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Data for Social Good: Crisis Text Line CEO Nancy Lublin | Commonwealth Club
[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRlCX597JhA ]

"Suicide and mental health are hard subjects—so Crisis Text Line leveraged the power of the data it collects to help their counselors determine the best way to talk about the topics with those in need. The nonprofit, founded in 2013 by CEO Nancy Lublin, has provided a free text-based and human-driven service to support those experiencing mental health stress, gathering data points from more than 75 million text messages sent and maximizing the impact of their information to better train counselors and support their community. Its innovative and data-driven methodology for tackling hard conversations can also be applied to more than the mental health space, including to Lublin’s latest venture: Loris.ai. 

Lublin’s entire career has focused on initiatives addressing social issues, and she founded Dress for Success and Do Something prior to Crisis Text Line. With her technology lens on big challenges, she continues to iterate on innovative mechanisms and creative solutions to sticky problems. At INFORUM, she’ll be joined in conversation by DJ Patil, head of technology at Devoted Health and former U.S. chief data scientist in the Obama administration, to dig into the power of data to effect change. Come curious!"
data  mentalhealth  socialgood  crisistext  nancylubin  djpatil  2019  nonprofit  nonprofits  911  socialmedia  suicide  society  government  crisiscounseling  emoji  language  communication  responsiveness  texting  sms  stress  funding  fundraising  storytelling  technology  siliconvalley  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  charity  startups  capitalism  importance  charitableindustrialcomplex  canon  noblesseoblige  humanism  relationship  courage  racism  connection  humanconnection  loneliness  pain 
may 2019 by robertogreco
Emoji Mosaic
"Upload an image to turn into a mosaic. Be patient, processing may take a moment."
emoji 
february 2019 by robertogreco
Michael Rosen: Recent squibs on education
"The thing is people didn’t know how to use emojis until the govt produced the Emoji Curriculum.

In the name of ‘raising standards’ but in reality bullying education into being a weapon in international competitiveness wars, the govt has unitised and monetised education. We shld reply with humanistic values to this onslaught.

Hey 4 year old, you are not a ‘4 year old’, you are a ‘stage’ , a developmental unit, a score on the way to being another score, a place on a graph, a monitored level, a number less than or more than another number...

“With his dark blue furry just-fitting, interesting hat on, which he had bought, he walked in.” = Good writing according to ‘Expected level’ National Curriculum.

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Children whose names are not phonically regular must not try to read or write their names in Nursery, Reception or Year 1 in case it hinders their learning of how the alphabetic code works. [irony alert]

If Nursery, Reception or Yr1 children ask to see the writing in a non-phonically regular book, or try to read a cereal packet or a road sign, firmly grip the top of their head and turn it away from the words in question. See Bold Beginnings for more advice on this.

Why do you write poems, Michael?
So that children can be graded according to how well they ‘retrieve ‘ and ‘infer’ on a right/wrong grid devised by people who don’t like poetry."
michaelrosen  education  children  school  unschooling  deschooling  schooling  learning  poems  poetry  2018  inference  literature  emoji  standards  standardization  satire 
february 2018 by robertogreco
How the Appetite for Emojis Complicates the Effort to Standardize the World’s Alphabets - The New York Times
"nshuman Pandey was intrigued. A graduate student in history at the University of Michigan, he was searching online for forgotten alphabets of South Asia when an image of a mysterious writing system popped up. In eight years of digging through British colonial archives both real and digital, he has found almost 200 alphabets across Asia that were previously undescribed in the West, but this one, which he came across in early 2011, stumped him. Its sinuous letters, connected to one another in cursive fashion and sometimes bearing dots and slashes above or below, resembled those of Arabic.

Pandey eventually identified the script as an alphabet for Rohingya, the language spoken by the stateless and persecuted Muslim people whose greatest numbers live in western Myanmar, where they’ve been the victims of brutal ethnic cleansing. Pandey wasn’t sure if the alphabet itself was in use anymore, until he lucked upon contemporary pictures of printed textbooks for children. That meant it wasn’t a historical footnote; it was alive.

An email query from Pandey bounced from expert to expert until it landed with Muhammad Noor, a Rohingya activist and television host who was living in Malaysia. He told Pandey the short history of this alphabet, which was developed in the 1980s by a group of scholars that included a man named Mohammed Hanif. It spread slowly through the 1990s in handwritten, photocopied books. After 2001, thanks to two computer fonts designed by Noor, it became possible to type the script in word-processing programs. But no email, text messages or (later) tweets could be sent or received in it, no Google searches conducted in it. The Rohingya had no digital alphabet of their own through which they could connect with one another.

Billions of people around the world no longer face this plight. Whether on computers or smartphones, they can write as they write, expressing themselves in their own linguistic culture. What makes this possible is a 26-year-old international industrial standard for text data called the Unicode standard, which prescribes the digital letters, numbers and punctuation marks of more than 100 different writing systems: Greek, Cherokee, Arabic, Latin, Devanagari — a world-spanning storehouse of languages. But the alphabet that Noor described wasn’t among them, and neither are more than 100 other scripts, just over half of them historical and the rest alphabets that could still be used by as many as 400 million people today.

Now a computational linguist and motivated by a desire to put his historical knowledge to use, Pandey knows how to get obscure alphabets into the Unicode standard. Since 2005, he has done so for 19 writing systems (and he’s currently working to add another eight). With Noor’s help, and some financial support from a research center at the University of California, Berkeley, he drew up the basic set of letters and defined how they combine, what rules govern punctuation and whether spaces exist between words, then submitted a proposal to the Unicode Consortium, the organization that maintains the standards for digital scripts. In 2018, seven years after Pandey’s discovery, what came to be called Hanifi Rohingya will be rolled out in Unicode’s 11th version. The Rohingya will be able to communicate online with one another, using their own alphabet."



