Posts tagged: interwebz
/—/ These results come from Stanford University, which surveyed students about their moods and what they thought their friends were feeling. When the researchers compared the friends’ actual moods, they found that students underestimate their friends’ negative feelings and overestimate the positive, which in turn made respondents unhappy because they felt less normal.
As lead researcher Alex Jordan says, “People think, ‘Why am I alone on a Saturday night’ or, ‘Why I am not in a relationship?’ When people overestimate the happiness of friends, they felt more negatively about their own lives.” The study revealed that the misattribution of friends’ feelings happened even between people who knew each other very well.
The more students underestimated the negative emotions of their friends, the more their feelings of loneliness increased—a trend that Catalina Toma of the University of Wisconsin says can be emotionally harmful to passive Facebook users. She writes, “People naturally compare themselves to those around them, a process known as social comparison. If you perceive yourself to be doing better than your friends in an area that is important for you the social comparison will make you feel good. However, if you think your friends surpass you in an area that’s important to your self-concept, you will likely feel dejected as a result of the comparison.”
As the creator of one of the Internet’s most base, vile and creative websites, 4chan founder Chris Poole knows a little bit about the effects of user identity on user behavior. 4chan, a completely anonymous, real-time message forum, is the birthplace of many an Internet meme and user identity, or the lack thereof, can play a big part in this.
Poole spoke about the collaborative, creative process today in his keynote address at SXSW in Austin, Texas, spending some time on the topic of identity and authenticity. In this horserace, Poole unsurprisingly comes out on the side of anonymity.
The topic of authenticity has been in the news as of late, with the introduction of Facebook-powered comments on the Web and on sites like TechCrunch. The issue at hand is whether or not forcing users to connect their comments with their real identity will stifle expression. Will users be as honest, as authentic, if they have to connect their real name to what they say?
Some, such as blogger Robert Scoble, argue that linking comments to Facebook identity increases authenticity, not only by adding context to what people say, but also that people cannot anonymously pose as other people. Poole, at least when speaking of authenticity in terms of creativity, appears to take quite the opposite position.
“Anonymity is authenticity,” said Poole. “It allows you to share in an unvarnished, unfiltered, raw and real way. We believe in content over creator.”
Of course, when we speak of 4chan, we’re talking about a collection of memes and creations that few bloggers or publishers would want to grace their comments section.
Poole argued that identity can stifle content creators (whether commenters or otherwise) because of what’s at stake.
“The cost of failure is really high when you’re contributing as yourself,” said Poole. “To fail in an environment where you’re contributing with your real name is costly.”
On this point, Scoble had a very different opinion when he wrote last week. “REAL change comes from people putting their necks on the line. I couldn’t remember a time when an anonymous person really enacted change in, well, anything. It’s why I sign my name to everything, even stuff that could get me fired,” wrote Scoble.
What do you think — do you want Poole’s version of authenticity? Will anonymity always lead to the variety of creativity we see on 4chan? Or is anonymity a necessary party of true honesty and authenticity?
In effective museum and gallery installations, visitors are usually invited to spend time simply being with art—or artifacts or other content. Curators and exhibition designers understand that people require certain things to have concentrated experiences: things like unobstructed access, good light, and freedom from distractions.
Now imagine going into a museum and trying to walk up to a Matisse, only to run into a glass wall ten feet away from the painting. To get past the wall—which is now frosted so you can’t see the painting at all—you have to write down your full name and address, and then show ID to prove that you are who you say you are. Once you’ve submitted to all this, you discover that the “painting” is only a small print—you have to go into another room full of billboards to see the original. Finally, you reach the painting. The descriptive label is written in miniature gray text on a slightly lighter gray background, so forget trying to read that, but here at last is the art.
That’s when the circus clowns pop out of the woodwork and start honking little horns and waving signs advertising tooth-whitening products and diet pills. This is content online.
From The Elements of Content Strategy, by Erin Kissane.
TV star Ashton Kutcher may have more followers than all but 5 other people on Twitter (6,393,559) but he apparently has at least one snarky and politically minded adversary at the prestigious TED conference this week. Kutcher’s account on Twitter appears to have been compromised minutes ago, having posted two messages purportedly from someone else nearby.
“Ashton, you’ve been Punk’d,” the first of two Tweets read. “This account is not secure. Dude, where’s my SSL?” SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a security measure that many people have called on Twitter and Facebook to enable by default. “P.S. This is for those young protesters around the world who deserve not to have their Facebook & Twitter accounts hacked like this. #SSL,” read the next message.
Last Fall a program called Firesheep hit the web that made it easy for anyone to sniff out unsecured Twitter or Facebook users’ credentials on a local network. Counter-measures were quickly developed, but not everyone thinks to implement them when in public. An official switch by social network providers to SSL by default is believed by some to be the best solution, but that hasn’t happened.
The venue this occurred in is particularly humorous. TED is a world-famous conference of brainiac and wealthy do-gooder elite. Apparently one of those attendees decided to make use of Kutcher’s account to prove a point that he himself would likely agree with.
According to a profile of Kutcher in last month’s Men’s Fitness magazine, the star spends all his free time cross-training to survive the apocalypse. Hopefully he’ll be more vigilant in those circumstances, lest he fall prey to mischievous tricksters at end times, too.
