cyberspace unleashed 2015, huge link pile

cyber-security-e1414680772141 hi all, its a little over 3 yrs since the facebook IPO and we are sure awash in digital/ cyber culture these days. years ago it was tentative, and now its an utterly full blown case/ outbreak. years ago it was possible to wonder if facebook would be a fad, and even as a cyber aficionado, thought that might be the case. but nothing has come along to replace it. google+ is doing ok but its now clear, will never unseat facebook. years ago it was possible to talk about cyber culture as distinct from regular culture, now the two are utterly tightly coupled or as they say in psychology, “enmeshed”…

generally think that the world is a better place with widespread cyber but it has a tremendous pandoras box effect. its full implications are slowly being baked in, unwrapped and unravelled. just impartially collected links, but it turns out over 50 of them are about “negative/ bad/ alarmist” stuff. wow!

imagined and near-predicted such a scenario long ago from dabbling in cyberspace, but again, “be careful what you wish for, you might get it” and “the devil is in the details”. the world has rarely ever gone thru a social transformation on the level of (mass/ worldwide) social networking, and it seems to still be playing out. twitter is showing a few signs of peaking or plateauing, but worldwide use of smartphones is only increasing.

a few other notable shifts recently. photo sites such as instagram are now getting huge attention/ audience/ “eyeballs” (old dotcom vernacular!) esp from the younger generation. and much of these changes are indeed generational and fueled by it. the new generation is watching far less tv, glued to their smartphones, app crazy, and dislikes commercials anywhere, and consumes video online. the old “establishment” reflected eg in cable companies like Comcast sees the writing on the wall & is running quite scared and at times are in full blown panic mode.

a big change is that facebook the 800LB gorilla is turning into nearly a media company and working to integrate other media’s content on their own pages, saying the rationale/ justification is it takes too long to load remote pages and they want to “improve end user experience”. is that really their main goal? journalists a normally conservative bunch are nearly getting into conspiracy theories over it. of course the “monetizing” will be a huge sensitive hotbutton for massive multibilliondollar corporations/ media conglomerates to fight over. one almost could feel sorry for them.

lots of news/ angst about trolls and haters and online cyberbullying. ofc they have been around since humans, but one can make a pretty good case that the problem gets more acute in cyberspace. there is still a lot of experimentation, tinkering, engineering and innovation eg with commenting systems on sites, and debate about the role/ boundaries of comments, and do think software-verging-on-“social” engineering can solve much of it.

to me commenting is one of the Killer Apps™ of the web and think it will be around as long as the web but there is definitely a marked backlash. it looks like the unwashed masses have stormed the gates and the intelligentsia is not entirely happy/ comfortable with that! aka that dirty/ feared/ terrifying word in politics, populism! sometimes they look like a mob with pitchforks and torches!

tying closely in with this is the issue (close to my young heart) of identity, anonymity, and pseudonymity on the internet and it plays a foremost role on social media in the cyber age. despite some alarmism and fearmongering, facebook and google+ have relaxed their policies somewhat in this regard and personally think it (at least the personal option) makes the web a hair )( better place.

am a huge fan of stackexchange myself and have used it copiously last few years. but it does seem at times that maybe the audience is getting spread thinner and thinner, and engagement sometimes seems to be decreasing, and (this is not publicized much) “enthusiasm” measured in crosscutting cross-site upvotes is in a slow decay.

is it possible to have higher page views and lower engagement at the same time? somewhat paradoxical but that seems quite possible to me. it is hard to create content and easy to consume it. sometimes it seems all online cyber activity is a “race to the bottom”. (this epochal book red queen by Ridley is still not appreciated much by the masses as how widely applicable it is across all human endeavors… it would seem a kind of social/ economic darwinism is reborn again anew in each age…)

these sites have historically gone thru maturation phases also as now studied/ documented with wikipedia (covered here last summer). baby, toddler, youth, teenager/ adolescent, adult, middle age, senior citizen. (and then theres a huge lively/ colorful story about reddit that developed recently also touched on in that prior writeup. am going to hold out those addl links for now for an planned upcoming epic post on cybercollaboration.)

this blog records many great stackexchange chats over the years now, but it does feel like they are becoming scarcer lately. hmmm.

lately have been wanting/ getting urge to find a community of “makers” that build stuff. stackexchange has a tendency to chase away people who go there for project ideas. this seems to me an utterly terrible attitude. the makers are the most engaged of anyone and therefore the most valuable participants. they tend to be younger aka “the next generation” and many are science students looking for research ideas (eg science projects, even master/ Phd theses!). another strange datapoint, posted a link to my blog on ahmed mohamed to google+ Maker group and it got rejected by the moderator saying he wasnt a “real maker!”

this blog has gotten more views, but also it seems that even mere comments are very hard to come by. is this the end game/ limit for cyberspace? mass amounts of content but nobody really engaging anywhere, just passively consuming it? sure hope not! to me the engagement is the main raison d’etre for cyberspace, but who knows where its really going long term… am a big fan of online voting/ rating & am planning to blog on that sometime, but do hope that after it all shakes out ppl will be doing more than just endlessly scrolling, scanning, and intermittently punching “like” buttons!

it does appear it will have a major impact on political choices. cyberspace is almost rivalling “conventional media” in its sway/ power and seems likely to play a big role in the next election. its already said to be having a big impact on top candidate choices at this time in polls. (Sanders/ Trump.)

😥 😮 😡 Open Salon was a great platform and it suffered/ died a sharp, quick death early this year. ofc there was lots of foreshadowing but am really bummed out about that & going thru whole range of emotions, and feel nothing compares to it with its shining uniqueness, and have been going thru something like the “5 stages of grief” on that one.

it combined social networking with openness and thoughtful writing and lively/ colorful/ passionate community which is not really the same anywhere else (facebook, google+) leaving a huge gaping vacuum. frankly it was one of my favorite hangouts (and timewasters/ timekillers, at-times-addictive outlets). it just vaporized without a trace! were there even any articles written about its demise? it appears not a single one. an amazing piece of cyber history flushed down the toilet never to be seen again. cyberdeath is more complete than almost any conceivable type. it seems that not even ashes remain! easy come, easy go, RIP

so, wheres it all going?!? stay tuned and lets see together… in any case our heads are likely to stay dizzy and possibly even more so… ❓ ❗ 💡

➡ ❤ ⭐ viva la revolution! 😎

(social networking revolution also ties in strongly with the “algorithmic age/ lens” covered here last summer.)

 

a. bad
b. facebook
c. study
d. trolls/haters
e. neutrality/ rates
f. photos/instagram
g. anonymity
h. shift/ past/ future
i. social
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