The auto instructions and upselling mail outs of padlet are all given a faux-casual tone to try and provoke you into forming an emotional attachment to the app. The loading page for a new padlet says “it’s all sunshine and roses from here”, the confirmation email reads opens with:
You signed up for Padlet!
That’s beautiful. You’re beautiful
and is signed
This exemplifies the ” omnipresent fucking TWEENESS of post-millenial culture and nervy chatty conversationalism that’s crept into all ad-copy (in the last 10 years)” (Kulkarni, 2016) < one of my favourite music writers/bloggers. Since reading his blog post I can’t look at a ukulele without thinking “this machine enables fascists”
This in turn made me think about the recent guardian article I had read on how data mining could be combined with AI and insights from psychology to precisely target internet users at an emotional level. The emotional tone of digital capitalism is often gloopy and saccharine sweet. It hides the smell of the infernal algorithmic gears grinding.
Anyway. Now for a bit more analysis rather than ranting.
Padlet also attempts to portray itself in a purely instrumentalist manner, to whit;
What’s a padlet?
In its purest form, a padlet is a blank page. You can dress it up or dress it down. From your hobby to your career, your class notes to your final exam, your mood board to your runway show, padlets help you organize your life.
Collaboration is what makes Padlet special. We are beloved in classrooms because every student has an equal voice. We are instrumental to businesses because team projects are easily managed and improved. From distant corners of the Earth, individuals can connect on Padlet.
(padlet automatic sign up mail out 2017)
According to it’s creators Padlet is the invisible tool that will apparently enable easy collaboration. It allows social practice to be carried out without overtly influencing the eventual cultural output. As my post documenting my experience details, that is not quite the case. I certainly wouldn’t use it for my own notes.