Arts Desk

Arts Roundup: ‘Facebook Eats Your Brain’ Edition

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Morning, folks!

Let’s talk about Facebook for a second. Yesterday I came across—via Facebook, naturally—this infographic, which shows the gradual un-privatizing of an ever larger proportion of your profile. With the link, the friend who had posted it had written, “Time to leave?” To which Paul Carr over at TechCrunch would no doubt counter, “No, time to stop posting stuff you don’t want to be made public.”

What are the implications for supporting your favorite bands and artists on Facebook? If the social Web is the new locus of buzz, and artists—particularly ones that can’t afford to pay big-shit PR firms to generate Old Media buzz—rely on word-of-wall-post &c. to gain a following, then what happens when Facebook starts sharing people’s “Liked” artists with the world? Do people (e.g. the law firm intern who’d prefer, for professional reasons, to keep his love of the Boston grindcore band Anal Cunt on the low) become more hesitant to rep their favorite artists on Facebook?

Or will the change benefit us and the artists we love? A few weeks ago Farhad Manjoo wrote about this new consolidated system of “Liking” things—which is, by the way, why your new Facebook profile looks so fucked up. Manjoo’s theory is that Facebook is looking to map the Web in relation to its users. Check it:

All this information will help Facebook and third-party apps tease out relationships among people, real-world items, and specific pages on the Web. Armed with this data, we can expect better movie-recommendation apps … For instance, as IMDb adds "like" buttons to its pages, the site will tell Facebook which ones represent actors, which ones are directors, and which ones are movies. Facebook will thus get a tiny bit smarter—it will be able to tell the difference between The Rock and The Rock.

So that’s the upside: the more the wider Web knows about our A&E tastes, the better it’s able to serve those tastes. I mean, how much do you love Pandora? What if the whole Internet worked like that?

Anyway, less expound-up, more round-up!

Speaking of Facebook’s potential to serve the arts, the campaign to get Betty White on SNL consummated in what I’m told was a quite corking affair. You can stream it here.

Speaking of things you can stream here, you can stream a new track from Deer Tick’s upcoming album here. But you cannot see them with Dr. Dog at the 9:30 Club this Friday (sold out), unless…

…you buy tix on the secondhand market, probably at a markup. For a lot more on concert ticket markups, read this John Seabrook piece from the NYer archives. For a very, very little more, read this piece from yesterday’s WaPo.

If you like Washington City Paper, Like it on Facebook. If you want Betty White to edit Washington City Paper, start a group. Because you never know.

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