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Digital Culture Links: July 28th 2010

Links for July 21st 2010 through July 28th 2010:

  • How Twitter Is Being Used In The Election Campaign [National Times] – Axel Bruns offers a quick look at how Twitter is being used in the Australian politician election campaigning to date: short version, the candidates aren’t doing brilliantly well and #ausvotes is the real hashtag, while #ozvotes is all about electing wizards! 🙂
  • Julia Gillard Impersonators On The Rise [National Times] – There are a lot more fake Julia Gillards on Twitter than the real one (currently our PM); most of the fake ones are much funnier, and all of them get that Twitter isn’t just a broadcast platform (the real one hasn’t figured this out, yet).
  • Old Spice Sales Double With YouTube Campaign [Mashable] – Apparently social media + charismatic actor + great scripts = advertising gold: “You know those YouTube videos with that manly Old Spice guy and his hilarious responses to Twitter fans? Of course you do. So does everybody, it seems, because Old Spice body wash sales have increased 107% in the past month thanks to that social media marketing campaign. We already published stats from video analytics company Visible Measures that made it clear that the Old Spice guy was a hugely successful initiative from marketing firm Wieden + Kennedy, achieving millions of viral video views quicker than past hits like Susan Boyle and U.S. President Barack Obama’s election victory speech. The statistic of the 107% sales increase over the past month comes from Nielsen…”
  • Amazon’s ebook milestone: digital sales outstrip hardbacks for first time in US [The Guardian] – “In what could be a watershed for the publishing industry, Amazon said sales of digital books have outstripped US sales of hardbacks on its website for the first time. Amazon claims to have sold 143 digital books for its e-reader, the Kindle, for every 100 hardback books over the past three months. The pace of change is also accelerating.”
  • Skin Whitening, Tanning, and Vaseline’s Controversial Facebook Ad Campaign [danah boyd | apophenia] – An insightful look at a controversy that has sprung up about a Vaseline ad on Facebook, aimed at India, for a skin whitening cream which offers a preview of a whitened face. boyd does a great job of showing how racism is often culturally and historically specific, and that Americans who are deeply offended by the ads really need to engage with how the ads are read by the Indian internet users who are targeted. boyd stresses that most histories of racism and the meaning of skin-colour are deeply problematic, but the main point is that these operate quite differently in different places and cultures, and that these contexts need to be taken into consideration.
  • Gay zombie porn gets festival flick [The Age] – Film censorship returns to Australia – gay zombie film in peril: “The Australian censor has banned a film from screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival for the first time in seven years – a work described as ”gay zombie porn”. Festival director Richard Moore received a letter yesterday from the Film Classification Board director Donald McDonald, stating that L.A. Zombie, the latest offering from Canadian provocateur Bruce LaBruce, could not be screened as it would in his opinion be refused classification. The festival is not generally required to submit films for classification, but after reading a synopsis of the plot of L.A. Zombie, which features wound penetration and implied sex with corpses, the Classification Board requested a DVD to watch, and then refused to issue an exemption. It is the first film to be banned from the festival circuit since Larry Clark’s Ken Park in 2003.”

Digital Culture Links: February 2nd 2010

Links for February 2nd 2010:

