Anonymity through two lenses

When it comes to anonymity, there are two opposing camps: Facebook and 4chan. Facebook is a walled fortress with strict identity guidelines. 4chan is the wild west with its users always reinventing themselves. Zuckerberg and ‘moot’ are philosophically at odds with each other. While speaking at SXSW, ‘moot’ put the differences between him and Zuckerberg beautifully:

Mark Zuckerberg has said that anonymity represents a lack of authenticity, but I would counter that anonymity is authenticity.

This quote is great! However, I’m not sure that ‘moot’ uses authenticity in the same sense that Mark does. I’m sure everyone already figured that but I want to look at it a little more.

When Mark talks about authenticity, he’s not talking about authenticity of being but verification of being X. When a webpage asks you to sign up using Facebook credentials they can be sure, to a certain degree, that you are who you say you are. There is value to having verification in the world. It allows startups avoid things that they would otherwise have to deal with (bots, multiple accounts, blah, blah).

moot is talking about authenticity in being. He believes that the freedom of being anonymous allows people to express themselves. If you look at the talk over at TechCrunch about their switch to Facebook comments you see that they have killed the trolls. Posts that would normally get hundreds of comments now receive a dozen. Some of their readers just don’t want to verify themselves because the posts are connected to their real identity*.

Mark and moot aren’t speaking the same language. Mark is interested in identity verification and moot is interested in authenticity of being.

*I have already mentioned that they’re not speaking about the same thing but it doesn’t mean that the concepts aren’t related. Mark has, in a sense, brought social norms and customs to the web. That means that you won’t do something that you wouldn’t do in the physical world. Being authentic, according to Mark, is acting like you would in the physical world.

In a related note, this might be a big reason TechCrunch (and others?) have seen such drops in comments. When someone insults you work in the world you are personally offended. In the same way, when you comment using Facebook credentials that comment is connected to your being. Ridicule is tied to the entity creating it.

I’d like to leave it off by paraphrasing something I read moot said: On 4chan people can create something and it may catch on or it may not. In the end, it’s not the user who get’s lauded, it’s the meme. On 4chan the memes are the focus. [If someone could help with a link, that’d be great!]



Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?

Trick question. Here are 2 more

Giving live birth is found in over 450 species of mammal. Egg laying is found in only one.
Which one seems unnatural now?


One heart is found in over 450 species.
Three hearts are found in only  a handful . Which one seems unnatural now?

I’m Sick

I have so many things to write about but I am just not ready to even think! Just wanted to throw that out there if you were wondering why I hadn’t written in so long.

Dan & Dan: Our First Video

This is the first video Daniel Rabins and I have made. I don’t have too much to say about it other than it’s a pretty cool stop motion vid. I would have chosen another song but I couldn’t find the song I wanted on any client. Anyways, enjoy!

March Madness: UCLA

I haven’t felt this good about a basketball game in 2 years! I’m put with my friends Kenney and Robert.

It’s truly strange that you can have such a strong connection to people that you have never met and probably never will meet. There is a connection through association.

It doesn’t matter. This is part of what it means to be a member of a community. Go UCLA!

P.S. This is a mobile post. I am on the scene in Westwood!


I’m not an artist in any regard, but I’ve found something that just makes being original easy. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Dan, how could you say you’re not an artist? You’re an amazing writer!”. I know I am, but like many other humans I have some deficiencies. Mine come in the form of sucking at being visually creative. To a certain extent it may be due to the difficulty of picking up the photo editing skills necessary to make cool and funny stuff.

We all need not fear editing tools no more! I am finally a pro in the visual arts field! (WARNING: Some of you might think I’m mentally challenged when you look at my attempts at being original. See below.) What’s more is that you too can be a visual arts pro thanks to!

What’s cool about the site is its easy to use photo editing tools and it’s socially engaging “sticker” community. Again, the tools are fool-proof. I was able to make my first “remix” (this is what the act of making a photo your own is called) in about 10 seconds. I got lot’s of LOL’s out of it. On top of that, you also get the social aspect of it. This is a community of people editing photos not just for laughs but for “stickers”. I keep coming back hoping that others have placed a sticker on my remixes or taken my image and remixed it themselves. The amount of creativity is mind blowing. Ideas that you would have never thought of when seeing an image are served up to your little rat brain on a silver platter!

Conclusion: Ask for an invite by going to and if I like you, I’ll share one with you. If you have work, you probably shouldn’t apply, you’re going to spend too much time on it… Who am I kidding?!? Ask for it, the site is Safe For Work (i.e. no obscene content, just lots of great images.)

I’ve included a few of my remixes below. Sign up and enjoy. I look forward to seeing that you can come up with!


There has been a lot of hoopla about Twitter’s new in-app ad delivery system, the Quick Bar. I’m not in love with it either but I’m definitely not up in arms about it. This is part of Twitter’s monetization plan.

Now there are rumors that there will be in stream ads. I’m not sure this should be the case. It will be bothersome and many times might serve ads that are not relevant enough to the user. I went ahead and made a mock up of what Twitter should do. I call it TwitterAds.

Twitter wants to have your interest data. I mean, when you spend a lot of time on Twitter like I do, it’s because there is so much awesome information being served to you. They come from you closest’s friends and your favorite media outlets and bloggers. However, we don’t click on every link on Twitter. You scan through your feed and click on those that catch your attention. This is where Twitter can capitalize.

First of all, Twitter should move every user over to #NewTwitter. I know a lot of people aren’t happy about the speed but I’m sure it will get better over time. The lay out of new twitter makes it a perfect ad serving mechanism. When a user wants to finds something that they are interested in their feed, ads are served on the right pane. But what are the dynamics of this system?

User @A scans through their feed on the left pane and find that @B said something that interested them. @A clicks on the tweet and out pops the left pane. In it they find the content and whatever links may be present. More importantly for Twitter, ads can be delivered based on the keywords found.

As the screenshot above shows, they can be links much like Google Adwords links. Twitter might even want to make them affiliate links and get a percentage of high ticket items.

Why might this be better? Well, as mentioned above, the ads will be relevant to the user not just in terms of general interests but “real-time” interests (see what I did there.) The fact all types of interests are available on Twitter means that many more types of companies will be able to enter the TwitterAds program. A big problem for Twitter has been having small and medium sized companies advertise with them. At this interest level advertising anyone will be able to jump in and hit the people who are interested in their product.