Social Media Death


Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

This would make an interesting topic in thanatology circles.

[View the story “Facebook flaw allows users to ‘kill’ friends” on Storify]

The Digital Self


Happiness is sensitizing colleagues to the security of their Facebook and e-mail and the wider implications.

…[F]or some time I have felt that social media has given us a “radically distributed biography.” …An autobiography might be written with a particular narrative, but each of the components of this narrative has been chosen from a particular performative standpoint, and as suggested, in a collaborative way.

Just as social networking sites allow us to visualize the underlying networks that already have existed, they now offer us a view into the postmodern self.

 

via Re-integrating the Self Narrative » Cyborgology.

Twitter Won’t Hand Over Data on Occupy Wall Street Protester


As these tweets were already publicly available, it appears this request was mainly for the purposes of intimidation.

Barely two weeks after the New York District Attorney asked Twitter to hand over data about an Occupy Wall Street protester, the company says it will not comply with the request, at least for the time being.

The D.A.’s office had sent a subpoena to the microblogging service’s headquarters seeking information about the account belonging to Jeffrey Rae, one of several hundred activists arrested during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York on March 1.

via Twitter Won’t Hand Over Data on Occupy Wall Street Protester.

FTC Issues Final Privacy Framework Report to Protect Users’ Data


The Federal Trade Commission has issued its Final Privacy Framework Report that outlines guidelines for how companies can and cannot use consumer data on the Internet. The initial report was released in Dec. 2010 and the FTC took in consideration 453 public comments in the final report. The FTC provides guidelines for Do-Not-Track provisions, how information can be tracked on mobile devices and how large platform providers like Facebook and Google can use consumer data.

Since the initial report, the FTC brought enforcement actions against both Facebook and Google to, “require the companies to obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before materially changing certain of their data practice and to adopt strong, company-wide privacy programs that outside auditors will assess for 20 years.” While Google and Facebook drew the ire of the FTC, any company that tracks personal consumer data on the Web is now put on notice.

via FTC Issues Final Privacy Framework Report to Protect Users’ Data.

This includes….

[t]he five main action items in the report:

Do-Not-Track: Includes browser vendors that have developed tools to allow consumers to limit data collected on them. Commends the Digital Advertising Alliance, a self-regulatory group of the advertising industry, on developing an icon-based system to honor the browser tools as well as the W3C on created standards to protect consumer data.

Mobile: Urges companies to work toward improved privacy protections and to development meaningful disclosures. The FTC has also created a project to update its business guidance about online advertising disclosures. The FTC is holding a workshop in D.C. on May 30, 2012 to discuss mobile privacy, advertising and consumer data.

Data Brokers: Consumers often do not know how they are being tracked on the Web and do not have the ability to figure it out. The FTC recommends that data brokers create a centralized website to identify themselves to consumers and detail the access rights and other options they provide for the consumer data they maintain.

Large Platform Providers: This includes Internet Service Providers, operating systems like Windows or Mac OS X, Android or iOS, browsers, and social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook. The ability of these platforms to track consumers’ online activities raises privacy concerns. The FTC plans a workshop on large platforms in the second half of 2012.

Promoting Enforceable Self-Regulatory Codes: The Department of Commerce is undertaking a project to facilitate development of sector-specific codes of conduct. Companies that adhere to the privacy framework will be viewed favorably in connection with the FTC’s law enforcement work. “The Commission will also continue to enforce the FTC Act to take action against companies that engage in unfair or deceptive practices, including the failure to abide by self-regulatory programs they join.”

The three pillars of the framework are; “Privacy by Design;” Simplified Choice for Businesses and Consumers;” and “Greater Transparency.”

I think the following should be in bold and trumpeted loudly.

Your computer is your property,” said FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz, “No one, no one, has the right to put something on it that you don’t want.

#jan25


Today is the one year anniversary of the start of the Tahrir Square uprising that became a nonviolent revolution that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. In my Sociology of War and Peace class we watched events unfold live via Al Jazeera English on the web. Here are two of the memorable songs from that time.

I especially love the positive spirit of the second.

Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem Of Hell | TechCrunch


Here’s one from the archives, appearing about this time last year, the last time I taught the course.

Last weekend I wrote about how the big social gaming companies are making hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue on Facebook and MySpace through games like Farmville and Mobsters. Major media can’t stop applauding the companies long enough to understand what’s really going on with these games. The real story isn’t the business success of these startups. It’s the completely unethical way that they are going about achieving that success.

