The internet is a lonely place

I found it hard to grasp this concept of the internet of things from the reading. Mainly I thought it was psycho-babble on the scale that would put Joseph Smith to shame. (YES! I managed to work in a mormon reference!.. been waiting for that aaaaalllll semester). However I am not trying to criticise the reading.

Bleecker wants to know “how the how to make the internet of things into a platform for World 2.0”. Well, sometimes Bleecker, you’ve got to look back before going forward.

If you didn’t get the terminator reference, then I feel sorry for you, but I am not going to waste time explaining it now. 

On a more light-hearted note, ignoring the ‘computers will take over the world’ argument. Lets say that computers advance further and simply make our lives easier through being connected, like in the video from Ted’s lecture. If you missed it, watch this;

My first thought when watching this, was how bloody lonely is this guy? I hope the balcony tweets to the local police station the moment he decides to challenge the law of gravity, otherwise the balcony could be arrested for not reporting a suicide.

Also, his couch doesn’t face the television and that really bugs me.

My brother would love to see Ericsson’s social wed future come to fruition. He is a lazy bastard, and if technology can do something for him then he’ll use it.

Me? I am much more active and capable at things… like life. You know, I can cook, clean the apartment. I’m pretty good at that stuff. I don’t think I would ever buy machines that could do it, and then tell me about doing it.

I don’t really enjoy listening to my girlfriend rattle off a list of things she has done, why would I want my clock telling me that the fridge suffers from self-image issues? And I don’t read many blogs, so why would I read theirs? Some of you might remember my absolute hate of twitter at the start of this semester.. Could you imagine how much worse it’d be with appliances tweeting too?? Here’s hoping they aren’t fans of Justin Beiber… I slightly enjoy twitter now, incase anyone was wondering. I just always forget to check it.

And what if your appliances don’t get on?

Here comes my second Douglas Adams reference of the semester (i’m pretty happy about that)

Can you imagine the shitty reality t.v. series about appliances that form a dysfunctional, yet loveable household that get up to no good and nearly destroys the homeowners career only to save the day and teach a valuable moral lesson??.. oh wait, that’s I Dream of Jeannie…

Aaaannyyway… Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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AppleRoids and shit android users say

Why is it that almost every lecture I walk out feeling like a stooge for buying Apple products? Feeling like a stooge isn’t the problem. I am happy to admit when I’ve done something silly… The problem is that Ted makes such a damn convincing argument that it is hard to fault.

This weeks topic makes me think that the difference between iOS and Android is the difference between swimming in the kiddy pool with floaties and swimming in the ocean, ducking under waves as they crash over your head…. I should not have mentioned the beach on such a nice day.. must… resist… urge… to… beach.. ARGH…

I am writing this a few days after the worlds smartphone population breached 1 billion. Which makes it somewhat fitting to reflect on the two main operating systems in contention today.

This video summarises through both omission and inclusion, both of the operating systems features and failures… Also it is acutely hilarious.

 

So Apple used some flashy design and excellent marketing to trap us (most of us) in to their genius system, where we have to pay for music (not that it goes to the artist) and agree to their terms and conditions (which I covered in a previous weeks topic). 

The other (Android), is the saviour of the internet. It is open, non restrictive, embodies the core philosophies of the internet.

But here is my problem. I am a ritard. I can’t hack, write code.. I don’t really know anything about firewalls. So do I need to take my floaties off and swim in the big ocean when the kiddies pool is so save and easy to swim in? 

 

How’d the Russians do it?

This post is sort of an extension from week 9, where I discussed a bit about modern history and related the cold war to modern hacking wars… This post I am going to link slacktivism via social media to the arab spring, and I’ll tie it back to some historical events. Hopefully it’ll all make a nice little package.

You know when your watching T.V and a commercial for a charity comes on? Be it World Vision, Amnesty International, Keep Sarah Jessica Parker Off Our T.V.. Whatever it is, you tend to feel really bad for the 30 seconds and then are sort of guiltily thankful that the next ad has started. And then you don’t donate… maybe thats just me..

But here is my point, we’ve been bombarded with these types of commercials appealing for action since we can remember and pretty much, most of the time we don’t do anything. Then the internet comes along, gets a bit sophisticated and social media-ey and our behaviours simply translate over. We post, like and share things but don’t actually do anything. ever. at all.

