Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Somewhere in the clouds of  news stories on the web, I found BoingBoing wrote about some interesting bit of research done by a PhD student Danah Boyd.  In a catchy titled research called “Social Media is Here to Stay… Now What?”,  Danah neatly reiterated the fact that Social Media is what we need in order for us to satisfy our undying need for conversation and communal cohesion as well as our desire to explore, share and express.

In the research, she also talks about five properties of social media and three dynamics, as quoted below.

1. Persistence. What you say sticks around. This is great for asynchronicity, not so great when everything you’ve ever said has gone down on your permanent record. The bits-wise nature of social media means that a great deal of content produced through social media is persistent by default.

2. Replicability. You can copy and paste a conversation from one medium to another, adding to the persistent nature of it. This is great for being able to share information, but it is also at the crux of rumor-spreading. Worse: while you can replicate a conversation, it’s much easier to alter what’s been said than to confirm that it’s an accurate portrayal of the original conversation.

3. Searchability. My mother would’ve loved to scream search into the air and figure out where I’d run off with friends. She couldn’t; I’m quite thankful. But with social media, it’s quite easy to track someone down or to find someone as a result of searching for content. Search changes the landscape, making information available at our fingertips. This is great in some circumstances, but when trying to avoid those who hold power over you, it may be less than ideal.

4. Scalability. Social media scales things in new ways. Conversations that were intended for just a friend or two might spiral out of control and scale to the entire school or, if it is especially embarrassing, the whole world. Of course, just because something can scale doesn’t mean that it will. Politicians and marketers have learned this one the hard way.

5. (de)locatability. With the mobile, you are dislocated from any particular point in space, but at the same time, location-based technologies make location much more relevant. This paradox means that we are simultaneously more and less connected to physical space.

Those five properties are intertwined, she says, and their implications also carry following three social dynamics.

1. Invisible Audiences. We are used to being able to assess the people around us when we’re speaking. We adjust what we’re saying to account for the audience. Social media introduces all sorts of invisible audiences. There are lurkers who are present at the moment but whom we cannot see, but there are also visitors who access our content at a later date or in a different environment than where we first produced them. As a result, we are having to present ourselves and communicate without fully understanding the potential or actual audience. The potential invisible audiences can be stifling. Of course, there’s plenty of room to put your head in the sand and pretend like those people don’t really exist.

2. Collapsed Contexts. Connected to this is the collapsing of contexts. In choosing what to say when, we account for both the audience and the context more generally. Some behaviors are appropriate in one context but not another, in front of one audience but not others. Social media brings all of these contexts crashing into one another and it’s often difficult to figure out what’s appropriate, let alone what can be understood.

3. Blurring of Public and Private. Finally, there’s the blurring of public and private. These distinctions are normally structured around audience and context with certain places or conversations being “public” or “private.” These distinctions are much harder to manage when you have to contend with the shifts in how the environment is organized.

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The first blog post in the brand new sizzling hot year of 2009!! Hope you’re feeling non-taxated and somewhat adrenalised in this post festive period.

There’s no doubt 2008 was a year full of doom and gloom with so many twisted  ironies and occasional idiosyncrasies, but I’m impatiently waiting to see what 2009 holds for pop-culturalist, sub-modernist trends inspectors like me.

So before I choke to death with my own excitement, here’s some interesting trend forecasts freshly delivered from the web:

General trends

Jeremy Gutsch at Trend Hunter:  Hot Trends in 2009 Forecast

Predictions: DIY crafting, Hollywood virals, Shockvertising, Geek pride, Humanisation of pets, Style over tradition, Pop gaming, Brag materialism and Political Remixing.

Art

Telegraph: Top 10 websites for art in 2009

The Independent: Highlights of 2009: Art

Prediction: Don’t think anyone knows it yet!, I reckon  it’ll be the usual wacky, harebrained, controversial, extremely talented and non talented stuff. Apparently, Linz, the Austrian city will be the European Capital of Culture in 2009, excited to see what the city regorges up with.

Music

Guardian Music: Hotlist 2009

The Vine TV: UK music predictions 2009

Predictions: 2009 will be the year of pop sensation Clare Maguire, and a  host of other bands and artists, as listed below.

  • Florence and the Maching
  • Everything Everything
  • Golden Silvers
  • Little Boots
  • The Big Pink
  • Doves
  • Antony & The Johnsons
  • White Lies
  • AutoKratz
  • And the mighty Franz Ferdinand comeback album!