"Unicode’s history is full of attacks by governments, activists and eccentrics. In the early 1990s, the Chinese government objected to the encoding of Tibetan. About five years ago, Hungarian nationalists tried to sabotage the encoding for Old Hungarian because they wanted it to be called “Szekley-Hungarian Rovas” instead. An encoding for an alphabet used to write Nepal Bhasa and Sanskrit was delayed a few years ago by ethnonationalists who mistrusted the proposal because they objected to the author’s surname. Over and over, the Unicode Consortium has protected its standard from such political attacks.

The standard’s effectiveness helped. “If standards work, they’re invisible and can be ignored by the public,” Busch says. Twenty years after its first version, Unicode had become the default text-data standard, adopted by device manufacturers and software companies all over the world. Each version of the standard ushered more users into a seamless digital world of text. “We used to ask ourselves, ‘How many years do you think the consortium will need to be in place before we can publish the last version?’ ” Whistler recalls. The end was finally in sight — at one point the consortium had barely more than 50 writing systems to add.

All that changed in October 2010, when that year’s version of the Unicode standard included its first set of emojis."



"Not everyone thinks that Unicode should be in the emoji business at all. I met several people at Emojicon promoting apps that treat emojis like pictures, not text, and I heard an idea floated for a separate standards body for emojis run by people with nontechnical backgrounds. “Normal people can have an opinion about why there isn’t a cupcake emoji,” said Jennifer 8. Lee, an entrepreneur and a film producer whose advocacy on behalf of a dumpling emoji inspired her to organize Emojicon. The issue isn’t space — Unicode has about 800,000 unused numerical identifiers — but about whose expertise and worldview shapes the standard and prioritizes its projects.

“Emoji has had a tendency to subtract attention from the other important things the consortium needs to be working on,” Ken Whistler says. He believes that Unicode was right to take responsibility for emoji, because it has the technical expertise to deal with character chaos (and has dealt with it before). But emoji is an unwanted distraction. “We can spend hours arguing for an emoji for chopsticks, and then have nobody in the room pay any attention to details for what’s required for Nepal, which the people in Nepal use to write their language. That’s my main concern: emoji eats the attention span both in the committee and for key people with other responsibilities.”

Emoji has nonetheless provided a boost to Unicode. Companies frequently used to implement partial versions of the standard, but the spread of emoji now forces them to adopt more complete versions of it. As a result, smartphones that can manage emoji will be more likely to have Hanifi Rohingya on them too. The stream of proposals also makes the standard seem alive, attracting new volunteers to Unicode’s mission. It’s not unusual for people who come to the organization through an interest in emoji to end up embracing its priorities. “Working on characters used in a small province of China, even if it’s 20,000 people who are going to use it, that’s a more important use of their time than deliberating over whether the hand of my yoga emoji is in the right position,” Mark Bramhill told me.

Since its creation was announced in 2015, the “Adopt a Character” program, through which individuals and organizations can sponsor any characters, including emojis, has raised more than $200,000. A percentage of the proceeds goes to support the Script Encoding Initiative, a research project based at Berkeley, which is headed by the linguistics researcher Deborah Anderson, who is devoted to making Unicode truly universal. One the consortium recently accepted is called Nyiakeng Puachue Hmong, devised for the Hmong language by a minister in California whose parishioners have been using it for more than 25 years. Still in the proposal stage is Tigalari, once used to write Sanskrit and other Indian languages.

One way to read the story of Unicode in the time of emoji is to see a privileged generation of tech consumers confronting the fact that they can’t communicate in ways they want to on their devices: through emoji. They get involved in standards-making, which yields them some satisfaction but slows down the speed with which millions of others around the world get access to the most basic of online linguistic powers. “There are always winners and losers in standards,” Lawrence Busch says. “You might want to say, ultimately we’d like everyone to win and nobody to lose too much, but we’re stuck with the fact that we have to make decisions, and when we make them, those decisions are going to be less acceptable to some than to others.”"
unicode  language  languages  internet  international  standards  emoji  2017  priorities  web  online  anshumanpandey  rohingya  arabic  markbramhill  hmong  tigalari  nyiakengpuachuehmong  muhammadnoor  mohammedhanif  kenwhistler  history  1980  2011  1990s  1980s  mobile  phones  google  apple  ascii  facebook  emojicon  michaelaerard  technology  communication  tibet 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Biolojical on Twitter: "An emoji represents how many species?
"An emoji represents how many species?
1 💃🐼🐩😺🦁🐯🐎🐄🐖🐪🐨🥑🍍🌽
2-10 🦍🐘🦏🌰🎃
11-100 🦌🐬🦊🐰🐹🐧🐊🥕🌷🍓🍎🍐🍒🍇🌻🍅🥝
101-1K 🐒🐭🐀🦉🕊️🐢🐡🦈🐙🦑🍁🌲
1K-10K 🦇🐦🦎🐍🐸🐞🦂🦐🦀🌵🌴
>10K 🐟🐌🐜🐝🦋🕷️🍄🌳🌱"
emoji  nature  internet  web  online  animals  plants  multispecies 
september 2017 by robertogreco
Design Resources
"Select websites, tools, assets, and readings for working in and learning about design.

[categories]
Accessibility resources
Books and zines
Browser features
Brushes
Colors and color palettes
Fonts
Icons and emoji
Inspiration and criticism websites
Mockups
Prototyping tools
Stock graphics
Stock photography
User testing and interactive feedback tools
Design Resources
Select websites, tools, assets, and readings for working in and learning about design.

made by @skullface · view/contribute on GitHub
Accessibility"
design  resources  reference  jessicapaoli  fonts  icons  emoji  webdesign  webdev  color  palettes  stockphotography  stockgraphics  graphics  browsers  zines  extensions  chrome  prototyping 
july 2017 by robertogreco
How Fortune Cookies Explain the Westernization of Emoji - The Atlantic
"The takeout box and the fortune cookie are perceived as emblems of Chinese culture, when they’re actually central to the American experience of it."



