This week it looks like twitter may be overloaded. I've encountered many error pages (checking on followers, DMs, and lists).

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UNESCO World Report, "Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural
Dialogue" available online.

Cultural diversity has emerged as a key concern at the turn of a new century. Yet the meanings attached to this catch-all term are as varied as they are shifting. Some see cultural diversity as inherently positive, insofar as it points to a sharing of the wealth embodied in each of the world’s cultures and, accordingly, to the links uniting us all in processes of exchange and dialogue. For others, cultural differences are what cause us to lose sight of our common humanity and are therefore at the root of numerous conflicts. This second diagnosis is today all the more plausible since globalization has increased the points of interaction and friction between cultures, giving rise to identity-linked tensions, withdrawals and claims, particularly of a religious nature, which can become potential sources of dispute. The essential challenge, therefore, would be to propose a coherent vision of cultural diversity and thereby to clarify how, far from being a threat, it can become beneficial to the action of the international community.

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[google and your "social circle"]

Via George Siemens:

"Google just announced Social Search. The services helps you "to find publicly available content from your social circle". Google extracts information on your social circle from three sources: Google Reader subscriptions, Google Profiles, and Google chat (GMail). They use the term "surfacing" connections to describe not only adding your friends, but one additional degree: your friend's friends.
This move by Google is a direct assault on Facebook. Facebook has emphasized social connections over content. Google has, to date, primarily emphasized information sorting, filtering, and ranking. Facebook's model of emphasizing social rather than information connections is a problem for Google. What is unique in Social Search is the focus on aggregation rather than place-based interaction. In theory, Google emphasizes pulling together various pieces of online interactions through aggregation, whereas Facebook emphasizes housing interactions in their environment."

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[journal issue: IT and politics]

The Journal of Information Technology & Politics Volume 6, Issue 3 & 4
Special Issue: “Politics: Web 2.0” Visit: http://shrinkify.com/144k

Guest Editor's Introduction
“The Internet and Politics in Flux”
Andrew Chadwick

Research Papers
“Realizing the Social Internet? Online Social Networking Meets Offline Civic
- Josh Pasek;  eian more; Daniel Romer

“Typing Together? Clustering of Ideological Types in Online Social Networks”
- Brian J. Gaines; Jeffery J. Mondak

“Building an Architecture of Participation? Political Parties and Web 2.0 in
- Nigel A. Jackson; Darren G. Lilleker

“Norwegian Parties and Web 2.0”
- Øyvind Kalnes

“The Labors of Internet-Assisted Activism: Overcommunication,
Miscommunication, and Communicative Overload”
- Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

“Developing the “Good Citizen”: Digital Artifacts, Peer Networks, and Formal
Organization During the 2003–2004 Howard Dean Campaign”
- Daniel Kreiss

“Lost in Technology? Political Parties and the Online Campaigns of
Constituency Candidates in Germany's Mixed Member Electoral System”
- Thomas Zittel

“Internet Election 2.0? Culture, Institutions, and Technology in the Korean
Presidential Elections of 2002 and 2007”
- Yeon-Ok Lee

“The Internet and Mobile Technologies in Election Campaigns: The GABRIELA
Women's Party During the 2007 Philippine Elections”
- Kavita Karan;  Jacques D. M. Gimeno; Edson Tandoc Jr.

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[facebook and canadian privacy laws]

Time is up for Facebook to find a way to live up to Canada's privacy law after this country's privacy watchdog gave the social-networking website one month to close its "serious privacy gaps."

And if Jennifer Stoddart, Canada's privacy commissioner, isn't satisfied with Facebook's final response Monday, she has two weeks to take the California-based company to Federal Court in Ottawa to try and get a court order requiring it to change its business practices to comply with Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, the country's private-sector privacy law.


The privacy probe began last year when the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa filed an 11-part complaint, alleging Facebook violated key provisions of Canada's private-sector privacy law.

In addition to an "overarching" concern relating to the "confusing" or "incomplete" way in which Facebook provides information to users about its privacy practices, Stoddart concluded Facebook's policy to indefinitely keep the personal information of people who have deactivated their accounts is contrary to the act.


But the bigger dispute over Facebook sharing personal information to companies that operate third-party applications on its site is another matter, he said.

In order to download popular games and quizzes, Facebook users must consent to share all their personal information, except their contact details. These companies, totalling nearly one million, operate in 180 countries.

Read more here: http://www.canada.com/technology/Facebook%20must%20satisfy%20Canada%20privacy%20commissioner%20Monday/1899277/story.html

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[university 2.0 approaches]

The future of the university is set to change, we all know that. But how rapidly and in what ways? Peer 2 Peer University is an example of how to "hack education" and upgrade teaching and learning especially for those who cannot afford the more traditional books, laptops and professor time. Note: the future is just beginning, there is a long way to go.

The Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) is an online community of open study groups for short university-level courses. Think of it as online book clubs for open educational resources. The P2PU helps you navigate the wealth of open education materials that are out there, creates small groups of motivated learners, and supports the design and facilitation of courses. Students and tutors get recognition for their work, and we are building pathways to formal credit as well.

For more information:



Unless otherwise noted, all content on the P2PU site is licensed under:

Creative Commons License

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[blog survey: participation request]

I know very well what it's like as a ph.d researcher, trying to get first-hand responses. If you have time, consider helping out a ph.d student with his research:
My name is Ibrahim Yucel and I am a PhD candidate in the college of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University. I am asking for participants in my study regarding reading internet blogs. This study is being conducted for research. Participation is completely voluntary, confidential, and there is no compensation.

