Social Web Recap 13.11.17

A weekly annotated short summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.
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In keeping with last week's theme of changes in the architecture of news usage, Pew Research Center reports that the gap between television and online news consumption is narrowing—"The share of Americans who often get news from TV – whether from local TV news, nightly network TV news or cable news – has fallen, while the portion of Americans often getting news online – either from news websites/apps or social media – has grown."

Snapchat

Surely the biggest news last week was the planned redesign of the Snapchat application to make it easier to use (about bloody time) announced by Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel.  According to Business Insider, the key features of the redesign will be a streamlined Continue reading "Social Web Recap 13.11.17"

A Systemic Solution to Fake News? Nope.

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During the Indian rebellion of the late 19th century, the British government needed to build popular support for crushing an uprising against the British East India Company. It used news reports of purported brutality to inflame anti-Indian sentiment:   
The British grossly exaggerated—and sometimes completely fabricated—tales of Indian men raping English women and girls. The stories were intended to illustrate the savagery of the Indian people and reinforce the notion of “the white man’s burden” to rule, induce order, and instil culture in less civilized peoples who could not be trusted to rule themselves.
In describing the revolt of various branches of the Indian army, The Guardian newspaper at the time referred to "overt acts of mutiny" among "these excitable and suspicious Orientals." Around 450 B.C., the Greek general Themistocles engaged in a disinformation campaign to convince Persian King Xerxes that the Greek army wasn't up for a fight. Continue reading "A Systemic Solution to Fake News? Nope."

Social Web Recap 11.09.17

          <img class="thumb-image" alt="Screen Shot 2017-09-03 at 8.01.15 AM.png" data-image="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5821cd7e5016e1bf5d3ebcea/t/59abef62d55b41cd8b0df748/1504440172810/Screen+Shot+2017-09-03+at+8.01.15+AM.png" data-image-dimensions="729x723" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" data-load="false" data-image-id="59abef62d55b41cd8b0df748" data-type="image" src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5821cd7e5016e1bf5d3ebcea/t/59abef62d55b41cd8b0df748/1504440172810/Screen+Shot+2017-09-03+at+8.01.15+AM.png?format=1000w" />
(A painting by Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele, with whom I became fascinated after seeing his works in Vienna recently, courtesy of http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~svb/Schiele/ ) A weekly annotated short summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.

Just Sayin' Sidebar

For the luddites who still slag social, I can't resist pointing out the social web is a news powerhouse! "More than two-thirds of American adults — 67 percent, to be exact — 'get at least some of their news on social media,' according to new data released Thursday by Pew Research Center. That’s up from 62 percent of American adults in 2016. Surprisingly, many of those new social media news consumers are not millennials. Pew found that 55 percent of Americans 50 or older reported getting news on social media sites, up from Continue reading "Social Web Recap 11.09.17"

SDF podcast 10: Big Data is never a be-all and end-all

NHC
SDF podcast 10: Big Data is never a be-all and end-all
Big Data Amid congressional hearings and FBI investigations in the US about whether and how Russia interfered with the US Presidential Elections, discussions continue about the efficacy and ethics of micro-targeting voters. In our latest and 10th edition of the SmallDataForum podcast, Neville, Sam and Thomas reflect on the outcome of the recent general elections in the UK. This episode’s show notes were written by Thomas Stoeckle. We agree that, unlike last time, Labour did better than the Conservatives digitally at this election. In combining doorstep campaigning with digital targeting in marginal seats (based on the insights from their proprietary software) and generally being on the ball with issues online, Labour managed to connect the dots more successfully than the Conservatives. This Amazon- or Netflix-style micro-targeting is seen by some as a ‘dark art’. But as Sam points
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Social Web Recap 24.07.17

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A weekly annotated short summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.

Amazon

I don't think of Amazon as a social network in the way of Facebook or Snapchat. But some do, and the more it makes moves like its latest—a standalone messaging app called Anytime still in embryo—the more it can be thought of as one. AFTV News reports that "Amazon has begun surveying customers about a new messaging service to gauge which features are most important to users. It’s unclear how far along the new service is, but one customer said the survey seemed to imply it was a ready product." Amazon is also going after video publishers who use Facebook and YouTube as their distribution channels.  Late  last year, "Amazon opened up its Prime streaming platform to video publishers Continue reading "Social Web Recap 24.07.17"

Social Web Recap 10.07.17

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A weekly annotated one-two sentence summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.

Instagram

In a smart update to Instagram Stories, users can now reply to a story with a photo or video. By tapping a new camera icon, while watching a friend's story, users can comment visually, still add face filters, stickers and hashtags as well as a new story 'sticker' that "you can move around and resize."

Facebook

Word has it that Facebook is working on a Houseparty look-alike, an app popular among teens that "notifies a user’s friends whenever they have the app open, inviting them to hang out virtually on their smartphones." Possibly called 'Bonfire', it could be released as early as this fall.

Snapchat

Techcrunch reports that "Snapchat is breaking its long-standing “no links” rule today while Continue reading "Social Web Recap 10.07.17"

Incidental Exposure to News SpellsTrouble for Filter Bubble Theory

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        <a href="https://pixabay.com/en/users/stevepb-282134/">Image courtesy of Stevepb at Pixabay.com</a>
The perception that our ideas and judgments have become slaves to social web 'filter bubbles' or 'echo chambers' (or how about cones of homogeneity?) has become folklore. Even Bill Gates raised concerns this year about the deleterious effects of having our worldviews mirrored back to us thanks to algorithmic and personal exclusion of news and opinions that diverge from what we in our guts think to be true. I've argued otherwise. But my bias has been no match against a Gates or Eli Pariser ('The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You') even when some studies going back at least three years suggest that news consumption and the psychology of opinion-forming is far more entangled. But I'm not surrendering to the mythos. Once again, a comprehensive study released this week—2017 Reuters Institute Digital News Report and The
Continue reading "Incidental Exposure to News SpellsTrouble for Filter Bubble Theory"