"“I never saw any fortune cookie in my life until I was a teenager,” said Yiying Lu, a San Francisco-based artist who was born in Shanghai. Lu encountered her first fortune cookie when she left China and moved to Sydney, Australia.

Now, the fortune cookie she designed for the Unicode Consortium will be one of dozens of new emoji that are part of a June update. Lu also created the new emoji depicting a takeout box, chopsticks, and a dumpling.

The irony, she says, is that two of the four new Chinese-themed emoji—the fortune cookie and the takeout box—are not Chinese Chinese, but instead reflect Westernized elements of Chinese culture. “It’s kind of like Häagen-Dazs,” Lu told me. “People think its Scandinavian just because of the two dots in the name, but it’s American. It’s the same thing with the takeout box. The Chinese takeout box is completely invented in the West. And the fortune cookie was invented by a Japanese person, but it was popularized in America.”

Emoji, too, were invented by a Japanese person before becoming hugely popular in the United States. For people outside of Japan, emoji were a charming and mysterious window into Japanese culture. The fact that they weren’t globally representative was part of what made emoji fascinating to people in the Western world.

Shigetaka Kurita, who designed the first emoji in 1999, never expected them to spread beyond Japan. But they did. And now they’re everywhere, thanks to the widespread adoption of the smartphone.

“The whole reason emoji are taking off the way they are is largely because of Apple, which is an American company,” said Christina Xu, an ethnographer who focuses on the social implications of technology. And although the Unicode Consortium—which standardizes how computers communicate text and agrees upon new emoji—it an international group, most of its voting members are affiliated with American companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle, and IBM. “So even when it is about other cultures, it’s still about America,” Xu said.

Xu, who was born in China and grew up in the United States, says she has “mixed feelings” about the fortune cookie and takeout box emoji, and the extent to which they reflect how Westernized emoji seem to have become in the nearly two decades since Kurita’s first designs."



"“I lump the fortune cookie and takeout box into American emoji in the same way that the taco emoji is about the American experience,” she told me. “Because there is this funny sense of feeling like we somehow deserve [certain emoji]. The outrage about the lack of the taco emoji was such a Bay Area thing—like it is inconceivable to us that we could lack representation of things that are central to our specific experience.”

“I identify as Chinese and Chinese American,” she added. “And as a Chinese American, I don’t really feel like we deserve a fortune cookie. It seems so limited. There are 1.5 billion Chinese people all around the world and there are more universal signs of our shared culture than a takeout box or fortune cookies. Those things are so specific to a narrow band of the Chinese experience.”

On the other hand, she says, they’re just emoji. And the fixation with depicting ever more emoji, and ever more realistic emoji, has taken away from some of their inscrutability—which was always a core part of their appeal.

“They accumulate whatever culture gets hanged onto them, and that is the fun part,” Xu said. “So this idea that we’re going to somehow create a truly diverse emoji set, when the concept of diversity itself is so essentially American? It’s almost a disguised form of American cultural dominance. It’s going to a place where it’s overly deterministic.”

Lu, who is also known for her design of the old-school Twitter fail whale, stumbled into emoji art by accident. It all began in a conversation with Jenny 8. Lee, who runs the literary studio Plympton, about how useful a dumpling emoji would be. The pair then launched a Kickstarter campaign advocating for the dumpling with a small group of emoji enthusiasts.

The first dumpling design Lu created had heart eyes. “That one was inspired by the poop emoji because it has a really funny face and it’s just the circle of life,” Lu told me. “You eat a dumpling and it becomes poop.”

The anthropomorphized dumpling didn’t last.

Emoji food typically don’t have faces, the Unicode Consortium told her, and most foods are portrayed at a 45-degree angle.

“So I said, ‘Okay, let me do research,’” Lu said. The research involved looking at (and eating) a lot of dumplings. “But it was hard! I had to figure out how do I represent the little folds in a way that it’s still abstract enough and simple enough but iconic enough.”

Lu says the dumpling project was a way of making her own “little contribution to cross-cultural communication in the age of globalization,” and notes that she relied on others for cultural feedback in her subsequent designs. The first chopsticks she created were portrayed as crossed, which is considered impolite. Someone pointed this out to Lu on Twitter in response to the draft image. “I was born in China!” she said. “I thought I knew my root culture pretty well, but no! I was wrong.”

Lee, who is the author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food, says she’s “very proud” to have played a role in bringing the dumpling, takeout box, chopsticks, and fortune cookie to the realm of emoji. (She's also working on making a documentary film about emoji.) And as a non-voting member of the Unicode Consortium’s technical committee, Lee knows first-hand how seriously the group weighs issues related to representation.

“We had this big long debate about whether zombies and vampires can take race,” she told me, referring to the forthcoming zombie and vampire emoji. Ultimately, the consortium decided that people can select different skin tones for zombies and vampires—but not for genies. “They’re just blue,” she said. “The genies are raceless.”

“The people who fight the hardest for certain emoji are usually trying to fight for representation for themselves in some way,” Lee told me. “Most linguists say emoji are not currently a language—they’re paralinguistic, the equivalent of hand gestures or voice tone. But for people who use them, it’s almost like fighting for a word that [shows] you exist. When you come up with a word to describe your population, it’s a very powerful thing.”