Please follow the link below if you wish to participate. Thank you for your time.

Ibrahim Yucel

PhD Candidate
College of Information Sciences and Technology

Penn State University

321D IST Building

University Park, PA 16802

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[amplified individuals // amplified leicester]

Sue Thomas is leading a project - Amplified Leicester - a city-wide experiment in social media, and there'll be an opportunity to participate on the 11th of September:

We're looking for people who are open-minded, enthusiastic and curious.

Amplified Leicester is a city-wide experiment to
- explore diversity and innovation
- build a network across diverse communities
- create, share and develop new ideas
- use social media like Facebook and Twitter as an amplifier

This is an opportunity to work with people you might otherwise never meet and learn how to:
- benefit from Leicester's huge diversity of people and cultures
- generate lots of new ideas quickly
- think like a futurist and see the bigger picture
- organise and collaborate better
- be persuasive in different social situations
- share and develop creative ideas
- manage the stream of information which bombards us every day
- choose the best people to collaborate with
- make the most of different kinds of resources - social, economic, creative

Participation is free of charge but places are limited. Deadline for applications Friday 11th September 2009.

Find out more and download an application form from http://www.facebook.com/l/;http://www.amplifiedleicester.com

For an informal chat, please contact Sue Thomas or Thilo Boeck:
Sue Thomas t: 0116 207 8266 e: sue.thomas@dmu.ac.uk
Thilo Boeck t: 0116 2577879 e: tgboeck@dmu.ac.uk

Amplified Leicester is managed by the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University in partnership with the DMU Centre for Social Action and Phoenix Square Digital Media Centre. The project is commissioned and supported by NESTA, an independent body with a mission to make the UK more innovative.

“A group that thinks in diverse ways will address a problem from many angles.” Charles Leadbeater, The Difference Dividend

Note: Also of interest, a talk by Andrea Saveri on amplified individuals or this presentation which Andrea did for last year's NLab Social Networks conference.

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[food politics]

I came across this hilarious take on the politics of cuisine via Chris at Eating is the Hard Part:

Flickr image from passiveaggressivenotes which can be found here.

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[cfp: workshop on academia 2.0]

Academia 2.0 and Beyond – How Social Software Changes Research and Education in Academia

(at the
European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2009)

Workshop will take place on the 8th of September in Vienna, Austria



The Web 2.0 and Social Software is often attributed with a high potential for addressing today’s challenges in knowledge management and distributed collaboration. This development has already reached industry. Using the term Enterprise 2.0, different possibilities to use Social Software in enterprises are researched. But also in academia, cooperation to generate new knowledge, and to add it to the scientific discourse may radically change under open Web 2.0 conditions. In addition, teaching and learning scenarios might be moved towards technology enhanced lifelong learning communities. The aim of this workshop is to discuss the application of Social Software in academia (research as well as teaching and learning) – and how these new kinds of software might change the whole setting – make new ways of doing research or teaching and learning possible or at least easier to do.


New buzzwords have become part of our daily lexicon: Web 2.0, Social Software and Social Web are often used as synonyms. These concepts focus on new or existing software systems, which are influenced by human communication and collaboration (Jahnke & Koch 2009). Thus, Web 2.0 is heavily reliant on social interaction, and so, social web-based applications generate and require a human-centered design approach. Furthermore, this kind of new media influences the people. A new generation of the “digital natives” are arriving (Prensky, 2001). The number of users of Web 2.0 applications in private settings (e.g., leisure) is very high. However, in organizations and enterprises Web 2.0 concepts or such combined applications are still at an early stage (Koch & Richter 2008). The same is true for universities. Franklin & van Harmelen (2007) show some examples of institutional practices. A potential of Web 2.0 for academia show also Rollet et al. (2007). To conclude, there are some Web 2.0 tools in universities, in particular wikis and blogs (e.g., Hookway, 2008) but the usage of these tools and other Web 2.0 scenarios for supporting teaching, learning or research is not yet fully developed. So, the question how the Web 2.0 can support community-based learning (e.g. Barr & Tagg, 1995) or research processes in academia is not yet satisfactorily answered.

Research questions

The main research question of the workshop is: Are there any innovative research and/or teaching designs or arrangements (e.g., Alexander, 2006; Downes, 2005) using social software and what can we learn from these scenarios? Some derived research questions which we will discuss in our workshop:

  • a) What Web 2.0 applications exist in universities, in research or in learning? Do Web 2.0 applications in academia make a difference to existing Internet applications like email, content management systems or newsgroups?
  • b) Do you have success stories or success criteria of Web 2.0 usage in academic fields? What changes are observable or essential when introducing Web 2.0 concepts in teaching (e.g. new design/balance of teaching and learning) or research settings?
  • c) How can we introduce Web 2.0 applications in the academic world, and support the change management process? How can we successfully distribute the concepts into a university?


Our aim is to collect proposals for academic practice with Web 2.0, to specify research questions dealing with Web 2.0 in academia (e.g., new forms of interactions, changing research practice, new learning scenarios, organizational change by using new media) or to discuss new research methods (e.g., e-ethnography) and their challenges in this topic. In our workshop, we want to share practical experience or research results about using Web 2.0 in teaching and research, for example, e-learning goes Web 2.0, scientific communities goes Web 2.0, research publications goes Web 2.0 or university goes Web 2.0. Therefore, we strongly invite researchers and practitioners who have ideas or experience of using Web 2.0 applications in academia.

