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Digital Culture Links: March 15th 2010
March 15, 2010 / 3 Comments on Digital Culture Links: March 15th 2010
Links for March 12th 2010 through March 15th 2010:
- 9 Million Australians Use Social Networks [Nielsen] – “Nielsen Online released their “Nielsen 2010 Social Media Report” today which has a wealth of statisitcs on the social media landscape here in Australia. Among the findings:
* 9 million Australians now interact via social networks
* content sharing is the most popular activity
* 4 in 5 Australian Internet users have shared a photo
* Twitter usage grew by 400% in 2009
* Nearly 3/4 of Australians read a wiki
* 2 in 5 Australians interact with companies via social networks”
Read a PDF of their press release.
- “Making Sense of Privacy and Publicity” by danah boyd [danah.org] – danah boyd tackles the issues of privacy and social media head on, arguing privacy is far from dead, but that the world is a bit different, the rules are a bit different, and the way privacy, publicity and openess operate can be different but neither absolute nor gone.
- What’s Happening—and Where? [Twitter Blog] – Twitter now officially supports geotagging but quite sensibly you have to OPT IN to use it: “Every day, millions of tweets are created. These little bursts of information are about anything and everything—they make Twitter a hub for discovering what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world. A recent burst of interest in location sharing applications, games, and services has many Twitter users excited about appending geographic data to some of their tweets. Not everyone wants to add their current location to a tweet so this feature is off by default and must be activated to use. Check out How To Tweet with Your Location to learn how you can turn it on.”People who choose to add this additional layer of context help make Twitter a richer information network for all of us—location data can make tweets more useful.
- Reuters to Journalists: Don’t Break News on Twitter [Mashable] – “Last night, Reuters released their social media policy, which includes instructing journalists to avoid exposing bias online and tells them specifically not to “scoop the wire” by breaking stories on Twitter. The strict instruction makes it clear that even though news continually breaks on Twitter first — especially in disaster scenarios — Reuters journalists are to break their stories first via the wire and not on Twitter. The social media policy in question also addresses a number of other Twitter, Facebook, and online concerns, offering up instructions and recommendations whenever possible.”
- Conan O’Brien Embraces Team Coco – Poster and All – Media Decoder Blog – NYTimes.com – Conan knows his fans! “With Thursday’s announcement of Conan O’Brien’s 30-city tour, the former late-night comedian is fully embracing his online fan base, “Team Coco.” The official poster for the tour re-uses the image made famous on the Internet of a heroic Mr. O’Brien, orange hair aflame, in front of an American flag. The image was produced by Mike Mitchell, an artist in Los Angeles, as a show of support for Mr. O’Brien when NBC tried in January to move “The Tonight Show” to 12:05 a.m. Within days the image and its message, “I’m With Coco,” was a viral sensation, inspiring dozens of pro-Conan groups on Facebook. Several of Mr. O’Brien’s employees even made the image their Facebook profile photo. Now they have formally adopted the image as their own. Days after Mr. O’Brien signed off of “The Tonight Show” on Jan. 22, one of the comedian’s producers contacted Mr. Mitchell and said that they wanted the “Coco” illustration to be the emblem of a nationwide tour they were planning. “
- “I’m With CoCo” Artist Makes Big Bucks From Conan’s Tour [Mashable] – “Mike Mitchell, the artist who created the now-iconic “I’m With CoCo” image of Conan O’Brien that has circulated through Facebook profile pictures and blogs since NBC’s The Tonight Show scheduling controversy, told TMZ that he’s been paid by Conan’s producers for the right to use the image during Conan’s impending “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.” TMZ reports that the producers paid him well enough that he can “take a very, very long vacation.” Mitchell originally posted the image to TwitPic, but it achieved meme status when it became the profile image for the huge “I’m With CoCo” Facebook (Facebook) group that was used to promote the real-world pro-Conan rallies. “
Digital Culture Links: January 1st 2010
January 1, 2010 / 10 Comments on Digital Culture Links: January 1st 2010
A bunch of links to see in the New Year (Happy 2010!):
- it’s too late, it’s too soon [the kleptones] – A new Kleptones remix album to see in 2010. Nice.
