Just started playing this social media stock exchange game yesterday, but based on the existing strength of my social media network, I guess I got listed highly right away. My share price is hovering around $32 today, so not such a sharp rise, but still decent.
I love all the data they give you on the site, all the different aggregations and compilations. Here's a screenshot:
Dan lays it down tough, but he says some things that really needed saying, that needed amplifying.
I'm still pretty freaked over the general decline of the overall enterprise of public affairs reporting, investigative reporting, civic and civil society reporting and analysis, as these behemoth media monopolies falter like a single-species pine forest hit by the bark beetle.
But Dan is at least reminding us, reminding me, of something I knew, suffered with as the status quo, never quite reconciled myself to as the years rolled by, but found myself increasingly powerless to do anything about it to fight those monopolies, at least until the blog movement and the idea of citizen journalism came along.
Not that the pretty feeble but courageous citizen journalism and non-profit journalism efforts caused the massive monopolies to shiver in their boots. That mild contribution to the monopolies' death is just a thousand cuts, with the IDEA of the real masses, the huge reading publics accessing content for free online. Those readers were fed by an advertising-subsidized content machine, however, a machine created and delivered in an industrial, mindless assembly-line, tape-recorder-journalist-as-low-wage-line-worker model, not with a a critical thinking and analysis (even semantic parsing!) information age model (one could argue the Internet model is SEO-driven, nearly-bot-written content thinly scraped to follow trending topics... but that's a subject for another post!).
But the real death blow is being struck by the hand that fed the monopoly powers: advertisers cutting back in the face of the Great Recession.
I know I'm finding this story late, but ever since I heard Jan Chipchase do a talk on his research and design work, I like to follow what he's doing wherever he's doing it. Sort of like Carmen Sandiego!
Jan Chipchase leaves Nokia, joins Frog Design
Posted by: Helen Walters on April 05, 2010
designer and anthropologist Jan Chipchase (that’s him in the
background, taking the picture) has made a name for himself and
collected quite a following as a result of his work at Nokia, where he
worked in both the research group and the design team (read a 2007 BusinessWeek Q&A with him here.)
Having joined the Finnish telecoms company in October, 2000, Chipchase
spent nine years in Tokyo and the last at Nokia Design in Los Angeles.
Now, however, change is afoot, as Chipchase moves to work at design and
innovation consultancy, frog design.
As the firm’s new executive creative director of global insights,
Chipchase is relocating once more, this time to Shanghai, China.
What does your title mean and what will your new role entail?
It’s a global role, so I won’t be restricting myself to Shanghai.
Having said that, it’s a growing studio, so I look forward to being
part of that story. Within frog, I hope to bring my considerable
hands-on experience of going out into the real world and bringing
insights and information and inspiration back into the organization.
I’ve seen firsthand how that can affect not only what a company decides
to make, but how it decides to make or even whether it should make. And
by “make”, I mean products and services and applications, even things
like how an organization structures itself, how it puts processes in
place for innovation. Put it this way, it’s pleasantly messy. No
Teutonic, Finnish answer of “this is how it is.” It’s way more
interesting than that.
Boy, there's some intriguing stuff packed into this short Online Journalism Review piece by Robert Niles, stuff that gets said on the way to saying something else, and those are the bits that give me pause!
They seem to have more ramifications for the world of writing and literacy than they do for the world of vocational training for journalists, although they are also in some sense tossed off, and could use more support than a hasty generalization.
So I figure, why not look in at them here? Let's look beyond the practical vo-tech employment concerns and wax a bit philosophical.
The short answer is, of course, "whatever someone will pay for it." But a more thoughtful response gets at why people are willing to exchange something of value for news information.
101 teaches that if more people want something, and the scarcer it is,
the higher the price. With millions of new websites competing for
people's attention, advertising rates across all media have plunged,
threatening news businesses that depend upon advertising income.
[Hmmm. Tell the Econ 101 argument to poets, and they may beg to differ.
While journalists have long had to contend with the idea that their best work has the value of the Daily Fishwrap, the thing that people pile up unread, throw away daily, or use to line birdcages, poets have lived with this deep knowledge, that their very best work, their best of the best, work that strives for standing the test of time, or ephemeral, contingent, and quickly forgotten work like performance art, has an economic value of precisely ZERO, since before the time of Gutenberg.
