Posts Tagged ‘social’

According to the personas website, this is how the Internet sees me. I find my name doesn’t deliver accurate search results and is quite often flooded with links to actress Cameron Diaz and director James Cameron. “Cameron’s best film” is a common search result.



Posted: August 19, 2010 in Module 2: Web 2.0
Tags: , , , , ,

This has just taken the Internet by storm!  Musician Nick Pittsinger slowed the Justin Bieber song “U Smile” by 800% and it sounds incredible!  (A lot better than the original!)

J. BIEBZ – U SMILE 800% SLOWER by Shamantis

Very interesting lecture by Tama on digital shadows. Interesting to hear how someone can be literally branded for life and never truly able to step out from a digital shadow that they may have had no role in creating. (See Star Wars Kid). I read on recently that Ghyslain Raza slipped into depression as a result of the ridicule and harassment suffered because of that video he shot but never had any intention of sharing.  Despite the fact he is now President of a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving the heritage of the town of Trois-Rivières, a Google search of his name results in page after page of references to the “Star Wars Kid”, only recently interspersed with the “Where is he now?” stories.

Similar story about the “Dog Poop Girl”.  In reporting the story in 2005, The Washington Post said using the Internet to settle scores or issue public complaints is commonplace.  In recent years, the Internet has also spawned the rise of “citizen journalism”.  The Post asks: “But what happens when the two converge, and the Internet populace is stirred to action against individuals?” It becomes a cyber-posse and quite often the punishment does not fit the crime.

I know someone who went through a similar situation.  I won’t go into the details but suffice to say he was harassed and even had death threats stretching over many months.  He was labeled as a conspirator via YouTube and on blogs and the mob turned on him.  Years later, the digital shadow of that incident still hangs over him.

Some interesting predictions made by a British online marketer.  It was posted two years ago and some of his predictions have come to pass.

10 Twitter Future Trends

I like the categorisation of three types of Twitterers – Blabbers who “continue to bla bla bla about what they had for lunch”, Sifters “use Twitter to check the word on the street and news” and Broadcasters “will keep pumping out tweets, possibly losing followers long the way”.  I would consider myself a sifter and I believe the future for Twitter is its ability to deliver personalised news.  I’m not interested in what Ashton Kutcher said to his wife over dinner – I’m interested in news from people who affect my world.

A report by American research company Edison Research says there has been an explosion in the awareness of Twitter from  5% of Americans 12+ in 2008 to 87% in 2010 and is now as well known as Facebook but “Twitter is yet to articulate its value to mainstream America.” (Webster T, Twitter Usage in America 2010 Webinar, 29 April 2010, Retrieved 20 July 2010,

What do people think of this effort of social networking….

Step 1 – come up with a brilliant ad campaign which has had more than 13 million views on YouTube (and counting).

Step 2 – personalise the message to more than 100 different people including influencers and watch the world fall in love with your product – even if it is the fragrance your Grandfather used to wear!

As of 15 July 2010, @oldspice has 60,000 Twitter followers and 589,000 fans on Facebook.  Is this an example of an advertiser bridging the gap between “old” and “new” media?

The question has been raised: ” Do social networking sites open us up to new perspectives, or help us reinforce our existing prejudices?”  I think this gets back to the notion that mass media has been replaced by a mass of niches.  Rather than opinion being shaped by the person with the biggest microphone, there’s a cacophony of little voices vying for attention.  But even though I know the Internet is now full of different perspectives on just about every subject imaginable, I find I gravitate towards the communities I have an interest, passion and (yes) prejudice for.  As humans, we tend to identify with like-minded people.

As for a difference between social network sites, I once heard someone quip that Facebook is for the people you used to know and Twitter is for the people you want to know!  That’s very simplistic, I know, but there’s an element of truth in there.   I’ve found I’ve drifted away from Facebook.  It’s great to catch up with old school friends but I don’t really want to know what they had for breakfast day after day.  I find Twitter more valuable as a news and conversation source.  I don’t worry about how many followers I have but I find I can tailor the news I want to receive by following the people I’m interested in and I can join conversations whether I know people or not.

danah boyd (here’s why she doesn’t capitalise her name) and Nicole Ellison make some interesting points in their article “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship” (2007).  Importantly they offer a definition of social network sites.

We define social network sites as web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site.

Interestingly, they go on to explain why they steer clear of the term “Networking” because of its connotations of necessarily initiating relationships between strangers – meeting new people.  boyd & Ellison argue that is possible but not common practice.  It’s the sharing of your social network that makes social network sites unique.

Huberman, Romero and Wu (2008) sought to define the extent to which Twitter drives the creation of a user’s social networks.  With Twitter, creation of a link or connection to another user does not require confirmation from the other party.  It’s a one-way connection.  Huberman et al. defined a third category of a user’s social graph – “friends”, which they say are the people to whom the user has directed at least two posts.

This implies the existence of two different networks: a very dense one made up of followers and followees, and a sparser and simpler network of actual friends. The latter proves to be a more influential network in driving Twitter usage since users with many actual friends tend to post more updates than users with few actual friends. On the other hand, users with many followers or followees post updates more infrequently than those with few followers or followees. (p. 6, 8 ) (**edit – I just discovered an 8 followed by ) gives me this emoticon 8) – not sure if this is in APA Referencing guidelines!! **)

We are sharing our social networks like never before.  By searching my Facebook and Twitter pages, people can easily see not just information about me but also links to those people I know, have known and care about.  It throws up many questions about privacy.  Facebook has recently been at the centre of the privacy storm because of its constant changing of privacy settings – it’s open by default, where everything is opt out rather than opt in.   boyd & Ellison (2008) argue the more a person trusts a social network site, the more willing they are to share information on the site.   On his blog, Jeff Jarvis (2010) argues Facebook has confused our personal social networks (he calls it “a public”) with “the public” – that is everyone.  He says they confused sharing with publishing.

when I blog something, I am publishing it to the world for anyone and everyone to see: the more the better, is the assumption. But when I put something on Facebook my assumption had been that I was sharing it just with the public I created and control there. That public is private. Therein lies the confusion.

Internet pioneer Vint Cerf (2008) famously told journalist John Cook on the blog (the first major metro daily newspaper to go online-only) that on the Internet,  “nothing you do ever goes away and nothing you do ever escapes notice.”  Cerf noted “there isn’t any privacy, get over it.”


boyd, d. m., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication13(1), article 11.

Cook, J. (2008). Vint Cerf: Internet pioneer, coffee drinker.  Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  Retrieved July 8 2010 from

Huberman, B.A., Romero, D.M. & Wu, F. (2008), Social networks that matter: Twitter under the microscope, (pp 2,6,8). Retrieved July 8 2010, from

Jarvis, J. (2010). Confusing *a* public with *the* public. Retrieved July 8 2010, from

Some eye-popping stats in this (admittedly corporate) video.

People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them.  78% of people trust peer recommendations … only 14% trust advertisements.


We no longer search for the news, the news finds us.  In the near future we will no longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media.