Tags: socialnetworking

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Monday, August 8th, 2011

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Twitter, Facebook, and social activism : The New Yorker

A well-argued piece by Malcolm Gladwell on the relative pros and cons of weak-tie networks and strong-tie hierarchies ...although, as always, Gladwell relies on anecdotes more than data to make his point.

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Ident Engine

Glenn has taken Google's Social Graph API, YQL and various parsers, and he's wrapped it all up in one JavaScript library. The demos are mind-boggingly impressive.

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Social Networks Aren't Good Businesses - washingtonpost.com

An interesting take on the business models of social networking sites.

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

"Social Media is Here to Stay... Now What?"

danah boyd addresses the Microsoft Research Tech Fest.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

YouTube - Newsnight Goldacre Sigman BBC2 20090224

Behold the double awesomeness of Jeremy Paxman and Ben Goldacre! Susan Greenfield, alas, is simply embarrassing.

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Experiments in Data Portability - Screencast

Glenn has created a screencast of his superb Skillswap presentation, syncing up the audio with the slides.

Friday, November 21st, 2008

BBC NEWS | Technology | Online time 'is good for teens'

Mimi Ito talks to the BBC about the findings of a report into teens geeking out online.

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Moral panic

Thanks to Tom’s always excellent linkage, I came across an excellent in-depth article by Brenda Brathwaite called The Myth of the Media Myth, all about the perception of videogames by non-gamers. The research was prompted by a dinner conversation that highlighted the typical reactions:

It happens the same way every time: People listen and then they say what they’ve been feeling. Videogames are not good for you. Videogames are a waste of time. They isolate children. Kids never go outside to play. They just sit there and stare at the TV all day.

The tone of the opinions reminded me of the Daily Mail attitude to social networking sites. The resonances were so strong that I decided to conduct a quick experiment using my hacky little text substitution script. Here are the terms I swapped:

OriginalSubstitution
videogamesocial networking site
gamingsocial networking
game designerweb designer
gamewebsite
playsurf
GTAFacebook

Because the original article is paginated, I ran the print version through the transmogrifier. Please excuse any annoying print dialogue boxes. Here’s the final result.

The results are amusing, even accurate.The original article begins:

There are six of us around the table, and the conversation turns to what I do for a living, also known as “my field of study” in academia. “I’m a game designer and a professor,” I say. The dinner had been arranged by a third party in order to connect academics from various institutions for networking purposes.

“You mean videogames?” one of the teachers asks. It’s said with the same professional and courteous tone that one might reserve for asking, “Did you pass gas?”

“Videogames, yes,” I answer. “I’ve been doing it over 20 years now.” Really without any effort at all, I launch into a little love manifesto of sorts, talking about how much I enjoy being a game designer, how wonderful it is to make games, all kinds of games.

After substiitution:

There are six of us around the table, and the conversation turns to what I do for a living, also known as “my field of study” in academia. “I’m a web designer and a professor,” I say. The dinner had been arranged by a third party in order to connect academics from various institutions for networking purposes.

“You mean social networking sites?” one of the teachers asks. It’s said with the same professional and courteous tone that one might reserve for asking, “Did you pass gas?”

“social networking sites, yes,” I answer. “I’ve been doing it over 20 years now.” Really without any effort at all, I launch into a little love manifesto of sorts, talking about how much I enjoy being a web designer, how wonderful it is to make websites, all kinds of websites.

The comments from interviewees also hold up. Before:

One friend complained about GTA, admitted she’d never played the game and then offered this: “If you really are interested in deep psychoanalysis… the truth of my disdain for games is from a negative relationship — [a former boyfriend] would play for hours, upon hours, upon hours. Maybe I felt neglected, ignored and disrespected.”

After:

One friend complained about Facebook, admitted she’d never surfed the website and then offered this: “If you really are interested in deep psychoanalysis… the truth of my disdain for websites is from a negative relationship — [a former boyfriend] would surf for hours, upon hours, upon hours. Maybe I felt neglected, ignored and disrespected.”

Even the analysis of the language offers parallels. Original:

“I haven’t found this kind of attitude about games per se. But in my version of your dinner party anecdote, I start with ‘I make games,’ not ‘I make videogames,’ and I’ve never had a response like the one you describe. This leads me to wonder if the very term ‘videogames’ is the problem meme.”

Substitution:

“I haven’t found this kind of attitude about websites per se. But in my version of your dinner party anecdote, I start with ‘I make websites,’ not ‘I make social networking sites,’ and I’ve never had a response like the one you describe. This leads me to wonder if the very term ‘social networking sites’ is the problem meme.”

But most telling of all are the quotes in the closing passages that haven’t been changed one jot from the original:

“If I had a choice, I would want to include these distrustful folks in finding solutions. I would prefer it if they understood. I would prefer it if they could see the long sequence of events that is going to address their fears and create the medium they will inevitably love and participate in, whether they expect to or not. What’s sad is that their ideological, ignorant, hostile, one-dimensional attitudes oversimplify one of the most beautiful problems in human history.”

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Spokeo? More like Spooky-o; bad practice taken to the extreme. at Aral Balkan

Aral points to what is possibly the most egregious password anti-pattern implementation yet: a new startup called Spokeo http://www.spokeo.com/public/join

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Google Code Blog: URLs are People, Too

This is great news! Brad Fitzpatrick and Kevin Marks have built a new Google API that will spider XFN links.

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Waxy.org: Daily Log: The Times (UK) Spamming Social Media Sites

Andy Baio does a nice bit of investigative journalism in exposing the social network spammer hired by The Times. The internet treats crass marketing as damage and routes around it.

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

If all your friends jumped off of a bridge… at Ben Brown, Internet Rockstar

Ben Brown outlines the reasons why he left Facebook: "I think it is important to note that Facebook, though they claim to be a tool for staying connected, is actually a software tool designed *primarily* to deliver marketing messages to its audience."

Friday, January 4th, 2008

It’s high time we moved to URL-based identifiers | FactoryCity

Chris says that URLs are people too: "You’ve got my URL, now, tell me, what else do you really need?"

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Preoccupations: Adactio hits St Paul's

David follows up on my talk at St Paul's with cornucopia of thoughts and links that's more in-depth than the talk itself.

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Giant Global Graph | Decentralized Information Group (DIG) Breadcrumbs

TIm Berners-Lee explains what the "graph" part of "social graph" means. I'm still not keen on the term but I really love the idea (although I also disagree about the building blocks required today).

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

The Global Sympathetic Audience - New York Times

An article about Twitter focusing on one threatened suicide and one averted break-up. Leisa and her excellent phrase "ambient intimacy" are quoted.

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Six Apart - News and Events: We Are Opening the Social Graph

Six Apart are getting ready to make portable social networks a reality. Watch this space for code.

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Open Social Graph @ Plaxo

Try Plaxo's identity consolidator for yourself. Give it a URL that includes rel="me".

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Dopplr Blog » Importing your social network from other sites

Portable social networks are no longer just theory: Dopplr makes it a reality.