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End of year links:
- Best Memes of 2012: Editorial Choices [Know Your Meme] – The best memes of 2012, according to Know Your Meme:
#10: Sh*t People Say
#9: What People Think I Do
#8: Overly Attached Girlfriend
#6: Ridiculously Photogenic Guy
#5: Somebody That I Used to Know
#4: Kony 2012
#3: Call Me Maybe
#2: Grumpy Cat
#1: Gangnam Style
Personally, I’d add Texts from Hillary, McKayla is Not Impressed and Binders Full of Women to the list!
- Posterous Spaces backup tool available now [The Official Posterous Space] – Posterous adds the ability for users to download their entire Posterous sites as a zip file, complete with images and a usable (if dull) html interface. There hasn’t been a lot of movement with Posterous since the team were bought out by Twitter, so this new tool may signal the beginning of the end of the end for Posterous, which is a real shame since it’s still a more robust tool than Tumblr in a number of ways.
- App sales soar in 2012 [Technology | The Guardian] – “Shiny new tablets and smartphones given as presents make Christmas Day and Boxing Day the two most lucrative days of the year for app sales. Yet in the apps economy, turkeys are a year-round phenomenon. Thousands of new apps are released every week for devices running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, but most sink without trace. With an estimated 1bn apps released so far on those two platforms alone, there are relatively few winners and many losers. This month, industry analyst Canalys claimed that in the first 20 days of November, Apple’s US App Store generated $120m (£75m) of app revenues, with just 25 publishers accounting for half of that. And 24 of those 25 companies make games, including the likes of Zynga, Electronic Arts and Angry Birds publisher Rovio. But analysts suggested in August that two-thirds of Apple store apps had never been downloaded – a lifeless long tail of more than 400,000 unwanted apps.”
- 2012’s Most Popular Locations on Instagram [Instagram Blog] – “What was the most-Instagrammed place in the world this past year? The answer may surprise you. Out of anywhere else in the world, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport tops the list. Over 100,000 photos were taken there last year! What other locations were popular in 2012? From Asia to Europe to North America, Instagrammers shared their view of the world. Read on for the full list:
* Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) ท่าอากาศยานสุวรรณภูมิ in Bangkok, Thailand
* Siam Paragon (สยามพารากอน) shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand
* Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California
* Times Square in New York City
* AT&T; Park in San Francisco
* Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
* Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
* Eiffel Tower in Paris
* Staples Center in Los Angeles
* Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles”
- Wikipedia’s most searched articles of the year revealed [BBC News] – “A study of 2012’s most read Wikipedia articles reveals striking differences in what proved popular across the different language versions of the online encyclopaedia. Facebook topped the English edition while an entry for adult video actresses did best in Japan. Hua Shan – a Chinese mountain featuring “the world’s deadliest hiking trail” – topped the Dutch list. By contrast, cul-de-sacs were the German site’s most clicked entry. … Lower entries on the lists also proved revealing. While articles about Iran, its capital city Tehran and the country’s New Year celebrations topped the Persian list, entries about sex, female circumcision and homosexuality also made its top 10. …
English language most viewed
3. Deaths in 2012
4. One Direction
5. The Avengers
6. Fifty Shades of Grey
7. 2012 phenomenon
8. The Dark Knight Rises
10. The Hunger Games”
- Bug reveals ‘erased’ Snapchat videos [BBC News] – Using a simple file browser tool, users are able to find and save files sent via Snapchat, an app that’s meant to share and then erase photos, messages and video. Not surprisingly really, since all communication online is, essentially, copying files of some sort or another.
- Web tools whitewash students online [The Australian] – Universities offering web presence washing at graduation. Perhaps teaching grads to manage their own would be better.