Participation Requirements

Workshop participants are requested to submit a position paper covering practice with Web 2.0 in academia, research focus or research questions, proposals for academic practice with Web 2.0, proposals for new research methods with regard to Web 2.0 in academia or specific case studies (if applicable) and findings to date. Using practical examples the participants should demonstrate how the concepts and developments behind the Web 2.0 and Social Software movement are used in academia, what Web 2.0 characteristics could make a good basis for academia.

Deadline for position papers: June 29, 2009 (new deadline)

There is no size limit or formatting requirement for position papers.

Please send position papers as PDF or document files to the two organizers:

Position papers will be presented and discussed during the workshop.

Read more here and here.

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[twitter & politics]

Is Twitter now a part of U.S. foreign policy? The Washington Post reports that:

The State Department asked social networking site Twitter to delay scheduled maintenance earlier this week in order to avoid disrupting communications among tech-savvy Iranian citizens as they took to the streets to protest Friday’s reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

That sounds like a wow. Only maybe not. A few grafs down the Post also reports that the White House downplayed the request this way:

“This wasn’t a directive from Secretary of State, but rather was a low-level contact from someone who often talks to Twitter staff.”

But a senior State Department official told the Post that the contacts were quite official.

“One of the areas where people are able to get out the word is through Twitter,” said a senior State Department official in a conversation with reporters, on condition of anonymity. “They announced they were going to shut down their system for maintenance and we asked them not to.”

On the other hand, is this all being blown out of proportion by the Twitter-loving press?

“Twitter’s impact inside Iran is zero,” said Mehdi Yahyanejad, manager of a Farsi-language news site based in Los Angeles. “Here, there is lots of buzz, but once you look . . . you see most of it are Americans tweeting among themselves.”

Re: Twitter's impact inside Iran is zero? Not sure about that. If people are doing something outside of Iran, wouldn't that have an impact within?

See these stories too:

  • Iranian Youth Protests Could Outlast Ahmadinejad Rule
    "Since the election, reformist Web sites, as well as Twitter and Facebook, have been cut off in Iran, although Iranians are evading the controls via proxy"
  • Iran's Twitter Revolution "Ahmadinejad will twitter to his supporters he will save Iran from the rule of the twitter mobs and the Ayatollahs and mullahs will twitter"
  • Dissecting Twitter's Role In Tech, Society, Politics"The Iran situation, where Twitter continued to provide communication resources to Iran residents after the government had shut down other communication"
  • Iran's Protests: Why Twitter Is the Medium of the Movement "The U.S. State Department doesn't usually take an interest in the maintenance schedules of dotcom start-ups. But over the weekend, officials there reached out to Twitter and asked them to delay a network upgrade that was scheduled for Monday night. The reason? To protect the interests of Iranians using the service to protest the presidential election that took place on June 12. Twitter moved the upgrade to 2 p.m. P.T. Tuesday afternoon — or 1:30 a.m. Tehran time." (this link via @SteveCadwell)

Article from Richard Koman at ZDNet.

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[digital media & learning]

Re-reading a report on the "digital youth" and how they use/interact with digital media. (Note this is US-based but over 800 "youths and young adults"). Some interesting take-aways:

  • Most youth use online networks to extend the friendships that they navigate in the familiar contexts of school, religious organizations, sports, and other local activities
  • The majority of youth use new media to “hang out” and extend existing friendships
  • Contrary to popular images, geeking out is highly social and engaged, although usually not driven primarily by local friendships
  • Geeking out in many respects erases the traditional markers of status and authority
  • New media allow for a degree of freedom and autonomy for youth that is less apparent in a classroom setting
  • Rather than assuming that education is primarily about preparing for jobs and careers, they question what it would mean to think of it as a process guiding youths’ participation in public life more generally.

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[social networking conference: wolverhampton uni]

Wolverhampton Internet and Technology Society (WITS) together with the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group are hosting the 1st Social Networking in Cyberspace conference in April, 2010. We welcome contributions from scholars in the social and behavioural sciences and media and information disciplines, regardless of theoretical orientation.

The conference, which is to be sponsored by the Research Centre in Applied Sciences (RCAS), will be a one-day event and will take place on Friday the 23rd of April, 2010. The Venue for the conference will be the Lighthouse Media Centre in Wolverhampton (Please click here for Map).

Call for papers

We invite potential presenters to submit an abstract (no longer than 300 words) for peer-review. The deadline for submission of the abstract is October 30th, 2009. A decision on this abstract will be made by November 20th, 2009 and authors will be notified via email soon after.

Abstracts should be submitted to SNIC@wlv.ac.uk

Subsequently, all presenters will be invited to prepare a paper for publication. The International Journal of Internet Science will be publishing a peer-reviewed selection of the best papers from the conference.

Papers should be submitted to SNIC@wlv.ac.uk by the 28th of May 2010.

Postgraduate poster competition

We will be running a postgraduate poster competition on the day of the conference. Prizes will be awarded for the best posters on the day (further information to follow). We invite postgraduate students to submit an abstract by October 30th 2009 for consideration.

