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How Facebook Killed the Virtual World - Mark Wallace (Wired) -
June 10, 2012
"The Facebook IPO, however rocky, marked a coming of age for the loose collection of technologies and services known as “social media.” If Mark Zuckerberg had been elected governor of California, it would not have done as much to confer society’s seal of approval. It was almost as if the internet itself went public. Mark Wallace The promise of new and richer means of interacting remotely with friends, colleagues, associates, and strangers; the medium for distributed communities to come together in meaningful fashion, create new forms of narrative and entertainment (as well as new form of marketing), and connect in ways not possible in the physical world; the ability to be just who you are, or whoever you’d like to be, or to drop off the grid entirely if you so chose (and could manage it) — if those promises sound familiar, it’s no wonder. They are the promises (or threats) that have been made by every new communications technology since at least the telephone. Most recently, though, they were being made by a class of online service known as virtual worlds — and if Facebook’s IPO was an apotheosis for social media, it also marked a harsh awakening from the dream of the future presented by virtual worlds, a dream that has kicked around the internet in one form or another since the late 1970s." -
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