Google wants to create an easy way for developers to create an application that works on all social networks. And if they pull it off, theyâ€™ll be in the center, controlling the network.
Great comment by Alex to the post:
On the other hand ALL the social networking sites will now have to open up otherwise they will lose members.
What Google proposed is, I guess since the details will be revealed tomorrow, a simple API with a minimal set of methods, something that thousands of entities (programmers, startups, companies) could have done in a similar way. The challenge is not too much technical. The challenge is social: if Google proposes an OpenSocial API, it will get adopted in seconds, if some unknown entity propose the very same API, nobody will notice it. What is happening is that Google is quickly becoming the globally recognized entity in charge or defining the evolution of the Web: Google is quickly taking the role of W3C that, according to Wikipedia, is “the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or W3).”
I’m reading “The Autobiography of J.L. Moreno” (actually I’m reading the Italian translation “Il profeto della psicodramma” because this is what I found in the local library) and Jacob Moreno was really an amazingly mad guy. I looked for something of him because Moreno is often cited as the first one studying social networks (in 1930s) and hence doing social network analysis.
Well in the autobiography he states that he was feeling he was God since the age of 5. Gosh. And through all its life he was convinced to be God and to live like God. Amazing. Not an ordinary person, eh? Moreno is in fact an amazingly prolific person, father of psychodrama, father of sociodrama, father of role training, father of sociometry, father of group psychotherapy. (In Wikipedia there is the List of people known as the father or mother of something, how good would be to end up in that list sooner or later, eh?) but also with an incredible life, creating hospitals for animals, religions, refusing to be paid as a doctor, meeting Hitler, Freud, Einstein, etc, I cannot resume it, you really have to check his autobiography!
The image on the left shows an an attraction network in a Fourth Grade Class from a paper by Moreno (note that triangles are males and circles are female, or vice versa, I don’t remember precisely).
Let me conclude this post with two excerpts from “Il profeta della psicodramma” (translated from Italian into English by me, I apologize already) but I suggest you to read his entire life in the book.
People researching interactions that don’t start their work with an analysis of the spontaneous-creative matrices of their experimental projects are like architects trying to convince you that an house can be built without foundations.
Our goal was to prepare almost 50.000 people as sociometrists to be sent in every area of America life and also abroad with the goal of creating a new democracy, in which, citing our introductory declaration “every member of these groups will be taught by means of sociometry to understand that a genuine leaving democracy cannot be accomplished unless it is based on the science of actual relationships working at interpersonal level and among groups existing and functioning under the surface of institutions, laws, courts and the different cultural agencies inside them.”
Terrific course by Trebor Scholz which I would terribly like to attend.
Since it is released under a Creative Commons License ByAttribution/ShareAlike 2.5 and this blog as well, I’m legally allowed to redistribute the content on this blog and this is precisely what I’m going to do in the following. Try to attend the course, discussing for an entire courses about these topics should be an amazing experience!
Kluge, Alexander, Peter Labanyi, and Oskar Negt. Public Sphere and Experience: Toward an Analysis of the Bourgeois and Proletarian Public Sphere (Theory and History of Literature). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.
• Week 11 (11/06, 11/08) Motivations for Participation
Questions: What motivates people on the Social Web to engage? Required Reading: Gefen, David, and Catherine M. Ridings. " Virtual Community Attraction:Why People Hang Out Online." Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 1 Nov 2004. 31 Jul 2007 <http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol10/issue1/ridings_gefen.html#s2>.
• Week 12 (11/13, 11/15) The Ethics of Participation. Got ethics? Labor, what? (The production of value on the Social Web)
Questions: What are ethical standards on both, the side of the users and the corporate platform providers?
What’s the difference between moralistic posturing and discussions about context-specific ethics?
Does talk about ethics mean that we can’t have any more fun?
Do the activities on the Social Web qualify as immaterial labor?
Rauch, Peter. "Confessions of an Aca/Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins: Fable and Other Moral Tales: A Study in Game Ethics (Part One)." Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins. 1 Aug 2007. 26 Aug 2007 <http://www.henryjenkins.org/2007/08/games_and_ethics.html>.
• Week 13 (11/20, 11/22) Fields of Possibilities
Questions: What are the core characteristics of the Social Web?