“Samantha Grossman wasn’t always thrilled with the impression that emerged when people Googled her name. “It wasn’t anything too horrible,” she said. “I just have a common name. There would be pictures, college partying pictures, that weren’t of me, things I wouldn’t want associated with me.” So before she graduated from Syracuse University last spring, the school provided her with a tool that allowed her to put her best web foot forward. Now when people Google her, they go straight to a positive image – professional photo, cum laude degree and credentials – that she credits with helping her land a digital advertising job in New York. “I wanted to make sure people would find the actual me and not these other people,” she said. Syracuse, Rochester and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore are among the universities that offer such online tools to their students free of charge …”
- Mark Zuckerberg’s sister learns life lesson after Facebook photo flap [Technology | The Guardian] – A photo from Randi Zuckerberg’s Facebook page gets taken out of context and reposted on Twitter and she complains, then goes overtly moral, tweeting: “Digital etiquette: always ask permission before posting a friend’s photo publicly. It’s not about privacy settings, it’s about human decency”The Guardian’s take: “But what’s most odious about the episode is the high-handedness of Zuckerberg’s response. Facebook makes money when users surrender their privacy. The company has made it the user’s job to defend personal information, which otherwise might be made public by default. Got a problem with that? The company’s answer always has been that users should read the privacy settings, closely, no matter how often they change. … Eva Galperin said that while Facebook has made amendments to their privacy settings, they still remain confusing to a large number of people. “Even Randi Zuckerberg can get it wrong,” she said. “That’s an illustration of how confusing they can be.”
- Twitter and Facebook get on the school timetable in anti-libel lessons [Media | The Guardian] – Some private schools in the UK are now embedding social media literacies into their curriculum, especially how to avoid defamation of others, and, I guess, how not to get sued. While it’d be nice to hear about more well-rounded literacies – like managing your identity online in its early forms – this is nevertheless a step in the right direction. I fear, though, a new digital divide might appear if social media literacies are embedded for some, not all.
- Top Tweets of 2012: Golden Tweets – Twitter’s official list of top 2012 tweets, led by Barack Obama’s “Four more years” and in second place … Justin Bieber.
- Facebook’s Poke App Is a Head-Scratcher [NYTimes.com] – Ephemeral Mobile Media: “.. it’s hard to grasp what the point of the Facebook Poke app really is. Poke, which came out last week, is a clone of Snapchat, an app popular among teenagers. Many have labeled Snapchat a “sexting” app — a messaging platform ideally suited for people who want to send short-lived photos and videos of you-know-what to get each other feeling lusty. The files self-destruct in a few seconds, ideally relieving you of any shame or consequence, unless, of course, the recipient snaps a screen shot. (Poke and Snapchat alert you if a screen shot has been taken.) It’s a bit of a head-scratcher for adults, like me and my Facebook friends, who aren’t inclined to sext with one another. We’re more used to uploading photos of pets, food, babies and concerts, which aren’t nearly as provocative. The most interesting aspect of Poke is that you can send photos and videos only of what you’re doing at that moment; you cannot send people a nice photo saved in your library …”
- Game of Thrones tops TV show internet piracy chart [BBC News] – Game of Thrones has emerged as the most-pirated TV show over the internet this year, according to news site Torrentfreak’s latest annual survey. It said one episode of the series had racked up 4,280,000 illegal global downloads – slightly more than than its estimated US television audience. … Despite all the closures, one episode of of Game of Thrones racked up 4,280,000 illegal global downloads, according to Torrentfreak. That was slightly more than than its estimated US television audience. The level of piracy may be linked to the fact that the TV company behind it – HBO – does not allow Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or other US streaming services access to its programmes. It instead restricts them to its own HBO Go online product, which is only available to its cable subscribers. Outside the US, Torrentfreak noted that Australia was responsible for a disproportionate amount of illegal copies of Game of Thrones…”
Links – catching up – through to August 22nd:
- Instagram 3.0 – Photo Maps & More [Instagram Blog]– Instagram releases a substantial new update for iOS and Android, adding a new photo maps feature. If the user chooses to do so, the photo maps places all geotagged photos onto an interactive map of the globe which can be navigated by Instagram users’ contacts.
