Mariamz

Posts Tagged ‘community development

Rob Manuel gave what seems to have been an impassioned defence of “the bottom half of the internet”, saying that “troll” had become the equivalent of “chav” — a word used to demonise and silence people who don’t have power. Rob’s argument appears to echo the joke of defining a “troll” as “the least famous of two people arguing on Twitter.” Rob seems to have equated the disdain felt for the “proles” by the upper echelons of society with the disdain felt for the “commentards” by the chattering columnist classes of the media.

Rob Manuel via Martin Belam

Since way before my first big project at openDemocracy.net I’ve been interested in the line. Separating ‘author’ and reader, broadcaster and receiver, powerful and powerlesser. In the physical world innovators are moving to challenge the authority / audience divide also, to “turn museums into social, participatory organisations – with all the challenges this entails.”

In online forums, we write for positive and negative response, for the conversation, for the pursuit of deeper understanding, for the feedback we get and the resulting whole. I love this line on Gransnet which sums it up neatly:

 it isn’t my thread. Once I’ve pressed the “post message” button, it belongs to everyone on gransnet

Bags

This sentiment is endlessly difficult to sell or even explain to those whose livelihoods have depended on the commodification of information, ideas and opinion. As the recent Leveson report has shown, the advent of the industrial press has led to cultural particularities both positive and negative, but ultimately a participatory attitude is hard to adopt, by people below and above the line(PDF), when equity is not appreciated or sought.

While there is any inbalance of financial and reputational consequences for what is written, the public conversation cannot be the best, most inclusive, most honest version of itself. But we can attempt to aid it in this direction, starting with:

  • Payment for both starting and continuing the conversation
  • Pseudonymity so that one participating individual’s reputational and legal liability does not outweigh the others
  • A standard for clear and attributable apologies / corrections for inaccuracies and mistakes by those on any side of any lines

Just noticed this new detail on a Linkedin profile I was checking out – it’s part of Linkedin’s new style layouts. I really like the way it visualises how you are connected to others: as you roll over the little circles (g+ inspired?) you can see all of the companies associated with a person, and those you share in common.

You can also select network types from the drop-down menu: industry, school and location, e.g.:

This web design detail on Dezeen encourages and champions online engagement neatly – highlighting ‘reader* comments’ prominently alongside editor picks.

*I wonder how long publishers will keep calling active online participants ‘readers’ for.. always seems too passive 

It can be really rather hard to train (or explain to) people who don’t use a social platform every day – what, why and when to share what others say, and especially when and why it is prudent or funny to pass on criticism from others, especially implied criticism that is laden with intended or unintended thought-provoking nuances.

http://twitter.com/QueenofBiscuits/status/265932216348057600

Having recently co-hosted a workshop laying out the differences between effective Facebook and Twitter engagement, I thought this example just retweeted by Mumsnet illustrates the Twitter trainer’s challenge beautifully…

p.s. posting via mobile, pls excuse any formatting issues

Last weekend I took part in a Cambridge Festival of Ideas panel discussion on whether we are being ‘sold online’ alongside Michal Kosinski of Cambridge University, Professor Bill Dutton of the Oxford Internet Institute and Nick Pickles of Big Brother Watch.

During this I proposed that practitioners who deal with collecting, processing, analysing and sharing social media data can operate according to a simple principle, to weight privacy in favour of individuals, and transparency towards institutions. For indeed, such responsible data dealing is essential for attaining and retaining trust in 21st century institutions…


Delving further into what this means in practice I put forward the following framework, which can be used by marketers to clearly document and ask questions of social data usage:

Best Practice Data Dealers Recipe Card

Note: my recipe card is loosely based on Tony Benn’s five questions to power


This blog is about utilizing and optimizing the social web for business, pleasure and social change

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