Powerful but also impermanent. Language changes constantly. Cultural context shifts. Back in Shanghai, Fortune Cookie stayed open longer than its initial critics predicted, but it still didn’t last. The restaurant closed abruptly last year. Its owners said at the time they’d decided to move back to America."
emoji  internet  language  representation  2017  adriennelafrance  online  christinaxu  shigetakakurita  japan  china  us  westernization  yiyinglu  jenny8lee 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Redesigning Android Emoji – Google Design – Medium
"Yep, we did it. We said goodbye to the blobs. We moved away from the asymmetric and slightly dimensional shape of the container to an easily scannable squishy circle, relying on bold color, purposeful asymmetry — such as the new mind-blown emoji or the prop-wearing cowboy emoji — and loud facial features to convey emotion.

We also spent a long, long time making sure that we addressed cross-platform emotional consistency. Because one of our main goals with the redesign was to avoid confusion or miscommunication across platforms, we wanted to assure the user that when they sent an emoji to a friend, the message was clearly communicated regardless of whether they are on iOS, Windows, Samsung, or any other platform."
android  emotions  google  design  consistency  communication  2017  color  emoji 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Spanish California on Twitter: "My god It just occurred to me. The “boy you can’t read tone in text” problem was solved almost two decades ago have u heard of emoji"
"My god

It just occurred to me. The “boy you can’t read tone in text” problem was solved almost two decades ago

have u heard of emoji

Get fluent in the cues emoji can carry, and you can re-tune a sentence to ensure it lands the way you felt it

This is the original human trick: symbolic communication

Turned up to a hundred. An emoji is an incredibly dense symbolic payload

And emoji rides circuits on a level distinct from a word

It’s so efficient, cognitively.

😏 I’m letting you in some shit

😒 what a jackass

symbols geometrically similar but with inverted expressions, perfectly tune the subsequent messages

Cheap to transmit, cheap to interpret

We’ve been doing this forever. But emoji standardizes a vocabulary, available to all skill levels. It raises the floor for expressiveness

Man there is revolutionary linguistic progress being constantly incubated on the Information Age. It gets lost in the noise, but it’s there

Fucking DICTIONARIES taking official, political positions, in their adherence to reality. Teaching as it critiques

Incredible

I know it’s scary as fuck right now. It is. That’s real

But the future is being born all around us. We’re not calibrated to predict impact

The one thing that is keeping up with the rapaciousness of capitalism? The proliferation of data, expertise, and automation components

It’s not going to be as it was.

People who came of age with broadband as a norm are about to fuck things up in desperately needed ways

I’ve seen what today’s teenagers are capable of. All the energy, zest and pain that comes with youth

And an implicit fluency in information

I’d be bullshitting if I said I had any idea what this will mean

But a generation of cultural super soldiers are about to take the field

That’s going to change the game

Sometimes in dangerous ways, I’m sure. But this time the game will happen on the most even footing ever

Information is the power of reality. It was once closely held by royalty and clergy

Now it’s $35 buys you a computer of some sort

VC chases tech dollars because of the incredible scale effects of networks

those same effects make it revolutionary cheap to get knowledge

Even more explosive still is how cheap it is to transmit knowledge. More people than ever are participating in the definition of reality

The nature of power is about to get freaky as it is shaped by these currents

It’s going to blow our minds

Takeaways:

–use emoji. They’re terrific and an incredible cultural gift

–information technology is going to shake everything up. Again

Just hold onto your asses. I don’t care who you are, there’s going to be some new comrades in the fray. Let’s be good to them"
emoji  danilocampos  2017  communication  writing  text  infomation  technology  emotions 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Emoji Salad
"the text msg Pictionary party"
emoji  games  play  texting  sms 
november 2016 by robertogreco
a16z Podcast: The Meaning of Emoji 💚 🍴 🗿 – Andreessen Horowitz
"This podcast is all about emoji. But it’s really about how innovation really comes about — through the tension between standards vs. proprietary moves; the politics of time and place; and the economics of creativity, from making to funding … Beginning with a project on Kickstarter to crowd-translate Moby Dick entirely into emoji to getting dumplings into emoji form and ending with the Library of Congress and an “emoji-con”. So joining us for this conversation are former VP of Data at Kickstarter Fred Benenson (and the 👨 behind ‘Emoji Dick’) and former New York Times reporter and current Unicode emoji subcommittee member Jennifer 8. Lee (one of the 👩 behind the dumpling emoji).

So yes, this podcast is all about emoji. But it’s also about where emoji fits in the taxonomy of social communication — from emoticons to stickers — and why this matters, from making emotions machine-readable to being able to add “limbic” visual expression to our world of text. If emoji is a (very limited) language, what tradeoffs do we make for fewer degrees of freedom and greater ambiguity? How exactly does one then translate emoji (let alone translate something into emoji)? How do emoji work, both technically underneath the hood and in the (committee meeting) room where it happens? And finally, what happens as emoji becomes a means of personalized expression?

This a16z Podcast is all about emoji. We only wish it could be in emoji!"
emoji  open  openstandards  proprietarystandards  communication  translation  fredbenenson  jennifer8.lee  sonalchokshi  emopjidick  mobydick  unicode  apple  google  microsoft  android  twitter  meaning  standardization  technology  ambiguity  emoticons  text  reading  images  symbols  accessibility  selfies  stickers  chat  messaging  universality  uncannyvalley  snapchat  facebook  identity  race  moby-dick 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Emojicon
"Emojicon is a multi-day celebration 🎉 of all-things emoji that will take place at the beautiful California College of the Arts campus in San Francisco.

There will be lots of things to do! See emoji art🎨 . Watch emoji films 🎥. Discuss emoji policy📃 . Get your picture taken in an emoji photo booth📸 . Eat emoji-themed food (🍕 anyone?). Discuss emoji with members of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee📣 .

Mix. Mingle. Enjoy."
events  emoji  sanfrancisco  2016 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Official Google Blog: Meet Gboard: Search, GIFs, emojis & more. Right from your keyboard.
"iPhone users—this one’s for you. Meet Gboard, a new app for your iPhone that lets you search and send information, GIFs, emojis and more, right from your keyboard.

