Remember how -- uh, we mean, remember reading about how powerhouse Zynga game Farmville made money based on, among other things, how often the players clicked, and how craftily designed it was to make you want to keep doing the same thing over and over for very little reward? (Three years sober.) We hear that Candy Crush is similar, except that it's even more difficult to resist the siren call of giving them some money so that you can level up faster.
That's all old news, on today's Internet. Now the entire world of media is your farm, and every app, feed, and pointless twist on what's still naively referred to as "social" media is that breed of goat you still don't have.
Today, it's PhotoYOLO, something that seems sweet and innocent and horizon-expanding: One safe-for-work snapshot from one subscriber per day goes out to all the others -- "One photo a day in your inbox, from a friend you just haven't met yet."
It's an offshoot of The Listserve, a lottery we'd also never heard of in which one person per day gets to share a story with the other 23,000 or so strangers who've signed up. (Those are sadly encouraging odds.)
Kaitlyn Reed, the photographer coughhippiecough behind all this, may not know your twisted little minds, but we do. Here's what you're all about to try, because we can't have nice things:
5. PhotoYOLObombing: Yes, Costa Rica is lovely. Stop putting your damn lawn gnome in it.
4. "Fashion Don'ts from PhotoYOLO," a Tumblr soon to be a book soon to be at the dollar store.
3. The endless spiral of self-reference: Once a photo of a bunny eating a dandelion goes out, it's only a matter of time before people dressed as bunnies and people dressed as dandelions are creating political theater in the streets of Omaha, pictures of the ensuing rogue anarchist protest become animated GIF memes, and people get nostalgic for the old days of PhotoYOLO when it was just about sharing the pics, man.
2. Fauxtos: Photoshopped fake versions of every imaginable celebrity, news event, or landmark, just because you can.
1. Hookups/missed connections: A photo of a guy holding a sign that reads "@riverchik27 Loved your Six Flags selfie, wanna hang out?" (Doesn't matter how long it takes to get shared, because he has a lot of similar projects in the works.) If that's too obvious to slip through, there's always the Twitter feed: "@beltwaybaldwin I was right next to that fountain eating a Dove Bar! Felt something special, brown eyes, how about you?" Dream on, sweetie.
So far, Reid is curating the daily photo, but she told London's Daily Mail website that it might have to be monitored more strictly in the future if it "turns into a ChatRoulette." Hmm. Daily Mail + Voice Media + Jezebel = Milk it for all it's worth now, because some mod intent on harshing your buzz is just around the corner.
Setting aside issues of offense or crass exploitation, there's also a lack of skill that can't be suppressed:
It's like what I used to say to a co-worker who told me, "Life is short. You don't have to run for the elevator": "If it's that short, I should be running for everything." If we really do only live once, how much more programmed and scheduled enlightenment can we handle?
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Says the blogger.