How can networked publics fight back? Today, is it practical to live ethical lives in the context of the Social Web and mobile social space? If so, tactics could be learned and shared with others. Required Reading: Jarvis, Jeff. "New News: Deconstructing the newspaper." BuzzMachine . 18 Jan 2006. 26 Aug 2007 <http://www.buzzmachine.com/2006/01/18/new-news-deconstructing-the-newspaper/>.
• Week 14 (11/27, 11/29) The Future of the Social Web
Cascio, Jamais. "WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: The Rise of the Participatory Panopticon." WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future. 4 May 2005. 12 Jul 2007 <http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/002651.html>.
After reading this article on the Guardian introducing it as the Facebook for professors, postdocs and PhDers in the sciences, I decided to spend some minutes and creating an identity on Nature Network. Here is my profile on Nature Network.The goal is to get people from different institutions and different research fields to talk to one another about the thing they have in common: a love of science. Check the flash quick tour video.
The article quotes Frank Norman saying
One of the nice things is the absence of markers to indicate status. When you read a contribution, you don’t know whether it is from a professor or a student, you just judge it by whether it makes sense.
It is interesting how Guardian stresses this “democratic” aspect of the Web, very wikipedian, very everyone-is-an-expert. It obviously totally resonates with me. In fact, on the other hand of the scope
One lecturer, who does not want to be named, says the scientific community is concerned that Nature Network and other Facebook-style academic communications could be “dangerous” because comments are not peer-reviewed.
Interestingly the more everything we do becomes digital, the more it seems everyone is concerned in measuring it:
Dr Timo Hannay, director of web publishing at Nature Publishing Group, predicts that scientists who post comments, blogs and data from experiments on sites like Nature Network will eventually be allowed to count these as part of their research output. “There should be a way of measuring the impact of a scientist who posts comments on a site like Nature Network. These could be added to their publishing record”.
And Matt Brown adds
Our vision for Nature Network is that every scientist in the world will have a personal profile on the site. Likeminded people and potential collaborators could then be easily found through a tagging system. Ideas can be discussed in the forums. Who knows, many years from now, traditional activities such as writing an academic paper could be peer-reviewed online.
And the article closes with the usual oh-gosh-some-more-content-to-monitor information overload fear:
Some see it another way. “If sites like these can increase awareness of research and provide easier ways to forge collaborative links, that is good,” says Brown. “If they provide more text that needs to be read, digested and responded to, that might not be so good.
By the way, you can check my profile on Nature Network and, if you are in there as well and read this, connect to me, friend me, or do how-they-call-it-on-Nature to me. I’m waiting. Somehow.
I’m going to be at the New Network Theory Conference in Amsterdam from tomorrow until 1st July. Check the program, it is gorgeous. And if you are going to be there as well, it would be great to speak network a bit. Of course hospitality will be courtesy of Couchsurfing once more, and this is amazingly networky by itself.
I eventually managed to get invited to the ENISA Workshop “Security Issues in Reputation Systems” and at the eema’s “The European e-identity conference”. So I’ll be in Paris from Monday 11 until Wednesday 13, of course hosted by friendly Couchsurfers. The program is quite interesting, I’m especially looking forward for the keynote address by Kim Cameron, whose blog I’ve been reading since some time, and a presentation by Alessandro Acquisti of CMU titled “Imagined communities: awareness, information sharing and privacy: the Facebook case”
Let me know if you’ll be there, I’ll be happy to discuss about trust, reputation, identity, whatever.
Since I was required to provide a position paper, I put up the following, the intention was to be a little provocative but I don’t know if it was successful. If you read it, let me know what you think about it. The position paper “Reputation is in the eye of the beholder: on subjectivity and objectivity of trust statements” can be read after the jump (i.e. click on “more” if present).
From an email sent to the mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity. I didn’t check if Andrew Keen really said or wrote this text. I tend to disagree with the arguments but I think it is not good for me (and for everyone) to only read opinions of like-minded people, Web2.0 enthusiasts in this case. I agree with Sunstein when he states in Republic.com:
Unplanned, unanticipated encounters are central to democracy itself. Such encounters often involve topics and points of view that people have not sought out and perhaps find quite irritating.
