Watched What obligation do social media platforms have to the greater good? by Eli PariserEli Pariser from ted.com

Social media has become our new home. Can we build it better? Taking design cues from urban planners and social scientists, technologist Eli Pariser shows how the problems we're encountering on digital platforms aren't all that new -- and shares how, by following the model of thriving towns and cities, we can create trustworthy online communities.

I liked Pariser’s idea of a video facepalm UI around the 12:25 mark.

I also loved the analogy of Facebook and 1970’s New York… I was sort of surprised at the audience applause at his comment, but this is such a heartwarming sign.

Watched A Meditation on the Open Web (2019) by Alexis Lloyd from alexislloyd.com

What is the world of the open web like, beyond the walls of dominant social media platforms? How do our experiences of the internet differ depending on where we spend our time and share our ideas? Come with us on a journey to explore the landscape of the web and get to know the people and possibilities of open source, the open web, and open opportunities.

“The technology industry, like all industries, follows cycles, and the pendulum is swinging back to the broad, empowering philosophies that underpinned the early social web. But we’re going to face a big challenge with re-educating a billion people about what the web means.”
—Anil Dash, The Web We Lost

Exactly how it’s described. A wonderful little meditation on the open web.
Watched Connecting to the IndieWeb Movement by Jim GroomJim Groom from bavatuesdays

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Tomorrow at 12 PM Eastern/ 9 AM Pacific I’ll be be hosting a Connected Courses discussion that will explore the IndieWeb movement as a people-centered response to the corporate web. How do core IndieWeb principles such as owning your content, remaining better connected, and redefining control online intersect with the values of connected learning? Take a bit of time tomorrow and join myself, Mikhail GershovichBen WerdmullerErin Jo Richey, and Simon Thomson to find out more.

I particularly love how they all underline the humanity that should and does underlie the web. This is certainly a classic for the area of IndieWeb and education. I’m not sure how I hadn’t seen this before.

[Withknown is] the posterchild of the IndieWeb.
— Jim Groom

I’ll agree that it is pretty darn awesome!

Some slight rephrasings from Ben in the video that I thought were spot on:

IndieWeb: allowing people to connect online without caring about what platforms or services they’re using.

IndieWeb puts the learner first. The LMS, which primarily serves an administrative function, should not be the center of the process.

Watched Sacha Baron Cohen's Keynote Address at ADL's 2019 Never Is Now Summit on Anti-Semitism and Hate from www.adl.org

Remarks by Sacha Baron Cohen, Recipient of ADL's International Leadership Award

Thank you, Jonathan, for your very kind words.  Thank you, ADL, for this recognition and your work in fighting racism, hate and bigotry.  And to be clear, when I say “racism, hate and bigotry” I’m not referring to the names of Stephen Miller’s Labradoodles.

A spectacular speech. I actually considered going to New York to see it in person. Cohen has got this topic dead to rights. We need some dramatic changes now.

📺 Content Calendars and Synergy – Planning Ahead is the Only Way to Cultivate a Cohesive Brand | WordCamp Orange County 2019

Watched Content Calendars and Synergy – Planning Ahead is the Only Way to Cultivate a Cohesive Brand by Wrigley GannawayWrigley Gannaway from WordCamp Orange County 2019

In my session I will be exploring several ways to create a cohesive branding strategy, by delving into posting schedules, content strategies, relevant social media (what you actually need), and more. By the end we will all have (hopefully) learned something about what the current web users consider important, and what actually attracts your targeted audience.

📺 The Facebook Dilemma (Part 2) | Frontline | PBS

Watched The Facebook Dilemma (Part 2) from FRONTLINE | PBS

A major, two-night investigation of the powerful social media platform’s impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world.

SEASON 37: EPISODE 4: The promise of Facebook was to create a more open and connected world. But from the company’s failure to protect millions of users’ data, to the proliferation of “fake news” and disinformation, mounting crises have raised the question: Is Facebook more harmful than helpful? On Monday, Oct. 29, and Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, FRONTLINE presents The Facebook Dilemma. This major, two-night event investigates a series of warnings to Facebook as the company grew from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room to a global empire. With dozens of original interviews and rare footage, The Facebook Dilemma examines the powerful social media platform’s impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world.

This documentary focuses on just one of the major failings of Facebook and its attendant effects on society. If you’re using Facebook, you should watch both parts before continuing to support them.

