roszak relates to primitive magic and Martin Buber’s pansacramentalism, addresses the world, not as an “it”, but as a “thou”. The pansacramentalist sees the world not as a dead object, but as a place alive. “Everything to is full of sacramental substance, everything. Each thing and each function is ever ready to light up into a sacrament for him.” In contrast, the technocratic mode of existence views the world as a “standing reserve” (to use Heidegger’s term) of objects to be used by us. “Nothing we come upon in the world can any longer speak to us in its own rights … [They] have been deprived of the voice with which they once declared their mystery to men.” As Heidegger explains,…

Pictures of the kids were surrounded by little men who tell them to use Jade to get rid of their pimples, but add all kinds of superfluous, jolly, and often rhyming statements such as “Give Pade Jade”, “Put the cap back on” and ”the white Jade plan” (another reference to the white bike plan). Feeble jokes that appealed to the youngsters better than serious advertisements would. Read More:

“Everywhere we remain unfree and chained to technology, whether we passionately affirm or deny it. But we are delivered over to it in the worst possible way when we regard it as something neutral; for this conception of it, to which today we particularly like to do homage, makes us utterly blind to the essence of technology.” Read More:


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One Response to participation: connecting to a loud hailer

  1. Maureen says:

    Love the vintage FB ad. Good read!

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