Links for September 23rd 2010 through September 30th 2010:

  • Why I’m quitting Twitter [Jason Wilson – ABC The Drum Unleashed] – Jason Wilson’s decision to quit Twitter begs some interesting questions about academics in public debate: “My first reaction to the Grog’sgate story was disbelief and disgust, which I put out there as soon as it registered. There’s still some of that in my considered response, but it’s my professional role as someone whose research and teaching crosses over with the events of Grog’sgate to lead with considered analysis, not trail with it. Twitter encourages one (or me, at least) to vent immediate replies, which may not match, may even contradict a more disinterested evaluation. I’m not paid or qualified for minute-by-minute commentary, but for analysis and research. My personal opinions are my own, and they’re quite distinct from, and often incompatible with any professional conclusions I might draw. But I need to make that clearer by not issuing professional and personal messages from the same space. Since I’ve ruled out separate accounts, the whole thing needs to come to a halt.”
  • Tweets in your media, media in your Tweets [Twitter Blog] – Twitter officially pushes symbiotic relationships w/other media: “While Twitter is about all types of information, the ways that the service fits into media have long been important to us, and increasingly, media makers are weaving Tweets into the very fabric of their content. Look at segments like Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Hashtags, where Tweets from viewers aren’t a gimmick; they’re great content. Look at sites like the Huffington Post, where Tweets underscore and amplify the headlines whenever there’s a big story brewing. Look at live shows like the VMAs, where Twitter came alive on a 95-foot-wide screen. Now, with the launch of the new Twitter, the ways that media fits into Twitter.com are just as important. Whenever there’s a new movie release, a TV show premiere, a big football game, or a breaking news story, people are talking about it on Twitter. With the new Twitter, they’re seeing glimpses of it, too, because photos and videos are now presented as part of the core Twitter experience.”
  • Invasion of Privacy Charges After Death of Tyler Clementi [NYTimes.com] – A sad but timely reminder about the potential ramifications of not respecting people’s right to privacy: “It started with a Twitter message on Sept. 19: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.” That night, the authorities say, the Rutgers University student who sent the message used a camera in his dormitory room to stream the roommate’s intimate encounter live on the Internet. And three days later, the roommate who had been surreptitiously broadcast — Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman and an accomplished violinist — jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River in an apparent suicide.”
  • When traditional media exposes public service bloggers [eGov AU] – Craig Thomler has a reasonable snapshot of “#grogsgate” as the anonymous writer behind political blog Grog’s Gamut has his identity revealed in the daily national newspaper (he’s a public servant). Thomler points out that Grog broke no rules, followed the social media and commentary policies of his employment, and that the ‘outing’ seems pretty petty and unnecessary. It does, though, remind us that having separable online and ‘real’ identities is a harder and harder thing to do these days. Read the outing in The Australian, and Grog’s Response.
  • French court convicts Google and its boss for defamation [WA Today] – Is an algorithm a defense? If not, most search engines, and social networks, have troubled legal water to navigate: “A Paris court has convicted US search engine giant Google and its chief executive Eric Schmidt of defamation over results from its “suggest” function, a French legal affairs website has revealed. The new function, which suggests options as you type in a word, brought up the words “rapist” and “satanist” when the plaintiff’s name was typed into the search engine, legalis.net reported. The court ordered Google to make a symbolic payment of one euro in damages and take measures to ensure they could be no repeat of the offence. […] A Google spokesman told AFP by email that they would be appealing the ruling. The statement said that the Google Suggest function simply reflected the most common terms used in the past with words entered, so it was not Google itself that was making the suggestions.

Links for August 4th 2010 through August 10th 2010:

  • Women Set the Pace as Online Gamers [NYTimes.com] – “Although women are still slightly in the minority among global Web users, they are closing ground with men and, once connected, spend about two more hours online a month on average. […] Women also outpace men in photo sharing and shopping, and in what may come as a surprise, gaming, favoring casual puzzle, card and board games. Female gamers over 55 spend the most time online gaming of any demographic by far and are nearly as common as the most represented group, males 15 to 24.”
  • Wikipedia’s Lamest Edit Wars [Information is Beautiful] – Fantastic infographic showing a timeline of some of Wikipedia’s silliest editing wars.
  • Omo GPS stunt opens doors for marketers [News.com.au] – Unilever Brazil has embedded 60 GPS trackers in OMO washing liquid bottles and then their teams have followed the pruchasers of these bottles home and given them prizes. Understandably, many privacy issues have been raised!
  • Does Facebook unite us or divide us? [CNN.com] – Brilliant, and a little confronting, TED talk from Ethan Zuckerman (senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society) looking at how globalisation might be a technical achievement, but not a social or mediated one (“cosmopolitan globalisation”). We look to our own social networks, and they increasingly narrow our perspective rather than broadening it.
  • Update on Google Wave [Official Google Blog] – Google Wove: Wave development ceases, after users find it’s all too complicated.
  • CommBank app lets people snoop on your house [SMH] – House-pricing information is apparently available to the public generally, but there is a real sense of privacy invasion at work here: “There’s a brand new property app on the block that gives iPhone users detailed information on the value of any house they care to point their handset towards, but privacy experts warn it may not sit well with the neighbourhood watch. Detailing sales prices of 95 per cent of Australian homes, the free app has been launched by the Commonwealth Bank in a bid to deliver more immediate buying and selling information to the public as they are actually viewing properties, helping them to ward off rogue sellers who attempt to talk up property prices. Just by pointing an iPhone at a particular property, they will be able to see the last sale price of the property, and if the home is actually for sale, the app will bring up a listing from realestate.com.au with details such as home layout and pictures.”
  • Thunderous Bolt sensitive to parody [ABC The Drum Unleashed] – Jason Wilson weighs in on fake Twitter profiles in the wake of Andrew Bolt’s angry denouncement of (fake) himself: “Online fakery is something that draws on different strands in online and offline cultural history. Apart from drawing on early online examples like Fake Steve Jobs, Twitter faking has links with political impersonation, writing techniques like pastiche, and it also has some relationship to genres like fan fiction. After all, the best fakes don’t just go after their targets with blunt instruments, they create a narrative world for the fake persona to inhabit …”