  • Labor gags internet debate [AdelaideNow] – Where did this ridiculous law come from? “South Australia has become one of the few states in the world to censor the internet. The new law, which came into force on January 6, requires internet bloggers, and anyone making a comment on next month’s state election, to publish their real name and postcode when commenting on the poll. The law will affect anyone posting a comment on an election story on The Advertiser’s AdelaideNow website, as well as other news sites such as The Punch, the ABC’s The Drum and Fairfax newspapers’ National Times site. It also appears to apply to election comment made on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.” I think Andrew Bartlett’s response is most appropriate: “Draconian, dumb, futile and foolish are a few descriptions that spring to mind. I’d also say it’s unworkable in terms of it’s stated purpose, but it could none the less snare innocent parties…”
  • Led by Facebook, Twitter, Global Time Spent on Social Media Sites up 82% Year over Year [Nielsen Wire] – According to The Nielsen Company, global* consumers spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, an 82% increase from the same time last year when users were spending just over three hours on social networking sites. In addition, the overall traffic to social networking sites has grown over the last three years. Globally, social networks and blogs are the most popular online category when ranked by average time spent in December, followed by online games and instant messaging. With 206.9 million unique visitors, Facebook was the No. 1 global social networking destination in December 2009 and 67% of global social media users visited the site during the month. Time on site for Facebook has also been on the rise, with global users spending nearly six hours per month on the site. […] Australia led in average time per person spent, with the average Australian spending nearly 7 hours on social media sites in December.”
  • Amazon to Macmillan: You Win (for Now) [Mashable] – After a war of words (both in press, and for sale) Amazon have capitulated and will allow Macmillan to dictate the prices of Kindle eBooks from Macmillan’s range. From Amazon’s statement: “Macmillan, one of the “big six” publishers, has clearly communicated to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching to an agency model and charging $12.99 to $14.99 for e-book versions of bestsellers and most hardcover releases. We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. “

Digital Culture Links: January 22nd 2010

Links for January 22nd 2010:

  • Essay on Identity 2.0: Constructing identity with cultural software [Anne Helmond] – Great paper! "…deals with the change of identity on the web as a result of the assemblage of social software platforms, engines and users. It can be stated that major platforms for presenting the self online have developed over time: the homepage, the blog, the social networking profile, the micro-blog and the lifestream. They each have their own specific way for presenting the self online. The advent of the search engine has had a major impact on both the construction and the presentation of the online identity. Search engines not only index the platforms on which identity is performed, but they also organize and construct identity online. They act as a central point where identity performance is indexed. Since identity construction and identity performance have significantly changed with the advent of these engines, identity must be reconsidered. It can be argued that the assembly of platform, engine and user has constructed a new type of identity: Identity 2.0. …"
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  • Clinton Urges Global Response to Internet Attacks [NYTimes.com] – "Declaring that an attack on one nation’s computer networks “can be an attack on all,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a warning on Thursday that the United States would defend itself from cyberattacks, though she left unclear the means of response. In a sweeping, pointed address that dealt with the Internet as a force for both liberation and repression, Mrs. Clinton said: “Those who disrupt the free flow of information in our society or any other pose a threat to our economy, our government and our civil society. Countries or individuals that engage in cyber-attacks should face consequences and international condemnation.” Her speech was the first in which a senior American official had articulated a vision for making Internet freedom a plank of American foreign policy.""
  • With Rival E-Book Readers, It’s Amazon vs. Apple [NYTimes.com] – You’re nobody unless you’ve got an app store these days! "It’s a formidable high-tech face-off: Amazon.com versus Apple for the hearts and minds of book publishers, authors and readers. Amazon’s Kindle devices and electronic bookstore now dominate a nascent but booming market, accounting for more than 70 percent of electronic reader sales and 80 percent of e-book purchases, according to some analysts. And on Thursday it will take a page from Apple and announce that it is opening up the Kindle to outside software developers. Apple’s much-anticipated tablet computer, which is widely expected to be announced next Wednesday and go on sale this spring, will be a far more versatile (and expensive) device that will offer access to books, newspapers and other reading material through Apple’s popular App Store on iTunes."

Digital Culture Links: July 22nd 2009

Links for July 14th 2009 through July 22nd 2009:

  • How-To: Read George Orwell’s 1984 on your Kindle [Make Online] – “Citizen! If you bought a copy of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-four,” (1984) for your Kindle it was deleted. It appears that the publisher changed its mind about digital versions (update, they were never allowed to publish them in the first place) and Amazon reached in and removed it from your reader. Sorry for the inconvenience! So, what to do? Let’s assume you’re going to go on a nice trip, like Australia, and you really wanted to read 1984 – once you get there, you can easily reload your Kindle with a copy of 1984.” (Yes, under Australian copyright law, 1984 is in the public domain!) [Via BBoing]
  • Australia’s Digital Economy: Future Directions [Federal Government] – “The Australian Government released the Australia’s Digital Economy: Future Directions paper on 14 July 2009 which outlines: * why the digital economy is important for Australia * the current state of digital economy engagement in Australia and why current metrics point to a need for strategic action * the elements of a successful digital economy * the role for the Government in developing Australia’s digital economy, and * case studies of Australians who have successfully engaged with the digital economy from a diversity of industries including content, e-health, maps, banking, education, smart technology and citizen journalism.”
  • SharePod – Nifty freeware application for backing up music FROM your iPod/iPhone to your PC. Especially useful if your computer dies and you want to restore your library from your iPod rather than ripping the music of 200+ CDs!
  • Iran – The Rebellion Network [Foreign Correspondent – ABC] – Foreign Correspondent Story: ‘The Rebellion Network’ originally broadcast 07/07/2009, reporter: Eric Campbell. A solid overview of the role of social media in the post-election protests and other social movements in Iran (with particular mention of Twitter).

