Thanks to Claire and Elise!
I spoke about my concerns with the continued belief in selective sharing. I argue at this TedX Bay Area talk that it is unwise to expect that digital information systems are capable of privacy or selective sharing. In other words, it is a dangerous myth to believe in a feature that in practice fails regularly and by design. In fact, it seems that it is practically impossible to create any digital information system that is secure.
In such a world we may want to reconsider our sharing practices, particularly if they were built on the idea of selective sharing. If any of your digital information is something you would rather not share publicly, you may want to rethink the idea that you can keep your information private.
If you are building an information system, you may want to rethink the idea that you can offer selective sharing in a reliable form.
Thanks to the folks at TedX Bay Area, particularly Tatyana Kanzaveli for the opportunity to work out these thoughts and share them.
Here are the slides that were used in the talk:
Updates to NodeXL are on the way to expand the variety of data importers, improve web publication, and scale to large data sets.
The Social Media Research Foundation is dedicated to Open Tools, Open Data, and Open Scholarship.
These slides provide an overview of the goals and accomplishments of the Social Media Research Foundation:
Here is a recent slidedeck that provides an overview of NodeXL and social media network analysis.
The deck illustrates the use of NodeXL to extract several social media networks from systems like twitter and facebook to generate maps of communities and identify people and objects in key locations.
Here is an updated version of the introduction to NodeXL slide deck.
The slides will continue to update as we change the user interface and add new features to NodeXL.
Here is the slide deck I presented at the “Studying Society In A Digital World” conference at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. They just posted most of the conference slides. I took some pictures and posted to flickr. Here is the slide deck I presented along with my talk at the conference.
The theme of mobile sensor data shared via social networks was one reinforced by the many presentations at the conference. In my talk, I focused on the idea that information want not to be free or expensive, rather, information wants to be copied. Like DNA, the goal of any string of bits is to make a duplicate copy of themselves. Several technical realities mean that while information may exist on a spectrum from private to public, it only moves in one direction (public) and almost never back. Once made public on the Internet, even if only for a moment, a photo, document, or other digital object is almost certainly to have been copied, indexed, backed up, or replicated. All efforts to delete a digital object once widely distributed is like trying to take wine out of water. This is because all cryptography become brittle over time, most bits end up exposed after they get distributed, and more events trigger widespread distribution of bits than expected (for example, linking a photo, and a location, to a tweet that gets copied to LinkedIn and Facebook, that then appears in an RSS feed and is copied from there to Friend Feed. As it travels, information looses more of the access controls that initially made it relatively private until it is effectively public.
Kate Niederhoffer and I presented a combined view of social media from the perspectives of social psychology and sociology. Kate applies a linguistic background to analyze the content of social media while I bring social network analysis to bear on the structures created by connections created by links and replies.
We got some great questions from the attendees about how they can apply these approaches to their social media investments. Tools like NodeXL can be helpful for people interested in structural data analysis. Kate has built tools for performing semantic analysis of social media content over time.
The video is now available on vimeo:
Beyond Buzz: On Measuring a Conversation (Web 2.0 Expo 2009 – Katie Niederhoffer & Marc Smith) from Steffan Antonas on Vimeo.