- Social media terms are Words Of The Year 2009 [Computerworld] – “Words from the world of technology and social media are among those identified as the “Words of the Year 2009” in a list commissioned by Oxford University Press. The New Oxford American Dictionary had already announced the verb ‘unfriend’ (“To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook”) as its word of the year, confirming the social-networking term’s ubiquity. […] Also derived from Twitter is the word “Hastag” – meaning the # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets that contain similarly tagged items. “Tag cloud” (a visual depiction of the word content of a website, or of user-generated tags attached to online content) was also picked out as one of the words of the year.”
- In 2009, Social Media Overtook Web 2.0 – GRAPHS [Mashable] – “Web 2.0. A few years ago, it was the hottest buzzword around. It refers to the second generation of web apps following the Internet bubble that devastated not only Silicon Valley, but our economy in general. Social Media. While its definition is not yet etched in stone, most believe it describes a new type of media and communication that creates a world conversation and dialogue. Instead of being fed news (a one-to-many dissemination approach), everyone is welcomed to be a content creator and to generate a debate around that content. While its focus is the web, it goes beyond it as well. Web 2.0 is a term that has been around since 2004. And as this graph of Google search volume indicates, it reached its peak in 2007 and 2008. But while the term is less frequently used and is in many ways outdated, its been a far more well-known and popular term than social media — until now.”
- Location, Location, Location: 5 Big Predictions for 2010 [Mashable] – Will location be the next big thing in social media? Where did you update your Facebook status from … and did you really want to share it? “GPS-aware mobile devices have become commonplace, which means connecting the dots between what you’re doing and where you’re doing it is easier than ever. In 2009, location-sharing applications finally emerged in user-friendly formats, altering the way we think about where we are and helping us understand more of the meaning behind the data in aggregate. Technology early adopters showed a predilection towards mobile location-based games, discovering that check-ins could mean something and that being the mayor of a venue might earn them a free drink. Now that businesses are actively exploring the opportunities that these location-aware services provide, we’ll see location matter more than ever in 2010. 1. Facebook Status Updates Will Become Location-Aware […] 5. Location Will Be Both Media Darling and Cautionary Tale”
- [MLA 09] “Blogging, Scholarship, and the Networked Public Sphere” Draft [The Chutry Experiment ] – Chuck Tryon takes a fresh look at scholarly blogging from the 2009 MLA: “… the most notable aspect of blogging may be the temporal orientation that encourages daily or semi-daily publication. Although writing frequently may seem to discourage the deeper reflection privileged in academic essays, writing often, for a large audience, also provides the opportunity not only to benefit from the expertise of a wide range of readers–whether scholars or industry professionals–but also to build a well-developed, cross-referenced archive that can serve as a kind of history of the present. In this sense, it is worthwhile to return to Shambu’s comments about what he values about blogging: blogs allow us to educate ourselves in public, to learn collectively about pertinent issues, as we seek to make sense of our current moment of media transition.”
- Race and Social Network Sites: Putting Facebook’s Data in Context [apophenia] – danah boyd takes a hard look at race in relation to social networks: “A few weeks ago, Facebook’s data team released a set of data addressing a simple but complex question: How Diverse is Facebook? Given my own work over the last two years concerning the intersection of race/ethnicity/class and social network sites, I feel the need to respond. And, with pleasure, I’m going to respond by sharing a draft of a new paper. […] access is important. But I’m much more concerned about how racist and classist attitudes are shaping digital media, how technology reinforces inequality, and how our habit of assuming that everyone uses social media just like we do reinforces social divisions that we prefer to ignore.”
- United State of Pop 2009: Blame It on the Pop [DJ Earworm – Music Mashups] – DJ Earworm mixes the top 25 US billboard chart singles into a single mashup. The source material isn’t exactly inspiring, but there’s a lot of art getting all of this into a single song. (For my money, the United States of Pop 2008 was probably better, but that might just be because I knew at least some of those songs!) The video’s on YouTube, too.
