What goes around . . . March 20, 2008Posted by caveblogem in Books, Other, web 2.0.
I was ironing a shirt this morning and had the Today Show on (yeah, I know) and they were talking about this Web 2.0 site called Juicycampus.com. If you haven’t heard already, the site encourages people at any of 50 (so far) college campuses to post juicy rumors about others, completely anonymously. Open to abuse? No, more like open for the sole purpose of abuse. The campus at which I work is not one of the favored few (yet, of course), which is sad; I hate to be left out of new trends, especially when self-destruction is so glaringly immanent.
At any rate, it made me think of this delightful passage of a delightful book called Microserfs, by Douglas Coupland. [One of my favorites, honestly. It is The Soul of a New Machine for Generation X.] The book concerns a group of playful geeks who quit their jobs at Microsoft to build a video game. One of them, at some point in the book, writes a bit of code that allows any of the seven or so people coding the game to post rumors anonymously. Things quickly get out of hand, of course. He pulls the plug, to much relief on everyone’s part, after about 24 hours.
What’s different about juicycampus.com, of course, is that the company’s founder, Matt Ivester, already graduated from Duke, in 2005. So he is not subject to the stream of junk that afflicts all of the people at these colleges. Perhaps Matt would feel differently if someone, perhaps someone who knew Matt at Duke (or perhaps knew him at Clemson, before he was kicked out because of that Harry Potter Fan Club fiasco), maybe one of his frat buddies, posted some gossip about Matt.