Instagram 3.0 – Photo Maps Walkthrough from Instagram on Vimeo.
While the maps function is being rolled out with very clear warnings about revealing locations publicly – with tools to remove geotags from some, groups or all photos – this rollout will no doubt remind (and shock many) users that the geographic tags on their photos mean that these aren’t just photos – they’re important and complex assemblages of data that can be reused and repurposed in a variety of ways.
- Google to push pirate sites down search results [BBC – Newsbeat] – “Google is changing the way it calculates search results in an effort to make sure legal download websites appear higher than pirate sites. The world’s biggest search engine announced the change in a blog post on its website. The move has been welcomed by record companies in the UK and Hollywood film studios. Movie and music firms have complained in the past that Google should have been doing more to fight piracy. They say searching for an artist, song or film often brings up pages of illegal sites, making it hard to find a place to download a legal version. From next week, search results will take into account the number of “valid copyright removal notices”. Sites with more notices will rank lower, although Google has not said what it considers a valid notice.”
- Gotye – Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra [YouTube]– Fantastic remix by Gotye, using a huge range of fan remixes of Somebody that I Used to Know and mashing them together. Comes with a full credits list, too: http://gotye.com/reader/items/original-videos-used-in-somebodies-a-youtube-orchestra.html (A great example for Web Media 207.)
- Facebook removes ‘racist’ page in Australia [BBC News] – “A Facebook page that depicted Aboriginal people in Australia as drunks and welfare cheats has been removed after a public outcry. The Aboriginal Memes page had allowed users to post jokes about indigenous people. An online petition calling for the removal of “the racist page” has generated thousands of signatures. The government has also condemned it. The page’s creator is believed to be a 16-year-old boy in Perth, reports say. “We recognise the public concern that controversial meme pages that Australians have created on Facebook have caused,” Facebook said in a statement to local media. A meme is an idea that spreads through the internet.”
- Twitter ‘sorry’ for suspending Guy Adams as NBC withdraws complaint [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – “Twitter on Tuesday reinstated the account of a British journalist it suspended for publishing the email address of an executive at NBC, which had been attracting a significant amount of incoming fire over its Olympics coverage. The incident has not done Guy Adams of the Independent much harm. Apart perhaps from a little hurt pride, he has returned to the twittersphere with tens of thousands of new followers. For NBC, it was another blow to its already battered reputation over its coverage of the London Olympic Games. But Twitter found itself in a deeply unfamiliar situation: as the subject of one of the firestorms of indignation that characterises the platform, but which are usually directed at others.”
- Murdoch’s tablet The Daily lays off nearly a third of its staff [Media | guardian.co.uk] – “The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s tablet newspaper, has laid off close to a third of its staff just 18 months after its glitzy launch. Executives at the News Corp-owned title told its 170 employees on Tuesday that 50 of them would be let go. Sources told the Guardian that security staff were brought onto the Daily’s editorial floor at News Corp in New York to escort the laid-off employees out of the building. Earlier this month the paper’s editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo denied reports that the media giant had put the title “on watch” and was considering closing it. In a statement Tuesday Angelo said the title was dropping its opinion section and would be taking sports coverage from Fox Sports, also part of News Corp, and other partners. In another cost-saving move the title will also stop producing pages that can be read vertically and horizontally on a tablet, sticking to straight up and down.”
- If Twitter doesn’t reinstate Guy Adams, it’s a defining moment [Dan Gillmor | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk] – “Once again, we’re reminded of a maxim when it comes to publishing on other people’s platforms: we publish at their sufferance. But there’s a corollary: When they take down what we publish, they take an enormous risk with their own futures.
This time, Twitter has suspended the account of a British journalist who tweeted the corporate email address of an NBC executive. The reporter, Guy Adams of the Independent, has been acerbic in his criticisms of NBC’s (awful) performance during the Olympics in London. Adams has posted his correspondence with Twitter, which claims he published a private email address. It was nothing of the kind, as many, including the Deadspin sports blog, have pointed out. … What makes this a serious issue is that Twitter has partnered with NBC during the Olympics. And it was NBC’s complaint about Adams that led to the suspension. That alone raises reasonable suspicions about Twitter’s motives.”
