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Ohio is for Lovers, Montana is For Badasses

27 Feb

Ohio is for Lovers HatI love autocomplete and the insight it gives you into the zeitgeist of the internet.  I purposely take my time when entering search terms so that Google will throw inadvertently amusing (and sometimes racist) suggestions at me.

Recently @mattshirley41 decided to explore what his fellow netizens think about the United States and mapped the results.  The United States Is… maps autocomplete suggestions for the 50 states. Continue reading

Frictionless sharing and the end of Social Media Curation

2 Oct
Sharing by talkingplant

Photo credit to talkingplant

In my last post, I discussed how frictionless sharing without context was meaningless.  How an app posting that “Maggie read this” really only meant “Someone on Maggie’s computer clicked on this”.

But frictionless sharing means a lot more than meaningless oversharing, it’s also the end of social media curation.

Since the rise of social media, we’ve all become curators – we’ve become the scrapbookers and librarians of our own lives, learning to research, present, and display material in a meaningful and engaging way.  Continue reading

Don’t be Evil – Oops, too late

29 Aug

Or, Google doesn’t care if you think they’re creepy.

Close up on physical Google logo

Photo credit to halilgokdal

Google’s corporate policy is don’t be evil, but sometimes in their quest for power (um, I mean information, yeah, that’s it…), they sometimes lose sight of that.  Recently, Google’s come under a lot of fire for enforcing a real name policy on Google+.  (Basically, Google requires you to use your name that you go by in real life, not any sort of handle or screen name.  For more on the Google+ real policy and the debate behind it, read my earlier post “Publicness, Persistence, and the case against Real Name policies”.)

Hello my name is Bob happy trees

Photo credit to sashafatcat

In their enforcement of the real name policy, they’ve made a lot of mistakes: not accepting people’s actual real names because they didn’t fit into a common western name paradigm, disabling users’ accounts for violating the policy, not being flexible in borderline cases …  But, generally, they’ve acted pretty conciliatory about their actions.  The party line was: this is for users’ benefit, people want to be in an environment where they know who their talking to, etc. Continue reading

The Six Degrees of Kevin Facebook

22 Aug
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon - Way to own your own meme

Way to own your own meme, Kevin Bacon!

Or, Watch Maggie geek out about Facebook and math at the same time

Yesterday, I woke up to find that The Social Times had an article called “The ‘Small World Experiment’: Yahoo and Facebook Help Research Six Degrees of Separation”.  Then I listened to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” – and it was the one where they interviewed Kevin Bacon.  He talked all about the game and how originally he had thought it was people making fun of him, i.e. this guy has been in so many movies and he still sucks.  Kevin Bacon’s personal insecurities aside, I took it as a sign that I should write a blog post about the Six Degrees research. Continue reading

Publicness, Persistence, and the case against Real Name policies

6 Aug
Identity by fotologic

Identity by fotologic

Or, If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no record of it, did it really happen?

Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic recently published the piece “Why Facebook and Google’s Concept of ‘Real Names’ Is Revolutionary” in which he presented what may be a novel argument in the debate over real name policies on the internet by showing that real name policies affecting everyone, not just disparate minority populations.

While real name policies do seem to make sense for probably 90% of users (they protect us from trolling and spam accounts, they help us to make sure that we know the people with whom we’re connecting), they’re a real (obvious) problem for a minority of people.  Unfortunately, in the case of the real name debate, the poster child for the minority population is a teenager questioning his sexuality… not someone that the powers that be want to rally behind.  (Off base fears about gay recruiting, egads!) Continue reading

My Klout Score: a failed quest

22 Jun

Everyone Has Klout -- Discover Yours NowToday the Internet seems to be abuzz about this new social media metric called Klout.   Klout analyzes your social media metrics (how many retweets, likes, etc.) to measure how much clout you have (get it?) in social media circles.   Are you a consumer of information or a thought leader? Do you have followers that dedicatedly like your pictures and retweet your links, or do your status updates largely fall on deaf ears? (Basically, are you Top News or Most Recent?) Continue reading

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