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Posts Tagged ‘innovation

PositionDial is anonymous – if you want it to be.

Last night I attended an excellent event hosted by Involve at the University of Westminster – entitled ‘Technology and Democratic Participation – friend or foe.’

Involve

A point well made by Catherine Howe was on paying attention to the architectural layer, not just the application layer. And the ‘why.’ Including the choices we make about identity as we build opportunities to participate online.

I have spoken and written on the importance of anonymity and flexible identities online many times, and this is very much built into PositionDial‘s architecture.

PositionDial helps you work out where you stand, see who matches you, and explore the issues you care about. We have several levels of identity on site (and are at this moment building an even more super-secure identity system for y’all):

  • Anonymous – you can use PositionDial, and get your PositionDial, without registering with us or logging in. We use cookies to remember you and help you build your dial as you browse from page to page. But we don’t store your IP address. So there’s no way of us storing your activity or your PositionDial with your location or identity once you close your browser window.
  • Pseudonymous – You can register with any username you like / or Twitter – we don’t force you to use your full, real name
  • Full name – but if you don’t mind, we’d love you to know your real name. We’ll only use it for keeping in touch and making  PositionDial better for you.

Transparency is the only way

There’s a lot of valid, and invalid concern about data sharing and privacy on social media and discovery sites. Transparency is of course the best and the only way to handle this.

For our part, PositionDial offers agencies, charities, businesses and others analytics and insight into where their target customers, stakeholders and partners stand on important issues (we strongly believe this is win:win, if ‘they’ know better, they can do better for all of us). These analytics are based on aggregated, anonymised social PositionDials, and aggregated action PositionDials (from data about MP voting and companies etc. which is already public).

In other words, we would never, and have no reason to, share any personally identifiable data about you.

Furthermore, as stipulated in our privacy policy, we would, as Twitter and others have done before, closely interrogate and strenuously resist outside requests to access your data.

You also have the right to be forgotten (by us). That is, seriously, even if you’ve signed up and got your PositionDial and it’s all saved nice and neatly in our system. If you want out, we’ll delete you. Simples.

Image credit: Triple Pundit

Reposted from PositionDial’s blog

The London Fire Brigade has revealed it could allow people in the UK to tweet emergencies instead of dialling 999. Some might be concerned that this could lead to an increase in hoax fire reports being made, however arguably more indicative signals about a person can be drawn from their Twitter presence, than can be gauged on the phone.

There are many rapid checks that can be made to verify whether a tweeter is likely to be legitimate – including checking out their recent tweets, their follower to following ratio, and stated location. Another good signal of whether a fire report is genuine, is whether they are having Twitter conversations about the fire with other, similarly legitimate looking tweeters, especially in the local area. This certainly worked for me this year on two separate occasions when I looked to Twitter for information / confirmation: during the riots, and during a local power cut.

London Fire Brigade has used Twitter for information on fires in the past. At the beginning of the year LFB was faced with a lack of information when a police helicopter was unavailable to reach a large fire in west London. It asked its Twitter followers to take pictures and describe the scene. This allowed for a more detailed assessment of the situation and the subsequent dispatch of around 75 fire fighters. London Fire Brigade states without Twitter it would have taken longer to control the fire.

Jennifer Faull

Fire image by Colin Kinnear

technoutopianism. I’m not a teenager anymore. I’ve changed, but in so many ways you haven’t—and I see you more clearly now… you’re selfish. You never really wanted what was best for me, or for any of the rest of us; you wanted deregulation and radical individualism, wanted us out of your way so you could take the whole world—the Whole Earth—for your playground. Hawai’i is for lovers, and your shiny silver future was only for a network of the already privileged and powerful. You got a taste of “the Long Boom”; we got “likes” and LOLcats.

Whitney Erin Boesel

G.E’s big bet on what it calls the “industrial Internet,” [is] bringing digital intelligence to the physical world of industry as never before… G.E.’s effort, analysts say, shows that Internet-era technology is ready to sweep through the industrial economy much as the consumer Internet has transformed media, communications and advertising over the last decade.

Steve Lohr

For website owners and advertisers, user intent matters. But those ever-desirable eyeballs may as well be attached to sticks for all we know about their owners much of the time. The feelings, the mood, the intent of site visitors is incredibly valuable  to understand, because knowing this and serving up an appropriate user experience enables happier, more satisfied individuals.

Yieldbot is a publisher-side analytics and targeting platform which “captures and organizes the realtime intent existing in web publishers and makes it available to advertisers so they can match offers and ads at the exact moment consumers are most open to receiving relevant marketing.”

In the presentation below, Yieldbot boasts goal conversion of 26% higher than Google paid search and 326% higher than organic Google search traffic, on a ‘Leading deal site for Moms’ for ads placed according to its ‘intent-based targeting.’ (You may also be interested in this Business Insider post which refers to Yieldbot as a solution for Yahoo.)

Eyeballs image from Celebrations.com

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.:

Some of Darwin’s statements to others also cast doubt on his mental stability. For example, in 1875 he wrote the following words to fellow scientist Robert Hooker:

You ask about my book, & all that I can say is that I am ready to commit suicide: I thought it was decently written, but find so much wants rewriting. . . . I begin to think that every one who publishes a book is a fool (quoted in Colp, 1977, p. 228).

Jerry Bergman

While Darwin may well have been mentally disturbed quite severely and frequently during his quite brilliant life… this particular quote I find hilarious.. and totally lucid. The capability to edit our work after publishing, especially for those of us that agonise over what they have written on looking back, is a tremendous gift from the web to us all.

BRANCH_FEATURE

In this vein perhaps Branch should reconsider its unfortunate design ‘feature’ … I’m sure it will do the service, and its users, no favours..

There’s no edit button and no delete button. If you make a mistake, just keep going. It’s a little unsettling, but Miller wants to force a little more thoughtfulness in online dialog.

Andrew Phelps


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

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