Earlier today Facebook announced the release of their long-rumoured geographic tagging tool, Facebook Places. In a nutshell, Places will allow smartphone-wielding users to ‘check in’ at whatever notable location they happen to be, and share that information with friends on Facebook (who, as per your privacy settings, will either be a very small group or all 500 million+ Facebook users). The history of whose checked in where will become part of the Facebook record for that place, and thus any tagged comments people make in or about those places will become part of, effectively, place history.
While similar check-in services like Foursquare already exist, the huge number of Facebook users means that this has the potential to bring place-based social sharing even further into the mainstream. Indeed, at the Places launch, Facebook has already announced partnerships with many place-based services, including Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp; check-ins on those services can also become check-ins on Facebook Places in the near future.
Facebook’s unique selling point, of course, will be capitalising on the existing social networks people have established. Facebook Places will actually allow people to tag friends, much in the way you can currently tag friends in photos. One iPhone user will be able to tag the all of their relevant Facebook friends as they check-in somewhere. While this is certainly very social, it’s also a huge boon to business and advertisers, and raises a whole new raft of privacy concerns.
For businesses, especially small businesses, Facebook Places has enormous potential. Localised reviews and ratings have been popping up all over the web for years, but the reach of Facebook, and the ease of access, will make social commentary of restaurants, clubs and other businesses easily aggregateable and accessible. Facebook have already indicated that Facebook business pages will be able to integrate the related Facebook Place information. While Facebook themselves aren’t immediately releasing game-based tools with Facebook Places, canny businesses will surely take up this data to reward/encourage customers – as the have with Foursquare – ‘10 Facebook Place check-ins and get a free muffin’ will be with us soon. Of course, an inevitable legal battle is also just around the corner: which will be the first business to sue a Facebook user for a negative comment about that place? The divide between expressing an opinion, and effectively reviewing a location, will certainly blur even further.
With all of this new information sharing come massive privacy questions, and questions which in typically Facebook style they’ve deferred to an opt-out mentality: users will be able to chose, using one of those elusive privacy settings, to either disable other people checking them into places, or they can remove check-ins manually, similar to the way folks can un-tag themselves in unflattering photos. By default, though, it seems everything will be turned on, and users will have to actively seek to disable Facebook Places if they don’t wish Facebook to build a history of where you’ve been. It’s worth noting that the New York Times, The Guardian and Mashable all have articles up citing privacy concerns about Facebook Places, before the service is even a day old. It’ll be interesting to see what problems Facebook encounters with Places, but they’ll no doubt do as they always have: turn it on, let everyone try it out, then slowly deal with whatever complaints and protests arise, knowing full well that 99% of users will never leave Facebook for fear of giving up vital social capital.
Initially, Facebook Places is only available in the US (and thus the official Facebook Places page will show you nothing in Australia today) but it’s sure to land here in the near future. Oh, and no use trying to set you privacy in advance: I’ve checked, and I can’t find a way to pre-emptively disable other people checking me in; I guess I’ll have to remember to do that once the service is activated down under. Update: It’s now possible to opt-out and disable other people checking you in, no matter what country you’re in. If you want to disable other people’s ability to add you to their check-in entirely, then follow these instructions from Valleywag.
Update: While it’s pretty clear that Facebook Places is yet another tool to entice advertisers to Facebook, often seen in direct competition with Google, in a move that really highlights Facebook’s desire to challenge Google, the maps used by Facebook Places will be exclusively powered by Microsoft’s Bing Maps.
Update 2: Facebook Places went live in Australia on 30 September, and it took only hours for the first privacy concerns to arise.
