The Seven Deadly Social Networks

Almost five years ago, in a soliloquy transcribed by The Wall Street Journal, Reid Hoffman suggested a comprehensive theory of social-network success.

“Social networks do best when they tap into one of the seven deadly sins,” the LinkedIn co-founder and venture capitalist said. “Zynga is sloth. LinkedIn is greed. With Facebook, it’s vanity, and how people choose to present themselves to their friends.”

Lust, of course, is Tinder.

Gluttony is Instagram

Sloth was Zynga once, per Hoffman, but Zynga is no more. Now sloth is Netflix.

Wrath, according to Dante, was a twin sin to sullenness.  Rarely has there been a better description of Twitter.

Envy makes people so desirous of what they don’t have that they become blind to what they have. That’s Pinterest.

Pride is Medium.

Vanity or Vainglory—an unrestrained belief in one’s own attractiveness, and a love of boasting. That’s Facebook.

Acedia, a word we have now largely lost but whose meaning survives somewhat in melancholy.  It is the feeling of Tumblr, it is the feeling of Deep YouTube

My Little Sister Taught Me How To “Snapchat Like The Teens”

For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t), your Snapchat score can be found beneath your barcode on your account page. The score is determined by how many snaps you send and receive as well as how often you post and watch Stories.

.. ME: I’ve seen how fast you do these responses… How are you able to take in all that information so quickly?
BROOKE: I don’t really see what they send. I tap through so fast. It’s rapid fire.

I’m mesmerized. What’s even the point of sending snaps to each other if you don’t look at them? Am I crazy? That seems so unnecessary

..  One of the biggest fights kids have with their parents is about data usage.
ME: Really? Because you’re using too much?
BROOKE: Yeah. This one girl I know uses 60 gigabytes every month.

.. ELSBITCH: Streaks are the MOST important thing on Snapchat. Not just one streak — you need to have multiple.

I stopped her right there.

ME: What is a streak?
BROOKE: You don’t know what a streak is? It’s when you send a snap to one of your friends on consecutive days. You have to make sure to respond every day with a snap or you break the streak.

.. 1) Teens don’t really watch much TV anymore. They’re on Netflix, and they like Grey’s Anatomy.

.. 3) I just need to mention this: While I was talking to Brooke, she mentioned that she has700 unanswered texts “just from today.”

LinkedIn: Reid Hoffman’s big idea

The close relationship between Hoffman and the White House isn’t just about his being a major political donor. He and others like him have something more powerful than money to offer: a way for officials to connect with the largest possible audiences. In the nineteenth century, the bosses of political machines served this role; in the twentieth, it was media barons, especially in broadcasting and newspapers; in the twenty-first, it is people who have created vast online social networks.


.. Everything about Reid Hoffman—his business, his political activities, his philanthropy, and his social life—is based on a premise about how the economic world will work from now on. In the decades immediately after the Second World War, people thought about the economy in terms of corporations, government agencies, labor unions, and so on; middle-class Americans often aspired to a life spent at a big organization that offered job security, health care, and a pension. Beginning in the mid-nineteen-seventies, this social order fell apart, as economic life became much more uncertain and more favorable to Wall Street than to Main Street. The idea that companies should be run primarily to keep their stock price as high as possible came to the fore, the goal of lifetime employment faded, and bright people who wanted business careers were more attracted to finance than to industry. It was at this time that the growth of middle-class incomes began to slow, and inequality began to increase.

.. Mike Maples, Jr., estimates that of the roughly thirty thousand tech startups a year, only ten will wind up representing ninety-seven per cent of the total value of all of them, and one will represent as much value as all the others combined.

A rigorous study of twenty years’ worth of Silicon Valley startups by two economists—Robert Hall, of Stanford, and Susan Woodward, of Sand Hill Econometrics—found that almost three-quarters of company founders who get venture funding (a category that represents only a small minority of those who try to get venture funding) wind up making nothing. Venture capital is overwhelmingly oriented toward speed, big ideas, and the quest for the obsessive, super-smart, rule-breaking entrepreneur-hero.


.. it helped establish a number of lasting principles. One is extreme adaptability. PayPal began as a security system for the PalmPilot. It evolved into a system for processing transactions on eBay

.. when the passage of the Patriot Act severely damaged PayPal’s second line of business—handling cash transactions for gamblers—Hoffman helped arrange a quick sale of PayPal to eBay.

.. In 2006, LinkedIn decided to make all profiles partly public, so that when you type someone’s name into a Google search, that person’s LinkedIn profile is one of the top results.

.. These dreams may never be fully realized. But what if they are? Hoffman and LinkedIn represent the distilled essence of Silicon Valley’s vision of the economic future. People will switch jobs every two or three years; indeed, the challenge is to prevent them from switching more often.

.. It’s assumed that what everybody really wants is to quit and create a startup ..

.. “I’m trying to get politicians to understand that solving this problem is about facilitation of a network, as opposed to”—sarcastically—“the New Deal.”

.. Thus far, among the Presidential candidates, he has had private meetings with Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, but has not made up his mind whom to support for President.

.. “I have an algorithm,” Hoffman said. “If it’s a good place, order the special. If it’s a bad place, order what they can’t screw up.” They ordered the special.

.. Could you imagine a system that decided it would be better to eliminate human beings? You could make an argument. You’re screwing up the climate, you’re killing off other species.”

.. There will be some people who think whatever’s right is to let the next step in evolution play out. That’s a scary thought.”



Connected: The Amazing Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler

Fowler used the very detailed data it collected – including information on people’s family and friendship ties, their diet, lifestyle and sense of wellbeing – to demonstrate that behaviours and moods tend to spread through a population on the model of a contagion. They showed in particular (using computer programmes that allow them to construct “network maps”) that different behaviours and moods, much like different viruses, spread according to different patterns.

.. While eating and smoking habits can be transmitted across long-distance networks, the transmission of happiness tends to require face-to-face contact.

.. If people start or stop smoking in groups, or mugging spreads like a virus through a city, then group-based approaches to tackling these problems are likely to be more effective than ones focused on individuals – or on the “community” as a whole.