Social Media Blog

Thoughts and rants on social networking.

Context Collapse

Interesting post on the Software Testing Club on the subject of Context Collapse.

I recently heard the term “context collapse” in a podcast discussing the possible flight of the younger audience from some social media applications. It is unclear who originally coined the term in the early 2000′s, which initially referred generically to the overlapping circles on social media leading to a poster’s inability to focus on a single audience. In the podcast, the meaning was more specifically defined to identify the clash of incompatible social circles: college acquaintances, close friends, family, and work connections (especially management). That incompatibility leads to an abandonment of the media or couching postings in coded terms that are (supposedly) only understood within a specific circle.

Yes, that’s exactly why I decided to leave Facebook. I didn’t realised there was actually a term for it. The post on STC goes on to describe another case of Context Collapse involving accessibility testing, which the team eventually dealt with by getting actual disabled people to test the product. It’s a very interesting read.

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WTF Twitter?

FailWhaleYesterday I was horrified to see a Promoted Tweet for a PUA (Pick Up Artist) promoting their hideous rapey misogynistic subculture. It’s not often I swear on Twitter, but I’m told my reaction was more than justified.

Yes, I immediately reported it as abusive, since it must be in violation of Twitter’s policy on ads for “Sexual services”. But it begs the question of how the Hell such a promoted tweet got into my timeline in the first place. This is almost certainly not unconnected to the fact that Twitter employ virtually no women.

Either Promoted Tweets are not screened at all, and they rely on users reporting offensive ads. Or somebody in Twitter reviewed it, and thought it was OK.

I don’t know which is worse.

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Woman becomes first person to be jailed for ‘trolling herself is today’s bizarre headline. The actual story isn’t quite as bizarre as the headline, but is more evidence that many persistent trolls aren’t rational people with unpleasant agendas, but troubled individuals with mental health problems or substance abuse issues.

Posted on by Tim Hall | Leave a comment

Epic Bureaucracy Fail from Canada.

In Canada, Government tweets are sanitized through ‘super-rigid process’ This is just head-explodingly ridiculous.

Newly disclosed documents from Industry Canada show how teams of bureaucrats often work for weeks to sanitize each lowly tweet, in a medium that’s supposed to thrive on spontaneity and informality.

Most 140-character tweets issued by the department are planned weeks in advance; edited by dozens of public servants; reviewed and revised by the minister’s staff; and sanitized through a 12-step protocol, the documents indicate.

Insiders and experts say the result is about as far from the spirit of Twitter as you can get — and from a department that’s supposed to be on the leading edge of new communications technologies.

Some things are the very epitome of unwieldy, top-heavy bureaucracy. It reads like something straight out of Parkinson’s Law, except C. Northcote Parkinson would have rejected is as too unbelievably surreal.

Posted in Social Media | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Every time I see an Upworthy-style link-bait headline beginning with “You won’t believe…”. I have to fight the urge to want to kick a “Viral Content Editor” in the bollocks. This probably makes me a Bad Person….

Posted on by Tim Hall | 6 Comments

Is Facebook approaching the tipping point?

Vocativ thinks it is, using disease epidemics as a parallel.

Like the bubonic plague, Facebook will eventually come to an end.

According to new research from Princeton, which compared the ”adoption and abandonment dynamics” of social networks by “drawing analogy to the dynamics that govern the spread of infectious disease,” Facebook is beginning to die out.

Specifically, the researchers concluded that “Facebook will undergo a rapid decline in the coming years, losing 80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.”

As I’ve said before, Facebook’s big problem is that its “All your friends gathered together in one place” model is broken for anyone who has anything more to say than banal platitudes or sharing baby photos. It’s become the online equivalent of the awkward family dinner where there are subjects you can’t mention because they set off racist Uncle George.

I’ve getting more convinced that serious discussions on culture or politics should be taking place on forums with like-minded people where you’re not obliged to walk on eggshells because of the aforementioned Uncle Georges.