Links for July 2nd 2010:
- Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits [NYTimes.com] – On this front, at least, Google have got their ‘Don’t be Evil’ stance right: “On Thursday, Google is going to begin covering a cost that gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners receive domestic partner health benefits, largely to compensate them for an extra tax that heterosexual married couples do not pay. The increase will be retroactive to the beginning of the year. “It’s a fairly cutting edge thing to do,” said Todd A. Solomon, a partner in the employee benefits department of McDermott Will & Emery, a law firm in Chicago, and author of “Domestic Partner Benefits: An Employer’s Guide.” Google is not the first company to make up for the extra tax. At least a few large employers already do. But benefits experts say Google’s move could inspire its Silicon Valley competitors to follow suit, because they compete for the same talent.”
- Don’t buy The Australian iPad app [Refined Geek – Blog] – A detailed look at the shortcomings of The Australian’s iPad application (almost all text is presented as images, for example, which is silly to start with …)
- [Media] Cognitive surplus, the soma of television and being on Newsnight with Clay Shirky [Aleks Krotoski] – Aleks Krotoski outlines her disagreements with Clay Shirky’s ‘cognitive surplus’ argument: basically, she suggests Shirky makes too sweeping an argument, which encompasses too many people, and devalues the participatory nature of earlier media forms, especially television, in ways less visible to contemporary social media forms.
- Foursquare Puts Money Before Privacy [Threat Level | Wired.com] – Foursquare demonstrates they really don’t care about users’ privacy, when they take a long time to fix one privacy flaw, fail to fix two more, don’t disclose any of this to users, and spend most of their energies pursuing more funding.
- Apple introduces iHand: the right way to hold your iPhone [Scoopertino] – Yes, it’s a parody: “Responding to complaints that the new iPhone 4 loses signal when held by a human hand, Apple today launched iHand — a synthetic appendage that makes it easy for anyone to “get a grip” on iPhone and remain connected. iHand is so easy to use, it doesn’t require a manual. Simply insert iPhone 4 into iHand’s adjustable fingers, raise it to your ear and start talking. With iHand, you get all the functionality of the human hand, without the signal-sucking biology that encumbers most iPhone owners.”
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. “
Links for February 17th 2010 through February 19th 2010:
- Westpac Writes ‘Oh So Very Over It’ On Twitter Account [Brisbane Times] – Apparently people tweeting for corporate brands showing emotion is newsworthy: “Who said banks were heartless? Even after posting a $1.6 billion first quarter profit, Westpac was a melancholy bank shortly before 4pm today. “Oh so very over it today,” Westpac announced to the world via its Twitter account. The sullen tweet spread like wildfire and tugged at heart strings across the social networking site. […] Concerned about the bank’s well-being, brisbanetimes.com.au contacted Westpac’s media relations department to make sure it was OK. Within two minutes of making that phone call at 4.26pm, the Tweet was pulled from the site, but not before thousands saw it. brisbanetimes.com.au hopes to be able to report on Westpac’s emotional state, as soon as a response to our queries is received.”
- Google Buzz ‘breaks privacy laws’ says watchdog [BBC News] – “A leading privacy group has urged US regulators to investigate Google’s new social networking service Buzz, one week after its launch. The Electronic Privacy Information Centre (Epic) has made its complaint to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) It says that Buzz – which is part of Google’s Gmail service – is “deceptive” and breaks consumer protection law. The search giant has twice made changes to the service to placate an outcry from users about privacy concerns. Canadian officials are also looking at whether Buzz violates privacy laws. “Google still hasn’t gone far enough,” Epic’s consumer privacy counsel Kim Nguyen told BBC News.”Twitter is a social networking site and people know what they are signing up for. With Gmail, users signed up for an e-mail service not a social networking service,” said Ms Nguyen. “Despite all the changes, they still do not give users a meaningful way to opt into it.” Buzz was automatically rolled out to Gmail’s 176 million users.”