So when something like the Arab Spring or Kony happens, we blog, tweet or post about it. Our bit is done. Or if your like me, you don’t.

We haven’t really helped the situation… especially if you forgot to tag your blog posts with a million key words so that it doesn’t get lost in the ether.

So why are these issues big? Are they big because a dictator got toppled or are they big because they organised it through twitter? The focus of this subject is on the communication network, so I figure we should talk about that. but here is where the history bit comes in.

The Bolsheviks of Russia and the fighters of the French Revolution must have been pretty dang amazing to have done what they did without twitter. To bring it in to a time people might know about/ remember, the Cronulla riots where pre-social media (sort of..Myspace doesn’t count), pre smartphone. As many of you might remember, it was organised through text messages. Thats right! Good old SMS. 

All of these revolutions and riots, french through to arab, have been enabled via emerging communication technologies. The Russian revolution in particular owes much to the printing press. This is because these technological advancements enabled the dissemination of information. They educate the masses.

This is the only amazing thing about social media- that it is exactly the same as any other (r)evolutionary communication process.

Hacking is the new cold war

Aside

This weeks topic really sparked something in my brain for me. I am a closet history nerd. In my first semester of my first year at uni I took a modern history that focused on the cold war.

When researching this weeks topic I read a blog post that was quite introspective and that made me think about my own susceptibility to hacking. Not owning anything of value I thought about when I might, say later on in my professional career perhaps. This train of thought got me on to corporate hacking:

http://digitaljournal.com/article/323723

This is an example of how hackers got in to Nissan’s systems. “There are two types of companies: companies that have been breached and companies that don’t know they’ve been breached,” Shawn Henry, the F.B.I.’s top former cyber cop

 

Further research revealed this:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/richard-clarke-china-has-hacked-every-major-us-company/11125

Which got me interested with the whole ‘cyber cold war’ angle. 

“Clarke notes that while the U.S. government is involved in espionage against other governments, it doesn’t hack Chinese companies and then hand over intelligence to their American counterparts. He argues that the same cannot be said for the Chinese government”

 

It is like Assange is the new Walter Kronkite reporting on Vietnam and the ‘theatre hot-spots’ (afghanistan in the 80’s, vietnam etc) are all online, where none of us are aware of what is going on.

citizen journalism

Aside

Okay, so Axel Bruns and Steven Johnson and everyone else with a twitter account thinks that journalism is dying. Fair call.

Axel Bruns explanation of the shift in paradigms from industrial to post industrial probably sells it the best. The shift in to the information age is certainly not something to get all flat-earthers on. But call me silly/ old fashioned/ naive, but I don’t think that journalism is dying.. or will die… 

People are always going to read the news and search for information. What we are seeing now is simply the transition from current forms e.g. newspapers and t.v. to online. The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian have just had massive restructuring issues- that’s PR speak for ‘sacking everyone’.

Lets talk about the broadsheets, because they’re the ones being effected by blogging. I think they will just have to come down a notch to everyone else’s level. They are competing with mummy bloggers, you and I now. The monthly unique visitors are what is important, not the circulation statistics.

David Carr doesn’t predict a utopian future where the crowd becomes the reporter, rather a hybridisation of the two.

References:

 

Johnson, S. (2009). How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live. Time 

Bruns, A. (2009) ‘News Blogs and Citizen Journalism: New Directions for e-Journalism 

Ingham, M. (2012) ‘David Carr on Newspapers, Twitter and Citizen Journalism’

Mass Amatuerisation & the Long Tail…

Okay that title sounds like a bad porn flick… Maybe I should change it.. naaaahhhh.

I have noticed a lot of the blogs this week talking about monetising the longtail. Monetising, I don’t think, is actually a word. Have you noticed how marketing subjects tend to make up words and constantly repeat them until you feel it is almost acceptable to use, and then you use it and it feels totally wrong?.. Or is that just me? 

Well even if you don’t get me there are probably a million people out there that do. And that is the point of the long tail. The web gives access to this scattered bunch of word cynics. The other point I am making is how amateurish blogs can be, yet still be published. Granted your only reading this because you have to and no one would actually read my blog if it wasn’t forced upon them. But the point remains.

Anyway, to continue on the monetised idea. I think it has been covered pretty well, so what other effects can the long tail and mass amatuerisation have? 

Some of you might’ve seen my tweet.

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I am currently reading a book by Greg Jericho ‘The Rise of the Fifth Estate: Social Media and Blogging in Australian Politics’… Wow Im talking about the same book two weeks in a row… Hmmm… Well I guess last week I talked about convergence, and this week is sort of an extension- How the longtail and mass amatuerisation can impact society/ politics.

Basically, Jericho who is a blogger for ABC’s ‘The Drum’ writes his own blog ‘Grog’s Gamut’. He has recently achieved author status by getting s collation of his blogs published as a book. Pretty nifty eh?.

Anyhoo- In jericho’s book/ blog he notes the rise of political bloggers. Here is an example of how the internet has enabled amatuer bloggers or even legit journalists to be published. Tearing down the role of gatekeepers such as editors or whoever is in control of policy at the broadsheets (The Australian & The Sydney Morning Herald).

* Just a side note on the whole policy/ political allegiance of broadsheets, you should read Robert Manne’s Quarterly Essay ‘Bad News’….It’s amazeballs… Especially if you have to do POL224.. or any BCM subjects for that matter haha.

More examples of the longtail enabling voices of the politically inclined in Australia can also be found at www.newmatilda.com and crikey.com.au

You can also follow politically inclined peeps on twitter. Here you have access to un-filtered opinions and breaking news. No need to get things cleared by the editor and legal team and then the sub-editor. Twitter is the absolute pinnacle of mass amatuerisation- Everyone can have a 140 character dig at whatever they feel. Following the #Qanda hashtag is pretty fun… for a monday night… 

So how is the longtail & mass amateurisation going to impact politics in Australia? Well recent polling suggested the greenies actually lost points, so maybe not so well. But this is definitely a space to watch. We already see some savvy pollies like Turnbull using social media to great effect. Maybe we’ll just be able to yell at our pollies more effectively, or maybe we’ll see a greater impact of ideas..

What do you think?

Convergence

Some of you might recall my ranting hatred of twitter. We are now a few more weeks in to the semester and I’m still not in love with it. I’ve managed to sort through some crap though and now have a pretty interesting feed of information… If only Wired.com would stop posting every single thing that ever existed on the internet. They’re next on the cull list.

One thing has worked towards changing my opinion of twitter. Well two things actually. The first was Deuze’s article on convergence in the creative industries, in particular the bit about journalism and removal of filtering agents. The second thing that sparked my interest is a new book I’ve started reading (you might’ve seen my tweet regarding said book. Note the irony). The book is called ‘The Rise of the Fifth Estate: Social Media and Blogging in Australian Politics’ by Greg Jericho. It is damn recent too, in the first chapter he cites an event that occurred in May 2012. 

Jericho highlights/ timelines the adoption of blogs and then of twitter by Australian political journalists and politicians. Using this he draws an interesting picture that relates to convergence.

Here is a summation of Jericho’s point; In ’07 a prominent journo blogged ‘Something is on in Parliament House’. Here Price used his blog to break the news of Turnbulls push to take Howard out. Price was able to reply to comments left on his blog in a half hour window of time.

Fast-forward to ’09 and suddenly all journos & politicians have twitter. Turnbull, now leader of the Liberals. Sparing the details, the liberal party has a lovers tiff regarding the carbon pollution trading scheme. Many journos and politicians were churning the rumour mill, but this time it was on twitter. Full of typos, faster then any process ever before- In real time, WITH NO FILTERS. No sub-editors. No editors. No legal teams, no cat and mouse. Straight from the horses mouth.

Now newspaper articles a day or a few days after will be filled with more facts and details. But the important thing to take from this is the removal or disintermediation (cutting out the supply chain) of layers.

The convergence afforded to us by technology is shaping the way we get absorb our news. This morning I checked my facebook and twitter on my phone, in bed, and already I had a broader source of news then what I get from the headlines of SMH.com.au. I’m not trying to pump up my own tyres here, I’m just trying to make the point that with convergence, the traditional filters are removed- the news quality is not necessarily better, not by a long shot, but it is far less mediated.

So maybe I do see the point in twitter now… Maybe.

 

Reference:

Deuze, M. 2007 ‘Convergence Culture in the Creative Industries’ International Journal of Cultural Studies 10:243 pp. 243-263

Jericho, G. 2012 ‘The Rise of the Fifth Estate: Social Media and Blogging in Australian Politics’ Scribe Publications.