Say you’re texting with a friend about tomorrow’s lunch plans. They ask you for the address. Until now it’s worked like this: You leave your texting app. Open Search. Find the restaurant. Copy the address. Switch back to your texts. Paste the address into a message. And finally, hit send.
Searching and sending stuff on your phone shouldn’t be that difficult. With Gboard, you can search and send all kinds of things—restaurant info, flight times, news articles—right from your keyboard. Anything you’d search on Google, you can search with Gboard. Results appear as cards with the key information front and center, such as the phone number, ratings and hours. With one tap, you can send it to your friend and you keep the conversation going.


You can search for more than just Google search results. Instead of scrolling to find💃 or 👯 , search for “dancer” and find that emoji you were looking for instantly. Even better—you can search for the perfect GIF to show people how you’re really feeling. Finally, Gboard has Glide Typing, which lets you type words by sliding your finger from key to key instead of tapping—so everything you do is just a little bit faster.


Gboard works in any app—messaging, email, YouTube—so you can use it anywhere on your phone. Get it now in the App Store in English in the U.S., with more languages to come."

[See also: https://itunes.apple.com/app/gboard-search.-gifs.-emojis/id1091700242 ]
ios  google  search  gifs  emoji  gboard  via:ableparris  2016 
may 2016 by robertogreco
The Emoji Is the Birth of a New Type of Language (👈 No Joke) | WIRED
"Tyler Schnoebelen has discovered something curious about why people use the skull emoji. Schnoebelen is a linguist and the chief analyst for Idibon, a firm that interprets linguistic data. So recently he got interested in emoji. He analyzed a million social media posts containing those familiar little pictograms and found that when people talk about their phones they’re 11 times more likely to use the skull.

Fully 92 percent of all people online use emoji now, and one-third of them do so daily.

Weird, right? But Schnoebelen thinks it makes sense. Our phones, he points out, are social lifelines, and when they malfunction—a weak signal, short battery life—we’re distraught. “When you don’t have access to your phone, or when nobody’s texting you, you’re socially dead,” he says. So we reach for an emoji that’s pregnant with that metaphor: the skull.

Fully 92 percent of all people online use emoji now, and one-third of them do so daily. On Instagram, nearly half of the posts contain emoji, a trend that began in 2011 when iOS added an emoji keyboard. Rates soared higher when Android followed suit two years later. Emoji are so popular they’re killing off netspeak. The more we use 😊, the less we use LOL and OMG.

In essence, we’re watching the birth of a new type of language. Emoji assist in a peculiarly modern task: conveying emotional nuance in short, online utterances. “They’re trying to solve one of the big problems of writing online, which is that you have the words but you don’t have the tone of voice,” as my friend Gretchen McCulloch, a linguist and author, says.

Purists sniff. What have we become, children with crayons? Surely words alone can convey emotional tone? Maybe—if you’re a novelist with years of experience in the patient forging and editing of prose, McCulloch says. But we thumbfolk are writing speedily and conversationally, in bursts on SMS or Facebook. Of the 20 most frequently used emoji, nearly all are hearts, smilies, or hand gestures—the ones that emote. In an age of rapid chatter, emoji prevent miscommunication by adding an emotional tenor to cold copy.

We also use emoji to convey a sort of ambient presence, when words aren’t appropriate. Ryan Kelly, a computer scientist at the University of Bath, has found that when texters finish a conversation, they often trade a few emoji as nonverbal denouement. “You might not have anything else left to say,” Kelly says, “but you want to let the person know that you’re thinking of them.” So you send a couple of pandas. Or telescopes! Or some other symbol that seems witty. This is another aspect of emoji—many are open-ended. You’d think that would make them less language-like, but in fact friends use that malleability to invest specific emoji with their own private meanings. (My wife and I use the Easter Island head to connote absurdity.)

Indeed, people are even developing syntax and rules of use for emoji. Schnoebelen found that when we use face emoji, we tend to put them before other objects. If you text about a late flight, you’ll put an unhappy face followed by a plane, not the reverse. In linguistic terms, this is called conveying “stance.” Just as with in-person talk, the expression illustrates our stance before we’ve spoken a word.

All you social dystopians can unclutch your pearls; no linguist thinks this bodes the end of writing. Text is our most powerful, go-to communication tool. For most people, these ideograms are an upgrade. And what an unusual one! Language always changes, of course; slang is born, prances, and dies. But it’s exceedingly rare—maybe unprecedented—for a phonetic alphabet to suddenly acquire a big expansion pack of ideograms. In an age where we write more than ever, emoji is the new language of the heart."
emoji  clivethomspn  2016  english  language  tylerschnoebelen  text  communication 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Investigating the Potential for Miscommunication Using Emoji | GroupLens
"To investigate whether “emoji font” diversity can cause miscommunication, my colleagues and I conducted a survey to compare how people interpret emoji. We did this for 5 platform renderings (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, LG) of 22 of the most popular anthropomorphic (i.e., human-looking) emoji. For each emoji rendering, we asked the participants to describe the emoji rendering in words. We also asked them to assess the emotional meaning or sentiment of each rendering on a scale from -5 (strongly negative) to 5 (strongly positive)."
emoji  communication  miscommunication  2016 
april 2016 by robertogreco
A Simulation In Emoji
"Howdy! 🌻 This (prototype) is a tool that lets you simulate systems of the world. In emoji.

My hope is that this can help people make more stuff like Parable of the Polygons, interactives that help people understand the complex systems of the world we live in. Also, emoji.

In this simulation, you can edit EVERYTHING. Draw on the grid, modify the rules, even change these very words you're reading! And at the end, you can save and share your creation. That's the cool thing: there is *no* difference between playing & making, between reading & writing.