Cats Lock is a bookmarklet that cattifies the web. If you run it on catslock.com, though, nothing really changes.
“And this is the thing - because it is a service started by the creators of one of the most vile, immature locales on the Internet, can expect more of the same? Take a gander at the screenshot” ^
Sometimes, it’s the community that makes a site what it is. It’s that unique thread of personality, inside jokes and general rules of engagement that gives it the je ne sais quoi and separates it from the crowd. What would Reddit be without Narwhals and bacon, for example? For anonymous message board 4chan, it’s that unique community identity that’s lead to such wondrous Internet memes as Pedobear, Rick Rolling and Chocolate Rain.
So, with 4chan founder Chris Poole launching a new site, can we expect more of the same or will a new venture attract a new crowd? According to Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch, Poole has “taken what works [at 4chan], changed other things, and created something wholly new.” That new endeavor, called Canvas, is a service that lets users interact around images, remixing them to form newer, better, and likely ever more vulgar and disturbing imagery from such sacrosanct stock as pudgy babies and teddy bears.
Fast growing lightweight blogging service Tumblr has been down for most of the past day and its users are being mocked for their concern. “Can Tumblr do a Twitter and recover?” laughs economics writer and funny man Paul Kedrosky, for example, on Twitter. “Does anyone outside Bay Area and NYC care? More at 11.”
How would Kedrosky respond if this was 24 hours of Twitter down time, though? Would we even hear his cries for help? Maybe on Facebook, or more likely on one of his regular CNBC appearances. The point is, one person’s silly diversion is another person’s life-changing communication channel to the world. That’s what Tumblr is to millions of people, and the fact that we suffer withdrawal when our publishing tool of choice goes down isn’t just a symbol of our civilization’s decline from meaning - it’s an illustration of how much things have changed because of these new technologies that have democratized publishing.
“Forget your own personal egocentric need to “share with the world” something you’ve been “thinking” (alert the news media! a man walking down the street is thinking about something!) and ponder instead whether the world at large needs to hear it. That should cut your communication needs right there.
As for what the world will look like in 10 or 20 years, “when today’s young people feel entitled to instant, global, reliable communication and self expression?,” I shiver at the thought that that kind of rampaging hyper-self-involvement/entitlement might continue unabated for 20 more years rather than fizzle out when the world realizes that everybody sharing is the same as nobody sharing. Except a lot more time-consuming.
It’s okay to think thoughts that aren’t shared instantly. Sometimes the thoughts actually get better and more interesting that way.”
“Over the past few days, we’ve watched a battle unfold between two Internet giants. No, not Google and Facebook. 4chan and Tumblr. Members of the two sites have come to blows, so to speak, over who “owns” Internet memes, and some on the 4chan message board called for “Operation Overlord” - a DDoS attack targeted against the microblogging site. Tumblr users have threatened to respond by filling the 4chan boards with pictures of kittens. And both sites have taken turns over the past 24 hours being offline.
It’s easy, perhaps, to dismiss this back-and-forth of bored and disgruntled teenagers. And because one of the call-to-arms on 4chan said “We are Anonymous” and involved a denial-of-service tactic, it may be easy to confuse 4chan v Tumblr with the more recent DDoS attacks undertaken by Anonymous. /—/”
“David Kernell was sentenced to prison today for one year and one day as a result of his hacking into the Yahoo account of Sarah Palin during the 2008 Presidential Election. Kernell’s lawyer had hoped for probation, describing the actions of the then 20-year-old college students as “a prank that spun out of control.”
Paul Chambers lost his appeal in a U.K. Crown Court this week, as he sought to overturn his conviction for “improper use of public electronic communications network.” Chambers, when learning that his local airport was closed, Tweeted that it had better reopen or “I’m blowing the airport sky high!!!” - something described as simply “a foolish prank.” /—/”
”/—/ That would have been the end of it. But Mr. Chambers’s impulsive outburst led him down a long and unexpected path, turning him into both a convicted criminal and a cause célèbre for Twitter users and free-speech advocates in Britain and beyond.
/—/ The actor and Twitter enthusiast Stephen Fry offered to pay his court bills. Other users began raising money for a new appeal. And on a new and wildly popular trending topic, #IAmSpartacus (a homage to the Kirk Douglas movie in which rebel slaves in ancient Rome refuse to betray their leader, Spartacus, confusing the enemy by claiming that they are all Spartacus) people began defiantly expressing their solidarity with Mr. Chambers by reposting his offending Twitter message or by threatening to blow up other, random, things. These included Downing Street, the courtroom, the town of Doncaster, Gatwick Airport, Robin Hood the person, the White House, the Basingstoke Hockey Club, “everyone,” “my garage,” some balloons, and NBC (if it canceled “The Event”).
/—/ It was a fluke, really, that brought Mr. Chambers’s stray Twitter message to the attention of the authorities. An airport manager doing a search on Twitter for Robin Hood Airport-related items on his home computer saw the message a few days later and reported it. A few days after that, five police officers arrested Mr. Chambers at work, interrogated him for eight hours and seized his computers and phones.
“Do you have any weapons in your car?” they asked, Mr. Chambers told The Guardian this fall.
“I said I had some golf clubs in the boot,” or trunk, he responded, “but they didn’t think it was funny.””