I've been around the social media block long enough (Geocities, Friendster, Tribe.net, anyone?), and this seems to apply to the seemingly "invincible" search engines as well (WebCrawler, AltaVista?): the one thing that seems as constant as death and taxes online is that the social sphere (the wisdom of crowds or mob rule) is fickle.
You may be up one day, but most surely, a day will come when you will be down (think about it, Blackboard!).
So while I never really got into MySpace, the larger story of the MySpace failure is a cautionary tale for any 800 pound gorilla entertaining dreams of invincible bigness.
This Financial Times article dissects the failures of the early leader dancing on the tensions between interactive communication models and mass media communication models, as News Corp tycoons demanded MySpace scale up to mass media audiences and oblivious mass media behaviors, effectively killing their own golden goose.
But is that what killed the MySpace social ecosystem?
(Note, it is not really dead, but it is acknowledged in this article that its 100M users are no longer contesting Facebook for leadership at 300M users.)
One could argue that as surely as MySpace rose, it would also fall, as surely as a small town church will split into two churches, as surely as Friendster begat Tribe begat MySpace begat Facebook (which will begat ???).
But back when this question of ascendancy between MySpace and Facebook was still in more open contention, I never once doubted Facebook would come out on top (and this wasn't just because MySpace often resembled the old Geocities pages either!).
But people argued with me. And I knew they were wrong, despite their very earnest and rational arguments, proofs, numbers.
It bugs me: How did I know they were wrong? I am wont to reflect on these things. I wouldn't just cite my online research background in social ecosystems, user experience design work, or some other thing from my resume' (an argument based on authority or expertise, which seems to be a cheat in this instance, since I have never designed a site as successful as MySpace or Facebook).
So truisms and arguments from authority or expertise don't count, at least for this exercise.
So how did I just KNOW? How did all those other 300M users just know? What did we know?
I love it when Jonathan Zittrain weighs in on things. Loved his book, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It, and mostly what he says here expands on ideas in there, focused on the platform side of things, and the growing lack of "generativity" and openness in the newer platforms coming out, like the iPhone and Kindle.
So if you haven't read the book, here's some pithy bits as summarized by Liz Gannes:
Imagine, if you will, that you bought a cloud-enabled toaster. And
that one day, you got a sudden in-home upgrade to three toast slots
from two. Then, just as suddenly, the new feature addition was rolled
back. So you were left with two slots and some smushed toast. And then
your toaster decided it wanted to start serving orange juice.
You don’t truly own the toaster — rather, according to Harvard Law
professor Jonathan Zittrain, “You entered into a service relationship
with a breakfast-oriented provider.” That’s the tragic and
giggle-worthy analogy Zittrain uses to illustrate his worry that the
cloud computing model gives too much control to platforms, which must
be trusted to do good.
His audience included co-panelist Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, a
company Zittrain pinpointed as being at the center of the problem.
For instance, Zittrain called Amazon’s Kindle a device with “an
operating system crying to get out.” To an even greater degree than
with Apple’s iPhone, programmers can’t get direct access to develop on
the Kindle platform, he noted. And Amazon retreating on the Kindle’s
text-to-speech feature and zapping of U.S. customers’ copies of “1984″
— despite a convincing apology by Jeff Bezos — show the company can
beam itself down to make the device less useful when it chooses.
Zittrain also pointed to Amazon Mechanical Turk,
where people can be put to near-automated work that makes them
effectively zombies for largely non-useful purposes such as giving
five-star reviews for devices they’ve never used. In this case he
thinks government regulation, like the FTC’s new blogging disclosure
policy, could be a good thing — at least in the sense that it pressures
Amazon to police tasks on its platform.
For some reason, GritTV on my computer doesn't match audio to video very well, so besides looking like an out-of-sync old Japanese monster film, this is a terrific interview!
The bit I really listened to and took the most away from is about three-quarters of the way through the interview, when Clay starts talking about the way the Pirate Bay lawsuit morphed into the Pirate Political Party in Sweden, with ramifications for the European Parliament. I am definitely going to run out (figuratively, letting my fingers do the running) and find out more about that!