Keynote Speakers

The following have been confirmed as keynote speakers at the conference:

Professor Mike Thelwall: University of Wolverhampton – “Detecting and analysing emotion in social networking sites”

Doctor Monica Whitty: Nottingham Trent University.


£80 standard rate

Discount rate for presenters (£60)

Discount rate for students (£50)

The fee includes morning and afternoon coffee and lunch.


Conference registration opens in January 2010

Important dates

Abstract submission deadline: 30th October 2009

Notice of acceptance deadline: 20th November 2009

Conference date: 23rd April 2010

Full papers deadline: 28th May 2010

contact us

If you have any enquiries or would like to contact us regarding the suitability of your research for the conference, please email us on SNIC@wlv.ac.uk

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[swarm theory and social media]

I'm in the final stages of editing a selection of articles to appear in an upcoming journal issue and one of the articles deals with swarm theory. Many readers here would recognise Howard Rhiengold's Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution or perhaps Gerardo Beni and Jing Wang who coined the term in 1989 (see the *trusty* resource wikipedia).

More recently there's the famous National Geographic article on swarm theory: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/07/swarms/miller-text/1 which does an excellent job (exciting and informational) of explaining the science behind swarms. Enter left stage, the ants:

"I used to think ants knew what they were doing. The ones marching across my kitchen counter looked so confident, I just figured they had a plan, knew where they were going and what needed to be done. How else could ants organize highways, build elaborate nests, stage epic raids, and do all the other things ants do?

Turns out I was wrong. Ants aren't clever little engineers, architects, or warriors after all—at least not as individuals. When it comes to deciding what to do next, most ants don't have a clue. "If you watch an ant try to accomplish something, you'll be impressed by how inept it is," says Deborah M. Gordon, a biologist at Stanford University.

How do we explain, then, the success of Earth's 12,000 or so known ant species? They must have learned something in 140 million years.

"Ants aren't smart," Gordon says. "Ant colonies are." A colony can solve problems unthinkable for individual ants, such as finding the shortest path to the best food source, allocating workers to different tasks, or defending a territory from neighbors. As individuals, ants might be tiny dummies, but as colonies they respond quickly and effectively to their environment. They do it with something called swarm intelligence."

And that, in a nutshell, is collective intelligence and why crowd sourcing can be beneficial (knowing the right questions to ask helps too) and why tools like twitter are great resources for getting tips (maybe even on finding the shortest path to food).

As the National Geographic writer, Peter Miller, says of the ant colony the same can be said for social media: "no one's in charge."

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[welcome to scoopville: social media basics]

Social media: describe, rate, comment and connect: key ideas of social media. New opportunities to create and care

Watch the video:

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[digital citizenship: the internet, society & participation]

Today I attended a presentation given by Karen Mossberger (Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago) on Digital Citizenship: The Internet, Society and Participation. Overall the presentation was interesting however I don't think the data told us anything really new...but it certainly backs up what we already surmise. Poor people and African-Americans and Latinas/Latinos has less access to computers and the internet and this filters through to less participation in public life (voting was one of the examples). The definition of citizenship put forth was that by T. H. Marshall, basically you need to participate to be a full member of a community. Citizenship is also a "developing institution" according to Marshall. So how to develop citizenship through digital means...well, Mossberger didn't really talk much about this. She concentrated on providing statistics which empirically show the digital divide. It was pretty apalling. In this day and age (here I am, using a computer, on the 'net, blogging) there are people who are too poor, or without sufficient education which in the States seems to mean you're not white...the statistics were incredible. Of course there are poor white people but apparently they are not on the 'net because they're not interested in it. From Mossberger's research, African-Americans connected internet/computer literacy with better jobs etc....and the statistics back this up. The issue of broadband access also came up. Sure people can use computers (for a bit) at a local library etc...but interestingly enough there are certain neighbourhoods where there is no DSL access (i.e. no affordable access) to the internet...only cable. That's another deterrent. I would have been interested to know what the statistics *really* meant in terms of "going online." Was it for checking bus times? What about banking online and using SNS? Mossberger at the end suggested it was more for *entertainment* purposes....but I guess what we're looking at here is not just issues of access (of course) but issues of literacy. *How* to properly navigate that content/information. Mossberger's latest project, results to be publishes as we speak, looks at Chicago neighbourhoods and notes the use of internet. I wonder what that will show. Two things aside from the presentation that I would like to share here.
  1. There were 18 people at the presentation today. 16 in the audience (then the speaker and the introducer). Out of the 18 people 7 were women. All were white.
  2. Mossberger made this comment at the end re: twitter: "I don't care what movie you saw lastnight. I don't have time for this." Actually, I think twitter (like mobile 'phones, especially if we're talking about financial cost) has it's uses. Just look at how the knowledge of swine flu is spreading/trending via twitter....
Of interest to those working with participation policies, internet access, excluded groups or web 2.0 in general, check out Mez's great article at Futherfield: The Sound of Reality Lag: Versionals are the New Black. See also Mark Pesce's post on Digital Citizenship (scroll down for a comment by Mez).

