URLs of wisdom is a weekly round-up of interesting links about topics at the intersection of people, science and technology.
- (Fake) friends with (real) benefits – what happens when you buy a few thousand extra twitter followers?
- Understanding types of Twitter users “This research work identiﬁes six broad classes of Twitter users, and employs a supervised machine learning approach which uses a comprehensive set of features to classify users into the identiﬁed classes.”
- Toward a local perspective on online collaboration “a member’s centrality and spanning within his/her local neighborhood is a better predictor of contribution than global centrality and spanning within the whole community.”
- Gossip: identifying central individuals in a social network “…This suggests that individuals can rank others according to their centrality in the networks even without knowing the network, and that eliciting network centrality of others simply by asking individuals may be an inexpensive research and policy tool.”
- Why are we sleeping with our phones? Interesting exploration of the notion of home – and the tradeoffs we make in terms of privacy and convenience when we make that home portable:”…convenience comes with a price: connectivity. Staying in touch with your loved ones means that you have to allow them to also stay in touch with you, whether you’re on the sidewalk or in your living room. But we have a sense that this is problematic; our loved ones complain if we don’t respond to a text quickly, so we keep our phones nearby even as loved ones with whom we may share a home complain we spend too much time on our phones. This threatens the idea of Home because now everyone claims to belong there whether or not you expressly invited them.”
- Escape from the matrix – getting over the fear of missing out “…people who insist on optimising decisions are ultimately less satisfied with their choices than those who made do with ‘good enough’. Other studies clarify why: the achievements of the former are actually lower than those of the latter, especially when the decision involved weighing possible outcomes.”
- My life logged – life logging tools let you capture every interaction you make during your days. But is it sometimes better to simply be able to forget?
- Does making signing up for a site a little bit harder give you more committed users? Case study of Lumosity: “What we found is that sometimes friction can help you acquire customers that really believe in your product, who want to build a long-term relationship with your company,”
- The novelty effect “A change to our environment can invigorate us, by changing the intellectual furniture of our everyday lives. But as soon as we become habituated to the new, the improvement fades.”
- Editorial discretion and private lives On whether editors should refer to private conversations, even if they are publicly visible online: “the Internet is not divided neatly into non-overlapping spheres of public and private. Decisions about how we share information, and with whom, often reflect a complex calculus that relies on “obscurity” — the difficulty with which information can be found — rather than either absolute privacy or absolute publicity. They argue that the law should recognize this reality.”
- Google plans to launch an easy-to-use Chrome plugin for email encryption soon
Web/Social media developments
- The 7 most interesting things Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti said to Felix Salmon in his massive interview. “The way to break through and to make something that can actually scale into something big is just to say, ‘What would this be if the readers and the publishers were not focused on making something similar to print?’ If they said, instead, ‘What should this be if mobile is the most important thing; if things can be more visual; if things can be more shareable; if length can be anywhere from 140 characters to 12,000 words? In that kind of world… what should a media company be?”
- Twitter isn’t essential and probably never will be – what can Twitter do to increase user retention rates?
- We search more on apps, less on Google now
- Facebook messenger adds tap-and-hold video sharing – another Snapchat feature.
- Feeling better connected: Academics’ use of social media – a report by Digital Sociologist, Deborah Lupton “While the majority of the respondents were very positive about using social media, they also expressed a range of concerns. These included issues of privacy and the blurring of boundaries between personal and professional use, the risk of jeopardising their career through injudicious use of social media, lack of credibility, the quality of the content they posted, time pressures, social media use becoming an obligation, becoming a target of attack, too much self-promotion by others, possible plagiarism of their ideas and the commercialisation of content and copyright issues.”
- 10 interesting digital marketing stats – including open rates for emails.
Just for fun
Daring to dream