- Google boss says ‘nobody was harmed’ by Buzz debacle [guardian.co.uk] – Isn’t it a bit late to chide user “confusion” and just move forward with “we’re sorry”? “Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has suggested that users who complained about privacy invasions by Google Buzz were subject to “confusion”. “I would say that we did not understand how to communicate Google Buzz and its privacy,” he said. “There was a lot of confusion when it came out on Tuesday, and people thought that somehow we were publishing their email addresses and private information, which was not true. I think it was our fault that we did not communicate that fact very well, but the important thing is that no really bad stuff happens in the sense that nobody’s personal information was disclosed.”
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”).”
Links for August 24th 2009:
- The Message of Twitter: "Here It Is" and "Here I Am" [Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Archives] – Henry Jenkins has a thoughtful post on why Twitter matters. The most positive being that "None of us can spot everything in our field and collectively pooling our knowledge is of enormous value. For me, that's been my primary use of Twitter both as a consumer and as a contributor." The most negative being the misquoting that from the contextlessness of 140 characters (something especially problematic for academics).
- Identity of 'skank' blogger revealed [The Age] – "An anonymous blogger whose identity was unmasked by court order after she called a Vogue Australia covergirl a "psychotic, whoring, lying … skank" plans to sue Google for $US15 million for breaching her privacy. The model, Liskula Cohen, confronted and forgave the blogger after a judge ordered Google to tell Cohen who had allegedly defamed her on a blog called "Skanks in NYC". … it has now been revealed that the blogger is Rosemary Port, a 29-year-old New York fashion student. … In an interview with the New York Daily News, Port said Cohen, 37, had defamed herself by launching such a public lawsuit. She claimed she had the right to an opinion and that she had been "put on a silver platter for the press to attack". "Before her suit, there were probably two hits on my website: one from me looking at it, and one from her looking at it," Port said. "That was before it became a spectacle. I feel my right to privacy has been violated."" (The privacy 'there and back again' …)
- Fairfax records $380m loss [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – "Fairfax Media has posted a net loss of $380 million for the 2009 financial year. The media company says its underlying earnings were $605m, down 27 per cent on the previous year. Fairfax has blamed the speed of the economic slowdown, cuts to advertising revenues, and the move towards online services for the result."
- Location, Location, Location [Twitter Blog] – Twitter are adding (optional) geo-location metadata: "We're gearing up to launch a new feature which makes Twitter truly location-aware. A new API will allow developers to add latitude and longitude to any tweet. Folks will need to activate this new feature by choice because it will be off by default and the exact location data won't be stored for an extended period of time. However, if people do opt-in to sharing location on a tweet-by-tweet basis, compelling context will be added to each burst of information." Jeff Jarvis has a good run down of why this will actually be very useful.
- Retractions up tenfold [Times Higher Education] – "The rate at which scientific journal articles are being retracted has increased roughly tenfold over the past two decades, an exclusive analysis for Times Higher Education reveals. Growth in research fraud as a result of greater pressure on researchers to publish, improved detection and demands on editors to take action have been raised as possible factors in the change. The study, by the academic-data provider Thomson Reuters, follows the retraction last month of a paper on the creation of sperm from human embryonic stem cells. The paper, written by researchers at Newcastle University, was withdrawn by the Stem Cells and Development journal following its discovery that the paper's introduction was largely plagiarised."
- Teenager is first to be jailed for Facebook bullying [Telegraph] – "Teenager Keeley Houghton, who used Facebook to make death threats against Emily Moore, has become the first person in Britain to be jailed for bullying via a social networking site. Houghton, 18, boasted on the site that she wanted to kill Miss Moore, also 18, who she had bullied since they were at school together. Houghton, who admitted harassment, was sentenced to three months in a young offenders’ institute and given a five-month restraining order. District Judge Bruce Morgan told her: “Since Emily Moore was 14 you have waged compelling threats and violent abuse towards her. “Bullies are by their nature cowards, in school and society. The evil, odious effects of being bullied stay with you for life. “On this day you did an act of gratuitous nastiness to satisfy your own twisted nature.” On July 12, the court heard, Houghton wrote on her Facebook site: “Keeley is going to murder the —–."
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