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[libraries and mobile technologies]

Very interesting report by Ellyssa Kroski on mobile technology and it's shaping/changing of libraries and information access. See page 27 for a detailed analysis of social networks as a mobile subgenre. From chapter 1:
"Imagine walking by a movie poster for the upcoming Harry Potter film and scanning it with a click of your camera-phone in order to download associated ringtones, get showtimes, or even buy tickets. How about snapping a photo while browsing through a magazine to get a free sample of a new perfume? This may sound like science-fiction right now, but in Japan, this type of mobile search technology is widespread, and already similar services in the U.S. are developing which promise just this type of virtual engagement with the world around us. Think about the convenience of scanning the logo on someone’s Yankees cap to instantly receiving the latest score from the game. This is what's coming.
Today, most of us are primarily using our cell phones to download ringtones and check our email, but there is an abundance of truly amazing services we can access through the mobile Web right now. Armed with a smartphone, PDA, or other Internet-ready mobile mechanism, users can retrieve local traffic information, bus, train, and airline schedules, and look up weather reports. But more impressively, they can also access mobile social networks which will alert them when their friends are nearby, text in a pizza order to Dominos, borrow e-books from their library, take a guided audio tour of a museum, and watch CNN. Through the mobile Web, people can download audiobooks, upload camera-phone photos to Flickr, receive turn-by-turn driving directions, and have in-store coupons delivered to them.
The computer, media player, and cell phone are all converging into a single device as manufacturers aim to provide a complete experience for the consumer. This evolution of handheld devices combined with new high-speed wireless data networks make browsing the mobile Internet a more compelling experience. Much like the transition the Web experienced when broadband access became widely attainable, the mobile Web is turning a corner and becoming useful to the everyday user. While mass adoption is still in its infancy in this country, the landscape is developing quickly. Now is the time to get on-board and on-the-move with the mobile Web."
About libraries:

"Libraries are mastering the mobile Web to bring patrons a new set of services – services that their users are coming to expect from their communities and content providers. They are leveraging the technology that their patrons are currently using, such as cell phones and iPods, to deliver robust new services without making users leave their comfort zones. And these portable offerings are serving to integrate library services with patrons' daily lives.
Mobile Library Websites and MOPACs (Mobile OPACs) A growing number of libraries are creating mobile versions of their websites for their patrons to access on-the-go. They are offering information about library services and collections, providing access to library catalog search, portable exhibit information, subject guides, e-journals, and library hours, all formatted for the small screen."
Read more here: http://eprints.rclis.org/15024/1/mobile_web_ltr.pdf

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[social media analytics]

Great post from Ben Parr on Mashable on how to track social media stats:

Understand what you want to track

As with most things in life, you can’t conquer what you don’t understand, or at least what you haven’t really though about.

What is your goal? Do you want to track how people are sharing your website? Do you want to track a specific social media campaign? Or maybe you’re just interested in trends related to a specific meme or social media phenomenon? Each one requires different tools and different focus.

You’re going to focus on traffic statistics if you’re tracking social media website engagement, while if you’re tracking a wider campaign, TwitterTwitter reviewsTwitter reviews response and positive comments might be a more appropriate metric.

Optimize your existing analytics software

Social Media Metrics Image

Most of us use analytics software like Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics reviewsGoogle Analytics reviews, Woopra, or Omniture to track website data like traffic, visitors, pages per visitor, and traffic sources. Most of these analytics tools can track a wealth of data, but they are not designed to track social media data. Luckily, there are a few ways to beef up your analytics software for social media. Some quick tools and suggestions:

Social Media Metrics Plugin: Social Media Metrics is a greasemonkey extension that adds a social media information layer to Google Analytics, providing information on Diggs, stumbles, delicious bookmarks, and more for each individual page. Be aware - it’s not perfect.

Set up specific campaigns and events for social media: Most analytics software has custom campaigns to make it easy to track specific events. You can track a specific Twitter traffic campaign or DiggBar URL with campaigns.

Reorganize dashboards and set up email reports: To get specific information on social media, have traffic stats from top social media websites (i.e. Digg, FacebookFacebook reviewsFacebook reviews, Twitter, etc.) emailed to you so you can see it all in one place. In addition, reorganize any dashboards you have to show this information for easy access.

Add new analytics tools

Xinureturns Image

Even with web analytics tools, you don’t have all the tools necessary to get started tracking analytics related to social media. Why not add some more tools to your inventory that track detailed social metrics? Some suggestions:

Bit.ly: When you use a URL shortener, it’s always a smart idea to use one that has analytics information, like Bit.ly. This will track information like number of clicks, traffic sources, and even at what time clicks occur.

Xinureturns: Despite the funny Scientology-inspired name, xinureturns provides a great dashboard overview of your website’s standing in social media. Run a report and you will receive information on Technorati, Googe Pagerank, Diggs, and even backlinks to your website.

PostRank: Formerly known as AideRSS, PostRank provides detailed information on Tweets, stumbles, diggs, and FriendFeedFriendFeed reviewsFriendFeed reviews all in one place. It’s best for blogs and websites with a lot of content.

SocialToo: SocialToo is a comprehensive tool for creating social surveys and tracking social stats. It also will send you a daily email describing follows and unfollows on Twitter.

Aggregate your analytics

There are a lot of tools for gathering social media information, but no one place has everything you need. You don’t have time to look at all of the tools, so aggregate your analytics information.

There is no single tool that will bring this information together, so you’ll have to do it yourself. Export data into excel, pdf, or email and record all of the information to one area, whichever works best for you. Building a spreadsheet may be best for playing with the numbers. Make it easily accessible.