I know a lot of people who hate Facebook but are only on there because everyone else is. It’s been alienating users of late with increasingly intrusive advertising, ever-changing rules determing who does and doesn’t see content you post, and a perpetually cavalier approach to privacy. I’ve oten thought that Facebook was doomed the moment anything better came along, but now I’m thinking we don’t need somebody to go and build a better Facebook, we need to create smaller overlapping communities of like-minded people. Like we used to have, in fact, before Facebook came along.

As an aside, if you read the rest of the above link, it’s a poster child for DON’T READ THE COMMENTS. More evidence that media websites should only allow comments if the site owner is willing to invest time and effort into moderation.

Posted in Social Media | Tagged | 2 Comments

We Get Mail

From a Mr Richard Uba in Nigeria

Dear Friend

My name is Mr.Richard Uba, I am a director of fact finding and special duties, I am newly appointed to head the department in this Apex Bank (CBN). In pursuit, I and my two staffs of my department found out some irregularities going on, your payment with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). And we found out that you had met all the statutory requirement needed to effect transfer of your funds into your bank account. I am not happy with the way people have been extorting money from you on pretext to help you receive your Million Dollars with this bank.

I will advice you from this moment to desist from communicating with these unscrupulous elements that paraded themselves to be good innocent people, I want to let you know that if you did not desist from this bad elements, that you will continue paying your hard earned money to them and with their endless stories, requesting one certificate to another. I can assure you that since last years this their fraudulent character had started and none of them can pay you the supposed money. Note that all the money you had paid to them were used for their personal interest/ benefits, I reiterated that you should stop any further correspondence with this unbelievers.

It is a pity that this people had extorted much money from you, but I had personally introduced a device that can be possibly use to pay you all this money without any further documentation, but it must be keep secret because I want to use the method the foreign currencies do come into he country. It will be arranged through diplomatic preference carriage scheme. I will first dispatch two boxes that will contained $20million of $100 bills to your private address and after receipt of the boxes and you confirm the contents from your bankers.

Then, I will send to you another batch, but I will advice that you let nobody know about this method to avoid people eyebrow. I had arranged with the courier company, the company had agreed to dispatch the boxes, but I did not tell them the original contents because the courier companies do not carry physical cash for dispatch, what will declare to them as the contents of the boxes is sensitive films and film materials, so that the company will not request for physical inspections because the films material does not require sunrays or contact with air.

I will finally conclude with the courier company, when I receive your go ahead order, please kindly stop any further discussion with these people and do not pay any more money to them or to those called themselves bank officials. I will furnish you with more information’s as soon as I receive your go ahead order, that you will compensate me and my colleague’s with the sum of $2,000,000.00 dollars. For your information, the courier will charge us for delivery and we have to pay them before the delivery.

I wait to hearing from you

Best regards
Mr.Richard Uba

Because whatever you do, you must always avoid people eyebrow. Sign this guy up as the next chairman of The Royal Bank of Scotland immediately.

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For those of you who haven’t noticed, I’m taking an extended break from Facebook. At the moment I have yet to decide whether or not this will become permanent, though one Large Halibut is claiming Facebook is boring without me. One thing I’m trying to discover is how well I can maintain contact with FB acquaintances via blogging, other social networks, or plain old email.

Posted on by Tim Hall | 1 Comment

Geek Social Fallacies

Whenever there is drama online, it’s always worth paying attention to the Geek Social Fallacies.  In this case, #4: Friendship Is Transitive

Every carrier of GSF4 has, at some point, said:

“Wouldn’t it be great to get all my groups of friends into one place for one big happy party?!”

If you groaned at that last paragraph, you may be a recovering GSF4 carrier.

GSF4 is the belief that any two of your friends ought to be friends with each other, and if they’re not, something is Very Wrong.

Hands up who else groaned at that, and immediately thought “That’s exactly what’s wrong with Facebook”?

Posted in Social Media | Tagged | 3 Comments

I am beginning to think it’s time for all of us to dump Facebook and go back to forums, blogs and email. Facebook tries to be all of those things mashed into one, and succeeds only in doing them all badly. Its only success has been in killing off everything that did those things better than Facebook does.

Posted on by Tim Hall | 4 Comments