I’m not quite sure what to label this particular type of failure. Tragedy of the commons? It’s painfully obvious that Facebook not only has no real idea how to solve this problem, but it’s even more telling that they don’t seem to have any desire or drive to solve it either.  The more I watch what they’re doing to their product and their users, the more I think that they have absolutely no ethics or morality at all. In particular Mark Zuckerberg  is completely tone deaf in these areas, and as a result the entire fish stinks from the head.

The only solution may be massive regulation. The sadder part is that with both their financing and lobbying power, not to mention their social influence power which could be leveraged completely via dark posts, they could have a painfully out-sized influence on elections to get their own way.

I’m really worried that things will get far worse before they get better.

📺 The Facebook Dilemma (Part 1) | Frontline

Watched The Facebook Dilemma from FRONTLINE

A major, two-night investigation of the powerful social media platform’s impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world.

The promise of Facebook was to create a more open and connected world. But from the company’s failure to protect millions of users’ data, to the proliferation of “fake news” and disinformation, mounting crises have raised the question: Is Facebook more harmful than helpful? On Monday, Oct. 29, and Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, FRONTLINE presents The Facebook Dilemma. This major, two-night event investigates a series of warnings to Facebook as the company grew from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room to a global empire. With dozens of original interviews and rare footage, The Facebook Dilemma examines the powerful social media platform’s impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world.

Some great journalism, but somehow I don’t think it’s as frightening as it should be.

It did spark some great debate within the house though.

📺 Facebook: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) | YouTube

Watched Facebook: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver from HBO via YouTube

Facebook’s global expansion has been linked to political turmoil overseas, so maybe their ads should focus less on how they “connect the world” and more on why connecting people isn’t always the best idea.

Some solid reasons to completely abandon Facebook.

📺 Ricky Gervais: Humanity | Netflix

Watched Ricky Gervais: Humanity (2018) by Ricky Gervais from Netflix
Live performance of British comedian Ricky Gervais filmed in London's Eventim Apollo.
I watched this in pieces over the last two evenings and finished of the tail end at lunch today.

I’ve often thought of Gervais simply as a crass entertainer, but there are so many interesting new dimensions which come out in “Humanity”, they give me newfound respect for who he is and what he’s doing now. This is far more complex than just simple comedy, he’s doing something much more significant with this particular performance.

I also haven’t laughed this hard in quite a while. Tears, literally tears. Perhaps most interesting is that he’s got a much wider range of emotions which he’s playing off of here than just the humorous.

Gervais has some really interesting philosophy hiding in here among the dark humor. He has an interesting take on comedy and what it does and doesn’t target. The bit at the end on social media was particularly interesting. His take on “The Commons” is quite solid and is something I don’t suspect many could expound upon so eloquently.

During the portion in which he talks about his favorite Twitter response ever, he looked down at his phone to quote the tweet. I was reminded of some of the comedy greats I’ve seen at clubs late at night reading out of their beat up notebooks to try out new material. For a moment I thought, “perhaps Gervais is trying out some new material live here.” If it’s the case, then he was genius, though I suspect now that it was just a useful prop to add to the narrative of the joke. Either way, just brilliant. I wonder when we’ll see comics at clubs reading off of phones instead of the old spiral bounds? I wonder if it’ll play an better than the index card or notebook?

His closer with the story about his mum’s death and the wonderful prank on the poor vicar put a wonderfully fine point on the entire piece. It is humanity indeed. If there were a god, I’m sure he’d bless Ricky Gervais.

📺 Zeynep Tufekci: We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads | TED

Watched We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads by Zeynep TufekciZeynep Tufekci from ted.com

We're building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren't even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us -- and what we can do in response.

📺 Zeynep Tufekci: Online social change: easy to organize, hard to win | TED

Watched Online social change: easy to organize, hard to win by Zeynep TufekciZeynep Tufekci from ted.com

Today, a single email can launch a worldwide movement. But as sociologist Zeynep Tufekci suggests, even though online activism is easy to grow, it often doesn't last. Why? She compares modern movements -- Gezi, Ukraine, Hong Kong -- to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and uncovers a surprising benefit of organizing protest movements the way it happened before Twitter.

📺 The Decentralized Social Web | Keith J. Grant | recallact.com

Watched The Decentralized Social Web by Keith J. Grant from recallact.com
We tend to have a love/hate relationship with social networks. The ability to interact with friends, colleagues, and even celebrities is wonderful, but the lack of control over privacy or content algorithms is troubling. A better way lies ahead, where you aren't tied to large social networks and where you can own your own data.