Category Archives: digital culture

Living Web Social Innovation

Yesterday, I listened to most of Nick Yeo’s conversation over at the social innovation center’s conversations network.  He is the communications director for Taking ITGlobal, a youth- and development-oriented social networking pllatform.

One thing that stood out (and that I think Vishant might like) is that he discussed how they discovered that their users in places like Africa were often huddled five or six aroudn a computer using the site, and they thought of ways to cross leverage that liittle face2face net with the networking of their platform.

Their official elevator pitch:

TakingITGlobal.org is an online community that connects youth to find inspiration, access information, get involved, and take action in their local and global communities. It’s the world’s most popular online community for young people interested in making a difference, with hundreds of thousands of unique visitors each month.

The other link is to google.org.   Read this in Fast Company’s Fast list for 2008.  They seem to combine corporate philanthropy, R&D, and wiki-type decision making (letting lots of people propose and rank ideas for grants and investing).  Also interesting to see that Hal Varian, whose book Network Rules was one of the better strategy books i read at IESE, is their chief economist.

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Filed under activism, digital culture, Network Society, Networks, participatory technology, Politics, Power, Activism, social bookmarking

Serious Play… A Title for Paper on Second Life

Here is the abstract Ted and I are working from. I am not sure whether to go for the Organization and Management Theory division or the Organization and Communication Information Systems division of AOM.

Titles?

The Influence of Economic and Social Incentive on the Evolution of Virtual Worlds

OR

Serious Play in Synthetic Worlds: Theorizing the Sustainability of
Second Life

Jordi Comas, Bucknell University

Ted Tschang, Singapore Management University

Abstract

The hype and dashed expectations over Second Life simply highlights the
need for a better understanding of the nature of SW. SL is an important
case because it highlights how the dynamics between individual play and
collective socioeconomics drive the evolution of a SW. Early attempts
to comprehensively understand SW have privileged either a view of SWs as
games or as marketing channels. We attempt to correct this view by
proposing a comprehensive framework for theorizing the evolution and
sustainability of a SW using SL as one example of this process. Our
framework is a “bathtub” model to explain joint processes at individual
and collective levels. The motivations of users to participate are
broadly described as play, although work done on video games and
role-playing offer important types of play. However, due to the
persistence and open-endedness of SL, the motives of users are only part
of the picture. The evolution of social and economic systems (a system
of roles, exchanges, and even institutions) continually alters the world
that playful or role-playing users interact with even as their actions
affect the evolution at a higher level. Once we develop a framework to
identify user motivations and forms of economic and social organization,
we validate it with a series of illustrations. We conclude by
developing a research agenda derived from the framework that will guide
researchers and inform discussions about the keys to success in SWs.

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Filed under digital culture, economic sociology, higher education, Research, Second Life, social theory

Mapping Manhattan

I was fascinated to read about this project to make a detailed, 3D, explorable map of Manhattan before contact and conquest. It sounds like secondlife! And the use of real markers and connections to the 3d map will enable even more cross-over from virtual to real world and vice-versa. Another blogger who lives in NY waxes about the project.

Our Local Correspondents: The Mannahatta Project: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker
Eric Sanderson, a landscape ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society (W.C.S.), is in charge of a project called the Human Footprint, which seeks to map the human race’s impact on the surface of the earth. New York is the ultimate case. “It’s probably the fastest, biggest land-coverage swing in history,” Sanderson said. For nearly a decade, he has been working on the Mannahatta Project, an attempt to determine exactly how Manhattan would have appeared to Hudson and his crew in 1609. It will include a lavish book; a Web site; a possible exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History; and a three-dimensional computer map which would allow you to fly above the island, land wherever you want, and look around. Eventually, Sanderson would like to put up plaques around town calling attention to vanished landmarks.

