An Art-Intervention Using Social Computing Technologies
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Frappr is a social computing website that integrates
contemporary web technologies to allow its
user to "locate" each other, visually. It creates maps using Google
data and encapsulates them in a
Flash object which can be embedded almost anywhere. Frappr is only two
years old, but it has already
gained considerable popularity. It provides direct links to websites
like Myspace and Friendster to allow
for streamlined networking.
The majority of users create Frappr maps to connect with their friends
or identify themselves
based on categorization. Also, there's a lot of porn.
But there are interesting maps as well,
like the Breast Cancer Surviors Network, The Queer Alliance, and Toy
Piano Owners of America.
Initially, I was looking to create complex maps that emphasis more
temporary categories like
actions (ie everyone who is on Frappr right now) but Frappr is Beta
software and it crashes quite a bit.
I was reading about NAMBLA, and I suddenly became very interested in
making a NAMbLA map,
although I didn't know why at the time. I have no desire to be a
member, nor do I condone NAMbLA
or their ethos, but from my readings I discovered that they are
slandered quite heavily on the interenet without
any real defense. The organization has a web page, but they still
communicate through snail-mail. I knew their
members had to be on the internet, so I wanted to make the most
legitimate looking page an see if I could attract some
of them. I did not have it in mind to harass them; if they contacted me
I would play along. I think ultimately
I would engage them in a dialogue in order to try and find out how they
think. But as it turns out, NAMbLA
is social poison, for my page has been viewed many times, but no one
has joined or even contacted me.
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