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Episode Forty Four: Snow Crashing; danah boyd; Facebook and Oculus Rift
"It looks like Facebook's leadership is waking up to this (in fairness to them, the rest of the industry is waking up to this, too). With mobile, there isn't (and doesn't have to be) a one-size-fits-all communication/social networking utility or app. Facebook may well be the thing that everyone ends up having an account on, but in their latest earnings call, they reiterated their strategy to build more mobile apps and with the acquisition of WhatsApp alongside Instagram it seems clear to me (without my work hat on) that Facebook's goal to connect the world is through Facebook the holding company, not just through Facebook the product/platform. 

You can contrast boyd's work with that of Paul Adams' in his book Grouped[2], the result of which was Google Plus Circles shortly after he left Google for Facebook. Circles (and Google Plus) appears to me to be the sort of social network you end up building where you want everyone *and* you want to solve the problem of having different spaces and contexts. But we don't work like that, not as people: Google Plus is the place and it doesn't matter how many different circles I might have there - the cognitive overhead involved in placing people in circles is just too great and causes too much friction as opposed to just using a different app like Snapchat or WhatsApp or Twitter or Secret that comes with intrinsic contextual cues to being another place.

Adams' research was right - people don't like inadvertently sharing different facets of themselves to the wrong audience. No product has successfully catered for multiple facets, I don't think, and trying to build it into a one-size-fits-all product has failed so far. Mobile, which has reduced context-switching to near negligible, as well as provided a new social graph through the address book, has finally let a thousand social flowers bloom at scale."



"So when you're vision driven, look at Facebook the way you look at Google. One way of looking at Google is that they want to organise the world's information and make it freely available. One way of looking at Facebook is that they literally want to connect the world and enable every living person to communicate as frictionlessly as possible with everyone else.
Like I said, the devil is in the detail.

Facebook - the product you and I use, the one with the newsfeed - is just one way Facebook the holding company is connecting the world. Instagram is another. WhatsApp is another.

Some of those products are ad-funded, some others aren't. And if you're thinking about an end-goal of connecting the world, what's going to connect more people more quickly? Them paying for it, or the connection being available for free?

This might sound like having drunk the kool-aid, but try crediting Zuckerberg with more intelligence and think of him as the prototypical smart nerd: optimize for a connected world. What do you build? How do you deploy it?

It's against this background that they buy Oculus Rift. And don't think agency people have any knowledge - I'm in a plane at 30k feet, and when the news broke about WhatsApp, we were in a meeting *with our clients* - we find out about this stuff when you do, when Twitter explodes.

Like everyone apart from Apple, Facebook missed the boat. But Oculus as display technology - as another way to augment the human social experience is provocative and interesting. In the PR, Zuckerberg is quoted as saying:

"Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."

He's not wrong. You are always going to be able to meet more people through mediated experiences than physically. Physicality doesn't scale. Is this a terrible harbinger of the replacement of physical social contact? Probably not. We have always invented and looked for more ways to connect with people. boyd says in her book that teenagers aren't addicted to Facebook in the same way they were never addicted to texting or tying up the house landline for hours. They're addicted to *people*. And if Oculus genuinely has the way to change the way people connect, then that makes perfect strategic sense for Facebook.

It turns out that today, people are still using Snow Crash as a business plan."
personas  diversity  facebook  occulusrift  personality  pauladams  danahboyd  google  google+  circles  toolbelttheory  onlinetoolkit  multitools  killerapps  instagram  whatsapp  spaces  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  communication  multiplefacets  contextswitching  danhon  markzuckerberg  snowcrash  nealstephenson  googleplus 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Google's Lost Social Network
"Cynics of social media claim that online relationships are necessarily tenuous, but the ties between Readers were anything but weak. In a joint response to Google, the Arkansas party wrote: “We in the Reader community have met our spouses here, created lasting friendships, made productive professional connections, collaborated on works of art, journalism, literature, and activism.” Lowe and Patterson jaunted to Mexico, but have vacationed together every year since. Wetherell and Bilotta are now married and are working on an iPhone app for couples. “This community is the primary way I stay in regular contact with many of my closest friends. It’s the network I tell first about things that happen in my life,” lamented Stanton, the Bostonian. Gladwell chides social media evangelists for having “a thousand ‘friends’ on Facebook, as you could never have in real life.” But the bonds formed on Google Reader were sincere, even lifelong…"
google+  communities  community  history  rss  2012  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  google  googlereader 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Caterina Fake: Fast Growth for a Social App Is a Very Bad Thing - Liz Gannes - Social - AllThingsD
"Fake added emphatically that the worst thing a start-up social network can do is to buy advertising to attract users. Growth should happen because users find value in a site, and then get their friends to join, she said.

