Around the Office is a weekly group blog of what the Kobayashi Online team has found interesting, funny, poignant, or otherwise notable over the past week.
A Vine Hotline
The makers of Twitter have devised a new social app called Vine which applies its predecessor’s length restrictions to mobile video clips. Just as Twitter is limited to 140 character Tweets, Vines are limited to six seconds or less, which many have found to inspire creativity. Andy has been kicking back and watching the world in 6 second bites thanks to Vinepeek, which is a site that shows what videos people are shooting on Vine at any given moment.
Celebrity Obsession as a Plague
David was battling his aversion to needles when watching the trailer for Brandon Cronenberg’s sci-fi film Antiviral which depicts a celebrity-obsessed future where fans infect themselves with the virus of their favourite star. Touching on themes of virality and media, Cronenberg revealed to Dazed & Confused his views on social media: “I think we have a weird relationship with that celebrity culture – people try to turn themselves into celebrities, and they’re constantly playing both the celebrity and the paparazzi, taking pictures of themselves and what they’re doing.” We take it from Cronenberg that there’s no insignificant danger to being your own biggest fan.
Silent Circle Keeps Sources Secret
Daveed was excited to hear about new smartphone app that enables people to bypass surveillance and prying eyes when sending files from a smartphone or tablet. While social networks like Facebook have been credited for sparking regime change in authoritarian states, in many cases there’s no guarantee of anonymity and social media can easily become a means of monitoring dissidents, and identifying and punishing activists. In contrast, startup tech firm Silent Circle has created an app that allows for the anonymous transfer of information at the touch of a button – something that could be so disastrous for governments that many worry it will be banned – even in the US.
Inappropriate Tweets from High Places
Caroline was amazed to see a hilariously inappropriate Twitter rant from the City of Vaughan about snowstorm Nemo. The Tweet read: “Everyone on my street has double garages…. who are these f—nuts who don’t put their car in their garage when we get 2 feet of snow? #dumb”. This message spread virally, which is one measure of success, and it served as a reminder to social media managers how easy it is to forget to switch between their personal and work accounts.