That's the Forest Fire model to your left. Pretty, isn't it? Scroll down, and you'll find the rules for it, exposed for you to play with. Have fun!"

[See also:
https://github.com/ncase/emoji-prototype
http://ncase.me/emoji-prototype/?remote=-K3ztgWwxXOUb9-QVRGe ]
simulations  classideas  emoji  programming  cellularautomata  simulation  conwaysgameoflife 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Emojis are no longer cool in Japan.
"And so Japanese netizens moved on. The big thing in Japan now is Line, a wildly popular free messaging app that has some 58 million domestic users, though almost no profile abroad. Its key feature is users’ ability to send “stamps,” essentially mascots and cartoon characters, back and forth. Emojis differ slightly from platform to platform; Android’s don’t precisely resemble those used on Apple or Twitter or Skype, and vice versa. But since LINE users are all aboard the same service, the stamps are always the same. And many are set to automatically pop up in a window based on what you type, just like predictive text or spelling suggestions. The emojis are still there, too. But they’re relegated to a sideshow role rather than being the main event, all but upstaged by the far more flamboyant stamps.

Line stamps also have a big leg up on emojis from another standpoint: commercialization. The company’s main source of revenue is hawking an ever-changing array of new stamp sets to customers, many of which are designed in concert with big corporations merchandising their product lines. Line makes a great deal of money from paid corporate and celebrity tie-ins, which can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the length of the campaign. On the other hand, even a company as deep-pocketed as Disney wouldn’t be able to pay Unicode to immortalize Mickey, Goofy, and the rest of the crew as emojis. The emoji system simply isn’t designed for monetization. There’s no such barrier with LINE.

The emojis have also taken another hit in Japan from an unlikely culprit: emoticons, those little pictorial representations of facial expressions constructed from punctuation marks. The West has emoticons and text art too, of course. Most English-speaking net users are familiar with the ubiquitous smiley :-) and frowny :-( marks and a handful of others. But Japanese emoticons—known as kaomoji, or face-text—come in a dizzying array of variations. They are complicated mixtures of punctuation, Japanese kana, foreign letters, and even scientific symbols, resembling something Dr. Frankenstein might have built had he majored in linguistics rather than played God. Perhaps the most common is キタ━━━━(゚∀゚)━━━━!! Pronounced kita, it’s the illustration of an excited “all right!” or “here we go!” that’s deployed endlessly on Japanese Twitter and chat rooms. The kaomoji express emotions in the way emojis do, but they’re composed of standard fonts rather than being illustrated by anyone in particular. This lets the constructions retain more ambiguity design-wise, which is a fancy-pants way of saying they’re more kawaii.

So bearing all of the above in mind: If emojis are in their twilight in their homeland, what are the implications for their popularity abroad? Are we heading for an emojipocalpyse?"

[Line app: http://line.me/ ]
emoji  japan  2015  stickers  lineapp  unicode  applications  messaging  emoticons 
december 2015 by robertogreco
OMG! In Text Messages, Punctuation Conveys Meaning - Pacific Standard
"The Oxford English Dictionary's recent announced that its 2015 "word" of the year is an emoji confirmed that texting is indeed creating a whole new ... not language, exactly, but certainly a distinctive dialect. This extremely abbreviated means of expression clearly requires shortcuts: symbols, either new or re-purposed, that convey the sender's meaning or intention.

A Binghamton University research team has apparently identified one such indicator: Whether or not you put a period at the end of a reply.

In the journal Computers in Human Behavior, researchers led by psychologist Celia Klin report that college students perceive text messages that end with a period to be less sincere than ones that do not.

That sincerely baffles me.

The study featured 126 undergraduates, who read a series of exchanges that appeared as either text messages or handwritten notes. The "text messages" were printed on pictures of cell phones; the "handwritten notes" were printed on pictures of loose-leaf paper.

"Punctuation is one of the cues used by senders, and understood by receivers, to convey pragmatic and social information."

The experimental exchanges featured an invitation that was phrased as a question ("Dave gave me his extra tickets. Wanna come?"), followed by a one-word response such as "Yeah" or "Sure." For each of the 16 exchanges, participants either read a version in which the response ended with a period, or an alternate version in which it was not punctuated.

After reading each exchange, participants rated the sincerity of the receiver's response on a scale of one to seven.

The result: Text messages that ended with a period were rated less sincere than those that did not. This was not true of handwritten notes. "These results indicate that punctuation influenced the perceived meaning of the text messages," the researchers write.

Now, communicating effectively when you can't hear a person's tone of voice, see their facial expression, or note the nuances contained in longer written messages can be tricky; it was inevitable that indicators of emotion would evolve into existence. But why this one?

I can only guess that, for some people (the researchers note the size of the effect was "modest"), a sentence ending in a period suggests the other person put at least a little time and effort into composing their reply. If you take time to consider your answer, it opens the possibility of mendacity. In contrast, if you answer spontaneously and informally, the message presumably reflects your instantaneous gut response—which is honest by definition.

Wisely, the researchers do not weigh in on that question. "Our claim is not so much that the period is used to convey a lack of sincerity in text messages," they write, "but that punctuation is one of the cues used by senders, and understood by receivers, to convey pragmatic and social information."

"Our data indicate that people are able to include in their texts the types of non-verbal cues that are present in face-to-face conversation."

So, next time you are texting, pay attention to the punctuation you use, or don't use. Chances are that even small choices convey specific meanings. And if they don't reflect what you're trying to say, the LOL is on you."