- The Absent Presence: Today’s Faculty [Brian Croxall] – Brian Croxall’s MLA paper (presented in absentia) which clearly elucidates the casualisation of US academia (like Australia and elsewhere, too): “… having a faculty majority comprised of contingent faculty means a lot more than just conferences being less and less attended. In my case, it means that my students cannot easily meet with me for office hours since contingent faculty don’t really have offices. It means that they do not get effective, personal mentoring because I have too many students. It means that I cannot give the small and frequent assignments that I believe teach them more than a “3-paper class” because I do not have time to grade 90 students’ small and frequent assignments. It means that the courses they can take from me will not be updated as frequently as I think is ideal because I will be spending all of my spare time looking for more secure employment—or working a part-time job.”
- HP camera ‘can’t see’ black faces [BBC News] – A very clear way to explain how race is still an issue in software and hardware design – it’s the presumption of a ‘normal user’ which is so often white: “A YouTube video suggesting that face recognition cameras installed in HP laptops cannot detect black faces has had over one million views. The short movie, uploaded earlier this month, features “Black Desi” and his colleague “White Wanda”. When Wanda, a white woman, is in front of the screen, the camera zooms to her face and moves as she moves. But when Desi, a black man, does the same, the camera does not respond by tracking him. The clip is light-hearted in tone but is titled “HP computers are racist”.” The video:
- Avatar To Sink Titanic at Box Office [WA Today] – In Australian movie theatres: “Avatar has raced to almost $36 million in its first 13 days. Helped by higher ticket prices for 3-D, giant screen and premium cinema sessions, the science-fiction epic is expected to become one of the country’s top 10 highest-grossing movies by today or tomorrow. The general manager of film for the Greater Union chain, Peter Cody, predicted yesterday that Avatar would top Titanic after an ”outstanding” opening fortnight. ”There’s every likelihood it will go on to gross north of $60 million,” he said. ”Even if the film drops 50 per cent in week three – and I don’t think it will – that’s $50 million.’ […] Despite the financial downturn and the popularity of home cinema, the Australian box office is expected to break the $1 billion mark for the first time this year. Given it was up 15 per cent to the end of November, the annual tally is expected to easily top last year’s record $945.4 million.”
- UK Government Report Shows That Digital Economy Bill Will Cost More Than Highest ‘Piracy’ Estimates, Drive 40,000 Offline [Techdirt] – Even just on the economic side this seems rather silly: “As the UK considers Peter Mandelson’s Digital Economy Bill, a UK government report that looks into the likely impact of the law is incredibly damning. It finds that the plans to send threat letters to users and eventually kick them offline based on accusations (not convictions) would cost consumers in the neighborhood of £500 million. Note, of course, that the music industry itself claims that £200 million worth of music is downloaded in the UK per year (and, of course, that’s only “losses” if you use the ridiculous and obviously incorrect calculation that each download is a “lost sale”).”
Digital Culture Links: August 14th 2009
Links for August 6th 2009 through August 14th 2009:
- Gaiman and Doctorow Discuss Giving It Away [Tor.com / Science fiction and fantasy] – A few short questions with Doctorow and Gaimain about the usefulness (and profitability) of giving books away for free online. This quote from Neil Gaiman about giving away American Gods for a month is probably the most important: “It’s been really fun in my own slow way nudging HarperCollins out of the stone ages and into the dark ages. As far as I’m concerned the entire argument [of the validity of giving digital books away] was won at the point where I got them to put American Gods online…we gave it away for free for a month, and during the course of that month and for about four weeks after, the number of copies of all of my books…went up three hundred percent. As far as I’m concerned, that answered that question.”
