Social Media/Software Links for Today

There’s a theme going on here that is a bit hard to place… but it’s there.

Jon Udell: Homophily, anti-recommendation, and Driveway Moments , shout out to Global Voices Online:

Recommendation systems don’t help me much. They only suggest things similar to other things I’ve shown interest in. Increasingly that just frustrates me. The most delightful recommendations are those that connect me with things that interest me in unpredictable ways. That happens serendipitously, and I haven’t yet found a reliable way to manufacture the serendipity.

Crooked Timber: Blogs, Participation and Polarization:

So whether you like political blogs will depend to some extent on whether you prefer deliberation across party lines to participation, or vice versa. Personally (at least as regards political efficacy in the current era), I’m on the vice versa side, but we leave this question deliberately open, as people from different perspectives may disagree &c &c.

NYTimes: via Undecideds More Decided Than They Think, Study Says:

Voters who insist that they are undecided about a contentious issue are sometimes fooling themselves, having already made a choice at a subconscious level, a new study suggests.

Wired: Presidential Election Already Decided … in Voters’ Minds:

The electorate has already made up its collective mind who it will vote for in November. Even many of those all-important and highly coveted undecided voters aren’t really undecided.

They may think they are carefully weighing their choices, but their decision is rigged in advance by their subconscious minds, say psychologists, and they just aren’t aware of it.

CJR: Echo Chamber: How blogging failed the war in Georgia:

There are, of course, many others. The point is not that some blogs covered the conflict well, and fulfilled the promise of a blog network that transcends the spin and amplifies ignored voices: it is that the majority of blogs did not. Watching the most prominent blogs turn into their own worst enemies largely deflates much of their egalitarian mystique–and drives home just how important it is to remain a skeptical reader.

Slate: What’s Really Killing Newspapers: Not that long ago, the daily newspaper was an indispensable coiner of social currency, and it gave its readers piles of the stuff in each edition.

Corante: Transforming American Newspapers (Part 2):

It is almost impossible to overstate how utterly the supply of news and information available to most Americans has changed during the past 35 years. Within a single generation, the Supply & Demand equation has gone from relative scarcity to certain surplus. People now have so much access to information that some are complaining about ‘data smog’.

Bubblegeneration: Data is a Commodity, or How Not to Revolutionize…:

This is an old question. We discussed it at USV Sessions two years ago – I think it was phrased, “What’s the value of data in an open world”. And even then, little insight was generated.

It’s the wrong question. Data isn’t the valuable.

In fact, data’s a commodity. We’re drowning in data.

Think about it this way: the lower the cost of interaction, by definition, the more abundant data is – because every interaction creates reams of data. More data is created tomorrow than was created yesterday. And so on.

What is valuable are the things that create data: markets, networks, and communities.

Chicago Tribune interviews Adrian Holovaty of and Django: Cyberstar.

Current issue of Scientific American deals with privacy and identity: How I Stole Someone’s Identity, Internet Eavesdropping: A Brave New World o Wiretapping, Data Fusion: The Ups and Downs of All-Encompassing Digital Profiles, Do Social Networks Bring the End of Privacy?, Cryptography: How to Keep Your Secrets Safe.

And Apple bans a… comic book.