Fashion

Fashionising: Fashion Trends 2009

Trend Hunter: Spring-Summer 2009 Fashion

Predictions: 2009 SS Women’s fashion will consist of wrecked denim, fetish garments, fairy tale dresses, see-throughs, flat abs and all other things that I’m happy to ignore.

Consumer technology

Telegraph: Future technology: our predictions for 2009

Digital Trends: Tech Trends for 2009

Predictions: Touchy feely screens, Netbooks, Blu-ray players, live-streaming technology and more social networking shabangs.

The web/Social Media

ReadWriteWeb: 2009 Web Predictions

Lightspeed Venture: Consumer Internet Predictions for 2009

Predictions: Free web, Virtualisation, Better social media management tools and more mashups.

Science

Telegraph: New Year 2009: Leading thinkers offer predictions of ‘next big thing’

Predictions: Radiotelepathy, green energy technology, genetic re-engineering, Artificial Intelligence, personal genomics and funnily enough the End of Optimism.

The Berlin based Pixel Art trio Steffen, Svend  and Kai of eBoy has released an updated version of the London poster this week, to much of my pleasure.

If you haven’t heard of them before, “eBoy is an art collective founded in 1998 by Steffen Sauerteig, Svend Smital and Kai Vermehr, build their artwork pixel by pixel. Their work makes intense use of popular culture and commercial icons, and their style is presented in three-dimensional isometric illustrations filled with robots, cars, guns and girls. Their unique style has gained them a cult following among graphic designers worldwide, as well as a long list of commercial clients, such as Coca-Cola, MTV, VH1, Adidas and Honda” – via Mark Frauenfelder

What is more, they’ve also created a poster for Adobe Air as part of their European Tour and Lee Brimelow at Adobe Flash has the rare footage showing a great deal of insight into the artists’ skills and work.

If you’re interested in becoming pixel artist and looking for an inspiration then, PSDTUTS has a great article titled 20+ Inspiring Pixel Artists, Tutorials and Resources.

The culture analysts at Wired posted a great piece about the evolution of emoticons, a simple text expressions that existed long before the World Wide Web itself. I’d never known who exactly invented it, but it turns out that it was Scott Fahlman, an innocent computer scientist at Carnegie-Mellon University, who first proposed using typographical smiley faces to make the collective life at the campus bit more cheery, back in 1982.

But what is more significant Wired says has happened to internet language is that, not only emoticons has become a part of our daily internet communication but it has also become an icon on its own right that it has outgrown the internet and has been capitalised upon in every ways.

While emoticons are still very much thrown into nearly every emails I write (emails often asking people for favours), other keyboard languages has sprung up to shake up the Queen’s English grammer that even proper linguists can’t keep up with it. These languages are  LOL Speaking! and L33t Speaking. The former is a type of language popularised by the LolCat phenomenon and often fetishised by people who thinks their cats are clever or funnier that they are. As for the latter, Leet Speaking has been mysteriously used by die hard gamers and the internet wizards. Leet or l33t language involves using numbers to replace certain letters (mostly vowels) such as A = 4 or E = 3, to create words like d00d, n00b and l4m3r. See the result in the video below.


I just love looking at these new icons of social media in cocktails. The collection is called Cheers: a free set of 12 “social” glasses and it was designed by Helen Gkizi at Webtoolkit4me, and they’re all downloadable. I mean this is a funtastic way of showing your loyalities to your favourite social media tools. I personally like the Yahoo one, Cin Cin!

I noticed that I’ve been mostly writing about art and fashion here on SME, but today I thought I’d talk about something that’s more serious and grown up. It’s about the Blog Action Day. What about it?, well Blog Action Day is a mass online discussion and debate event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters to talk about the truly global issue of poverty.

You may sit there and think, this is not something that affects you directly, but if you think carefully, poverty is still prevailing, whether it’s globally or locally. Poverty doens’t mean being unable to afford a car or a house nor is it about not being able to fullfil our dreams and goals, to some it simply means a constant struggle for survival and even the basics of life’s necessities.

Launched this month, the event will happen on 15th October 2008 and I can already feel that this is going to be the biggest online discussion on the issues that are facing every societies of the world, including poverty and the environment. Throughout the event, thoughts and opinions are wildly encouraged and freedom speech sought to be declared. Below is their promo video.

I personally think that this is a great example of how social media can be used to unite people for a single purpose, a purpose that has been around for so long yet very crucial to the human race and our very existance, and I loudly applaud the organisers of the event for their remarkable effort in bringing this to bloggers like me. Opinionated as I am, I’ll be using the opportunity to throw some wild comments and thoughts, in non-disstressing ways of course 😉