It’s not a Twitter, Facebook or YouTube revolution. It’s a revolution of hungry oppressed people who had enough. They didn’t need Wikileaks to tell them how corrupt their government is. It was a burning man, burnt by his misery and oppression that got people out to the streets. Through the past three weeks the coverage … Continue reading We only care for Tunisians if they validate our techno-fetish
The Internets is all buzzing with chatter against Facebook’s latest privacy breaches. Into this happy mix a bunch of NYU students have been cast as the Davids against the social networking Goliath. Is that really a good thing? Can we help? Diaspora is a new initiative by 4 NYU students to create a “privacy aware, … Continue reading Diaspora’s Kickstarter $$$,$$$ success endangers both Diaspora, Kickstarter & you
Communication breakdown… It’s never the same. How I tried to extend my social network to beyond just “friends” and came off as a douche bag
In my previous post titled “Relationship: It’s Complicated” I was trying to make the point that social media interfaces and terminologies excludes the room for conflict. I came up with three proposition for intervention, one of them worked or rather took a life of its own much faster than I expected.
I was proposing to use Twitter list to follow not just like-minded people, but also people you often disagree with, as a way of both challenging your point of view and of engaging beyond our networked echo chamber. (read more about it on my post)
As I was preparing the post, I made a list of that type for myself, added a few Twitter users that I count as my intellectual/political opponents and named it “adversaries”. Just a few hours later, and even before I got to publish my post I noticed this tweet:
Adam Greenfield is a prominent media theorist who’s best known for writing Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing. I have seen him present more than once, he’s a really great speaker, I also assign a talk by him to my NYU students, throughout the semester it is usually one of the pieces that inspire them the most. Yet after watching him speak or reading him I was often left with a sense that his poetic theory often emphasizes the pros and de-emphasizes the cons. This left me pretty disturbed about what he represents and has won him that place in my adversary list.
With that being said, I did not expect he will see this list. It was not some attempt at teasing him or provoking him. Maybe the way I used the word ‘adversary’ was wrong? Maybe it’s indeed more offensive than I think (note: I am not a native English speaker). I definitely have nothing personal against the guy. I changed the name of the list to ‘opposition’ and tweeted back.
Ignoring my grandma… friending my enemies… WTF? Is it even reasonable to expect social media to reflect the depth of our social life? And when it fails, what do we stand to lose? (+ tips & hacks)
I have recently become more interested in the “It’s Complicated” option in Facebook’s relationship status. It has hit me that it might be the most honest aspect of the site’s interface. While every third internet user on earth holds a Facebook* profile, none of the site’s users are getting an adequate representation of their social life. This is not due to some broken code or an untested interaction design. No, it’s actually our fault.
*Facebook, is a great case-study for these questions, but they can be asked about many of the social media tools we use these days (Buzz is definitely also relevant, though we don’t use it).
Why should it be so, hmmm… “complicated”?
Why should it be so complicated? We are already busy defining our social life anyway, we are in fact putting relationships into boxes all the time. Some people we call friends, others we call family, others are our group members, others we might admire and define ourselves as their fans. Many of the people you would like to associate yourself with would probably fall somewhere along these lines. In that sense what’s so wrong about Facebook giving us a tool to manage and present this?
Sign here, here and here, now we’re friends.
The only relationship I have ever signed into an official contract, is the one with my wife, Galia. Many of our friends chose to skip marriage as they didn’t feel a need for a bureaucratic intervention into their personal relationship. Yet the same friends and even non-friends send me contracts every day requesting to officially confirm our relationship. Indeed getting a “friend request” is a very awkward thing. Continue reading “Relationship: It’s Complicated”
Kevin Connor & Matthew Skomarovsky from LittleSis.org (an involuntary facebook of powerful Americans, collaboratively edited by people like you) & David Nolen and myself of ShiftSpace have teamed up and together with Eyebeam have submitted an application for the Knight News Challenge. It is a cross between what LittleSis and ShiftSpace do best, applied to … Continue reading NewsShift: watchdog journalism with a long tail [Grant application]
Thoughts about opt-in surveillance technologies
I just lately came across this cool website called Riya. Riya is an image search engine that doesn’t only search the data associated with the image, but actually searches the image content itself. Riya recognizes text in the images and through it’s OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and human faces through it’s impressive face recognition technology. You can train Riya to know that a specific face belongs to a specific name. While image storage and managing services such as Flickr require the user to tag the images with metadata, Riya is smart, it can learn, and it can put a name to a face.