[See also: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/12/08/study-confirms-that-ending-your-texts-with-a-period-is-terrible/]
texting  punctuation  messaging  periods  language  meaning  mobile  phones  emoji  sincerity  tomjacobs  howwewrite 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Emoji passcodes are the PIN replacements we both want and need | The Verge
"If you think the headline to this story overstates the case, then just remember that the most common passwords on the web are "123456," "password," and — just to show a little bit of imagination — "12345678." No matter how much some of us worry over how to create memorable but secure passphrases, the majority of internet users just don't care. That's why one company thinks it's time to replace four digit PINs with a language everyone loves: emoji.

Intelligent Environments, a UK firm that makes digital banking software, has created what it's calling the "world’s first emoji-only passcode," offering a choice of 44 emoji that can be used to create a four-character PIN. The company says this means there are 3,498,308 possible permutations for non-repeating emoji passcodes, compared to just 7,290 for traditional non-repeating PIN.

Forcing people to use emoji instead of numbers would also stop them choosing PINs based on memorable events — birthdays and weddings for example — that might be easily guessed. Tony Buzan, a noted memory expert quoted by the company, adds that the idea "plays to humans’ extraordinary ability to remember pictures, which is anchored in our evolutionary history."

It's a clever idea, certainly, but don't get too excited yet: it's not the first PIN replacement we've seen, and implementing these ideas is always far more difficult than just coming up with them. Intelligent Environments' press release is also little too heavy on the hyperbole (it claims that "64 percent of millennials regularly communicate only using emojis" — really? Only using emoji?) and a little too light on actual industry support.

Intelligent Environments' managing director David Webber told BBC News that the company hadn't patented the idea, meaning any bank that wants to introduce emoji PIN codes can do so. Although, there's always the chance that security wouldn't be increased as everyone picked what is objectively the best emoji passcode ever: four smiling poops."
emoji  passwords  2015  via:tealtan  security 
june 2015 by robertogreco
I Can Text You A Pile of Poo, But I Can’t Write My Name by Aditya Mukerjee | Model View Culture
"We can’t ignore the composition of the Unicode Consortium’s members, directors, and officers -- the people who define the everyday writing systems of all languages across the globe."



"Determining which graphemes and glyphs are essential to a given ethno-linguistic group is a tough problem. Identifying all of these for all languages in widespread use is even more challenging. But one thing is clear: we cannot design an alphabet meant for everyday use by native speakers of a language without the primary input of native speakers of these languages.

Out of compatibility concerns, the Unicode Consortium is unlikely to modify the 224,024 characters that have already been defined in any future updates. It took half a century to replace the English-only ASCII with Unicode, and even that was only made possible with an encoding that explicitly maintains compatibility with ASCII, allowing English speakers to continue ignoring other languages.

But that still leaves 80% of the codepoints unused. As the Unicode Consortium decides which characters to allocate, there are a number of ways to ensure that Unicode accurately reflects the stated goal of representing “all characters in widespread use today”.

Membership in the Consortium is not free, or even cheap. Full membership and voting rights cost $18,000 (and tellingly, all prices are listed in USD only). Discounts are already provided at lower membership tiers for non-profit organizations, such as the Mormon church. These discounts could be expanded to full membership, and to for-profit groups from non-European countries where English is a minority language. The Consortium could establish an explicit hiring plan to guarantee that its staff represent the many languages that it seeks to standardize. The Consortium could adopt bylaws that ensure that technical committee members and officers are not dominated by native English speakers. There are other measures that the Consortium can and should take as well, but these three are very straightforward both to implement and to evaluate, so they make a good starting point.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has written, ‘The subaltern cannot speak’. They are structurally prohibited from having any dialogue – even an unbalanced one – with the very powers that oppress them. Access to digital tools that respect our languages is crucial to communicating in the Internet age. The power to control the written word is the ability both to amplify voices and to silence them. Anyone with this power must wield it with caution.

Whatever path we take, it’s imperative that the writing system of the 21st century be driven by the needs of the people using it. In the end, a non-native speaker – even one who is fluent in the language – cannot truly speak on behalf the monolingual, native speaker. For them, the language is simply a way of exploring a different part of their world, or of exploring familiar parts in a new way. For the native speaker, the language is not merely a novelty. It is the gateway to accessing life and society itself."
culture  language  unicode  technology  discrimination  internet  web  2015  inclusion  emoji  standards  universality  webstandards  bengali  adityamukerjee  history  gayatrichakravortyspivak  subaltern  diversity  inlcusivity  inclusivity 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Home :: Emojicons
"Welcome to Emojicons, your one-stop plot of internet land for every ლ(╹◡╹ლ), ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, ಠ_ಠ, and (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ you can possibly imagine. We're here to serve your every textual need, providing a relentless number of ways to refine your chats, tweets, IMs, Facebook posts, YouTube responses, Reddit comments, forum flaming, rage quitting, trolling, and every other type of written discourse. Emoticons, kaomoji, facemarks, and smileys galore!

So indulge, coddle, and rampage through this site to find every emoticon that speaks to your whimsical soul, then fling copious amounts of it all across the internets :)."
emoji  emoticons  unicode 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Digital Culture is Like Oral Culture Written Down — The Civic Beat — Medium
[via: https://twitter.com/mathpunk/status/554666572716187648 ]

"Digital Culture is Like Oral Culture Written Down: Calling a selfie stick or lunch pic narcissistic reflects a written culture perspective. Here’s how I reframe things.



We’re recognizing, for instance, how social media can facilitate the spread of rumors and misinformation. We’re acknowledging that verbal cyberbullying and online harassment can be deeply painful. Activist hashtagging continues in the tradition of call and response of chants and slogans. Conversation is a key principle in the new Cluetrain Manifesto: “The Net is not a medium any more than a conversation is a medium.”

All these discussions point to how social media has more of an oral, rather than literate, culture. By focusing just on what people post, we’re missing the point: social context, relationships and nonverbal gestures matter as much as the words and images themselves.

In other words, a selfie is never just a selfie. It exists in a broader social context, and just because some people take them narcissistically doesn’t mean that all, or even most, do.