Analyze and engage

The last step is always the most important one - the actual analysis. It takes years of dedication to the art of web analytics to really understand how each variable affects website traffic and user engagement, but by looking at this data in one place and comparing the information, you will hopefully be able to pick up on trends.

This guide is only how to get started with social media analytics. Take the time to find great tools and to understand how each of the social media levers affects traffic and analytics data. But most of all, use the data to engage your audience. You can figure out what they’re looking for using social media analytics, so be sure to act upon the data once you’ve analyzed it.

Read the post here: http://mashable.com/2009/04/19/social-media-analytics/

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[getting fired over facebook use]

From The Age:

"About three weeks ago, Roseanna Brisbane, after a long day doing casual work for a Queensland Government agency, updated her Facebook status saying that in future she would be "saying no to working for shitty Government departments".

She did not name the department or any individuals in her message but a colleague and Facebook friend saw the update and passed it on to her boss. She was promptly "escorted out of the building" on her next day back at work.

She said she was a casual so had few options in terms of unfair dismissal claims.

Brisbane, 20, believed she was targeted because of a back injury she obtained at work that restricted her productivity.

Her mother, Jillian, said she could understand critics who say people should be careful about what they publish online. But young people saw Facebook as their main tool for communicating privately with friends and did not expect their bosses to be spying on them.

"It is becoming the Soviet state type thing where you're scared of talking to someone in case they go and tell someone else," she said.


Another reader, Bummer, was fired from his job on his first day over Facebook comments he made regarding the company's long recruitment process. He did not mention the company name and expected the comments were private but later found out he was not using the correct Facebook privacy settings.

"I don't agree that employers should use social networking tools to learn more about their employees as most people's 'social' personality and 'work' personality are vastly different. I definitely learned the hard way," the reader said.


Last week this website reported several other examples of Australians being sacked or disciplined over seemingly innocuous online posts, including the case of a man who says he was fired from his job at a "large corporate bank" for using the word "recession" in his Facebook profile.

Furthermore, the NSW Department of Corrective Services is threatening to sack prison officers over posts they made to a Facebook group criticising the cash-strapped State Government's plans to privatise Parklea and Cessnock prisons."

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[narrative and social evolution]

"Why does storytelling endure across time and cultures? Perhaps the answer lies in our evolutionary roots. A study of the way that people respond to Victorian literature hints that novels act as a social glue, reinforcing the types of behaviour that benefit society.

Literature "could continually condition society so that we fight against base impulses and work in a cooperative way", says Jonathan Gottschall of Washington and Jefferson College, Pennsylvania.

Gottschall and co-author Joseph Carroll at the University of Missouri, St Louis, study how Darwin's theories of evolution apply to literature. Along with John Johnson, an evolutionary psychologist at Pennsylvania State University in DuBois, the researchers asked 500 people to fill in a questionnaire about 200 classic Victorian novels. The respondents were asked to define characters as protagonists or antagonists, and then to describe their personality and motives, such as whether they were conscientious or power-hungry.

The team found that the characters fell into groups that mirrored the egalitarian dynamics of hunter-gather society, in which individual dominance is suppressed for the greater good (Evolutionary Psychology, vol 4, p 716). Protagonists, such as Elizabeth Bennett in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, for example, scored highly on conscientiousness and nurturing, while antagonists like Bram Stoker's Count Dracula scored highly on status-seeking and social dominance."

Read the rest of the article at New Scientist.

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[social media & marketing]

When writing (righting?) the title for this post I was struck by how the conjunction changes the proximity of social media to marketing...they aren't really situated at opposite poles of a spectrum; they can in fact embody similar values.

Speaking with an advertising company today about incorporating aspects of social media into their "marketing strategy" (erm, online identity) I found myself being asked (repeatedly) what exactly *is* social media. Well, that is a big question, with answers of varying depth and complexity. Perhaps the simplest and clearest explanation of social media is, well: having conversations online. Because it is *social* media, i.e. media that's social. Its use stimulates discussion and, surprise, there is a feedback loop here, there is plenty of opportunity to respond.
However, using Facebook and tweeting about the latest, coolest, über product is not really *social;* it's marketing. We're told how savvy social media users are now (Pew) so really, there is no excuse for being (as a company/advertiser/etc...) anti-social...(geddit?). Just look at these stats (via online gaming news):
  • Community users visit nine times more often than non-community users (McKInsey, 2000)
  • Community users remain customers 50% longer than non-community users. (AT&T, 2002)
  • Community users spend 54% more than non-community users (EBay, 2006)
  • In customer support, live interaction costs 87% more per transaction on average than forums and other web self-service options. (ASP, 2002)
  • 56% percent of online community members log in once a day or more (Annenberg, 2007)
Findings: community is key.

So, companies (or whomever) need to build communit
y, not just a facebook profile. They need to be seen as experts in there (no matter how focused) field, not novices. Easy words to say, time-consuming to develop. And that's key too, "develop," rarely does community or expert knowledge happen in an instant, that takes time too.

Engage, build conversation, listen and connect.

Oh yeah, and as I noted at a meeting in Paris last week, "google is truth." At least in terms of online visibility and that certainly counts for something.

And, for those of you already decreeing the death of social media...take a look at Mitch Joel's post "
Social Media is Just Getting Started."