So without further ado, here it is:
THE ANTI WEB 2.0 MANIFESTO (Adorno-for-idiots) by Andrew Keen
1. The cult of the amateur is digital utopianism’s most seductive delusion. This cult promises that the latest media technology — in the form of blogs, wikis and podcasts — will
enable everyone to become widely read writers, journalists, movie directors and music artists. It suggests, mistakenly, that everyone has something interesting to say.
2. The digital utopian much heralded “democratization” of media will have a destructive impact upon culture, particularly upon criticism. “Good taste” is, as Adorno never tired
of telling us, undemocratic. Taste must reside with an elite (“truth makers”) of historically progressive cultural critics able to determine, on behalf of the public, the value of a
work-of-art. The digital utopia seeks to flatten this elite into an ochlocracy. The danger, therefore, is that the future will be tasteless.
3. To imagine the dystopian future, we need to reread Adorno, as well as Kafka and Borges (the Web 2.0 dystopia can be mapped to that triangular space between Frankfurt,
Prague and Buenos Aires). Unchecked technology threatens to undermine reality and turn media into a rival version of life, a 21st century version of “The Castle” or “The Library
of Babel”. This might make a fantastic movie or short piece of fiction. But real life, like art, shouldn’t be fantasy; it shouldn’t be fiction.
4. A particularly unfashionable thought: big media is not bad media. The big media engine of the Hollywood studios, the major record labels and publishing houses has
discovered and branded great 20th century popular artists of such as Alfred Hitchcock, Bono and W.G. Sebald (the “Vertigo” three). It is most unlikely that citizen media will
have the marketing skills to discover and brand creative artists of equivalent prodigy.
5. Let’s think differently about George Orwell. Apple’s iconic 1984 Super Bowl commercial is true: 1984 will not be like Nineteen Eighty-Four the message went. Yes, the “truth”
about the digital future will be the absence of the Orwellian Big Brother and the Ministry of Truth. Orwell’s dystopia is the dictatorship of the State; the Web 2.0 dystopia is the
dictatorship of the author. In the digital future, everyone will think they are Orwell (the movie might be called: Being George Orwell).
6. Digital utopian economists Chris Anderson have invented a theoretically flattened market that they have christened the “Long Tail”. It is a Hayekian cottage market of small
media producers industriously trading with one another. But Anderson’s “Long Tail” is really a long tale. The real economic future is something akin to Google — a vertiginous
media world in which content and advertising become so indistinguishable that they become one and the same (more grist to that Frankfurt-Prague-BuenosAires triangle).
7. As always, today’s pornography reveals tomorrow’s media. The future of general media content, the place culture is going, is Voyeurweb.com: the convergence of
self-authored shamelessness, narcissism and vulgarity — a self-argument in favor of censorship. As Adorno liked to remind us, we have a responsibility to protect people from
their worst impulses. If people aren’t able to censor their worst instincts, then they need to be censored by others wiser and more disciplined than themselves.
8. There is something of the philosophical assumptions of early Marx and Rousseau in the digital utopian movement, particularly in its holy trinity of online community,
individual creativity and common intellectual property ownership. Most of all, it’s in the marriage of abstract theory and absolute faith in the virtue of human nature that lends
the digital utopians their intellectual debt to intellectual Casanovas like young Marx and Rousseau.
9. How to resist digital utopianism? Orwell’s focus on language is the most effective antidote. The digital utopians needs to be fought word-for-word, phrase-by-phrase,
delusion-by-delusion. As an opening gambit, let’s focus on the meaning of four key words in the digital utopian lexicon: a) author b) audience c) community d) elitism.
10. The cultural consequence of uncontrolled digital development will be social vertigo. Culture will be spinning and whirling and in continual flux. Everything will be in motion;
everything will be opinion. This social vertigo of ubiquitous opinion was recognized by Plato. That’s why he was of the opinion that opinionated artists should be banned from his
I know this blog seems to be turning just into a list of videos and what is even more depressing (for me) is that I was nowhere near to foresee that videos would have been so powerful and spreading over the Web. Anyway, this is too cool not to embed here (note I don’t speak about “link to” but “embed into”). Read Sony Announces Ground-Breaking, 3D Online-User Community for PS3 Called “Home” or watch the video.
It seems a lot like SecondLife (I just saw SecondLife once while at a BarCamp in Turin) but the strong point for Sony is that it is installed by default in every PS3 box so this can be huge!