***

Oral Culture/Print Culture
Shift the framework from print culture to oral culture, and much of the way we use social media sounds a little less crazy and little more, well, human. The Out of Eden Walk project is fond of calling its online community a digital campfire. I like that image; like idle chitchat and storytelling around a campfire, the conversations we have on social media often resemble oral conversations written down.

In that vein, here are a few general complaints against social media that I often hear (do they sound familiar?), and a potential way to reframe them (though to be honest, they’re each worthy of an essay). Because I look at images as much as words on the web, I prefer to use the term print culture, by which I hope to encompass both image- and word-based communications before the internet:

Print culture: People waste time posting pictures of their pets.
Oral culture: People tell silly stories about their pets all the time. Photos make those stories easier.

Print culture: Who cares what you’re having for lunch?
Oral culture: Eating food together, preparing food and talking about said food is one of the most fundamentally social things human beings do.

Print culture: Selfies are the height of vanity and narcissism.
Oral culture: Selfies help express emotion and tell stories. The written word lacks all the nuance of the human face, and selfies help fill that gap.

Print culture: There are literally thousands of people documenting this event with their cameras. Why do you need to take a picture too?
Oral culture: I’m taking this photo to share it with friends. It has to come from me, from my perspective, because I’m the storyteller.

Print culture: Punctuation marks help disambiguate meaning, words, and sentences. Be sparing with exclamation marks and semicolons.
Oral culture: Punctuation marks indicate emphasis. And tone… And emotion! And confusion‽‽‽ And. Every. Mode. Of. Expression. Under. The. Sun. ;)

Print culture: Ur spelling iz awful. Write proper English.
Oral culture: Variants of standardized language are probably as old as words themselves.

Print culture: Use hashtags to express topicality.
Oral culture: Use hashtags to #chant, to have a #metaconversation. Or #justbecause. #somanywaystousehashtags

Print culture: Think carefully about how you arrange words to convey exactly what you mean to say.
Oral culture: I has the feels. Here’s a GIF.

***

There are major differences between digital culture and oral culture, of course.

For one, you can’t index what people are saying in aural space (unless you’re using voice recognition software or audio recordings, etc.). Something you say in one place rarely escapes the physical constraints of sound; in digital culture, one sentence or image can go global rather quickly.

As well, print culture is still an important part of the dialogue, as it always has been, because digital technologies evolved from print technologies and share much of the same functionality. Digital culture has a permanence that’s as helpful for cultural heritage as it is for surveillance.

As law professor James Grimmelmann has written in response to some of my Tweets on this subject, this also has significant effects for the law:

Observers who expect that social media should have the dignity and gravity of the written word can feel affronted when others use social media more informally.

I see this slippage at work in Internet law all the time. The legal system repeatedly asks itself whether social media should be taken seriously.

In general, I find it more helpful, when looking at how people live and interact online, to take an oral culture orientation. We shouldn’t stop there, of course, because digital culture is not exactly oral culture. But with a better frame, we can then dive into the specifics of each practice to try to figure out what’s going on.



So back to the selfie stick.

In general, as we see more people from different cultures coming online, my guess is that cultures with rich oral traditions are more likely to be early adopters of practices that might initially seem odd to the more writerly types. Emoji, GIF stickers, walkie talkie text messages and selfie sticks all come to mind—there’s a reason these have tended to be more popular in Asia initially, where oral culture flourishes online (h/t selfie writer Alicia Eler). Especially when it comes to selfies and group photos, photos don’t end with the picture taking. Rather, everything about these photos — from taking them, sharing them and talking about them — is a vehicle for social bonding, storytelling, talking, etc.



Print culture: Selfie sticks help us extend our narcissism to new heights.
Oral culture: Selfie sticks help us tell better and more varied stories about what we’re up to. We can include a larger group of people. More of the background and scenery. The more detail, the better. Selfies allow us to take and frame the picture as a social experience with friends, making sure it comes from our own perspectives, not that of a stranger.

Oh, and they’re fun, to boot."

[Related: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:42a64d5690c1
https://medium.com/why-2015-wont-suck/26-you-will-mock-then-purchase-a-selfie-stick-ea57f41dfda ]
emoji  selfies  selfiesticks  anxiaomina  2015  culture  orality  conversation  internet  socialmedia  online  web  print  publishing  literacy  multiliteracies  punctuation  spelling  language  communication  hashtags  gifs  storytelling  interaction  relationships  chitchat  photography  cameras 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The Life and Times of ¯_(ツ)_/¯ - The Awl
[Title is actually: "The Life and Times of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ",
but something goes wrong in Pinboard. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ]
kylechayka  2014  shrug  shruggie  smugshrug  kaomoji  facemarks  japan  emoji  tableflipping  emoticons 
june 2014 by robertogreco
The Best Way to Type ¯_(ツ)_/¯ - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic
[Title is actually: "The Best Way to Type ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ - The Awl",
but something goes wrong in Pinboard. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ]
emoticons  shrug  shruggie  typography  2014  robinsonmeyer  smugshrug  kaomoji  facemarks  japan  emoji  tableflipping 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Apple issues App Store-wide Emoji take-down order - Ars Technica
"Apple has issued an App Store-wide take-down of all Emoji-enabling iPhone applications. There may be a few reasons for this decision, ranging from the gray area of how developers are switching on Emoji support to possible licensing issues."
emoji  applications  iphone  apple  languages  mobile  sms  texting  ios 
february 2009 by robertogreco
All about Mobile Life - Emoji and Emoticons - the first truly universal language?
"So how about standardization of emoticons and emoji's? Here are some resources to start with. If you want to add more resources, please do so in the comments."
emoticons  emoji  communication  japan  japanese  english  universal  language  im  messaging 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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