URLs of wisdom (30th March)

URLs of wisdom is a weekly round-up of interesting links about topics at the intersection of people, science and technology.

Network analysis

The most active and popular social media users are often the ones that are overloaded. Moreover, we find that the rate at which users receive information impacts their processing behavior, including how they prioritize information from different sources, how much information they process, and how quickly they process information. Finally, the susceptibility of a social media user to social contagions depends crucially on the rate at which she receives information. An exposure to a piece of information, be it an idea, a convention or a product, is much less effective for users that receive information at higher rates, meaning they need more exposures to adopt a particular contagion.”


  • The era of Facebook is an anomaly – Lots of things to ponder in this great Q&A with Danah Boyd, author of “It’s complicated – the social lives of networked teens.” Includes some discussion of multiple online identities, ephemerality, and how what we perceive to be the norms of behaviour online don’t always agree with what actually takes place, as revealed by the data:

“….the realities of the data did not align with our artificial understandings of the social community. And this is one of those challenges that we have over and over again in these social environments, which is that we have these fictions that we hold on to that are extraordinarily valuable and that make us feel loved and a part of a community, and part of the social dynamic. It falls apart under deep inspection.”

“When I feel empty or lonely, anonymous Likes fill the hole and offer comfort. But when I feel steadfast in my identity and self-worth, when I feel comfortable with myself, I don’t need the external validation. I don’t have to play jester and entertain the crowd. I’m content having a thought and keeping it to myself.

Herein lies a great challenge for anonymous apps. Without the arc of emotional current that sparks when we know we’ve delighted a particular friend, can anonynous apps provide enough charge  to keep us coming back?”

“Key to BuzzFeed’s strategy…is to create content with a strong emotional or informative appeal to readers, who are then more likely to share it because it reveals something, whether consciously or subconsciously, about their own identity.”We create media that is meant as a form of communication, not simply as something to be consumed.

Academia Online


  • The problem with community.  Community has become an increasingly popular term for organisations looking to be more user-focused, but the approach can come with particular challenges for Community Managers:

“In community-peripheral companies, Community is used to describe supportive and operational roles, often in marketing or customer service. These companies don’t typically invest a lot of resources in their community, and the influence of Community Managers is limited. In community-centric companies, Community is about strategy as well as operations. The line between Community and Product is blurred and the career trajectory of a great community person expands with the company.

The misuse use of the word “Community” has hurt community managers: people who would love working at Community-centric companies end up at Community-peripheral companies and grow frustrated from lack of respect, resources, and care for the Community.”

Web/Social media developments


Just for fun

Random quiz: what’s the correct way to respond to this text messageTried this on a few friends with amusing discussions afterwards 🙂


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