Posted by Hal
Last week in Vancouver I hung out with a very fun, very interesting group of friends who are all heavy online social media users. Below are some pictures I took of our two days of filming with them, interspersed with some commentary and links to their various sites. Overall my impression of them is that they are smart and funny, though self absorbed (but perhaps no more self absorbed than I was at that age…or I still am…) What I noticed most of all was their mixture of savvy image building and utter disregard for how what they share online might alter their future. On the one hand, total sharing without filter, on the other hand, very keen awareness of the way they are building their personal brands online and the opportunities that might create for them.
So the guy in the picture below is Adam. We met up with him at his office and he showed his Daytum site, where he chronicles his sex life, eating and spending habits, and more. Online, Adam mostly goes by Skinny Ghost. He spends a lot of time on Tumblr. He told me he doesn’t do Daytum to get attention or expose his life, even though the site is public.
After hanging out with Adam at work, we went to a hot dog stand called Japadog. While the camera crew filmed, we ordered hot dogs with Japanese toppings. Mine, below, was a turkey smokey with sweet Japanese mayonnaise, teriyaki sauce, grilled onions and dried sea weed! It was surprisingly good.
Adam used to date Malloreigh (posing below). Malloreigh is best friends with Lindsay (taking the pictures with the film crew in the background). Malloreigh, among other things, poses nude for the site SuicideGirls.com, a site that mixes pin-up type photos of young women with tattoos and piercings with blogging and some Facebook like features. Malloreigh also uses LiveJournal, has a public blog, and communicates through twitter and facebook too. She told me that when a new social networking site comes to her attention she will immediately try and secure the user name Malloreigh for herself, just in case she might one day start using the site or it gains in popularity. Malloreigh’s been blogging since she was 12. She’s had someone pretend to be her online, and has had several online stalkers. Still, she’s very open and friendly to anyone who contacts her, even the guys who pay for access to her photos through Suicidegirls.
The girl taking the photos above is Lindsay. Lindsay is a bit older and less into basement apartments and grunge then Malloreigh and her friends, but she’s just as into using the web to promote herself and her “brand”. She has a site called LindsaysDiet.com that features thousands of pictures arranged into photo essays of particular days that all invariably end up in a club. She’s been hired by a LA based DJ to travel with him taking pictures, and she is even an attraction every Saturday at Biltmore’s, a reason to show up and make the scene, like the band or the dj. We went with Malloreigh over to Lindsay’s condo, where Lindsay took pictures of Malloreigh posing in various states of undress, photos that may make up the next set on Malloreigh’s Suicide Girl page. While the doc crew did this, I sat in a chair in the corner, sweaty palmed and embarrassed, and tried not to pay too much attention (though I did look up long enough to take the picture above).
Eventually we all ended up biking over to the Astoria, a dive-y bar with live music and a dj. The specialty of the place is a beverage called the Power Shandy – half Smirnoff Ice, half beer, one shot of vodka. What you see above is me buying a round for all my new friends. Delicious!
Here we are getting ready to party. At the insistence of director Sally, I even danced for a few awkward moments. The two “power shandys” I drank helped loosen me up for my turn on the dance floor.
So there you go. No deep thoughts here. Nice kids (I can say that because, well, even if I’m not that old I felt old hanging out in their various basement apartments). They had a lot to teach me about using the various peep technologies I’m experimenting with. While they lectured me on the different protocols, I bombarded them with questions about what they thought the future had in store for them. I wonder how their various attempts to use the details of their to lives to keep themselves permanently in the spotlight will ultimately work out?
Hey, I’m Hal Niedzviecki. I’m a writer/thinker who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife and daughter. Up till now I’ve always considered myself a private person. But at the same time I’m fascinated by people who effortlessly open themselves up to the whole world. So I’ve… more...
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