Free book by Danah Boyd

I have admired Danah for years with the amount of work she as put into understanding social media and how young people engage with it. She has done some great work! Now she has published a free book. I haven’t read it yet, but I think it should be good as I’ve read a significant number of her research papers.

I will write more, a review, once I’ve read the book, but I would expect that a target audience of teachers, parents, and us all as a matter of fact for this type of material.

Measuring influence

One of the tweets I received at @virtualshadows was from ‏@rushkoff an article on how to find the world’s most influential thinkers. I was intrigued by this because the subject of my MBA thesis was on finding the ‘influencers’ within an organization. They normally were not the managers, or those placed higher in the hierarchy. Often the most influential people in an organization have their span of influence grossly understated.

I’ve now uploaded all my publications to under The BUZZ/Karen’s Publications…I know original 😉 I will also load up my MBA thesis. As it was a whole year’s work, and seems a pity that (apart from for its evaluation/grading at Henley) I’ve been keeping it all to myself up until now.

Social identity

Social identity is becoming all the buzz today. But for me this is just another form of single signon using social media, e.g. Facebook as the linking identity.

This does not address the need for respect of personal privacy. It does not empower the identity holder. It is not scalable to 6bn people worldwide. Check my previous post for more on this.

The right to be forgotten?

Think about it, everything you do online is digitally preserved somewhere and maybe duplicated a thousand or more times all over the world. Maybe I’m exaggerating here. However the point remains that when I was a teenager what I did was not preserved digitally, only in peoples memories maybe… that can be somewhat unreliable with time, but still it is not black and white for someone today to look at and read and judge using today’s norms as their yard-post. When things, particularly concerning a persons actions are digitally preserved, think that often the context for these actions may be lost. So even if the actions may not have been perceived as really bad at the time.. maybe necessary given the circumstances, later, in a new context…..

There is an amazing discussion going on in LinkedIn Privacy Professionals right now on the “Right to be Forgotten”. Many lawyers are in there along with persons that work in the space of services that can erase your past. It is extremely interesting and thought provoking. I think you only have access if you are a member of this group. In any case points discussed include:

    Teenagers that say something damaging/disparaging on another person;
    Teenagers that may do something that causes someone else to post embarrassing pictures or things about them online;
    Persons wrong arrested for crimes and then being reported in media;
    Public figures that erase their past in order to protect their future.

One argument that I very much concur with is that in fact what is perceived as “embarrassing” or damaging today, probably will not in the future, as the younger generation that have grown up in this social media world become normalised to what accepted as “good” or “bad” behaviour. I wrote an article on this in the Hindu (2009) on this. In where I was even bold enough to claim that in the future it will be more damaging to have no online presence than a bad online presence, when today’s generation grow up to be tomorrow’s head-hunters. This means that the need to “erase our digital past” is transitory as one discussant in the forum believed.

Much to think about and contemplate. Check out this article in Forbes on “erasing our past online” and think a little more 😉


You know we’re all guilty in some way… that is those of us that hang-out online in social networking sites of not being as good at protecting our privacy as we should. Most of this is due to the complexity of the whole process.. it really is not straight-forward. Even some of my security friends are partially public online, with changes happening on FB so regularly it is difficult with our busy agendas to keep checking our privacy settings. For example if you are using FB as a tool to keep connected to just close friends and family you should try and have your profile unsearchable both within and outside of FB. This is possible with the privacy settings available.

Well now social networking sites are being forced, at least in California of doing something about this. Read more at SF Chronicle.

Bloggers used in smear campaign

This is a really interesting development, although not really so surprising in the arena of reputations and using popular bloggers for smear campaigns. Apparently Facebook hired a PR company to further damage the reputation of Google. The PR company contacted a well-known blogger to ask that he take a part in this. He refused and instead published the emails with the request.

However the power of the blogging communities are being used here to damage the reputation of an organisation. I guess this is not the first time this has been done, and it certainly won’t be the last. They are used for example to talk about their favorite products, i.e. they are advocates for a brand. Although this is the first time that I have seen such a public showing of this behaviour.

Twitter changes everything!

I’m a big fan of Twitter. When I first got introduced to it I was highly sceptical, but have since changed my oppinion. Although it sort of promotes the opposite of what I have posted before on blogging, I  really like what the the 140 char restriction brings to the communication.

On that note, I saw this comment on Kanye Wests stream of tweets two days ago. Perhaps not the most revolutional insight that twitter further evolves how people communicates, but still true enough to warrant a post.

Facebook vs criminals 1-1?

And what do I find? Social media is making news again. I saw an article about how Facebook prevents criminal justice. People use social media to identify criminals, which leads to their witness being questioned.
But it’s not all bad, sometimes it can help the police track down criminals to0, as the article also mentions.

And then we have the case where it just gets sad. This news reports that earlier this week, two teenage schoolgirls got taken to court for bugging the teachers staff room. How they got caught? One of them bragged about it on her Facebook-page.