Social technology from a 'feminist perspective': beware Investment Bankers

It takes a keen intellect, balanced content, a sharp wit and superb writing skills to successfully pull off a personal dig framed as subjective analysis.
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

It takes a keen intellect, balanced content, a sharp wit and superb writing skills to successfully pull off a personal dig framed as objective analysis. If yesterday’s post by Alice Marwick is indicative of her talents, she is lacking in one or all of the requisite credentials.

Marwick’s “social media, advertising and why Donna Bogatin needs a clue” is as clueless as its title.

Marwick says she is “studying social technology from a feminist perspective.” What curriculum does that reflect? Who knows, but Marwick describes a current project:

Plastic surgery reality television - looks at how shows like The Swan use a faux-feminist discourse of empowerment to mask a highly circumscribed view of the acceptable female body (etc.- this is a big project). I introduce a theory of hyper-performativity to describe a view of femininity that is de-seated from an essential female body, but rather than being liberatory in a Butlerian sense, creates a rigid and compulsory view of highly commercialized female presentation.

Regarding the post at hand, Marwick’s “analysis” of yesterday’s Facebook ad sales deal with Microsoft is a rambling, hodgepodge of unsubstantiated, personal notions on the supposed irrelevance of what Facebook’s “users are actually doing” on the site. Or, to quote Marwick directly:

these deals show is that what users actually do on social networking sites is totally, totally, totally irrelevant to social networking companies

Additional uninformed “analysis” put forth by Marwick:

I’m sure there are plenty of great UI, dev, and product planners at all these companies working on cool features that they actually think will do some good (or something). But it’s just like television shows. The content is totally irrelevant– it could be Six Feet Under or it could be Are You Hot?– as long as an audience can be delivered to an advertiser.

Apparently, “social technology from a feminist perspective” does not concern itself with understanding advertisers pay for advertising according to the quality and engagement of an audience matching a targeted content driven demographic.

Marwick was not content to wrap up her “analysis” and call it an honest day’s posting however. Marwick decided to “append” her story with a personal dig at me, which is longer, and more virulent, than her original story:

Oh, and my least favorite ZDNet writer, Donna Bogatin, uses this news as an opportunity to write another squawky column about why Web 2.0 sites should handle all their own advertising.

The “squawky column” Marwick refers to is my take on the Facebook-Microsoft deal: “Facebook outsources ad sales to Microsoft: Why can’t it make its own money?” In which I quote Michael Arrington questioning the long-term viability of an outsourced ad sales model:

Why do Web 2.0 stars insist on splitting hundreds of millions of dollars of advertising revenues with third parties?

Web sites participating in John Battelle’s Federated Media advertising network, for example, give back 40% of ad revenues generated off of their content. Michael Arrington, for one, is reconsidering the value proposition:

‘I consider the 40% I pay FM Publishing, my agent, way too high. But they are still a young service and I’m sticking with them. Eventually, though, they will have to fall to more sustainable levels or risk losing their bigger properties. As blogs get larger, hiring an in-house sales person becomes much more reasonable that paying ad networks 40-50% of total revenue.’

What does Marwick find so personally offensive about my recommendations that Web 2.0 properties need to develop direct advertising accounts to “show them the money”? Marwick emphatically declares:

The ONLY REASON Web2.0 sites EXIST is because users give them content FOR FREE

Once again, however, Marwick is not satisfied with signaling me out in the headline about a Facebook and Microsoft announcement and labeling me as her “least favorite ZDNet writer,” Marwick proceeds with a personal attack against me and my Investment Banking credentials.

In summary: Donna Bogatin needs to chill out, calm down…But what do you expect from a former investment banker?

Curiously, Marwick recommends a story by male author Paul La Monica, which echoes my writings: “Beware the return of the Web Bubble.”

ALSO SEE: Is Web 2.0 starting to see green?

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