And if users don’t come? Start-ups should try harder to make a better product.

That’s why Pinwheel plans to only slowly let in the tens of thousands of people on its email list, Fake said. And it’s why Pinwheel will ask users to write original notes, rather than filling the many empty places on its map with existing location-based content from around the Web. “We’re not going to suddenly metastasize by adding Wikipedia content,” Fake said."

[See also the correction Caterina Fake makes in the comments.]
myspace  linkedin  facebook  twitter  google+  flickr  startups  growth  scaling  scale  2012  pinwheel  storytelling  caterinafake 
february 2012 by robertogreco
The Social Graph is Neither (Pinboard Blog) [Too much to quote, chose parts of the conclusion]
"The funny thing is, no one's really hiding the secret of how to make awesome online communities. Give people something cool to do and a way to talk to each other, moderate a little bit, and your job is done. Games like Eve Online or WoW have developed entire economies on top of what's basically a message board…

My hope is that whatever replaces Facebook and Google+ will look equally inevitable, and that our kids will think we were complete rubes for ever having thrown a sheep or clicked a +1 button. It's just a matter of waiting things out, and leaving ourselves enough freedom to find some interesting, organic, and human ways to bring our social lives online."

[Related: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2011/11/evil-social-networks.html ]
socialgraph  maciejceglowski  pinboard  social  technology  relationships  design  marketing  facebook  google+  google  advertising  compuserve  prodigy  aol  walledgardens  web  online  2011  maciejcegłowski 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Evil social networks - Charlie's Diary
"So the ideal social network (from an investor's point of view) is one that presents itself as being free-to-use, is highly addictive, uses you as bait to trap your friends, tracks you everywhere you go on the internet, sells your personal information to the highest bidder, and is impossible to opt out of. Sounds like a cross between your friendly neighbourhood heroin pusher, Amway, and a really creepy stalker, doesn't it?"

[Related: http://blog.pinboard.in/2011/11/the_social_graph_is_neither/ ]
privacy  klout  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  facebook  google+  socialmedia  twitter  2011  advertising  uk  law  internet  web  online 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Why I do not want to work at Google
"I believe that warehouse-scale client-server computing will, in the end, undermine the kind of democratic freedom of communication that we need to deal with today’s global menaces. It’s more practical than peer-to-peer computing at the moment, but that pendulum has swung back & forth several times over the decades…The proper response to the current impracticality of decentralized computing is not to sigh and build centralized systems. The proper response is to build the systems to *make decentralized computing practical again*.

Google is not institutionally opposed to this; they’ve funded substantial and important work on it. Nevertheless, because of their overall orientation toward centralized solutions with undemocratically-imposed policies, I believe working there would be a further distraction from that goal. Worse, with every advance that companies like Google and Apple make, the higher is the bar that decentralized systems must leap to achieve real adoption."

[via: http://www.odonnellweb.com/2011/08/is-google-becoming-the-next-iteration-of-aol/ ]
internet  web  media  google  peertopeer  p2p  decentralization  democracy  freedom  computing  decentralizedcomputing  kragenjaviersitaker  email  gmail  spam  control  2011  google+ 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Wicked (1) - Charlie's Diary
"…our biggest challenges are no longer technological. They are issues of communication, coordination, & cooperation. These are, for the most part, well-studied problems that are not wicked. The methodologies that solve them need to be scaled up from the small-group settings where they currently work well, & injected into the DNA of our society…They then can be used to tackle the wicked problems.

