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by Stephen Downes
November 19, 2009

Streams of Content, Limited Attention: The Flow of Information through Social Media
"For the longest time," writes danah boyd, "we have focused on sites of information as a destination, of accessing information as a process, of producing information as a task. What happens when all of this changes? While things are certainly clunky at best, this is the promise land of the technologies we're creating... This metaphor is powerful. The idea is that you're living inside the stream: adding to it, consuming it, redirecting it. The stream metaphor is about reaching flow. It's also about restructuring the ways in which information flows in modern society."

But as the nature and flow of information changes from a model of distribution to a model of attention, society changes around it. Boyd raises four major issues: democracy, which is not ensured by flow; stimulation, which sees us changing to reactive, rather than reflective, actors; homophily, in which we tend to cluster with people like ourselves, and power, which accumulates with centralized information sources. danah boyd, weblog, November 19, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The History of the Internet in a Nutshell
I really liked this item because it contains in one place a bunch of the iconic images from the growth of the internet - the original Arpanet diagram, the DNS diagram, the proposal fro the World Wide Web, and more. Via Diigo. Cameron Chapman, Six Revisions, November 19, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Tweckling Twitterfolk: Chronicle Readers React to the New World of Twitter Conference Humiliation.
This item refers to an earlier Chronicle story describing how people use backchannels (mostly Twitter) to heckle speakers at conferences. It's perfect fare for Chronicle readers: "It appears that the nasty, vicious, backstabbing academic culture has reached a new low with the pack mentality of tweeters who vilify a speaker contemporaneously. Because, you know, there was no bad behaviour among academic at all before backchannels and Twitter. Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 19, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Meep! Nonsense Word Goes Viral, Gets Students in Trouble
From the "what are they up to now?" file, children are saying "meep" randomly, and parents and teachers are banning it (you can't make this stuff up). Meep! Sarah Netter, ABC News, November 19, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Is Your Boss a Bully? Stop Being the Target.
The stuff I read in Harvard Business is often very questionable (at least, to me) but from time to time there's a gem. Like this: "Once bullying is successful it rapidly becomes a habit - neurons that fire together, wire together - address it when it begins." What I like there is the way it uses an underlying and well known principle of neural learning [Hebbian association] to reinforce a message about practical action on bullying. Cheryl Dolan and Faith Oliver, Harvard Business, November 19, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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