Songs lyrics hailing to broken Myspace romances (I couldn’t help but laugh at the line ‘internet grass is always greener’), television shows flaunting Facebook aficionados. No doubt, social networking websites have long since made their bumbling debut into the realms of popular television and music.

But curiously, it seems high culture has not been immune to these internet phenomenons.

Credit: Channel Four News

Twitter Opera Singers

Credit: Channel Four News

Yesterday saw the launch of the first ‘Twitter opera’, comprised solely of the contribution of Tweets from random users to a single Twitter webpage.

“…the volume of tweets has generated enough content for a seven-act opera, said ROH spokeswoman Sara Parsons.”

Whether the opera will gain the accolades of the critics, only time will tell. The first reviews are only just starting to come in.

I personally have mixed feelings about the idea. Full marks for creativity, but at the same time, it feels like the phenomenon of the internet has invaded just about every aspect of our old lives, to the point where nothing is sacred.

At the moment, it looks as though a sequel is not out of the question – so if you fancy yourself a budding composer, you can contribute your tweets at: www.twitter.com/youropera

You Can’t Buy Friendship

September 5, 2009

Or can you?

Brisbane- based firm uSocial.net has been selling ‘lonely’ Facebook users friends; but for no tidy sum. You can pick up 1,000 cyber buddies for a hefty fee of 177 dollars.

However, the deal is slightly more sinister than simply boosting the self esteems of those who find themselves suddenly lacking in wall posts.

The service is targeted at expanding marketing opportunities for those looking to profit off their pages.

The Usocial website reads:

“the simple fact is that with a large following on Facebook, you have an instant and targeted group of people you can contact and promote whatever it is you want to promote.”

So, are Usocial ingenious entrepreneurs or shrewd charlatans?

Facebook seems to have pinned them the latter.

According to the article ‘Buying Facebook Friends Could Get You Banned’:

“Facebook fired back against uSocial on Thursday and issued a reminder that it was against its terms of service for a user to access an account belonging to someone else or to share a password.”

“It’s our understanding that uSocial logs in as a user and manipulates their account,” the Palo Alto, California-based company said. “This is a violation of our terms by uSocial and any user who participates in their programs”

There have been a legion of bloggers complaining about the behaviour of Usocial. Here is one more detailed post you can read.  And rightly so. Falsely bolstering the popularity and marketing base of their clients is unethical marketing at its worst.

At the same time, if Facebook are free to plaster people’s walls with targeted advertisements, surely it is a double standard if they attempt to stop companies like this trying to have their share of the pie?

Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons

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Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons