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  • Gerrit Eicker 16:58 on 2. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Economy of Attention, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Hyperconnectivity 

    Pew: What does hyperconnectivity mean today and for the future of individuals and society? http://eicker.at/Hyperconnectivity

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 16:59 on 2. March 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wikipedia: “Hyperconnectivity is a term invented by Canadian social scientists Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman, arising from their studies of person-to-person and person-to-machine communication in networked organizations and networked societies. The term refers to the use of multiple means of communication, such as email, instant messaging, telephone, face-to-face contact and Web 2.0 information services. – Hyperconnectivity is also a trend in computer networking in which all things that can or should communicate through the network will communicate through the network. This encompasses person-to-person, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communication. The trend is fueling large increases in bandwidth demand and changes in communications because of the complexity, diversity and integration of new applications and devices using the network.”

      Pew: “Teens and young adults brought up from childhood with a continuous connection to each other and to information will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who count on the Internet as their external brain and who approach problems in a different way from their elders, according to a new survey of technology experts. – Many of the experts surveyed by Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center and the Pew Internet Project said the effects of hyperconnectivity and the always-on lifestyles of young people will be mostly positive between now and 2020. But the experts in this survey also predicted this generation will exhibit a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes, a loss of patience, and a lack of deep-thinking ability due to what one referred to as ‘fast-twitch wiring.'”

      Pew: “These experts predicted that the impact of networked living on today’s young will drive them to thirst for instant gratification, settle for quick choices, and lack patience. A number of the survey respondents argued that it is vital to reform education and emphasize digital literacy. A notable number expressed concerns that trends are leading to a future in which most people are shallow consumers of information, and some mentioned George Orwell’s 1984 or expressed their fears of control by powerful interests in an age of entertaining distractions.

      Pew: “Some 55% agreed with the statement: ‘In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are ‘wired’ differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields helpful results. They do not suffer notable cognitive shortcomings as they multitask and cycle quickly through personal- and work-related tasks. Rather, they are learning more and they are more adept at finding answers to deep questions, in part because they can search effectively and access collective intelligence via the internet. In sum, the changes in learning behavior and cognition among the young generally produce positive outcomes.‘”

      Pew: “This is the next positive step in human evolution: We become ‘persistent paleontologists of our external memories’ – Most of the survey respondents with the largest amount of expertise in this subject area said changes in learning behavior and cognition will generally produce positive outcomes. … One of the world’s best-known researchers of teens and young adults-danah boyd of Microsoft Research – said there is no doubt that most people who are using the new communications technologies are experiencing the first scenario as they extend themselves into cyberspace. … Amber Case, cyberanthropologist and CEO of Geoloqi, agreed: ‘The human brain is wired to adapt to what the environment around it requires for survival. Today and in the future it will not be as important to internalize information but to elastically be able to take multiple sources of information in, synthesize them, and make rapid decisions. … Memories are becoming hyperlinks to information triggered by keywords and URLs.‘ … William Schrader, a consultant who founded PSINet in the 1980s, expressed unbridled hope. ‘A new page is being turned in human history, and while we sometimes worry and most of the time stand amazed at how fast (or how slowly) things have changed, the future is bright for our youth worldwide…’ David Weinberger, senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet und Society, says values will evolve alongside the evolution in ways of thinking and knowing. ‘Whatever happens,’ he wrote, ‘we won’t be able to come up with an impartial value judgment because the change in intellect will bring about a change in values as well.’ Alex Halavais, an associate professor and internet researcher at Quinnipiac University, agreed. ‘We will think differently, and a large part of that will be as a result of being capable of exploiting a new communicative environment…‘”

      Pew: “Negative effects include a need for instant gratification, loss of patience – A number of the survey respondents who are young people in the under-35 age group – the central focus of this research question – shared concerns about changes in human attention and depth of discourse among those who spend most or all of their waking hours under the influence of hyperconnectivity. – Alvaro Retana, a distinguished technologist with Hewlett-Packard, expressed concerns about humans’ future ability to tackle complex challenges. ‘The short attention spans resulting from the quick interactions will be detrimental to focusing on the harder problems, and we will probably see a stagnation in many areas: technology, even social venues such as literature…‘ Masiclat said social systems will evolve to offer even more support to those who can implement deep-thinking skills. ‘The impact of a future ‘re-wiring’ due to the multitasking and short-term mindset will be mostly negative not because it will reflect changes in the physical nature of thinking, but because the social incentives for deep engagement will erode…‘ However, students who participated in the survey tended to express concerns about their peers’ ability to get beyond short-burst connections to information. … Annette Liska, an emerging-technologies design expert, observed, ‘The idea that rapidity is a panacea for improved cognitive, behavioral, and social function is in direct conflict with topical movements that believe time serves as a critical ingredient in the ability to adapt, collaborate, create, gain perspective, and many other necessary (and desirable) qualities of life…‘ Bruce Nordman, a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and active leader in the Internet Engineering Task Force, expressed concerns over people’s information diets, writing: ‘The overall effect will be negative, based on my own experience with technology, attention, and deep thinking (I am 49), and observing my children and others. I see the effect of television as a primary example, in which people voluntarily spend large amounts of time in mentally unhealthy activity…‘”

      Pew: “The result is likely to be a wide-ranging mix of positives and negatives – and not just for young people – Many survey participants said always-on connectivity to global information is a double-edged sword. Dave Rogers, managing editor of Yahoo Kids, observed that there will be winners and losers as this technology evolves. ‘Certainly,’ he noted, ‘there will be some teens and young adults who will suffer cognitive difficulties from unhealthy use of the internet, Web, social media, games, and mobile technology. These problems will arise not because of the technology but because of wholly inadequate adult guidance, training, and discipline over young people’s use of the technology. But most teens and young adults will prosper as described in the first option. … The learning and cognitive development made possible by tablets is much more ‘natural,’ more in keeping with the evolutionary-driven development of young minds because it is so much less dependent upon cognitive skills that the youngest children have not yet developed…’ Computing pioneer and ACM Fellow Bob Frankston predicted that people will generally take all of this in stride. ‘We will renorm to the new tools,’ he said. ‘We have always had mall rats and we’ve had explorers. Ideally, people will improve their critical thinking skills to use the available raw information. More likely, fads will continue.‘ … Martin D. Owens, an attorney and author of Internet Gaming Law, also pointed out the dual effects of humans’ uses of technologies, writing, ‘Good people do good things with their access to the internet and social media – witness the profusion of volunteer and good cause apps and programs which are continually appearing, the investigative journalism, the rallying of pro-democracy forces across the world. Bad people do bad things with their internet access…‘ Jessica Clark, a media strategist and senior fellow for two U.S. communications technology research centers, was among many who observed that there’s nothing new about concerns over teens and evolving ways they create content and share it. ‘History is a progression of older people tut-tutting over the media production and consumption habits of those younger than them and holding tightly to the belief that the technologies of communication they grew up with are intellectually or culturally superior…‘”

      Pew: “This could have a significant impact on politics, power and control … Jesse Drew, an associate professor of technocultural studies at the University of California-Davis, echoed Braman. ‘My fear is that though their cognitive ability will not be impaired, their ability to think critically will be, and they will be far more susceptible to manipulation…‘ John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, observed: ‘The world is becoming more complex, and yet both old media (e.g., cable TV news) and new media (e.g., Twitter) are becoming increasingly simplistic. What passes for politics is increasingly a charade detached from actual governance.‘ – Paul Gardner-Stephen, a telecommunications fellow at Flinders University, said the underlying issue is that people will become dependent upon accessing the internet in order to solve problems and conduct their personal, professional, and civic lives. ‘Thus centralised powers that can control access to the internet will be able to significantly control future generations…’ … Fernando Botelho, an international consultant on technology and development, expressed concerns about humans’ tendencies to sort themselves in ways that may cause friction. ‘Humanity needs no additional help in dividing itself into groups that exclude more than include,’ he wrote. ‘The best way to unite millions and divide billions is nationalism, but the reality is that religion, politics, and so many other mental frameworks can do it just as effectively, and the internet enables much more narrowly targeted divisions so that we are not divided anymore into less than 200 national territories or three or four major religions, but into thousands or even millions of subgroups that challenge us to avoid the tragedy of the commons at a global level.'”

      Pew: “Many argue that reinvention and reform of education is the key to a better future – Respondents often pointed to formal educational systems as the key driver toward a positive and effective transition to taking full advantage of the fast-changing digital-knowledge landscape. … David Saer, a foresight researcher for Fast Future, said he’s a young adult who predicts a positive evolution but, ‘education will need to adapt to the wide availability of information, and concentrate on teaching sifting skills.’ … Larry Lannom, director of information management technology and vice president at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, said, ‘People must be taught to think critically and how to focus. If they are, then the network is a rich source of information. If they aren’t, then it will be a source of misinformation and mindless distraction…‘ Tin Tan Wee, an internet expert based at the National University of Singapore, estimates a slow movement to try to adapt to deal with the likely divide. ‘After 2020,’ he predicted, ‘more-enlightened educators will start developing curricula designed to tap a post-internet era. After 2030, educational systems, primarily private ones, will demonstrate superior outcomes on a wider scale. After 2040, governments will start realising this problem, and public examination systems will emerge.‘”

      Pew: “Teachers express many concerns; you can feel the tension in their words – A number of people who identified themselves as teachers answered this question as anonymous respondents and most of them expressed frustration and concern for today’s students. Several noted that they have seen things ‘getting worse’ over the past decade. Is this at least partially due to the fact that they are still trying to educate these highly connected young people through antiquated approaches? Perhaps those who have argued for education reform would think so.

      Pew: “Widening divide? There’s a fear the rich will get richer, the poor poorer – Teens expert Danah Boyd raised concerns about a looming divide due to the switch in how young people negotiate the world. ‘Concentrated focus takes discipline, but it’s not something everyone needs to do,’ she wrote, ‘unfortunately, it is what is expected of much of the working-class labor force. I suspect we’re going to see an increased class division around labor and skills and attention.‘ – Barry Parr, owner and analyst for MediaSavvy, echoed boyd’s concern about a widening divide. ‘Knowledge workers and those inclined to be deep thinkers will gain more cognitive speed and leverage,’ he said, ‘but, the easily distracted will not become more adept at anything. History suggests that on balance people will adapt to the new order. The greatest negative outcome will be that the split in adaptation will exacerbate existing trends toward social inequality.‘ … Alan Bachers, director of the Neurofeedback Foundation, said society must prepare now for the consequences of the change we are already beginning to see. ‘The presence of breadth rather than depth of cognitive processing will definitely change everything – education, work, recreation…‘ Tin Tan Wee, an internet expert based at the National University of Singapore, noted: ‘The smart people who can adapt to the internet will become smarter, while the rest, probably the majority, will decline. Why? The reason is simple. Current educational methods evolved to their current state mostly pre-internet. The same goes for a generation of teachers who will continue to train yet another generation of kids the old way. The same goes for examination systems, which carry out assessment based on pre-internet skills. This mismatch will cause declension in a few generations of cohorts. Those who are educated and re-educable in the internet way will reap the benefits of the first option. Most of the world will suffer the consequence of the second. The intellectual divide will increase. This in turn fuels the educational divide because only the richer can afford internet access with mobile devices at effective speeds.'”

      Pew: “Some say the use of tech tools has no influence in the brain’s ‘wiring’ – Well-known blogger, author, and communications professor Jeff Jarvis said we are experiencing a transition from a textual era and this is altering the way we think, not the physiology of our brains. ‘I don’t buy the punchline but I do buy the joke,’ he wrote. ‘I do not believe technology will change our brains and how we are ‘wired.’ But it can change how we cognate and navigate our world. We will adapt and find the benefits in this change.‘ … Jim Jansen, an associate professor of information science and technology at Penn State University and a member of the boards of eight international technology journals, noted, ‘I disagree with the opening phrase: ‘In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are ‘wired’ differently from those over age 35.’ I find it hard to believe that hard wiring, evolved over millions of years can be re-wired. We can learn to use tools that impact the way we view things, but to say this is wiring is incorrect.‘ … Some analysts framed their arguments in more general terms and argued that there will not be significant cognitive change.”

      Pew: “Questioning the idea of multitasking; some define it to be impossible – Multitasking is a common act among today’s teens and 20s set. The semantics of the word have been argued, with many saying it is not possible to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. … ‘Regarding the word ‘multitasking,’ cognitive, behavioral, and neurological sciences are moving toward a consensus that such a state does not actually exist in the human brain,’ observed emerging technology designer Annette Liska. ‘We may make many quick ‘thoughts’ in succession, but human performance in any activity that is done without focus (often termed ‘multitasking’) is of significantly lower quality, including an absence of quality and consciousness. The word unfortunately perpetuates a false ideal of the human capacity to perform and succeed.’ … ‘I agree with all of those who say that multitasking is nothing more than switching endlessly from one thought to another-no one can think two things at once – but I don’t agree that this kind of attention-switching is destructive or unhealthy for young minds,’ added Susan Crawford, professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and formerly on the White House staff. ‘It’s just the way the world works now, and digital agility is a basic skill for everyone…’ Gina Maranto, a co-director in the graduate program at the University of Miami, said information multitasking is not a new phenomenon. ‘My father, a corporate editor, used to watch television, read magazines, and listen to the radio at the same time long before computers, cellphones, or iPads,’ she said. ‘On the whole, I believe access to information and to new techniques for manipulating data (e.g., visualization) enhance learning and understanding rather than negatively impact them…‘”

      Pew: “Contrary to popular belief, young people are not digital wizards – David Ellis, director of communications studies at York University in Toronto, has a front-row seat to observe how hyperconnectivity seems to be influencing young adults. He said it makes them less productive and adds that most of them do not understand the new digital tools or how to use them effectively. ‘The idea that Millennials have a cognitive advantage over their elders is based on myths about multitasking, the skill-sets of digital natives, and 24/7 connectedness,’ he commented. ‘Far from having an edge in learning, I see Millennials as increasingly trapped by the imperatives of online socializing and the opportunities offered by their smartphones to communicate from any place, any time.‘”

      Pew: “Hello! AOADD (Always-On Attention Deficit Disorder) is age-defying – Rich Osborne, senior IT innovator at the University of Exeter in the UK, said his own life and approaches to informing and being informed have changed due to the influence of hyperconnectivity. ‘As I am in possession of just about every technical device you can name and I am using just about every cloud service you can think of, you’d think I’d be all for this,’ he observed. ‘But I’ve started to wonder about how all this use of technology is affecting me. I strongly suspect it’s actually making me less able to construct more complex arguments in written form, for example – or at the very least it is certainly making such construction harder for me. Of course it might be other issues, stress at work, getting older, interests changing, any number of things – but underlying all these possibilities is the conscious knowledge that my information-consumption patterns have become bitty and immediate.’ … Heidi McKee, an associate professor of English at Miami University, said, ‘Nearly 20 years ago everyone was saying how teens were going to be wired differently, but when you look at surveys done by Pew, AARP, and others, older adults possess just as much ability and desire to communicate and connect with all available means.‘”

      Pew: “No matter what the tech, it all comes down to human nature – Human tendencies drive human uses of technology tools. Many of the people participating in this survey emphasized the importance of the impact of basic human instincts and motivations. – Some survey respondents observed that all new tools initially tend to be questioned and feared by some segment of the public. Socrates, for instance, lamented about the scourge of writing implements and their likely threat to the future of intelligent discourse. In his response to this survey question, Christopher J. Ferguson, a professor from Texas AundM whose research specialty is technologies’ effects on human behavior, noted, ‘The tendency to moralize and fret over new media seems to be wired into us.Societal reaction to new media seems to fit into a pattern described by moral panic theory. Just as with older forms of media, from dime novels to comic books to rock and roll, some politicians and scholars can always be found to proclaim the new media to be harmful, often in the most hyperbolic terms. Perhaps we’ll learn from these past mistakes?‘”

      Pew: “The most-desired skills of 2020 will be… Survey respondents say there’s still value to be found in traditional skills but new items are being added to the menu of most-desired capabilities. ‘Internet literacy‘ was mentioned by many people. The concept generally refers to the ability to search effectively for information online and to be able to discern the quality and veracity of the information one finds and then communicate these findings well. … Collective intelligence, crowd-sourcing, smart mobs, and the ‘global brain’ are some of the descriptive phrases tied to humans working together to accomplish things in a collaborative manner online. Internet researcher and software designer Fred Stutzman said the future is bright for people who take advantage of their ability to work cooperatively through networked communication. ‘The sharing, tweeting, and status updating of today are preparing us for a future of ad hoc, always-on collaboration,’ he wrote. ‘The skills being honed on social networks today will be critical tomorrow, as work will be dominated by fast-moving, geographically diverse, free-agent teams of workers connected via socially mediating technologies.‘ … Jeffrey Alexander, senior science and technology policy analyst at SRI International’s Center for Science, Technology und Economic Development, said, ‘As technological and organizational innovation comes to depend on integrating and reconfiguring existing and new knowledge to solve problems, digital and computational thinking will become more and more valuable and useful. While digital thinking may lead to excessive multitasking and a reduction in attention span, the human brain can adapt to this new pattern in stimuli and can compensate for the problems that the pattern may cause in the long run…’ Barry Chudakov, a research fellow in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto, said the challenge we’re facing is maintaining and deepening ‘integrity, the state of being whole and undivided,’ noting: ‘There will be a premium on the skill of maintaining presence, of mindfulness, of awareness in the face of persistent and pervasive tool extensions and incursions into our lives…‘”

      Pew: “It is difficult to tell what we will see by 2020, as people and tools evolve – Duane Degler, principal consultant at Design for Context, a designer of large-scale search facilities and interactive applications for clients such as the National Archives and Verisign, said we’re already witnessing a difference in cognitive abilities and perceptions dependent upon the information/communication tools people are using, and not just among the under-35 set. ‘One thing these scenarios don’t speak to,’ he noted, ‘is the degree to which the tools themselves are likely to recede further into the background, where they become a part of a fabric for how people carry out tasks and communicate. This is likely to be a result of both technology (pervasive computing, context-aware interactions) and a settling in of personal/social habits. As a result, the dominant social and information behaviors are likely to be influenced by other factors that we can’t yet see, in the same way current social and information behaviors are now being influenced by capabilities that are predominantly five years (or at most ten years) old.’ … New York-based technology and communications consultant Stowe Boyd noted, ‘Our society’s concern with the supposed negative impacts of the internet will seem very old-fashioned in a decade, like Socrates bemoaning the downside of written language, or the 1950’s fears about Elvis Presley’s rock-and-roll gyrations. As the internet becomes a part of everything, like electricity has today, we will hardly notice it: it won’t be ‘technology’ anymore, but just ‘the world.’‘”

  • Gerrit Eicker 14:39 on 3. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Economy of Attention, , Facebook Activity, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Self-branding, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook Friendship 

    Pew: Most Facebook users receive more from their Facebook friends than they give; http://eicker.at/FacebookFriendship

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 14:39 on 3. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “New study that for the first time combines server logs of Facebook activity with survey data to explore the structure of Facebook friendship networks and measures of social well-being. – These data were then matched with survey responses. And the new findings show that over a one-month period: 40% of Facebook users in our sample made a friend request, but 63% received at least one request, Users in our sample pressed the like button next to friends’ content an average of 14 times, but had their content ‘liked’ an average of 20 times, Users sent 9 personal messages, but received 12, 12% of users tagged a friend in a photo, but 35% were themselves tagged in a photo … ‘The explanation for this pattern is fascinating for a couple of reasons,’ noted Prof. Keith Hampton, the lead author of the Pew Internet report, Why Most Facebook Users Get More Than They Give. ‘First, it turns out there are segments of Facebook power users who contribute much more content than the typical user. Most Facebook users are moderately active over a one month time period, so highly active power users skew the average. Second, these power users constitute about 20%-30% of Facebook users, but the striking thing is that there are different power users depending on the activity in question. One group of power users dominates friending activity. Another dominates ‘liking’ activity. And yet another dominates photo tagging.'”

      Pew, Power Users: “Women are more intense contributors of content on Facebook than are men. In our sample, the average female user made 21 updates to their Facebook status in the month of observation, while the average male made six. – Facebook users average seven new friends a month: While most users did not initiate a friend request during the month we looked at their activities, and most received only one, an active 19% of users initiated friendship requests at least once per week. Because of the prolific friending activity of this top 19%, the average (mean) number of friend requests accepted was three and the average number accepted from others was four. Overall, some 80% of friend requests that were initiated were reciprocated. … Facebook users have the ability to unsubscribe from seeing the content contributed by some friends on their newsfeed. Less than 5% of users in our sample hid another user’s content from their feed in the month of our observation.

      Pew, Friends of Friends: “Your friends on Facebook have more friends than you do: In this sample of Facebook users, the average person has 245 friends. However, the average friend of a person in this sample has 359 Facebook friends. The finding, that people’s friends have more friends than they do, was nearly universal (as it is for friendship networks off of Facebook). Only those in our sample who had among the 10% largest friends lists (over 780 friends) had friends who on average had smaller networks than their own. – Facebook friends are sparsely interconnected: It is commonly the case in people’s offline social networks that a friend of a friend is your friend, too. But on Facebook this is the exception, not the rule. … As an example, if you were the average Facebook user from our sample with 245 friends, there are 29,890 possible friendship ties among those in your network. For the average user with 245 friends, 12% of the maximum 29,890 friendship linkages exist between friends. … At two degrees of separation (friends-of-friends), Facebook users in our sample can on average reach 156,569 other Facebook users.”

      Pew, Social Well-Being: “Making friends on Facebook is associated with higher levels of social support. Those who made the most frequent status updates also received more emotional support. … One key finding is that Facebook users who received more friend requests and those that accepted more of those friend requests tended to report that they received more social support/assistance from friends (on and offline). … There is a statistically positive correlation between frequency of tagging Facebook friends in photos, as well as being added to a Facebook group, and knowing people with more diverse backgrounds off of Facebook. … Those users from our sample who are intensive Facebook users are more likely to report that they attended a political meeting or rally. … Among these users, participation in Facebook groups, either by being added to a group or adding someone else, is associated with trying to influence someone to vote in a specific way.”

      Pew, Facebook Activity: “A consistent trend in our analysis is the lack of symmetry in Facebook activities. On average, Facebook users in our sample received more than they gave in terms of friendships and feedback on the content that is shared in Facebook. However, these averages need to be interpreted in context. This imbalance is driven by the activity of a subset of Facebook users who tend to be more engaged with the Facebook site than the typical user. – Our findings suggest that while most Facebook users in our sample were moderately active over a one-month time period, there is a subset of Facebook users who are disproportionately more active. They skew the average. … In general, men were more likely to send friend requests, and women were more likely to receive them. However, we did not find a statistical difference in the mean number of friend requests sent, received, or accepted between men and women. … Use of the like button is unequally distributed. Because of the intensive activity of the 30% of power users, the people in our sample pressed the like button next to friends’ content on an average of 14 occasions during the month and received feedback from friends in the form of a ‘like’ 20 times during the month. … Friendship numbers drive Facebook activity: Those who have more Facebook friends tend to send and accept more friend requests, receive more friend requests, and have more friend requests accepted. They ‘like’ their friends’ content more frequently, and are ‘liked’ more in return.”

      Pew, The Structure of Frienship: “As the common saying goes, a friend of a friend is a friend. But on Facebook this is the exception rather than the rule. … A network density of .12 is low in comparison to studies of people’s overall personal networks. A 1992 study found a density of .36 between people’s offline social ties. We suspect that Facebook networks are of lower density because of their ability to allow ties that might otherwise have gone dormant to remain persistent over time. … We expect that new Facebook users typically start with a core group of close, interconnected friends, but over time their friends list becomes larger and less intertwined, particularly as they discover (and are discovered by) more distant friends from different parts and different times in their lives. … How can it be that people’s friends almost always have more friends than they do? This little known phenomenon of friendship networks was first explained by a sociologist Scott Feld. Not just on Facebook, in general and off of Facebook, people are more likely to be friends with someone who has more friends than with someone who has fewer.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 11. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Economy of Attention, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Search Plus 

    Google Search goes Plus Your World: personal search adds Google Plus, global doesn’t; http://eicker.at/GoogleSearchPlus

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:54 on 11. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Search, plus Your World – Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. … We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features: Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts-both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page; Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and, People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community. – Together, these features combine to create Search plus Your World. Search is simply better with your world in it, and we’re just getting started. … When it comes to security and privacy, we set a high bar for Search plus Your World. Since some of the information you’ll now find in search results, including Google+ posts and private photos, is already secured by SSL encryption on Google+, we have decided that the results page should also have the same level of security and privacy protection. That’s part of why we were the first major search engine to turn on search via SSL by default for signed-in users last year. … We named our company after the mathematical number googol as an aspiration toward indexing the countless answers on webpages, but that’s only part of the picture. The other part is people, and that’s what Search plus Your World is all about.

      SEL: “Google’s search results are undergoing their most radical transformation ever, as a new ‘Search Plus Your World’ format begins rolling out today. It finds both content that’s been shared with you privately along with matches from the public web, all mixed into a single set of listings. … The new system will perhaps make life much easier for some people, allowing them to find both privately shared content from friends and family plus material from across the web through a single search, rather than having to search twice using two different systems. – However, Search Plus Your World may cause some privacy worries, as private content may appear as if it is exposed publicly [it is not]. It might also cause concern by making private content more visible to friends and family than those sharing may have initially intended. … ‘The social search algorithm, and the personal search algorithm, and the personalized search algorithm are actually one algorithm now, and we are merging it in a way that is very pleasant and useful,’ said Amit Singhal, who oversees Google’s ranking algorithms, when I talked with him about the new features. … Search Plus Your World doesn’t cover content on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Flickr. Or any social network or place where content might be shared to a more limited audience. Currently, ‘Search Plus Your World’ would be better described as ‘Search Plus Google+’ … As said, the ability to search for private content on Google+ isn’t new. However, I wonder if having it integrated into Google’s search results itself might cause some surprises and issues for both Google and its users. … Don’t like the idea of personalized search? Disappointingly, Google didn’t go the opt-in route. Instead, you have to deliberately opt-out. … Personalized Is The New ‘Normal’ … Overall, I like the integration that allows for searching through private and public material. As I’ve said, I think many people will find it useful. – I do think there are some additional privacy controls that could be added, in particular, the ability for people to opt their content out of being found through search, if they want. … Yes, there are things that Facebook or Twitter might not allow, not without Google cutting deals or agreeing to terms it may not want to.

