Tweet into meaning

Sociologist Erving Goffmanll said that all of life is performance, and Peggy Orenstein in the NYTimes says that Twitter is a new stage.

Jeff Jarvis is getting ready to write a book about “abundant publicness” and some of the thoughts and quotes from the linked post are thought provoking.

“Once-abundant privacy is now scarce. Once-scarce publicness is now abundant.”

A few recent thought provokers on living the linked life

Bruce Schneier: Privacy in the Age of Persistence: We must, all of us together, start discussing this major societal change and what it means. And we must work out a way to create a future that our grandchildren will be proud of.

Nick Bilton: NYTimes: ‘Controlled Serendipity’ Liberates the Web: We are no longer just consumers of content, we have become curators of it too.

Anil Dash: CNN: Don’t let Twitter, Facebook, Google be the only game in town: There’s no reason that organizations or individuals who want to use the Web to relay critical information have to rely on Twitter or Facebook or Google or any other giant of the technology industry in the first place. We’ve just forgotten a bit about how the Internet was supposed to work.

Roger Ebert who is living with what his fight against thyroid cancer has dealt him and how the Internet helps him connect: Nil by mouth: So that’s what’s sad about not eating. The loss of dining, not the loss of food. It may be personal, but for, unless I’m alone, it doesn’t involve dinner if it doesn’t involve talking. The food and drink I can do without easily. The jokes, gossip, laughs, arguments and shared memories I miss. Sentences beginning with the words, “Remember that time?” I ran in crowds where anyone was likely to break out in a poetry recitation at any time. Me too. But not me anymore. So yes, it’s sad. Maybe that’s why I enjoy this blog. You don’t realize it, but we’re at dinner right now. (bonus link read his piece on making out.

danah boyd On Facebook, Class, Privacy, and Public-ness

danah boyd: “Facebook’s move ain’t about changes in privacy norms”

Public-ness has always been a privilege. For a long time, only a few chosen few got to be public figures. Now we’ve changed the equation and anyone can theoretically be public, can theoretically be seen by millions. So it mustn’t be a privilege anymore, eh? Not quite. There are still huge social costs to being public, social costs that geeks in Silicon Valley don’t have to account for. Not everyone gets to show up to work whenever they feel like it wearing whatever they’d like and expect a phatty paycheck. Not everyone has the opportunity to be whoever they want in public and demand that everyone else just cope. I know there are lots of folks out there who think that we should force everyone into the public so that we can create a culture where that IS the norm. Not only do I think that this is unreasonable, but I don’t think that this is truly what we want. The same Silicon Valley tycoons who want to push everyone into the public don’t want their kids to know that their teachers are sexual beings, even when their sexuality is as vanilla as it gets. Should we even begin to talk about the marginalized populations out there?

Recently, I gave a talk on the complications of visibility through social media. Power is critical in thinking through these issues. The privileged folks don’t have to worry so much about people who hold power over them observing them online. That’s the very definition of privilege. But most everyone else does. And forcing people into the public eye doesn’t dismantle the structures of privilege, the structures of power. What pisses me off is that it reinforces them. The privileged get more privileged, gaining from being exposed. And those struggling to keep their lives together are forced to create walls that are constantly torn down around them. The teacher, the abused woman, the poor kid living in the ghetto and trying to get out. How do we take them into consideration when we build systems that expose people?


Bruce Schneier: “The Eternal Value of Privacy”

Nicholas Carr: Other people’s privacy

There’s a paradox at work – Social Software and Media links for Thursday

Clay Shirky: Help, the Price of Information Has Fallen, and It Can’t Get Up

The interesting thing about this piece, written way back in 1995, is that it leaves wide open the concept of information.

Just what is information? People instinctively grasp for “facts” as their definition. But in computing, we think otherwise. Can music be described as information – sure can. Opinions? Yep. Visual arts? Certainly. Video. Yes, even video. Anything that can be described in ones and zeroes can be thought of as information that can be transmitted and shared on a network.

Well, what about advertising? Yes, that too.

Jeneane Sussum: The Value of Words: These. People. Are. Lying. To. You. And. Themselves.

There is a paradox at work here. As the cost of generating and transmitting information decreases, more of it becomes available, thus increasing the need for better filters.