- Bringing the power of Creative Commons to Google Books [Inside Google Books] – Google Books now supports Creative Commons licenses: “Rightsholders who want to distribute their CC-licensed books more widely can choose to allow readers around the world to download, use, and share their work via Google Books. Creative Commons licenses make it easier for authors and publishers to tell readers whether and how they can use copyrighted books. You can grant your readers the right to share the work or to modify and remix it. You can decide whether commercial use is okay. There’s even a license to dedicate your book to the public domain. If you’re a rightsholder interested in distributing your CC-licensed book on Google Books, you have a few different options. If you’re already part of our Partner Program, you can make your book available under CC by updating account settings. If not, you can sign up as a partner. You can select from one of seven Creative Commons licenses, and usage permissions will vary depending on the license.”
- apophenia: Teens Don’t Tweet… Or Do They? – danah boyd unpacks the claim that teens don’t tweet and finds the data lacking and misinterpreted.
- Murdoch signals end of free news [BBC NEWS | Business] – “News Corp is set to start charging online customers for news content across all its websites. The media giant is looking for additional revenue streams after announcing big losses. Mr Murdoch said he was “satisfied” that the company could produce “significant revenues from the sale of digital delivery of newspaper content”. “The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive methods of distribution,” he added. “But it has not made content free. Accordingly, we intend to charge for all our news websites. I believe that if we are successful, we will be followed by other media. “Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to produce good reporting,” he said.” (It’s far too late to put the free genie back in the bottle … this plan could easily materialise as the move which killed NewsCorp!)
- News Corp records £2bn loss [guardian.co.uk] – “Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire, News Corporation, slumped to a [US] $3.4bn (£2bn) net loss for the 12 months to June as a combination of plunging advertising revenue, impairment charges and online losses contributed to the company’s worst year in recent memory. The group suffered hefty accounting charges related to a drop in the value of its assets. After stripping out these one-off items, its full-year operating profit dropped by 32% to $3.6bn, with growth in revenue at the group’s cable television networks failing to make up for a slump in income from films, newspapers, books, magazines and online offerings. … n the final quarter of the year, News Corp made a $203m loss, compared to a $1.1bn profit for the same period in 2008, hit by a $680m impairment charge at Fox Interactive Media – the division that includes the social networking website MySpace, which recently shed 400 staff as it struggles to compete with larger rival Facebook.”
Digital Culture Links: July 30th 2009
July 30, 2009 / 1 Comment on Digital Culture Links: July 30th 2009
Links for July 24th 2009 through July 30th 2009:
- Law 2.0 – Law 2.0: The Challenge of User-generated and Peer-produced Networks, Content & Culture [Peter Black’s Freedom to Differ] – Peter Black’s primer on the changing legal landscape in the ‘Web 2.0’ era. Pitched at legal educators, but a really useful overview for anyone interested. [Talk on Vimeo] [Powerpoint Slides]
- Microsoft and Yahoo Reach Search Agreement [NYTimes.com] – “Microsoft and Yahoo announced a partnership in Internet search and advertising on Wednesday morning intended to create a stronger rival to the industry powerhouse Google. Under the pact, Microsoft will provide the underlying search technology on Yahoo’s popular Web sites. The deal provides a lift for Microsoft’s recent overhaul of its search engine, renamed Bing, which has won praise and favorable reviews, after years of falling further and further behind Google. Running such a search system proves expensive, and Microsoft can now filter more searches through the Bing technology infrastructure. It expects to deliver better answers to search queries over time as well by learning from more peoples’ queries.” Yacrosoft or Mihoo! ?
- Would the real social network please stand up? [apophenia] – Some useful thoughts about social networks and their differences from danah boyd and Bernie Hogan: “The truth of the matter is that there is no “real” social network. It all depends on what you’re trying to measure, what you’re trying to do with those measurements. We do ourselves an intellectual disservice when we assume that these different types of networks are interchangeable or that studying one automatically tells us about another. Most scholars get this, even when they’re quoted out of context by journalists to suggest otherwise (see Cameron Marlow). But I get the sense that a lot of journalists, marketers, advertisers, politicians, and everyday folks don’t. This is a problem.”
- China now has 338m internet users [News.com.au] – “The number of internet users in China is now greater than the entire population of the United States, after rising to 338 million by the end of June, state media reported today. China’s online population, the largest in the world, rose by 40 million in the first six months of 2009, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing a report by the China Internet Network Information Centre. The number of broadband internet connections rose by 10 million to 93.5 million in the first half of the year, the report said.”
