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ICP/BCM206: Blog Post 8: Week 9

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The social network revolutions: #mena #arabspring #maidan

Remember Corey Worthington?

A careless teen who posted an open invite to a house party in 2008 that soon saw his parent’s house and his neighbourhood trashed as mass mobs converged on the property.

We began hearing about more parties being crashed due to careless or accidental oversharing on social media. We began to see social experiments about what the consequences of public information was. We all learned a valuable lesson: learn how to use privacy tools – and keep your address off the internet.

Then we began to see that power used to rally together.

The rise of social media as an organisational tool began to terrify oppressive governments. It was rapid and fast; the attempts to silence turned into mass protests.

And then we saw an entire country fall into silence. Unable to control the internet – they took it away. Still they protested. And the governments learned a valuable lesson: you cannot keep your corruption silent in this digital age.

 

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ICP: BCM206: Blog Post 7: Week 8

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Bridges made of pebbles: social media and the transformation of journalism

It’s no secret that traditional news media is struggling to keep up with the digital age.

Now there is an abundance of information freely flowing, it is hard to maintain attention. With so many voices, it can be hard to remain relevant.

We see trends of the truth being twisted and warped by chinese whispers through bloggers and Facebook sharing. Fact becomes muddled with opinion.

Thus, we find the value in truth and information: is it true, is it quality, is it relevant?

Through this, we find the rise of clickbait articles. Headlines that grab your attention for the cheap click, with next to no information of value hidden within. We see massive media companies hiding their quality ‘truth’ behind paywalls.

We see the rise of microblogging platforms like Twitter becoming legitimate new sources by following a hashtag and pulling the truth from a million different collaborative voices, disregarding the outliers.

 

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ICP/BCM206: Blog Post 6: Week 7

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iOS vs Android: the two futures of the mobile net

I was always a sucker for free stuff.

I could never afford Photoshop as a teenager and used GIMP (an open source alternative) for quite some time before the wide world of P2P sharing was opened to me.

And so, when the battle of iOS vs Android gained traction, I watched with interest at the two platforms developing. I wasn’t able to invest in either at the time to try them for myself, but friends around me battled as to which was the superior platform.

I got myself a touchscreen smartphone embarassingly late, not wanting to let go of my precious buttons. Previously, I was seen on busses with my hands full, iPod nano in one hand, and Nokia e63 in the other. That Nokia was a tank and even survived a salt water swim – the nano felt light, dainty and fragile.

By the time I joined the smartphone world I had developed quite a creative soul and a desire for customisability – and thus I was drawn to the Android crowd.

After working in a phone store for a couple of years, I found it very hard to even consider wanting to use an iOS device ever again. It felt stifling, too simple, too guarded. I liked the freedom Android gave me.

That said though – it seems both platforms are now converging. Apple’s “usability” and Androids “freedom” seem to be going both ways, with Android no longer as open source and updating as frequently, and a lot more regulated; while iOS seems to be pitching itself to creatives more and more.

It would be interesting to see what the future holds for both platforms – whether or not they’ll even be recognisable as separate entities.

 

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ICP/BCM206: Blog Post 5: Week 6

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iFeudals: big data, surveillance, permission control

What is the true cost of your online presence?

Are we truly free on the internet?

The answer to the first is: a lot more than you thought.
To the second: No.

Every week there seems to be a new fight to keep our internet “free”. ISPs are always looking for new ways to block, censor, monitor and control the content we share.

Sharing isn’t free. Sharing is piracy. Sharing is illegal.

The internet was once a utopia of information, where people would connect directly with each other. Cut out the middle man.

Now feudalism is re-emerging with digital empires maintaining the illusion of our freedom in exchange for policing us and getting their tithes in the form of our personal data to sell to other companies.

As the saying goes, if you’re using a service for free – you are the product.

 

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