My friend Alex Pulsipher, who has an intro textbook for Geography has talked to me about his ideas for the future of that book. Wandering around our old haunts in Knoxville we were discussing the use of educational games, internet publishing, and learning. The Manhattana Project may be a great example of that future. But why stop with traveling around? Why not let people create modules that would run in the map/world? Replay Hudson’s voyage? Replay the local Indian’s use of land. Having student’s design these modules and discuss what matters and how to incorporate what they know would engage them and force them to make consequential choices based on their current knowledge and intellectual perspectives.

Manhattana Project Image

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Filed under digital culture, Future of Technology, Gaming, geography, pedagogy

Research Ideas for My Students

Hello folks. This is by no means a comprehensive set of resources. It more reflects sources that seemed to be of interest to two or more of you AND that I thought might not jump out at you as pertinent. It is a mix of search terms, blogs, or alternative media.

EVERYONE should make an appointment with a Bucknell research librarian.

Mob Mentality

□ See Swarm intelligence as a search term. Also this book and tool.

□ See Smart Mobs as a search term. Also, this site and book.

How context shapes roles

Stanford Prison Experiment

How social network effects company

□ Work by Rob Cross

David Krackhardt

David Obstfeld

How brekatoroughs happen…

□ Blogs: Search them for your topics.

Orgtheory http://orgtheory.wordpress.com/

Complexity

Connecetddness

Visiblepath

Terrorism

Saddam Hussein and his network

RAND corporation

Orgnet

Torture:

Experts on torture

A historian of torture

Overview of news on detainees

Financial Bubbles…

Bill Moyers with Kuttner

Interviews with Greenspan

Greespan debate Naomi Klein, a critic (bubbles and feds role comes up)
Fanatic communities

MeetUp

Org theory post

Size of communties

Gore-Tex maker

Advertising

No logo– a critical assessment of advertising and capitalism.

Viral garden blog

Iraq:

Fiasco

Cobra II

Assassin’s Gate

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Filed under activism, Books, digital culture, economic sociology, higher education, Living Web, management, Marketing, national security, Network Dynamics, Org Design, organization studies, pedagogy, Resistance, Social Networks, Terrorism, Viral Marketing

MySpace falls prey to viral phishing

This is the kind of thing that would make any purveyor of SNS software feel his blood start to boil.  If a vibe of authentic, albeit shallow, connecting and socilaizing is ost, then a SNS will die like so many poorly thought through dot.com businesses.  E-toy anyone?

wcbstv.com – Phishers Infiltrate MySpace With Bogus Macy’s Gift Scheme
Social networking giant MySpace stumbled to its knees at the hands of a cyber superbug recently, falling ill to a severe phishing epidemic that is plaguing a vast and vulnerable segment of its membership, wcbstv.com in New York reported Friday.

I have long thought that one of the keys to Facebook’s success was its initial limited availability to those with a .edu domain name in e-mail address.  And the way they grouped people by affiliations.  Spelman college. Check.  Dartmouth.  Check.  Basically Zuckerberg et al leveraged the legitimacy univeristies confer to build their site.  So, myspace should have been very worried about this.  If a SNS is seen as nothing more than a way to get around people’ already very well executed advertisement avoidance strategies, then no matter the quality of content overall, the sense of community will wither and die.

So, Google, myspaces new corporate masters, should be very worried about the barbarian hordes outside their gate.

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Filed under digital culture, Information and Communication Technology, Living Web, Marketing

New words- Digindigenuous

I like to play with words.  When obtuse or overly specialized, this can become jargon in the worst sense of the word: words which deliberately obfuscate and insulate insiders.  When there is a new experience, a new phenomenon, the desire to name wells up and starts playing with words.

Operationalize is jargon.

Podcast is not.

I have seen people refer to the residents of virtual worlds (aside from editorializing them as geeks or nerds) as residents, digital natives, and so on.

Perhaps there is a whole category of practices and objects that are digitally native.

Hence, I humbly offer digital+indigenous= digindigenous.

Digindienous is not short and sweet, but it has a certain rhythm in saying it.

Maybe there is something better?

Digigenous?  Sounds like stuttering
Digenous?   Sounds to much like disingenuous.

Thoughts?

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Filed under digital culture, pithy expressions, words