Announcement: Springpad is Shutting Down on June 25th.
I liked the look, but never used it. I never could get the interface to be economical with screen real estate. Took too long to find things.
Hmmm. I won’t answer this as I would have mere weeks ago, before MeFi and I got our butts bruised by Google. I’ll use Euan’s post as a lever, because he usually doesn’t mind my diversions and tangents from his original points.
I’ve said for years, “a weblog is the virtual representation of your physical self”. It is not a replica. It is what we choose to put online. Therefore it is not necessarily ‘truth’ or ‘fact’ about any given person. And each person’s ability to render themselves in text (photos and video) varies quite widely. I believe online judgments of individuals are inherently flawed; that only groups can be judged from wider criteria with any sort of accuracy.
However, our individual public actions are being observed by elements who do not reveal their observations to us [peek at your browser cookies for a mere sliver of what’s going on]. We play Lady Godiva daily, revealing all nearly 24/7, with almost no attention to who is coming to look and listen. These ‘unseen’ are storing the raw information about ourselves we freely toss out in ever-increasing bounty. The data they collect, at their expense, exists to be acted upon.
Our virtual selves as individuals are being judged.
You’ve heard all that before. But how are they judging us? By algorithm, of course. Therein lies the danger to which I have recently been alerted, in “throw ice water on the sleeping blogger” fashion.
Historically, we’ve been judged by our friends, family, and work associates for our actual, physical behavior. Subtle cues about temporary moods, mental states, overall health, financial stability and more were picked up in face-to-face contact. Now we must add to that equation a virtual behavior metric, where we are involuntarily and emotionlessly psychoanalyzed by social media outfits, marketers, credit firms, insurance companies, large corporations, security entities, and more for what we are saying, and for what they algorithmically believe we are NOT saying, because they have no access to non-verbal and other non-virtual clues. Profiling, in other lingo.
A few things we say could line us up in this week’s algorithm as “potential serial killer.”
That brought you up short, right? “Dude’s gone off the deep end this time.” Think I’m crazy? Think that’s over the top?
Did Google not just algorithmically condemn Metafilter, I and others as one of the prime examples of internet ‘evil incarnate’ - spam?
This is a warning, I believe, for those with eyes to see, ears to hear.
Metafilter, I and other sites found that by enabling algorithmic judgment, we’re also enabling an algorithmic guillotine. There are no special cases; live or die by the algorithm. The irony is - and you all need to pay special attention to this - we invited them into our sites. We gave them this power. We enabled this behavior. And only we can stop it.
I think what bothers me most about being algorithmically judged, is that there is none of the empathy that is present in a human interaction. No pity. And that, frankly, unnerves me. We’re talking to a Terminator, a Manhunter, a Decepticon, and don’t realize it. And there are virtually no methods to contest today’s algorithmic judgments. “There is no error in the program. I will obey my program. Wait for the next update.” Wait for the next update? When they’ve already virtually cut you off at the knees?
Algorithmic mercy, exemplified.
For those who know how much I love to weblog, you’ll know how terribly it hurts to say all this. As I said at the beginning of this piece, I would NEVER have even given it a moment’s thought two weeks ago.
Because algorithmic judgment is moving from websites to individuals, we need to insist on more control over what’s going on. We need to stop playing the carefree innocent and draw a line in the sand. Mark my words - there is going to come a day when we as individuals end up being harshly and unfairly judged, and have no method to contest the verdict. I repeat - we need special recourse when confronting a soulless algorithm.
Perhaps a bit of paranoia is a good thing. This is looking at what has happened in the past, what is happening today, and making a reasonable prediction of where things may go in the future in order to avoid the more negative outcomes.
A course correction is needed, IMHO. I’ve just experienced the ‘shot over the bow’, and I’m not ignoring it. Thanks for listening.
Business Insider: The planning process that goes into creating a single corporate tweet.
“… it can take a team of 13 social-media and advertising specialists up to 45 days to plan, create, approve, and publish a corporate social-media post.” Oy vey! Are you sure this isn’t from April 1? Via Euan Semple on FB.
SEOBook: The Side Effect Of Link Removal.
Good article. Just read it. Perhaps I’m caught in a losing battle. Twitter, increase your character allowance. I may be coming your way.
Later: Question. What would Google recommend for those of us who linkblog? What are their preferred practices? Or is there no room in the Google searchosphere for linkblogs?
tumblrboilerplate.com: The simple basis of any good tumblr theme.
A good starting point is all most need.
Mashable: Emma Thompson - Twitter, Facebook Will Kill a Generation.
“Asked if she would ever Google her own name, she’d prefer ‘putting my head in the toilet and flushing it repeatedly.’” That’s a not entirely insane opinion, really. It used to be that way. She’ll become assimilated, eventually.
Thunderdome Data releases code on Github.
“In the repos of our Github organization, you’ll find the code and data behind many of the projects we built in our short lifespan. These are charts and maps, graphs and quizzes, news applications and games that ran on the websites of Digital First Media’s 75 daily papers.”
My continuing Klout saga, a hit below the belt ...
The “Create” tab advises me to link ‘hidden gem’ David Archuleta’s blog, because “31% of your audience is interested in this”.
If that were true, I’d stop blogging today ...
Lifehacker: How to Show the “Most Recent” News Feed in the New Facebook App.
AdWeek: Trained Dancers Are Completely Appalled by This Ballet Ad for Free People Clothing.
Re/code: Upworthy’s Traffic Is Still Headed Down. Blame Us, Not Facebook, Says Upworthy.
I’m imagining panicked armies of little lawn-trolls shuffling verbs around in TITLE tags.
PsychCentral: The Anxiety of Facebook.
Social can be good; it can also have negative effects.
Tumblr is wanting to sell me Oil of Olay.
I didn’t think ad targeting in timelines could ever be worse than Facebook. I was wrong.
CJR: Risks of personal-brand journalism.
“Now personal branding is a venerated skill of “Journalism 2.0,” but most outlets, which are brands in their own right, have yet to reconcile what that means. For employers, journalists with their own brands bring an interesting set of pros and cons. On one hand, news outlets can bump up their traffic significantly with a single hire. On the other, the journalist can always take that traffic with her if she jumps ship. ” I was just talking about this here the other day. Via George Kelly on G+.
Bitly blog: Account Credentials have been compromised. Change API & Passwords.
Seems competition for IFTTT. Commercial, costs $. Anyone here use it? Opinions?
Evernote Blog: Evernote and LinkedIn Perfect the Business Card.
“Current Evernote users can connect their accounts with LinkedIn to get a complimentary year of business card scanning, normally a Premium feature, starting today.” Yeah, yeah, yeah … you still can’t make us enjoy LinkedIn. Another situation where a killer app is needed. IMHO.
App.net State of the Union.
“App.net will continue to operate normally on an indefinite basis.” Ashamedly, I didn’t renew. I just don’t use it. Much as I prefer it (the character limit particularly), there’s just not enough interaction to make it worth my time. Glad others get benefit out of it. I still maintain it needs a killer app.
MeFi: A Eulogy for Twitter.
FPP’s bound to be a conversation starter. How many eulogies, for how many services, have we had now? “Blogs are dead?” Even MySpace is still hanging on by its fingernails.
Another day of excellence.
Klout has just suggested I post an article about the weather over Luzon in the Phillipines. I’m trying to find something positive to say about that circumstance.
NY Times: What Does Buddhism Require?
“The first is that life is fundamentally unsatisfactory, permeated by suffering of various types, including pain, aging and death and the inability to control one’s own destiny. The second is that this suffering is caused by attraction and aversion — attraction to things one can’t have, and aversion to things one can’t avoid, and that this attraction and aversion is in turn caused by primal confusion about the fundamental nature of reality and a consequent egocentric orientation to the world.” Facebook has much to teach, then.
LiveScience: Why Twitter Selfies Matter: They May Reveal Our Moods.
“By analyzing 1 million photos tweeted over a period of one year, researchers are planning to measure the “moods” of some American cities.” You know what I think about involuntary psychoanalysis. We can be forecast as a ‘wad’ of people, but don’t make assumptions about individuals based on those forecasts.
SER: Google Says Google+ Ain’t Going Anywhere.
Of note. You’ll have to dig a little. A lot of bluster, on both sides. As with most such events, wait and see.
ABC News: Dead People Get Life-Like Poses at Their Funerals.
Related to the previous link and the ‘downfall of weblogging’. Klout.
I added a content filter, and Klout popped up this post. What content filter, you ask?
I’m serious. And they have the gall to pillory me with morning emails, “Want to have more impact online?”
Technorati was *never* this bad. Anyone using Klout to judge others, have not only left the path of wisdom … they’ve gone to warp doing so. In the couple of months I’ve been a member, I’ve found two (count ‘em, TWO) links worthy of reposting. And even those I only linked in order to see if their recommended articles brought greater score results (they didn’t; not unless you use the internal Klout linker - cold day in hell before you ever see a link of mine saying “shared from Klout”).
Buffer: Evergreen Content Ideas - The Complete List For Your Blog.
Two things on my blog are truly ‘evergreen’ … and they don’t fit into this article’s oeuvre. One, my linking of Apollo 1 spacesuit-remnant photos eleven years ago. Every day, it remains a percentage of my site’s traffic. Two, my joke post about ‘hot sexy trees’ from a few years ago. Just using ‘sex’ in association with *anything* generates continued linkage far beyond any actual value. I’ve considered erasing both, except for my old-school philosophy of ‘never erase anything once posted.’ And now, this post will be evergreen, too.