      RWW: “If you’re like me, you’ve dreaded this day. Just last week, I wrote that Google+ was going to mess up the Internet by turning Web search into a popularity contest. But the new Google unveiled today leaves the user in control. ‘Search, plus Your World,’ Google has called it. It’s two kinds of search, and they’re separate. If you don’t want Google+-flavored results, just switch to global mode. You can even turn off personalized search altogether. … Even when you search in personal mode, Google wants to show you the most relevant result at the top, even if its not from Google+. Prior to today’s update, this wasn’t happening reliably. The source of my concerns about Google+ was the prominence of Google+ results in search when outside Web results were more relevant. … Of course, this mode will still privilege content posted to Google+ ahead of other social networks.But today’s ‘Search, plus Your World’ update actually softens the impact of Google+ on search. Google+ content is better integrated with outside stuff now, and, of course, it’s optional, even for logged-in users. There are still problems with the state of Google search, but none of them are as dire as they were a week ago. – Now that Google users have control over the level of personalization, I don’t think Google+ will mess up the Internet anymore. Social SEO will not take over, because natural search results still matter. My fear last week was that anyone who wanted to use Google would be forced to use Google+. Today’s update shows good faith. Google has given its users control.

      GigaOM: “Google+ just got a new killer app: search – Google has begun to integrate Google+ posts, pages and profiles into its Google.com search results. The move is meant to personalize search, and offers some interesting opportunities for content discovery – but first and foremost, it’s gonna be a big boost for Google+ itself. … The new Google+ search integration comes with a kind of on-off switch, making it possible to switch back and forth between the classic Google view of the world and a more personalized version. Users who opt for the personal approach will get to see relevant posts from the people they have added to their circles as well as pages from brands and celebrities relevant to their search results. … I’ve long argued that Hangouts are a kind of killer app for Google+. With the launch of personalized search, the service just got a new killer app.

      TC: “What most alarms me about today’s ‘Google Search Plus Your World’ announcement is how it will distort name searches. When I Google someone’s name, I’m typically looking for a Wikipedia entry, their Twitter account, a personal website, or an author page on their blog. … I know getting people to sign up for Google+ is crucial to tying people’s behavior across Google products to their identity to power ad targeting. But seriously Google, best-in-class search is why we love you. Is it really worth sacrificing your integrity to drive signups?

      VB: “Twitter is not happy with Google’s new social search features. So unhappy, in fact, that the company is calling it a ‘bad day for the Internet’ and media overall. ‘We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone,’ the company said in a statement. ‘We think that’s bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users.’ … One Google spokesperson told VentureBeat: ‘For years now we’ve been working with our social search features to help you find the most relevant information from your friends and social connections, no matter what site that content is on. However, Google does not have access to crawl all the information on some sites, so it’s not possible for us to surface all that content. Google also doesn’t have access to the social graph information from some sites, so it’s not possible to help you find information from those people you’re connected to.'”

      GigaOM: “Is adding Google+ to search a red flag for regulators? – Neither side has said why the arrangement with Twitter came to an end (sources say the company wanted a lot more money in return for its data), but today’s note about unfair competition suggests the two won’t be working together any time soon – and the odds of Facebook suddenly wanting to make its data available seem equally remote. But as others have pointed out, Google is being somewhat disingenuous when it says it can’t get information from Twitter, since all tweets and profile info (unless explicitly hidden by a user) is available to be crawled and indexed by anyone, including Google.

      TC: “But Twitter does have a point: people trust Google to serve up the most timely, relevant information possible. And without Twitter’s data, it’s going to have a hard time doing that. Of course, Google probably already has its own answer to this drafted, and I suspect it reads something like, ‘if Twitter wants people to find tweets in Google, they can open up their API.’ I’m reaching out to them for their official response now. – Update: Google just posted this response to its official Google+ Page: ‘We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer, and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions.’

      RWW: “Sure they’re concerned. Is it true, though? It’s not like Twitter’s own search tools are that helpful; Google is still the best Twitter search tool there is. It recently acquired Julpan, a social search company, so maybe Twitter has a better idea. But if you search for content that’s on Twitter, Google will find it. If Twitter wants full-featured integration into Google search, that’s up to them. I’m sure Google would be delighted to oblige. – Nothing about today’s update makes things worse for Google’s competitors in Google results. If anything, it just means they have more work to do.