What we need…is a Facebook for collaborative decision-making: an app built to compensate for the most egregious cognitive biases & behaviours that derail us when we get together to think in groups. Decision-support, stakeholder analysis, bias filtering, collaborative scratch-pads &, most importantly, mechanisms to extract commitments to action from those that use these tools. I have zero interest in yet another open-source copy of a commercial application or yet another Tetris game for Android. But a Wikipedia's worth of work on this stuff could transform the world."
technology  politics  psychology  philosophy  public  problemsolving  wicketproblems  society  facebook  google+  decisionmaking  collaboration  communication  coordination  cooperation  gamechanging  karlschroeder  charliestross  wikipedia  transformation  worldchanging  2011 
august 2011 by robertogreco
A Case for Pseudonyms | Electronic Frontier Foundation
"There are myriad reasons why individuals may wish to use a name other than the one they were born with. They may be concerned about threats to their lives or livelihoods, or they may risk political or economic retribution. They may wish to prevent discrimination or they may use a name that’s easier to pronounce or spell in a given culture."
pseudonyms  google  google+  facebook  identity  eff  anonymity  web  internet  2011 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Who is harmed by a "Real Names" policy? - Geek Feminism Wiki
"This page lists groups of people who may be disadvantaged by any policy which bans Pseudonymity and requires so-called "Real names" (more properly, legal names).<br />
This is an attempt to create a comprehensive list of groups of people who are affected by such policies."
socialmedia  google  google+  facebook  pseudonyms  internet  identity  via:sahelidatta  2011 
july 2011 by robertogreco
elearnspace › Losing interest in social media: there is no there there
"This view – deep, contextualized awareness of complex interrelated entities (the hallmark of a a progressive or advancing society) – is strikingly antagonistic to the shallow platitudes and self-serving “look at me!” activities of social media gurus whose obsession is self-advancement. At best, they have become the reality TV/Fox News version of social commentary: lots of hype, lots of attention, void of substance, and, at best, damaging to the cause they purport to advance."
socialmedia  blogging  elearning  connectivism  georgesiemens  fatigue  facebook  google+  stockandflow  2011  twitter  substance  jeffjarvis  hashtags 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Caterina.net» Blog Archive » Anonymity and Pseudonyms in Social Software
"Pseudonyms are not in themselves harmful. Yes, they can be used for harm, as when people use them for anonymous, slanderous attacks, trolling, etc., but in the vast majority of cases there is no harm done. Importantly, they can serve to protect vulnerable groups. There’s even a comprehensive list of people harmed by Real Names policies. In the cases where pseudonyms are being abused, it is the harm that should be stopped, not the pseudonyms. To my mind there are three categories of Pseudonymous behavior, and they should be treated differently: AKA or “Also Known As” … Pseudonym … Trolls … “Real identities” have real benefits to users — creating communities of trust, silencing trolls, people standing by their words. Nothing can destroy a happy social space faster than allowing the trolls to go unchecked…Pseudonyms, which provide so many benefits to the first two categories, should not be banned because of the third."
community  socialnetworking  identity  facebook  privacy  google+  pseudonyms  caterinafake  2011  trolls  steganography 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Jyri Engeström - Google+ ["As my first post on Google+, I thought I'd posit a stance on anonymity."]
"The reason online social services are winning the day is because they have served the side of freedom in this ongoing struggle. It's this more than anything that makes them so valuable to the human population as a whole. Now that they're growing global in influence and reach, their own mechanisms of self-government must evolve to reflect this. Otherwise they themselves will become the new oppressive regimes.

Social liberty for Mill meant putting limits on the ruler’s power so that he would not be able to use his power on his own wishes and make decisions which could harm society (the platform) itself. In other words, people should have a say in the government’s decisions. What does this mean in the case of online social networks? For starters, listen to your users, explain yourself, and base your decisions on the harm principle, even if it means going against shouts coming from the majority – or your boss."
jyriengestrom  google+  privacy  anonymity  socialsoftware  socialnetworking  socialnetworks 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis [on Google+, but with some unrelated notes about BERG/SVK]
"On July 9, I made my sole public post on Google+.  It reads:<br />
<br />
Dear 1000 people who have added me to their circles apparently overnight: very kind of you to think of me, but the system is just not fine-grained enough yet to let me sort through you effectively. So I have to declare Google+ bankruptcy. Sorry.<br />
<br />
Also none of you invoked me in the approved manner, which requires a bottle of whisky, ritual drumming, fire, two chickens, a bucket of eels and a nurse."
warrenellis  via:preoccupations  google+  2011  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  svk  berg  berglondon 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Andy Baio - Google+ "Google+ indirectly got me blogging again."
Very strange, Google+ indirectly got me blogging again. I started to write an anecdote about Meat Cheese Bread on Saturday on Google+, but realized that was a bit silly. There wasn't anything private about it, and it was too long to make sense here, so I decided to flesh it out into a post about opinionated software design: http://waxy.org/2011/07/meat_cheese_bread/<br />
<br />
Same thing for this riff on Marco Arment's Monopoly post I just put up, discussing the dirty origins of the board game: http://waxy.org/2011/07/theres_no_wrong_way_to_play_monopoly/<br />
<br />
I forgot how much I miss shorter blogging. At some point, I started putting pressure on myself that my main blog posts needed to be deep, investigative pieces. Lifting that pressure is a huge relief.
andybaio  blogging  informality  writing  google+  public  shortform  shortformblogging  unintendedconsequences  sideeffects  2011 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Web Journalist Blog » How to live broadcast your Google+ Hangout
"But today’s tech development goes to Livestream.com (formerly Mogulus) that has been owning the desktop/laptop broadcasting space. They have a downloadable application called Procaster.<br />
The piece of software has a simple interface and is loaded with a ton of features, including the ability to broadcast your desktop. What’s also great is that you can zoom in/out to frame your shot, which makes it the ideal Google+ Hangout broadcasting tool."
google+  hangouts  recording  video  broadcast  broadcasting  streaming  livestream 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Can We Ever Digitally Organize Our Friends? « kev/null
"We’re incredibly adept at knowing the right situations to include the right people. They’re not black or white rules and depend heavily on context: is it a party, who else is there, do they know any of the other people, have you talked recently, etc. Unfortunately, this skill and these implicit social rules we know are not easily translated.