- 6 Gorgeous Twitter Visualizations [Mashable] – Cool visualisation tools for Twitter – useful for explaining the potentially global conversations going on.
- Movie studios try to harness Twitter effect | Technology [Internet | Reuters] – “Box office watchers say Twitter, a micro-blogging service that allows anyone to post on-the-fly wisecracks for all the world to see, is the latest weapon in an arsenal of cell phones and computers that audiences use to critique films quickly, often when they are still sitting in theaters. Such word-of-mouth publicity from fan to fan can boost, or bomb, ticket sales. “Has everything speeded up? The answer is yes,” said Adam Fogelson, Universal’s president of marketing and distribution. “Depending on how big your opening day audience is, word-of-mouth starts playing a factor immediately,” he said.”
Annotated Digital Culture Links: July 14th 2009
Links for July 10th 2009 through July 14th 2009:
- ‘Bruno’: Did Twitter Reviews Hurt Movie at Box Office? [TIME, 13 July 2009] – “In the old days — like, until yesterday — movie studios judged the success of their big pictures by how much they grossed on the opening weekend. But in the age of Twitter, electronic word-of-mouth is immediate, as early moviegoers tweet their opinions on a film to millions of “followers.” Instant-messaging can make or break a film within 24 hours. Friday is the new weekend. … Brüno’s box-office decline from Friday to Saturday indicates that the film’s brand of outrage was not the sort to please most moviegoers — and that their tut-tutting got around fast. Brüno could be the first movie defeated by the Twitter effect.” (Can bad word of mouth, amplified and aggregated by Twitter, will a new movie in hours rather than the usual week for bad reviews?)
- I want my cyborg life [apophenia] – danah boyd’s thoughts on backchannels, the potential omnipresence of searchable information and the presumption that technologies tend to fragment attention rather than foster it.
- PingWire – A public feed of the latest Twitpic pictures. Hypnotic windows on everyday life and popular culture, but as the warning says: “Evidently, there are people who post photos which may be inappropriate for viewers under 18 years of age. You’ve been warned.”
- Flic.kr Greasemonkey Script – Useful little Greasemonkey Script to make use of Flickr’s URL-shortening service (Flic.kr). Great for using Flickr with Twitter and the like.
- Find Creative Commons images with Image Search [Official Google Blog] – Google’s Image Search adds support for Creative Commons licenses. Searching for CC material continues to get easier and easier! Just click on Advanced Search.
Annotated Digital Culture Links: January 20th 2009
Links for January 19th 2009 through January 20th 2009:
- “Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics” by danah boyd (Phd Thesis, 2.1Mb PDF) – “Abstract: As social network sites like MySpace and Facebook emerged, American teenagers began adopting them as spaces to mark identity and socialize with peers. Teens leveraged these sites for a wide array of everyday social practices – gossiping, flirting, joking around, sharing information, and simply hanging out. While social network sites were predominantly used by teens as a peer-based social outlet, the unchartered nature of these sites generated fear among adults. This dissertation documents my 2.5-year ethnographic study of American teens’ engagement with social network sites and the ways in which their participation supported and complicated three practices – self-presentation, peer sociality, and negotiating adult society.”
- Facebook irked by ‘burger for friends’ campaign [The Age] – “Burger King said Friday that pressure from Facebook has caused it to yank an application that gave members of the hot social networking website a Whopper for every 10 friends they dumped. Before the Whopper Sacrifice Campaign was halted, 233,906 friends were “sacrificed” by Facebook users more interested in relationships with the global fast-food chain’s specialty hamburgers, according to Burger King. … Changes sought by Facebook reportedly included ditching an application feature that sent deleted friends messages informing them that an online pal preferred a hamburger over them.”
- The Boxxy Story – From the 4chan meme factory, the story of Boxxy, whose hyperactive YouTube antics caused a hormone-driven civil war, taking her from a micro-meme to the Queen /b/
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