    • webwerkstatt 21:30 on 11. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Google ist still no.1 and they will keep their position for years. Twitter is only a short message service and an integration would be great for them

      • Gerrit Eicker 07:01 on 12. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Well, I suppose Twitter wouldn’t be Twitter if it’d be “only a short message service”, but that’s just my 2 cents. – But I’m with you regarding the question who’s got to deliver: it’s Twitter, not Google. Twitter will have to decide if they want money or attention…

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:14 on 4. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Business Practices, , , , , , , , Debiasing, , Economic Incentives, , Economy of Attention, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Replication, , , , Search Bias, Search Engine Bias, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Search Engine Bias 

    Does Google favour its own sites in search results? New study: Google less biased than Bing; http://eicker.at/SearchEngineBias

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:14 on 4. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      SEL: “Does Google favor its own sites in search results, as many critics have claimed? Not necessarily. New research suggests that claims that Google is ‘biased’ are overblown, and that Google’s primary competitor, Microsoft’s Bing, may actually be serving Microsoft-related results ‘far more’ often than Google links to its own services in search results. – In an analysis of a large, random sample of search queries, the study from Josh Wright, Professor of Law and Economics at George Mason University, found that Bing generally favors Microsoft content more frequently, and far more prominently, than Google favors its own content. According to the findings, Google references its own content in its first results position in just 6.7% of queries, while Bing provides search result links to Microsoft content more than twice as often (14.3%). … The findings of the new study are in stark contrast with a study on search engine ‘bias’ released earlier this year. That study, conducted by Harvard professor Ben Edelman concluded that ‘by comparing results across multiple search engines, we provide prima facie evidence of bias; especially in light of the anomalous click-through rates we describe above, we can only conclude that Google intentionally places its results first.’ … So, what conclusions to draw? Wright says that ‘analysis finds that own-content bias is a relatively infrequent phenomenon’ – meaning that although Microsoft appears to favor its own sites more often than Google, it’s not really a major issue, at least in terms of ‘bias’ or ‘fairness’ of search results that the engines present. Reasonable conclusion: Google [and Bing, though less so] really are trying to deliver the best results possible, regardless of whether they come from their own services [local search, product search, etc] or not. … But just because a company has grown into a dominant position doesn’t mean they’re doing wrong, or that governments should intervene and force changes that may or may not be “beneficial” to users or customers.

      Edelman/Lockwood: “By comparing results between leading search engines, we identify patterns in their algorithmic search listings. We find that each search engine favors its own services in that each search engine links to its own services more often than other search engines do so. But some search engines promote their own services significantly more than others. We examine patterns in these differences, and we flag keywords where the problem is particularly widespread. Even excluding ‘rich results’ (whereby search engines feature their own images, videos, maps, etc.), we find that Google’s algorithmic search results link to Google’s own services more than three times as often as other search engines link to Google’s services. For selected keywords, biased results advance search engines’ interests at users’ expense: We demonstrate that lower-ranked listings for other sites sometimes manage to obtain more clicks than Google and Yahoo’s own-site listings, even when Google and Yahoo put their own links first. … Google typically claims that its results are ‘algorithmically-generated’, ‘objective’, and ‘never manipulated.’ Google asks the public to believe that algorithms rule, and that no bias results from its partnerships, growth aspirations, or related services. We are skeptical. For one, the economic incentives for bias are overpowering: Search engines can use biased results to expand into new sectors, to grant instant free traffic to their own new services, and to block competitors and would-be competitors. The incentive for bias is all the stronger because the lack of obvious benchmarks makes most bias would be difficult to uncover. That said, by comparing results across multiple search engine, we provide prima facie evidence of bias; especially in light of the anomalous click-through rates we describe above, we can only conclude that Google intentionally places its results first.”

      ICLE: “A new report released [PDF] by the International Center for Law und Economics and authored by Joshua Wright, Professor of Law and Economics at George Mason University, critiques, replicates, and extends the study, finding Edelman und Lockwood’s claim of Google’s unique bias inaccurate and misleading. Although frequently cited for it, the Edelman und Lockwod study fails to support any claim of consumer harm – or call for antitrust action – arising from Google’s practices.Prof. Wright’s analysis finds own-content bias is actually an infrequent phenomenon, and Google references its own content more favorably than other search engines far less frequently than does Bing: In the replication of Edelman und Lockwood, Google refers to its own content in its first page of results when its rivals do not for only 7.9% of the queries, whereas Bing does so nearly twice as often (13.2%). – Again using Edelman und Lockwood’s own data, neither Bing nor Google demonstrates much bias when considering Microsoft or Google content, respectively, referred to on the first page of search results. – In our more robust analysis of a large, random sample of search queries we find that Bing generally favors Microsoft content more frequently-and far more prominently-than Google favors its own content. – Google references own content in its first results position when no other engine does in just 6.7% of queries; Bing does so over twice as often (14.3%). – The results suggest that this so-called bias is an efficient business practice, as economists have long understood, and consistent with competition rather than the foreclosure of competition. One necessary condition of the anticompetitive theories of own-content bias raised by Google’s rivals is that the bias must be sufficient in magnitude to exclude rival search engines from achieving efficient scale. A corollary of this condition is that the bias must actually be directed toward Google’s rivals. That Google displays less own-content bias than its closest rival, and that such bias is nonetheless relatively infrequent, demonstrates that this condition is not met, suggesting that intervention aimed at ‘debiasing’ would likely harm, rather than help, consumers.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:21 on 29. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , +Sharebox, +Snippet, , , , , , , , , , Economy of Attention, , , , , , , , , , , Google Plus Sharebox, , , , , Google+ Sharebox, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus Snippets 

