(con)juncture was lawson fletcher's thought pile. Now blogging at soundofruins.net
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4.4.08

commercialising friendship

Of course friendship has always operating in a social system of exchange, but it's quite disturbing to note just how literal this becomes on social networks. The primary goal on these things seems to be to monetise one's friend network and social status, no where better epitomised than this:

San Francisco startup Serious Business, founded by 23-year-old Alexander Le and 24-year-old Siqi Chen, believes that a new genre of games could be mined from tapping into social networks.
In November, the duo created Friends for Sale, now one of Facebook’s most popular games with nearly 700,000 daily players. Users buy, sell and own their friends, as though their friends were pets or stocks. Owners can control their acquisitions, forcing them to do or say things, as well as sell them and turn a profit. Those being bought and sold are also part of the game, going up and down in value.
I remember watching some woman at work playing this thing, and it was simply creepy. How could you do this to a friend?

Whilst pundits often characterise social networks as (harmless, at least no more than offline) hang out spaces for youth, I'd suggest they might want to be a bit more critical of just what sort of social frame these sites provide/delimit.



2 comments:

jess said...

Um. I'd like to sell you for 50c.

Lawson said...

50c word?