Nick Bilton, in the NY Times: "The anthropologist Margaret Mead once said that in traditional societies, the young learn from the old. But in modern societies, the old can also learn from the young. Here’s hoping that politeness never goes out of fashion, but that time-wasting forms of communication do."
Hanna Rosin, writing in the Atlantic: "[A]s technology becomes ubiquitous in our lives, American parents are becoming more, not less, wary of what it might be doing to their children. Technological competence and sophistication have not, for parents, translated into comfort and ease. They have merely created yet another sphere that parents feel they have to navigate in exactly the right way."
The AP reports on a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: "Facebook said last year that roughly 2.7 billion new likes pour out onto the Internet every day — endorsing everything from pop stars to soda pop. That means an ever-expanding pool of data available to marketers, managers and just about anyone else interested in users' inner lives, especially those who aren't careful about their privacy settings."
Nice encapsulation of the big ideas in Morozov's new book, plus an effort to understand why different authors interpret the same source (in this case, Jane Jacobs's work) so differently.
Nathan Jurgenson: "Nothing has contributed more to our collective appreciation for being logged off and technologically disconnected than the very technologies of connection. The ease of digital distraction has made us appreciate solitude with a new intensity. We savor being face-to-face with a small group of friends or family in one place and one time far more thanks to the digital sociality that so fluidly rearranges the rules of time and space. In short, we’ve never cherished being alone, valued introspection, and treasured information disconnection more than we do now."
Interesting interview with Morozov in the Daily Beast: "[I]t’s not a given that there is an 'online' and 'offline' world out there. When you use the telephone, you don’t say that I’m entering some 'telephono-sphere.' You don’t say that, and there is no obvious need to say that when you are using a modem."
Interesting piece on NPR: "Shayne Hughes, CEO of Learning as Leadership, thought his staff had become too dependent on email to communicate. So he launched an experiment: no internal email for one whole week."
The Washington Post: "Does anonymity make us good? Or does it make us bad? And now that we’ve had a good long while to get used to splashing around online, there’s another question to ponder: Does the Internet make it easier for us to be anonymously bad or anonymously better? The answer isn’t so simple."
Lisa Nielsen: "[I]t is common to hear students applying for college or a job say before doing so, they plan to take down their online profiles or change their name to something unidentifiable. Innovative educators know this is not the best strategy. Instead our job is to support young people in creating a responsible digital footprint that, rather than hinder, would attract colleges and employers."
Nick Bilton paid Facebook $7 to promote his column: "To my surprise, I saw a 1,000 percent increase in the interaction on a link I posted, which had 130 likes and 30 reshares in just a few hours. It seems as if Facebook is not only promoting my links on news feeds when I pay for them, but also possibly suppressing the ones I do not pay for."
Two researchers at the University of Wisconsin share the findings of their recent study on "nasty" comments: "The Web, it should be said, is still a marvelous place for public debate. But when it comes to reading and understanding news stories online ... the medium can have a surprisingly potent effect on the message. Comments from some readers, our research shows, can significantly distort what other readers think was reported in the first place."
Tyler Bickford: "If you start with reality, and then you augment it, then you’ve got two distinct things that can always be distinguished. This is a dualist model! The solution here is to stop talking about 'reality' altogether."
Michael Sacasas covers the digital dualism debate between Nathan Jurdenson and Nicholas Carr, pointing to Tyler Bickford's take on the exchange. I think this aside is important: "Let me pause at this point to say that it is not clear that all the parties in this conversation, myself included, have reached what the rhetoricians call stasis — that is, it’s not evident that those involved in the debate know what exactly the debate is about."
Jeff Jarvis: "Do we let the trolls destroy every sprout of optimism with their curmudgeonly naysaying and ad hominem spite? Do we really want to encourage their mean-spirited destruction? Do we want to give them the last word? No."
Time Magazine: "Facebook is supposed to envelope us in the warm embrace of our social network, and scanning friends’ pages is supposed to make us feel loved, supported and important (at least in the lives of those we like). But skimming through photos of friends’ life successes can trigger feelings of envy, misery and loneliness as well, according to researchers from two German universities. The scientists studied 600 people who logged time on the social network and discovered that one in three felt worse after visiting the site—especially if they viewed vacation photos."
Barry Ritholtz: "[I]f I take the time and the energy to construct a coherent, sourced, logical argument that follows the rules of the art of discourse, I no longer feel obligated to post the comments of those who refuse to follow the same said rules."
Terri Oda reminds us that public Twitter lists can reveal our locations, our professions, and more. "So what are your options if you want to hide this information? Well, if I don't like the lists I'm on, I can... uh... There's no apparent way to leave a twitter list. I suspect one could block the list curator, but the people revealing your location are most likely to be actual real life friends: people you wouldn't want to block. So you'd have to resort to asking nicely, but that's assuming you even notice: while you can get notifications of new followers, you do not get notified when you're added to a list."
A fascinating web app by Aaron Zinman at MIT that "uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one's aggregated online identity. In short, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you."
Nathan Jurgenson pushes back against the dualistic idea that we have a "real" self and a "virtual" self: "I am proposing an alternative view that states that our reality is both technological and organic, both digital and physical, all at once. We are not crossing in and out of separate digital and physical realities, ala The Matrix, but instead live in one reality, one that is augmented by atoms and bits."
"Text mining involves the application of techniques from areas such as information retrieval, natural language processing, information extraction and data mining. These various stages of a text-mining process can be combined into a single workflow."
Emily Bazelon, in the Atlantic: "In the early days of the Internet, the primary danger to kids seemed to be from predatory adults. But it turns out that the perils adults pose, although they can be devastating, are rare. The far more common problem kids face when they go online comes from other kids: the hum of low-grade hostility, punctuated by truly damaging explosions, that is called cyberbullying."
Douglas Rushkoff: "Facebook has never been merely a social platform. Rather, it exploits our social interactions the way a Tupperware party does. Facebook does not exist to help us make friends, but to turn our network of connections, brand preferences, and activities over time — our 'social graphs' — into a commodity for others to exploit."
Evgeny Morozov, in the Wall Street Journal: "As smart technologies become more intrusive, they risk undermining our autonomy by suppressing behaviors that someone somewhere has deemed undesirable. Smart forks inform us that we are eating too fast. Smart toothbrushes urge us to spend more time brushing our teeth. Smart sensors in our cars can tell if we drive too fast or brake too suddenly."
Transcript of Corinne Weisgerber's fascinating webCom keynote: "If our identities are socially constructed through our stage performances, it matters whether they are viewed through the lense of a human being or an algorithm. It matters because humans and search engines don’t see the same thing when they bump into you online."
This move is almost pure gimmick, but it does highlight the importance of managing your online presence: "For the next month, Enterasys — a wireless network provider — will be considering applicants for a six-figure senior social media position, but no paper résumés will be accepted. Instead, the company has decided to recruit solely via Twitter."
This is a great post by Jeff Atwood about Discourse, a new approach to online forums, but it also identifies so many of the longstanding problems (technological and social) related to discussion forums on the web.
Instructions for version 5 of TAGS.
New social networking site designed specifically for physical neighborhoods. (Because knocking on your neighbor's door is horrifying.)
Archived, normalized tweets, available in chunks of 10,000, 100,000, and 1,000,000. Very cool.
Clive Thompson's 2008 NY Times story about Facebook: "Facebook users didn’t think they wanted constant, up-to-the-minute updates on what other people are doing. Yet when they experienced this sort of omnipresent knowledge, they found it intriguing and addictive. Why?"