The End of Facebook: What Will It Take to Kill the King of Social? #CISPA shoutout

“Reddit came out in opposition to CISPA because, even though we don’t collect much user data, we need our user trust or we lose the community,” Ohanian explains. “The community generates all the value, as on all user-generated websites. Likewise, if Facebook continues making bad decisions that jeopardize the trust of its users, they’re always a few keystrokes away from leaving.”

But does the average Facebook user really understand or care about these issues? For all its privacy missteps, users remain loyal to Facebook.

“We saw over 24 million people come out against SOPA/PIPA to stand for Internet freedom,” says Ohanian. “People clearly care about their online rights just like their offline rights.” To be fair, this groundswell of opposition only came to a head when giant Internet entities like Google and Wikipedia — whose models were directly threatened by SOPA — went dark in protest. But users did rally around the cause, even if they weren’t aware of it beforehand.

“But even more basic than bad legislation like CISPA, my dad cares when he watches a video on Facebook and doesn’t realize it’s been shared with every one of his friends,” says Ohanian, referring to Facebook’s advent of “frictionless sharing” apps, which connect to your account and automatically broadcast articles you read, videos you watch and songs you listen to.

“I don’t think it’s moral high ground, I think it’s user experience that will win the day,” says Ohanian.

So, what do you think?

Exciting future for film-makers thanks to @VHXtv (via @WIRED)

“We had no idea what [distribution] deals looked like and we had no idea what a good deal is or what a bad deal is, so we listened to absolutely everything and went with what made sense for the project and also from a practicality standpoint,” Swirsky said in an interview with Wired. “Self-distribution ended up being the way to go, because everything else made the movie come out later and more restricted.”

Indie Game, which won the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award at Sundance this year, is also available now from iTunes and as a DRM-free download from the film’s website, powered by online video platform VHX.

Treat customers well. Make something people love. People will pay for it. #proudinvestor

The Importance of Open Internet in Social Justice

The conclusion from Howard University School of Law's Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice, which submitted the following strong SOPA opposition to Congress:

The Internet allows development of independent channels of distribution for new IP works and for licensed distribution of the IP of others, and as this happens, yesterday's "economically excluded" can become tomorrow’s entrepreneurial vanguard.

IIPSJ Letter to House Re SOPA

'You Are the Hero the Internet Needs' - @Mashable covers my #PDF12 talk

For Ohanian, every Internet user has some slice of the digital pie they want to protect — a WordPress blog, a Tumblr page, a Twitter account — that should inspire them to join the League.

“We look to all our Batmen and Batwomen out there because we all have our communities that we care about, we all have our own Gothams,” said Ohanian. “We have lots of people that care about their individual communities and will protect them. Every Facebook page I see is a potential Batman or Batwoman.”

Even with SOPA gone, Ohanian said it’s “not a time to say ‘mission accomplished.’” So what does he want these Batmen and Batwomen of the Internet to do? Get active and spread knowledge.

“It’s time to gear up. Have those kind of dinner table and water cooler discussions that have always been so powerful,” said Ohanian. “This is an incredible opportunity. All of those discussions you have with friends and family now move faster than ever before because of the power of the Internet.”

More information on the Internet Defense League here!

New York's Tech Scene Heats Up - @Forbes covers @rapgenius at #NYTM

Tom Lehman of RapGenius

Tom Lehman of RapGenius, with his Gladwellian haircut, and Kellee Khalil of Loverly, in silver glittery pumps, were the two presenters who IMHO garnered the most adoration from this very discerning audience of New Yorkers.

RapGenius is a site that seeks to discern the hidden meaning of today’s most popular rap and hip-hop lyrics. Its visitor trajectory is extraordinary (8 million uniques/month and growing), and as a result, its success in soliciting first-hand input from the “verified” songwriters featured. Is Bible verse next?

Love seeing Tom Lehman do his thing up on stage. Wish I could've been there to high5 him after....

Sorry, Young Man, You're Not the Most Important Demographic in Tech @AlexisMadrigal @TheAtlantic

But even if you are the biggest sexist in Menlo Park, even if you believe that only men create technology, even if you are real-life Jack Donaghy hell bent on profits alone, you'd still want to change your approach to women as technology consumers. Follow the money and follow the users: you'll find yourself in a female-dominated landscape.

Hear, hear.