Ivo was right about Facebook

South African journalist and pundit Ivo Vegter has rapidly become one of my favourite daily reads (his is one of the 30 surviving feeds in my “daily” list that once numbered 300 feeds).

One contemporary cultural phenomenon that he was dead right about is Facebook. In 2007, when Facebook was peaking, Ivo started warning that Facebook was way more sinister than it appeared. When it was rumoured that Microsoft was going to buy it, Ivo publicly committed to leaving Facebook in the event Microsoft bought in to Facebook

It did.

Ivo, true to his word, deactivated his account and decamped for Google’s Orkut.

Since then Facebook has been the subject of increasingly hostile user and press attacks, mainly related to its dreadful privacy policies and practices.

Now the arty-farty types and designers seem to have turned on ole’ Facebook too. Phenomenally successful new image aggregation site FFFFound has these two images below showing strong popularity. Hats off Ivo, you told us so.

Freddy Hagen on Cairo Megacity

Freddy Hagen is an extraordinarily talented Danish photographer.

Recently he returned from a trip to the Middle East and has uploaded some slide shows.

One in particular is a must see, Cairo Megacity. It is a slide show with music and both the music and photographs are utterly beautiful.

His other slide shows are also superb. Don’t miss Aid al-Adha, a photo essay about the Islamic festival where feat animals are slaughtered on the streets of Cairo (nor for the squeamish).

He also offers a radically alternative view of Denmark’s capital Copenhagen in another superb musical sideshow called Copenhagen 2007. Don’t miss the dramatic riot footage at the end.

La Belle Epoque

Abelard.org has a lovely short introduction to the fascinating era of peace, prosperity and scientific now known as La Belle Époque:

La Belle Époque, the Beautiful Era, is an expression born after the First World War to evoke the period after in the Napoleonic campaigns and before the watershed in Europe of the Great War – the years from 1890 to 1914. The name encompasses the realities of expansion, carefree attitudes, a faith in progress, and an affluence spreading down through society, together with a nostalgia. The nostalgia was an embellishing memory of reality coming out of the trauma of the First World War.

La Belle Epoque | France zone at abelard.org

The best of recent Harvard Business Online

How to Be a Social Media Provocateur – An analysis of how to engage your own customer base using Social Media by the authors of Groundswell, a recent book about how people are using online social technologies (blogs, social networking sites, YouTube, podcasts) to discuss products and companies.

12 Steps to Stop Scapegoating in Your Company – Gill Corkindale, an executive coach and writer based in London, asks “Have you ever watched as a work colleague has been blamed, exposed or dismissed for the mistakes of their boss or colleague? What have been the effects on the individual and their colleagues? How has it been handled?”

Miroslav Tichy

From the superb Art and Popular Culture wiki:

“During many years Tichý wandered the small Moravian town of Kyjov in rags, pursuing his obsession with the female form by secretly photographing women in the streets, shops and parks with cameras he made from tin cans, children’s spectacle lenses and other junk he found on the street. He would return home each day to make prints on equally primitive equipment, making only one print from the negatives he selected. His work remained largely unknown until 2005, when he was 79 years old. “