    Google Plus One Button goes sharing: Google Plus Snippets include link, image, description; http://eicker.at/GooglePlusSnippets

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:22 on 29. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “In June we launched the +1 button for websites, making it easier to recommend content across the web. In July, the +1 button crossed 2 billion daily views, and we also made it a lot faster. Today the +1 button appears on more than a million sites, with over 4 billion daily views, and we’re extremely excited about this momentum. … Beginning today, we’re making it easy for Google+ users to share webpages with their circles, directly from the +1 button. Just +1 a page as usual and look for the new ‘Share on Google+’ option. From there you can comment, choose a circle and share. … When you share content from the +1 button, you’ll notice that we automatically include a link, an image and a description in the sharebox. We call these ‘+snippets,’ and they’re a great way to jumpstart conversations with the people you care about. … We’re rolling out sharing and +snippets globally over the next week…

      Google: “You may already be using this markup to build rich annotations for your pages on Google Search. If not, marking up your pages is simple. Just add the correct schema.org attributes to the data already present on your pages. You’ll set a name, image, and description in your code:… For more details on alternate markup types, please see our technical documentation.”

      Mashable: “In the past, clicking the +1 button only shared content to a tab on a user’s Google+ profile. This is in contrast to the Facebook Like button, which posts an article on a user’s Facebook wall. Now that Google has its own social network, the search giant can match Facebook’s button functionality.

      RWW: “Amidst all the hubbub about social media referrals this week, Google has finally made the +1 button useful. It now works the way we all thought it would, and it takes full advantage of Google Plus’s rich formatting in posts.”

      TC: “This is a big, if obvious, step forward for Google’s +1 button, as it gives users a much bigger incentive to click on them.

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:16 on 28. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Age of Information, , , , , , , Barrier of Motivation, Barriers, Barriers of Accessibility, Barries of Access, , Cognitive Limitations, , , Cultural Artifacts, , Digital Convergence, Digital Humanities, , Economy of Attention, , , , , , , Information Discovery, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Temporal Limitations, ,   

    Rare 

    Accessibility vs. access: How the rhetoric of rare is changing in the age of information abundance; http://eicker.at/Rare

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 09:21 on 21. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Borders, , Business Advantages, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Economy of Attention, , , , , FedEx, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Living Social, , , , , , , , New Economy, Online Services, , , , , , , , , , Software-powered Business, , Subscribers, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Software 

    Andreessen: Software is eating the world – virtually and in the physical world; http://eicker.at/Software

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:22 on 21. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Andreessen: “This week, Hewlett-Packard (where I am on the board) announced that it is exploring jettisoning its struggling PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software, where it sees better potential for growth. Meanwhile, Google plans to buy up the cellphone handset maker Motorola Mobility. Both moves surprised the tech world. But both moves are also in line with a trend I’ve observed, one that makes me optimistic about the future growth of the American and world economies, despite the recent turmoil in the stock market. – In short, software is eating the world. … Why is this happening now? … Over two billion people now use the broadband Internet, up from perhaps 50 million a decade ago, when I was at Netscape, the company I co-founded. In the next 10 years, I expect at least five billion people worldwide to own smartphones, giving every individual with such a phone instant access to the full power of the Internet, every moment of every day. … Software is also eating much of the value chain of industries that are widely viewed as primarily existing in the physical world. … Companies in every industry need to assume that a software revolution is coming. This includes even industries that are software-based today. … Instead of constantly questioning their valuations, let’s seek to understand how the new generation of technology companies are doing what they do, what the broader consequences are for businesses and the economy and what we can collectively do to expand the number of innovative new software companies created in the U.S. and around the world.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:11 on 11. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Economy of Attention, , , , , , , , , , , , Online Activities, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Online Activities 

    Pew: Social networks are on the rise, but eMail and search continue to lead online activities; http://eicker.at/OnlineActivities

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:12 on 11. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      According to Pew research, social networking is a daily activity for 65% of onliners in 2011, compared to 11% in 2005.

      Pew: “Search and email remain the two online activities that are nearly universal among adult internet users, as 92% of online adults use search engines to find information on the Web, and a similar number (92%) use email. Since the Pew Internet Project began measuring adults’ online activities in the last decade, these two behaviors have consistently ranked as the most popular, even as new platforms, broadband and mobile devices continue to reshape the way Americans use the internet and web.”

      Pew: “Email and search form the core of online communication and online information gathering, respectively. And they have done so for nearly a decade, even as new platforms, broadband and mobile devices continue to reshape the way Americans use the internet and web. Perhaps the most significant change over that time is that both activities have become more habitual. … Perhaps surprisingly for an online activity that has been around for a while, search is most popular among the youngest adult internet users (those age 18-29), 96% of whom use search engines to find information online. But even among the oldest internet users (age 65+), 87% are search engine users. … Email is similar to search (and many other online activities) in that the youngest online adults, the college-educated, and those in the highest income categories are more likely than others to engage in the activity.

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:52 on 3. July 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Economy of Attention, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Navigation Bar 

    The new Google Navigation Bar will make Google Plus a success: a tiny red square against the big blue; http://eicker.at/GoogleNavigationBar

     
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