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[social networks and adult usage - stats]

From the Pew Internet Report by Amanda Lenhart

The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years -- from 8% in 2005 to 35% now, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project's December 2008 tracking survey.

While media coverage and policy attention focus heavily on how children and young adults use social network sites, adults still make up the bulk of the users of these websites. Adults make up a larger portion of the US population than teens, which is why the 35% number represents a larger number of users than the 65% of online teens who also use online social networks.

Still, younger online adults are much more likely than their older counterparts to use social networks, with 75% of adults 18-24 using these networks, compared to just 7% of adults 65 and older. At its core, use of online social networks is still a phenomenon of the young.

Overall, personal use of social networks seems to be more prevalent than professional use of networks, both in the orientation of the networks that adults choose to use as well as the reasons they give for using the applications. Most adults, like teens, are using online social networks to connect with people they already know.

When users do use social networks for professional and personal reasons, they will often maintain multiple profiles, generally on different sites.

Most, but not all adult social network users are privacy conscious; 60% of adult social network users restrict access to their profiles so that only their friends can see it, and 58% of adult social network users restrict access to certain content within their profile.

View PDF of Report

Other Online Activities & Pursuits Resources

MemoMemo | Adults and Video Games

MemoMemo | Search Engine Use

MemoReport | The Internet and Consumer Choice

MemoReport | Online Shopping

MemoMemo | Increased Use of Video-sharing Sites

Related Topic Areas

Technology & Media Use

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[mirror neurons and literacy]

Proof that humans are "wired" to connect with others:

image of brain with mirror neurons highlighted "Scientists have recently been decoding how "mirror neurons" in our brains work. They've realized humans are wired to connect with others, to live vicariously through others' experiences, in much stronger ways than we once thought. The brain doesn't differentiate much between watching someone do something, and doing it yourself - which is why there are so many obsessed sports fans in the world. Most important for teachers, these mirror neurons are also a key to how we learn. Just watching someone read a book teaches us more than we ever realized about the reading process. And we use our emotions to readily connect those experiences to other related tasks (either physically or emotionally). I will never be a gymnast (beyond the contortions I go through to get through airport security screening). But I can connect to the feelings of almost, not quite reaching a goal again and again, and finally succeeding. What teacher hasn't experienced weeks or months of helping a struggling student almost, but
not quite, grasp a concept? It makes those breakthrough moments all the more sweet.

Mirror neurons are also the reason modeling in classrooms is so essential. When students see the strategies teachers use to tackle difficult texts, no matter the genre, their brains don't differentiate between their experiences and ours. The teacher's strategies become part of the mix that fires up whenever a student approaches a new text. Likewise, all those whole-class activities to build community around reading and writing early in the year become ingredients in the chemical soup in our students' brains as they read and write on their own. The consequences of broken mirror neurons can also be dire, as any teacher who has worked with an autistic child knows.

What about mirror neurons in staff settings? Simply put, our moms were right - we shouldn't hang out with the wrong crowd, and we need to choose our role models carefully. Mirror neurons imitate and absorb what they see around us whether we like what we're seeing or not. If you're surrounded by negative, unhappy people, it's human nature that you're going to absorb that outlook over time. Sometimes toxic environments or people can't be avoided, but it's important to note when it comes to "emotional contagions," negative environments have more powerful effects than positive ones. If you have a colleague or two who are always resentful or angry, you owe it to yourself and your students to limit your time with them. If you have to spend time with them, even decreasing eye contact or verbal interactions can help limit what your brain's mirror neurons pick up."

Read more here.

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[facebook and job-hunting politics]

According to Toni Bowers at Tech Republic, hiring managers are increasingly discovering the need to address "casual" communication (texts, e-mails) from potential job candidates. She notes:
"While text-messaging lingo might be completely natural to these young people — indeed, for some it’s the only way they communicate — they fail to notice that those in positions of authority (who tend to be older) find such methods of communication disrespectful."
Funnily enough in today's column, Bowers tells us about hiring managers who do the opposite, they actually send out friend invitations to potential employees....The job candidate in question explains:
"To be honest, my face is in no book, I have no space, I’m neither linked in, nor linked out. I just don’t have any interest in social networking."
Akward position? There are 20 comments so far that say so.

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[new media, romance and evidence]

"Mobile phones, BlackBerrys, emails, social networking... Never before has it been so easy to cheat on a partner. But has technology made it simply too difficult for philanderers to cover their tracks?


In today's world, to function as an effective member of 21st-century society, we have to engage with a bewildering array of electronic gadgets, few of which we fully understand. We stomp digital footprints all over the place, and the unforeseen result of engaging in the information age is that it is becoming harder to have secrets – and, as a result, it is harder to cheat on each other.

Day-to-day actions, such as taking the bus to work and buying a magazine on the way, used to be ephemeral. But today, every journey, every communication, every penny spent, is logged and stored. As we move through life, we leave millions of specks of electronic evidence. Stored on hard drives and mainframes, this data acts like specks of DNA sprayed across the bedsheet of cyberspace. It's all there waiting to incriminate us."

Read the whole article at the Independent.

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[employment opportunity - virtual world learning]

Jobs at Coventry University

Senior Research Assistant

The socio political impact of virtual world learning on higher education

Learning Innovation Group

£28,290 - £34,794 per annum

We are seeking an efficient, experienced researcher for a study funded by The Leverhulme Trust. The study seeks to explore ‘The socio political impact of virtual world learning on higher education' using participatory action research and will examine staff and students from a wide range of disciplines in Higher Education Institutions across the UK. It will investigate their conceptions of and decisions about the way in which they teach and learn at the socio-political boundaries of reality.

