Archive for the ‘Digital ID’ Category

Why Facebook IPO debacle may be good news

May 29th, 2012 by Graham Attwell

The Facebook IPO was very interesting for a number of reasons.

Facebook has managed to screw everybody. Firstly they persuaded us to sign over our data to them and then made a fortune out of selling it to others! And then they sold that model to investors a vastly over-hyped price.

At the end of the day Facebook has little market value, other than selling our data to advertisers. But in this they face three big challenges. The first is to actually get us to buy anything from Facebook ads. OK – I am pretty advert resistant. In fact I don’t actually ‘see’ most adverts. But if I do want to buy something, I certainly don’t go to Facebook. Like mots of us, I guess, I use a search engine. lately I have been using DuckDuckGo for the very reason that it doesn’t track my data, but if I use Google then very occasionally I might look at the sponsored results. More often though, I will buy a travel ticket and then find as a result of Google tracking, Guardian newspaper ads are advertising flight tickets to places I have already bought one for!

But back to Facebook. Their second challenge is getting us all to agree to open up our data. And that means relaxing privacy controls. So Facebook goes through a circle of relaxing privacy – leading to protests – and then having to produce new controls as a result.

But possibly more important in the long run is a commercial problem. Much of the protests around the IPO was that the banks behind the share release gave information to big customers which was withheld from smaller investors. And the main point of this was that Facebook are having problems selling adverts for the mobile version of the social networking site.

My guess is that it is not just Facebook. Whilst we can happily ignore advertising on a big screen, it becomes invasive and annoying on a mobile device. Quite simply users don’t like it.

Since Facebook’s financial model is built on selling targeted advertising and more and more people are using mobile devices to access the site, this is bad news for them. But what is bad news for Facebook (and Facebook investors) may be good news for the rest of us. It may force developers to move away from a model of selling our data to advertisers and look for more sustainable and – dare I say it – more people friendly and socially responsible business models.

 

Digital Identity Matters

June 14th, 2010 by Graham Attwell

Over the last two years I have been lucky to work on a project called Rhizome. Rhizome is a research and development project, funded by Eduserv, exploring the key social and technical elements that impact on the construction of online identities.

The Rhizome awareness report, published today and entitled ‘Digital Identity Matters’ highlights the issues we face when dealing with our online identities. It outlines the design pattern approach that has been used to help define a set of problems and their solutions that all relate to our understanding and use of a digital identity. The material is released as an open access resource and is aimed at contributing to a deeper understanding of digital identity and the impact it can have on the individual and those around them. It will be of relevance to anyone who uses the Internet to disclose personal information about themselves – be it purposefully through the use of social media tools or as a result of work-based professional activities. The report can be downloaded from the Rhizome project web site. The following text is an except from the introduction to the report.

“Our relationship with the Internet is changing. Mobile devices, wireless connectivity, and our increasing virtual presence across multiple social media services have all but collapsed the boundary between being online or offline. Together the virtual and the real form the seamless space in which many of us live out our daily lives. We fashion the self through social interaction, community and network affiliations, and here come to construct our identities as well as interpret the identity of others.
The ease with which individuals can now produce, reproduce and distribute digital content has powerfully shifted the ways in which we think about global connectedness, media access and distribution, social action and the production of knowledge.

Our ability to engage so readily with digital media and online networks is empowering but our resultant actions also make us vulnerable. We suffer the pressures of information overload, time management and, as we argue in this publication, the need to curate our increasingly visible digital lives. The Internet is not a set of static objects but a dynamic network of connected, interacting subjects.

How does our online visibility affect who we think we are and our ability to act with purpose and intent? How should we ethically respond to concerns about the impact of one person’s online behaviour upon the lives of others. These are two of the questions that are explored here.

We focus on a design pattern called ‘Putting Children First’ and two supporting case-stories that describe the dangers of using an online photo-sharing service. Together they illustrate the complexities of negotiating our responsibility to others when we are in the process of developing our own digital identities. This pattern offers a design solution for using social media in a thoughtful, literate and ethically responsible way.

One of the aims of this publication is to raise awareness and we hope you will distribute this material as widely as possible.”

It’s all in the connection!

March 16th, 2010 by Cristina Costa
This is what started to be a very short post where I aimed to share D’arcy’s really interesting video about ‘How do you connect to people online’?, which Irmeli Aro shared with me via FB.   But I ended up tying it with today’s session on social media to raise of researcher profile. How do you connect [...]
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