Advertising, Newspapers, and Libraries were the premier filters of the pre-Internet age.

So were the ‘big 3’ TV stations, radio conglomerates, record companies, book stores and magazine stands for that matter.

Search engines, blogs, social networks, and smart aggregators are those of the now.

How the practices of the old evolve in the infrastructure of the new, how new disciplines arise to meet the needs of today and tomorrow, will determine how informed, or how uninformed, we will be as a society.

Other interesting links for today:

P’unk Avenue Window: What should a modern library be?

reddit: Young Deer hit by google map VAN. Caught on street view. A Brief History of Hyperlocal News
Social Media “Experts” are the Cancer of Twitter (and Must Be Stopped)

MediaPost: Yelp Reviews Spawn At Least Five Lawsuits

Epicenter: eMusic Says Data Supports Long Tail Theory

Epicenter: Want Proof OpenID Can Succeed? Just Scroll Down

ComputerWorld: What the Web knows about you

Living in the public – not there yet

Jeff Jarvis: The perils of publicness:

There’s an old social norm at work here that is, I think, an extension of old media, which says: You put yourself out there, so you put yourself at risk for getting attacked. This implies it is almost your fault for getting attacked. This is a basis of the public-figure defense in libel, the presumed right to go after people in the public eye. Once you become public, you give up the cloak and protection of privacy.

But now we are all public. Does that norm still hold online, when 180 million people have started blogs and countless more put videos on YouTube and photos on Flickr? Are they all, should they all be targets for the snipers and snarkers? Well, they all could be. But what’s our attitude about that? Is there a new norm emerging?

Bruce Schneier: The Future of Ephemeral Conversation:

Until our CEOs blog, our Congressmen Twitter, and our world leaders send each other LOLcats – until we have a Presidential election where both candidates have a complete history on social networking sites from before they were teenagers- we aren’t fully an information age society.

When everyone leaves a public digital trail of their personal thoughts since birth, no one will think twice about it being there. Obama might be on the younger side of the generation gap, but the rules he’s operating under were written by the older side. It will take another generation before society’s tolerance for digital ephemera changes.

rc3.orgWhen everything is recorded:

What I wonder, though, is whether we’re going to see some kind of crest in terms of how harshly people are punished for their previous online behavior. When there are embarrassing photos of everyone online, then by definition their existence will no longer be sensational.

Yep. Me too. Reaching that crest will be painful, ugly, and people are going to be hurt. I still don’t know if we will go over that ledge however, to reach the other side that Jarvis says is already here or Schneier says is on the way someday.

Social Software Links: Activism and Privacy Edition

Penny Arcade! posted a comic that summarizes what many think of online anonymity and the Internet: John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory: Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad.

Up until the past few weeks, I would have agreed. But now I am starting to adopt a more nuanced view.

I don’t want to get into what has triggered the change of heart, and no – I am not anonymously blogging – my name lends credibility that I am not willing to trade. However, I have come to realize there are those who need to be able to speak out, and without anonymity cannot do so.

It’s confusing subject matter, so here are a few links of various viewpoints:

CNet: U.N. agency eyes curbs on Internet anonymity

Business Week: Busting a Rogue Blogger: Troll Tracker has been unmasked as a patent lawyer for Cisco. Now they’re both facing litigation

SSRN: Anonymous Blogging and Defamation: Balancing Interests of the Internet: It is important not to silence communication on the Internet, but it is just as important not to silence victims of defamation. Therefore, this comment argues for the protection of libel plaintiffs facing defamatory comments from anonymous bloggers.

Media Bloggers Association: Announces Libel Insurance For Bloggers – huge news for those who intend to pursue acts of journalism independently.

Must See Video: Hope2604 – Steve Rambam Pt 1 – Privacy Is Dead – Get Over It

Must See Video: Hope2604 – Steve Rambam Pt 2 – Privacy Is Dead – Get Over It ‘Anonymous’ Member Unmasked, Charged With Web Attack on Scientology

Bruce Schneier: Essays and Op Eds

Time Berners-Lee’s new World Wide Web Foundation

Global Voices Online: Global Voices Advocacy: A project of Global Voices Online, we seek to build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and free access to information online.

Reporters Without Borders

Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Risks Digest

Slashdot: Your Rights Online