You will have a PhD in education or a related discipline and work closely with the Director of the Learning Innovation Group (Professor Maggi Savin-Baden) to ensure the smooth and efficient running of this study. This post will run for the duration of the study until starting on 10 September 2008, or as soon as possible thereafter. The post will be based at Coventry University, in the Learning Innovation Research Group.

Your experience will include working at a responsible level chiefly in a research environment and use of web 2.0 technologies and use of social networking platforms and familiarity with immersive world such as Second Life will be required. Reporting to the Director of the Learning Innovation Group you will undertake research and support the work of the PhD students appointed to on the project.

It is likely that interviews will take place on the 5th September.

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[nlab social networks conference - panel discussion]

Panel Discussion Rounding up the issues of the day with Steve Clayton, Roland Harwood, Chris Meade, Vijay Riyait, Andrea Saveri.

"All our relationships are built on favours...ultimately that's how you make money." (RH)

Distinguishing between the social media platform and the activities, sometimes these issues are conflated (AS)

Emergence of new infrastructure for businesses and on top of that the ways we support client development etc...(AS)

How to bridge the gap between all the technical skills and the person/client/community. How do you bring the benefits of social netowkring to more people more of the time?

It is clear that these tools have benefits. It is time to get a little more political (CM) - it's about sharing information and succeeding globally.

Vijay notes that there aren't really many of these kinds of conferences engaging small businesses particularly out of London. We need to get out there and connect with business groups etc... Creative Coffee Club then fits in really well with this idea.

Caroline from PCM Creative - If you could only keep two social media platforms what would they be and why?

Twitter because it's fascinating and Facebook. Niche social networking is important but the grander interactions with people you don't know are it (RH)

Chris thinks it's a good idea to have only one that can do all sorts of things. That could be more exciting rather than another thing appearing and another thing we need to learn.

For Andrea it's delicious and news aggregator that tracks all the blogs so that she can stay in touch with a whole community of people.

Facebook allows Vijay to connect with colleagues and clients which as a small business helps develop a social relationship which helps build trust.

Question from Karl Craig West: He explains that his clients should use social networking but they come back saying "so." Why should small businesses get into social networking, where's the business incentive.

Vijay: How many people run a small business (half the delegates). How do you get your business (networking). Vijay says social networking can only help. The value in getting to people.

Chris reminds us what Jim said, that online social networking lets you do more for less. What about the tailor who went from "zero to hero" (RH) and Jim Benson solving a problem within 25 minutes after asking the twitterverse. That's got to be important to a business.

There are ways to expand markets, to get that kind of reach with social networking. Also where you need expert knowledge. Using social media to participate in channels where you can get that kind of information (AS).

David Terrar: it doesn't matter what the business is, there are always tangible benefits. Dell using the platform to talk to customers etc... There isn't a killer feature other than collaboration.

Michael: consensus that social networking is worth investing in but isn't it a bit oversaturated and actually aren't consumers way more savvy? Consumers know there's an agenda behind it.

Chris Meade says this is why it's important to pick one kind of platform and stick with it. It's better that people have a focus and know what they are after. Vijay reminds us that there are companies who began a blog under the pretense that it was written but a real, unaffiliated person. We need rules on transparency.

Toby Moores: One question we haven't yet addressed is the dramatic shift in landscape, the fact that India and China are producing more grads than we are producing children. So doing the innovative bit of business is going to shift so the value of social media is amplifying that process. How much do you believe that social media will be adpoted and support this shift in landscape?

Andrea thinks it will. It is a collaborative, open, social platform. It supports emergent swarm activity. But right now China has the greatest number of bloggers around so she wouldn't underestimate their involvement in the creative side of business.

Could we live without the web? RH says we assume it'll be there forever in the shape it is now.

Vijay says the whole thing about social networking is allowing people to be creative, letting go of some of that control. We know big businesses will adopt it but will smaller businesses?

Question from Andrew (?): what is really different with social networking? Moved from relationship marketing to meeting needs of the customer but today, social networking enhances that relationship, makes that conversation much better. Forces traditional thinking businesses into rexaming the way they do business if they have come from a "command and control position." But the younger businesses will do things very very differently. Suggestion from Andrew to FSB and BusinessLink to do some case studies to move this into the real world and out of academia (note: this isn't an academic conference!). Note from Sue: Shani has been working with Creative Coffee Club to do exactly that.

just found social cash - a way to magically monetize?

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[nlab social networks conference - jim benson]

Social Networking Beyond The Dogma: Let's Make Some Money

The application of social networking and social media technologies ultimately should help your business work better. How do you set goals, create campaigns, and execute cost effectively?

NOTE: if you join a social network - twitter, facebook etc...you must give back to the community, answer other questions, participate otherwise you're just a leech.

Which social media networks should we be on? Well, can't say but Jim does tell us what we shouldn't be on...Facebook! At least if we're thinking about time vs content...it takes too much time whereas twitter etc...can offer benefit/value much quicker.

Social networking reduces costs of: lead acquisition, product improvement, individual sales, expert information and opportunities

Social networks are like cities by fostering growth, coordination, affinity, voice, realisation

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