In short, these games try to get people to pay cash for in game currency so they can level up faster and have a better overall experience. Which is fine. But for users who won’t pay cash, a wide variety of “offers” are available where they can get in-game currency in exchange for lead gen-type offers. Most of these offers are bad for consumers because it confusingly gets them to pay far more for in-game currency than if they just paid cash (there are notable exceptions, but the scammy stuff tends to crowd out the legitimate offers). And it’s also bad for legitimate advertisers.

The reason why I call this an ecosystem is that it’s a self-reinforcing downward cycle. Users are tricked into these lead gen scams. The games get paid, and they plow that money back into Facebook and MySpace in advertising, getting more users. Who are then monetized via lead gen scams. That money is then plowed back into Facebook and MySpace in advertising to get more users…

Here’s the really insidious part: game developers who monetize the best (and that’s Zynga) make the most money and can spend the most on advertising. Those that won’t touch this stuff (Slide and others) fall further and further behind. Other game developers have to either get in on the monetization or fall behind as well. Companies like Playdom and Playfish seem to be struggling with their conscience and are constantly shifting their policies on lead gen.

The games that scam the most, win.

via Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem Of Hell | TechCrunch.

Do you play any online games?

62 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed


Mashable is a great resource on social media. I try to read it weekly if not daily. You might find this article useful.

Here at Mashable, we’re always looking out for you (in a non-Big Brother way) so if your iOS 5 upgrade left you with a dead battery, you may have missed a feature or two. Never fear though, because we’ve gathered the weekly features right here for you.

Google+ had a hot week with the launch of its new brand pages. Although it’s too early to tell what’s to come of it, we did learn what users felt was missing from the social network. The newest tablet to enter the competition was released by Nook, and it might give the others a run for their money.

Looking for even more social media resources? We have everything you’re looking for below.

via 62 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed.

Starbucks Augmented Reality App Animates Holiday Cups


Here is the latest example of augmented reality, reported on Mashable.com. We considered examples of augmented reality, like the talking newspaper, earlier in the semester.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Starbucks is launching its first major augmented reality app this holiday season that will let customers animate their coffee cups with their smartphones.

Starbucks Cup Magic launches for iPhone and Android devices in the U.S. next Tuesday. (In Canada, just the iPhone version will launch.) As demonstrated in the video above, the app works by pointing your phone’s camera at the company’s red holiday season coffee cups and 47 additional objects, such as bags of coffee, on display at Starbucks retail locations.

Doing so will produce animations involving five characters — an ice skater, a squirrel, a boy and a dog sledding and a fox — on your screen. You can also interact with the characters. For instance, if you tap the boy on the sled he does a somersault. Those who activate all five characters can qualify to win an as-yet-unnamed prize.

The app also includes traditional and social sharing capabilities. You can the send ecards as well as holiday offers from Starbucks, among other things.

The object, says Alexandra Wheeler, vp-global digital marketing for Starbucks, is to “surprise and delight” customers during the holiday season.

Although Starbucks experimented with an AR app years ago in an ad, Wheeler says this is the first major AR push by the company. The effort follows some other recent AR programs from marketers including an app from Nivea featuring Rihanna and an Amazon app that lets you point your phone at objects and then buy them.

Cup Magic, created by Blast Radius, caps off a year of successful mobile implementations by Starbucks. The brand launched a mobile payment app in January that has been used in more than 20 million transactions and a QR code program designed, like Starbucks Cup Magic, to enhance the in-store brand experience.

Starbucks Augmented Reality App Animates Holida…, posted with vodpod

How do we “surprise and delight” customers without smartphones? Is this an example of a growing “digital divide”?

USA’s Social TV Campaign for “Psych” Scores With Fans


 

In the taxonomy of “Artifacts and Devices,” this would be known as a “mashup.” It’s using the underlying technologies of more than one social networking site through their published APIs (application programming interfaces). Do you “check in” to TV shows when you are watching? What are the implications of doing so?

USA Network launched a fun new interactive social media mystery game tie-in for its hit TV show Psych.

The game is called #HashTagKiller and it takes place on the Web using Facebook’s Open Graph API. The game launched on Wednesday and will unfold online over the next seven weeks. The game uses video created with the cast specifically for the game, as well as puzzles, clues and Facebook messages between series leads Shawn and Gus.

Users can visit hashtagkiller.com to get started and sign up using Facebook. We had a chance to talk to Jesse Redniss, VP of digital about the campaign, Psych and the state of social TV.

via USA’s Social TV Campaign for “Psych” Scores With Fans.