URLs of wisdom is a weekly round-up of interesting links about topics at the intersection of people, science and technology. This is a bumper edition to capture some of the posts while I’ve been away on vacation.
- MIT launches laboratory for social machines – “The MIT Media Lab today announced the creation of the Laboratory for Social Machines (LSM), funded by a five-year, $10 million commitment from Twitter. As part of the new program, Twitter will also provide full access to its real-time, public stream of tweets, as well as the archive of every tweet dating back to the first.”
- Reboot or die trying – David Roberts on taking a year’s sabbatical from social media and rethinking how he engages with technology.
- We want privacy but can’t stop sharing – “Building and maintaining an enduring, intimate relationship is a process of privacy regulation.”
- Would paying peer reviewers improve the system? Exploring pro-social behaviour.
“First, academics respond well to cash incentives. No surprise there, especially as these referees are all economists.
Second, academics respond well to tight deadlines – this may surprise you. One explanation is that many academics overload themselves and find it hard to prioritise. For such an overworked individual, tightening the deadline may do the prioritisation for them.
Third, the threat of public shame also works – especially for better-paid, more senior people with a reputation to protect (and less need to impress journal editors).”
Web/Social media developments
- There’s something rotten in the state of social media – on the problems with montetization, automation and enforcement.
- What does ethical social networking software look like? “Social networks are like languages — they are only worthwhile when they are broadly adopted. This makes an incredibly compelling case for user tracking and advertising, since success as a broad network makes the most sense by giving network access away and then selling the people to companies. This is a hard model to escape.”
- The evolution of your home timeline – Twitter on continuing to experiment with what we see in our feeds
- You can now listen to a podcast in a tweet – and keep scrolling – new Twitter audio cards
- Why Twitter should not algorithmically curate the timeline – “Twitter’s uncurated feed certainly has some downsides, and I can see some algorithmic improvements that would make it easier for early users to adopt the service, but they’d potentially be chopping off the very—sometimes magical—ability of mature Twitter to surface from the network. And the key to this power isn’t the reverse chronology but rather the fact that the network allows humans to exercise free judgment on the worth of content, without strong algorithmic biases.”
- Buzzfeed’s forthcoming news app
- Blogging tips for the academic – organising notes for blog posts
- Social media outcomes in academia – tips on starting to use social media – and how to measure whether it’s worth it.
- Science blogging for institutions – great list of resources
- Scientists across disciplines must get to a better agreement on social media metrics
- I’ve never been on a top Twitter science list – and thoughts about what makes a good Twitter interaction
- Twitter as an interactive business card (and way to meet people at conferences)
- Aggregating info about events – an exemplar use of Lanyrd
- Whispering in the Town Square: Can Twitter provide an escape from all its noise? “If the purpose of social networks is finding the people you actually want to talk to, then Twitter needs to not only facilitate the finding, but the talking. Once you have made friends, or by Twitter parlance found people you enjoying following, you want to deepen those connections, not necessarily continue creating new ones. That’s what DMs do that public tweets do not. If a platform doesn’t allow for intimacy once relationships are formed, then its users will inevitably leave it.”
- The new Vox daily email explained – Yet another experiment with email digests – this one targeting the post-work evening crowd.
- Where do you go to learn about science communication? asked Matt Shipman. Some resources include the #gradscicomm, #reachingoutsci and #scicomm and #scioscicomm hashtags and the Twitter list of tweeps interested in the science of sci comm created by Paige Brown.
- PNAS special on the papers from the Sackler symposium on the science of science communication last September
- Useful and unusual Twitter search and filtering techniques
Just for fun
Move fast and break things…sometimes