Also (and this relates to a recent post/discussion we were having on our Scatter/Gather work blog), the rest of the discussion from that point forward explores some of my favorite themes about how periods of great growth and intellectual energy are released in times when the sacred and the profane exist in very close proximity to each other. Except that isn't really the way Shirky put it (although others explore this connection, what in the field of Rhetoric you find in Bakhtin and his talk of the discourse of the "carnival")
The simplicity of Twitter, of course, is its genius. It has the power
to do so much by doing so little. But that’s not the only thing that’s
simple about Twitter. The service itself was only intended to share
140-character messages with the world. Its significance is its
evolution. Everything from @replying and retweeting to using hashes and
symbols can be attributed to the users. It has brilliantly allowed
users to define it – almost entirely. As Shirky points out, “Most of
the uses of Twitter were not imagined by the designers of the service –
they were managed by the users of the service.”
Society for New Communications Research Announces 2009 Fellows`
Choice Award Winners for Innovator, Visionary, Brand and Humanitarian
of the Year
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(Business Wire)--The Society for New Communications Research (http://sncr.org), a global nonprofit research and education foundation and think tank focused on the latest developments in new media and communications and their impact on business, media, culture and society, today announced the Society`s Fellows` Choice Award winners for the Visionary of the Year, Innovator of the Year, Brand of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year as part of the SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards program.
The 2009 SNCR Fellows Choice Award winners are:
* Visionary of the Year: David Plouffe, President Obama`s campaign adviser, for his successful use of social media communications tools and technologies in the 2008 U.S. presidential election campaign strategy
* Innovation of the Year: The Kindle, the popular software and hardware platform developed by Amazon.com subsidiary Lab126 for reading e-books and other digital media
* Brand of the Year: Ford for its innovative use of social media to improve the way the company communicates with its stakeholders
* Humanitarian of the Year: The Iranian Political Bloggers for their courageous use of blogging tools and Twitter to try share their experiences with the world and to try to effect political change in Iran
"The SNCR Fellows have chosen an incredibly impressive variety of individuals and organizations for this year`s award winners. These special award winners have the vision and success to provide a valuable example to others and we are honored to be able to acknowledge them through this awards program," commented Jen McClure, president, SNCR.
The Society for New Communications Research is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3)research and education foundation and think tank focused on the advanced studyof the latest developments in new media and communications, and their effect ontraditional media and business models, communications, culture and society. SNCRis dedicated to creating a bridge between the academic and theoretical pursuitof these topics and the pragmatic implementation of new media and communicationstools and methodologies. The Society`s Fellows include a leading group offuturists, scholars, business leaders, professional communicators, members ofthe media and technologists from around the globe - all collaborating togetheron research initiatives, educational offerings, and the establishment ofstandards and best practices. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org orcall +1 408.266.9658.
I've been checking out the screenshots and early weekend implementation of the new CNN.com redesign. Several of my journalist and non-journalist friends have been weighing in on links I've posted on Facebook (although my CNN buds have been keeping fairly quiet, as is proper. I did same in public forums when I worked there).
Disclaimer:I was a cyberculture columnist for CNN.com from 2002-2005, where I often had to advocate for certain "bloggish" types of discourse that were not generally permitted on the site because the online common wisdom or ways of knowing (crowd-sourced consensus on cyber-topics, usually) couldn't be traced to some important person quoted as saying "X" (an absolute requirement for CNN.com at the time), or because online "conventional" wisdom didn't necessarily jive with journalistic copyediting standards of "The Row" at that time.
Times have certainly changed, both in the network and with the site's embrace of citizen media (something I was also an early advocate for), and now, in its turn toward the site stylings of online "opinion writing" found at Huffington Post and The Daily Beast, among other blog and news aggregators (more on that below).
For what it's worth, a full archive of my CNN.com columns can be viewed here. I was employed by Turner Broadcasting from 2001 to the end of 2006, when I moved to NYC to take a position at Razorfish, ironically, the company responsible for the CNN.com 2007 redesign (UX and creative). I was not involved in the redesign at either company.