Maintenance

…Sociologist Gerald Molenhorst has shown that we change half of our social network every seven years but there isn’t a Changing of the Guard ceremony here. It’s not entirely clear at what point Mike moved from one group to another.

Thus, maintaining digital groups has two problems. First, you don’t know when to move someone from one group to another because transitions happen gradually. Second, it’s simply a lot of effort to maintain. How often would you update the entire list? And if it’s not updated, how useful are the groupings, really?"

[via: http://log.scifihifi.com/post/7724790329 ]
google  socialnetworking  facebook  organization  google+  relationships  circles  change  fluidity 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Coming Cloud Wars: Google+ vs Microsoft (plus Facebook) | Epicenter | Wired.com
"Right now, it’s easy to share links, pictures, location and videos on Google+. Soon, it’ll be equally easy to share maps, office documents, news and shopping deals.

That’s where things really get interesting — particularly if Google can turn its identity system into the kind of purchasing system that Apple and Amazon have, pairing it with its advertising power and ever-present mobile phones to create a virtual mobile wallet.

If Silicon Valley were hosting a basketball tournament for consumer money and mindshare in the cloud, right now we’d be looking at a Final Four of Google, Apple (plus Twitter), Microsoft (plus Facebook) and Amazon (especially if they can make a compelling tablet). Apple just had its earnings call; Microsoft’s is tomorrow.

The stakes are high, the players are ready. It’s a fun time to be a fan."
timcarmody  google+  google  amazon  apple  facebook  microsoft  skype  twitter  social  cloud  cloudcomputing  identity  sharing  notification  communication  bing  search  spotify 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Woods+ (Ftrain.com)
"Anyway, the new thing from the Gootch makes it really easy to sort people into the holes, which is good, because this lets you divide people into clusters and lie to each group in different ways, which makes it easier to preserve the fictions that make up our polite racist society. And it looks pretty sweet and works well so far, which probably means that there will be a huge battle-in-earnest between the Gootch and the Books, between Circles and Friends. For example, I don't know if you saw this but according to the New York Times Mark Zuckerberg is taking walks in the woods with people he'd like to hire. If he really wants you to work for him he takes you for a walk in the woods. It's gotten that serious. And this is a responsibility of a well-educated American, to think about Mark Zuckerberg taking walks in the woods with multiple unnamed sources."
paulford  ftrain  facebook  google  google+  markzuckerberg  mostdangerousgame  hiring  2011 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Mule Design Studio’s Blog: Density and Difference
Putting screenshots of Google+ and Twitter next to each other you’ll notice two things.…One…more density on the Twitter side…

Secondly, take a look at how each service shows you the difference between things. In twitter’s ordered world there’s a basic unit of measurement: a tweet. Highly restrictive by nature. The differences are easy to spot. Some have links, some are retweets, faves, etc. But because the basic unit itself is so uniform, the stream is incredibly easy to scan, even read. The differences between each unit are things you catch out of the corner of your eye.

Google+, on the other hand, wants you to know that these objects are different types. It’s all about leading with the differences, rather than creating a scannable, understandable whole. It’s function over form. Cognitively, I have to figure out what type of object it is before I can read it."
design  social  twitter  google  facebook  google+  2011  density  scanning  interface  interfacedesign  reading  difference 
july 2011 by robertogreco
This is just the beginning – Are you thinking inside out?
"Google+ is both trying to replicate offline social network structures (w/ circles) & build social network structures that are unique to online world (w/ following, & w/ fact that anyone can add anyone to a circle, independent of whether these people have met offline). Is this the best approach? No-one knows…<br />
<br />
…science…most of our behavior is driven by non-conscious brain, not by conscious brain…refutes much of our understanding of how the world works. When we meet people, for first time, or for ten thousandth time, there are far too many signals for the conscious brain to take in, analyze, and compute what to do. So our non-conscious brain does the analysis for us, & delivers a feeling, which determines how we react and how we behave. It’s our non-conscious brain that will be deciding which social network succeeds & which one fails. It’s going to take most, if not all, of our lifetime to figure out what is happening in the non-conscious brain. This is just the beginning."
psychology  socialnetworking  google+  facebook  relationships  pauladams  via:preoccupations  online  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  brain  science  consciousawareness  subconscious  gutfeelings  feelings  instinct  2011 
july 2011 by robertogreco

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