Annotated Links of Interest: October 12th 2008

Links of interest for October 9th 2008 through October 12th 2008:

  • VloggerHeads – An 18+ onlys videoblogging site where comments are – in theory – taken seriously and meaningful conversations are encouraged between videobloggers. Yes, they’ve left YouTube for good reason. There’s a good rundown on the rationale behind the site in this Wired article: “Sick of Griefers, YouTube Vloggers Start Members-Only Site“.
  • A Decade of Internet Superstars: Where Are They Now? [PC World] – A puff piece looking at the trajectories of internet meme folk after their meme’s energy has run out. Would you believe Chris “leave Britney alone!” Crocker has released his own single? Jennifer “Jennicam” Ringley has completely dropped off the web after being the most visible person on it for a while. And the Ask a Ninja guys are still answering questions … like ninjas.
  • Tweethearts: blogger proposes to nerd girlfriend over Twitter, she tweets back acceptance. – Boing Boing – “seanbonner: @tarabrown so, um, you wanna get hitched?” Proposal by Twitter! (She says yes!)
  • Video Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube [Institute of Network Cultures] – A fantastic collection of scholarly essays looking at YouTube as a cultural phenomenon. The entire collection is released under a Creative Commons (CC BY NC SA) license and features work by: Tilman Baumgärtel, Jean Burgess, Dominick Chen, Sarah Cook, Sean Cubitt, Stefaan Decostere, Thomas Elsaesser, David Garcia, Alexandra Juhasz, Nelli Kambouri and Pavlos Hatzopoulos, Minke Kampman, Seth Keen, Sarah Késenne, Marsha Kinder, Patricia Lange, Elizabeth Losh, Geert Lovink, Andrew Lowenthal, Lev Manovich, Adrian Miles, Matthew Mitchem, Sabine Niederer, Ana Peraica, Birgit Richard, Keith Sanborn, Florian Schneider, Tom Sherman, Jan Simons, Thomas Thiel, Vera Tollmann, Andreas Treske, Peter Westenberg.
  • YouTube Links to Online Music Stores [Google OS] – “YouTube started to add links to iTunes and Amazon MP3 for music videos from EMI Music and Universal Music. “Click-to-buy links are non-obtrusive retail links, placed on the watch page beneath the video with the other community features. Just as YouTube users can share, favorite, comment on, and respond to videos quickly and easily, now users can click-to-buy products — like songs and video games — related to the content they’re watching on the site,” announces Google Blog. … For now, the links are only available in the US, but they will be added internationally if this experiment turns out to be a success.”

Annotated Links of Interest: September 25th 2008

Links of interest for September 24th 2008 through September 25th 2008:

  • ‘Heroes’ Causes BitTorrent Boom [TorrentFreak] – “An example of the BitTorrent traffic boost was reported yesterday, as Mininova got 10 million downloads in a single da. A record breaking figure, in part thanks to the debut of ‘Heroes’ and several other shows. Other BitTorrent sites report a similar increase in traffic. It’s Heroes that breaks all the records though. Our statistics show that, across all BitTorrent sites, the two episodes from Heroes’ season opening were downloaded well over a million times each – in just one day. The vast majority of the downloads come from outside the US (92%), where shows usually air weeks, months or even years later. The show was downloaded the most in the UK (15%), where the official season opening is scheduled for October 1st. Canada, France and Australia complete the top 5.” (Which is really interesting to compare with the US domestic TV viewership was down 25%.
  • Banned for keeps on Facebook for odd name [The Age] – “Facebook users with even slightly unusual names beware: your account can be suspended by the site’s draconian administrators without warning and your personal information held to ransom until you show them a government-issued ID. That reality was made all too clear for Sydneysider Elmo Keep this month when she tried to login to her account and was told she was banned for violating the site’s terms of use. She is the latest in a string of people to be banned from the site without any prior warning or recourse because Facebook believed they were not using their real names. … This and countless other questionable rules has led some to sound the alarm on the dangers of entrusting one’s online identity to Facebook and relying on it so heavily for social interaction.” (Run with the irony: this post has an “add to facebook” button at the end of the page!)
  • Spore copyright control relaxed [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “Video game maker Electronic Arts has loosened copyright protection for the newest release of its game Spore. Released earlier in the month, the game received a flurry of complaints about a restriction that meant the game could only be registered to three computers. That restriction has now been raised to five computers, which the company says should account for all legitimate uses. The company has also addressed the complaint that each copy of the game only allows one player to use it. ” (A step in the right direction … a small step, I should add, but it would be Spore suicide for EA not to learn from the Amazon one-star anti-DRM protest!)
  • Doh! Cartoons pulled from Russian TV [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Pornographic, extremist and immoral – that’s how Russian prosecutors are describing popular US cartoons like The Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park. The channel that carries them has been forced to suspend broadcasts of the offending programs pending legal action. On Wednesday (local time), a meeting of a government monitoring agency could take channel 2×2 off the air.” (I wonder how long it will take before South Park is advertised with the tagline “Pornographic, extremist and immoral – Russia”?)
  • Priceless! (Microsoft Ad Campaign Made on Mac [Flickr] – “The new microsoft ad campaign includes photos in their website www.microsoft.com/presspass/windows/imageGallery.aspx made in a mac! Hilarious! A good story around this issue by Daniel Eran Dilger at this link.” (More in The Age.)

Links for August 11th 2008

Interesting links for August 10th 2008 through August 11th 2008:

  • having “exclusive rights” in a region is a remnant of the twentieth century’s mass media [jill/txt] – “The tyranny of digital distance is most often experienced by people outside of the United States. … Another aspect of these cultural blockades where being outside of the US has been an advantage is baseball. In the US, if you’ve moved away from where the team you support is based you often won’t be able to watch their games because the local television stations won’t broadcast them. So MLB.tv lets you subscribe to watch all baseball games – except local ones, because the local television stations have exclusive rights to them. If you live outside of the US, you have no local games – so you can watch every baseball game live, no holds barred.”
  • Wizard People, Dear Reader by Brad Neely (NOT Harry Potter) [Illegal Art] – Brad Neely’s hilarious “unauthorized re-envisioning of Harry Potter and the Philosophers/Sorcerer’s Stone”, released in 2004. It’s a long audio parody to be played at the same time as the DVD of the first Harry Potter film. Like a DVD commentary for evil! [YouTube Version] [Script] [Wikipedia Entry]
  • 1.8 million hits in four days for grocery pricing website. [WA Today] – “The new GROCERYchoice website received 1.8 million hits in its first four days, showing consumers are interested in the information it provides, federal Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen says. GROCERYchoice was launched last week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to provide consumers with more information about grocery prices.”
  • How to Get Your Indie Film on iTunes (…It’s Not Easy) [CinemaTech] – Scott Kirsner’s really useful guide to distributing independent films via iTunes and (more feasibly) via their main competitors like Amazon Unbox. For the upcoming filmmakers of tomorrow, this is essential information! (Especially if you’re already planning your own Dr Horrible!)
  • Amazon Adds Universal Wish List [Micro Persuasion] – Amazon.com’s Wish List feature has been around a long time – over 10 years in fact. However, recently the e-commerce site expanded it with a new feature called The Universal Wish List. Using a simple bookmarklet … you can now add any item to your list from anywhere on the web.” (I use Amazon’s wish lists a lot, both for purchases and to fill out bibliographies of new books, so this looks like a really useful little addition to me!)

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