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#mewthree

Yo BIATCHES!!!!! I’m back in control while the little bitch is in hiding, away crying or getting her period^^

I’m not gonna be this BOLD and IN your FACE all the time,

but it sure feels good to finally be in control of this blog while cry baby Anders is occupied and stressed out with this face war, police BS, Adfontes BS, HSU BS and the very important exam that starts in few hours. The final 4th and last try to an exam he must nAIL or at least not fAIL, if the little bitch has any hope of graduating with a mASTER in Digital Culture. 

Speaking of little bitches todays  First oredr OF bunsises

HEY ??

waht the fcuk was taht ¿   

 WaHt the  Hlel going on? 

Tihs is smoe Bhillust buhllsit BuLShiT BUHIlLsT   FAAAAAEENNNNEENNNNEENNNNAAEENNNNAAAAAAAEENNNNAEEEEEEEEEENNNNNN a sf cvaZ>Xv <szvxwaxcvQGEHJ.Ø!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

<!--You THINK you are in C-O-N-T-R-O-L of what exactly?-->

The Hypocrite

Let me start this post with an example of how nice old Anders treat young people who need some tips or directions in their own intellectual journey and hope to get a positive interaction going. So what happened here?What’s your excuse for answering an email in this way. Can you even be nice to others?

I’m not gonna defend my actions to you, but i will say this. The only answer the writer of that disastrous email gave to Corky was this : “Your friend is a genius!” .

So its ok for you to be mean, but if i do it, you start to cry! Does that make any sense for you…

 

Subject: Eric nevue

>Ma onkel says u have some ærfaring with makin games or design or

> something? M a rigght? >

> Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Forbanna unødvendig av meg å bruka timesvis på å skjella ut ein stakkars 15 åring, som nok ønsket å stille et spørsmål samtidig som han skulle være litt kul, fuck asså, dette var litt dumt! 

Re:Subject: Eric nevue

Something…Maybe?

But let me put it this way Brah!

Eric har sjelden kontroll på hva jeg gjør eller kan, men det er sant at jeg kan litt HTML, og at jeg har brukt det til å lage forskjellige internettsider som kan funger som et online-rebus-spill. Corky har kanskje hørt meg snakke om ideer for diverse spill, men det er dessverre ikke slik at jeg har skillsa til å realisere disse drømmene. Det skal likevel sies at jeg kan være flink til og tilegne meg random kunnskap som jeg trenger for å få til spesifikke ting. Mulig han trodde dette hadde noe med spill og gjøre, selv om mye tyder på at han ikke vet hva jeg egentlig studerer.

Uansett hva du lurer på vil jeg påstå at du selv kan lære deg metoden for å finne svaret, om du bare gidder følge noen av rådene jeg kommer med nå. Deler av de rådene som du ikke har bedt om, men gjør lurt i å ta til deg, har jeg erfart på fallskjermjeger rekrutten mens andre deler kommer fra webdesign eller bøker jeg har lest.

Siden du ikke stilte noe spesifikt spørsmål som kan hjelpe deg videre i søken etter kunnskap, la meg først gi deg et tips før jeg setter i gang.

Gå rett på sak, slik at folk slipper å bruke tid på og forklare hva dem kan eller ikke kan. Still nå det spørsmålet du ønsker svar på og håp at personen du snakker til gidder å ta seg tid til å svare etter beste evne. Det er du som stiller spørsmålet, så da kan du jo starte med å si kort hvem du er, hva du kan, og hva du ønsker hjelp til! Jf. ditt eget spørsmål og hvor uspesifisert de er! Her er kommer mitt svar på de spørsmålene som du aldri stilte.

1. Object basert koding er et språk som må læres på lik linje som engelsk, det finnes ingen snarveier. Det samme gjelder andre typer av koding, og et bra sted å stare å lære om dette er https://www.codecademy.com/ Opprett bruker å start med å kjøre gjennom tutorials. Begynn med HTML/javascript så du får forståelse for coding, om du har erfaring med Scratch bør dette være relativt overkommelig.

2. Forsøk så å komme deg gjennom www.ballsofnorway.no og www.notpron.org/notpron/ uten å jukse/google deg til svarene.
Om du mangler IQ eller Skills for å få til dette må du tilegne deg kunnskap! Dette krever arbeid, å da snakker vi gjerne TIMER med trial & error for og komme et lite steg videre. Så ha tolmodighet og utholdenhet du kommer ingen vei uten! Poenget med disse to nettstedene er at du må tilegne deg nye skills for å komme deg videre. Dette åpner igjen nye “kunnskaps stier” og det er slik man blir smartere. Om du ikke vet hva sourcecode er eller hvordan en enkel nettside er bygget opp, start med å google [How to read source code] og så stikker du inn på www.ballsofnorway.no og forsøker å følge hintene. Alle som skal drive med noe digitalt bør ha en viss forståelse for hvordan det digitale er satt sammen. Vi snakker nå altså om en form for “Digital Literacy” (google that shit)

Det nytter btw ikke å bruke smartphone og om du ikke vet hvordan en PC er oppbygget vil jeg også anbefale deg å bygge din egen PC. Det som skiller “script kiddies” fra hackere er fundamentale skills om hvordan diverse systemer fungerer. Start med å lære deg hvordan hardwaren man bruke fungerer. (Finn forum som kan hjelpe deg med pc bygging, eller kjøp noe billig på finn og skru det fra hverandre)

3. Installer mIRC og google deg fram til channels som omhandler coding (servere som freenode og eventuelt undernet kan være et bra sted å starte). Har du flaks og finner en kanal som fortsatt er operative er det stor sjanse for at du kan finne en person/comunity som er meget villig til å hjelpe deg. Siden dette er en 15++ år gammel platform, vil dem som fortsatt henger der muligens synes det er litt kult at du faktisk har joinet platformen. Spør på åpne channels spørsmålet du lurer på ¨håp at noen har lyst tid til og hjelpe deg med det du lurer på. Det er da en selfølge at du klarer å formulere hva du faktisk trenger hjelp til på en intelligent måte.

4. Lær deg å bruke google, det finnes mange guider for dette, tommelfingerregel: Google etter svaret som du søker, ikke etter spørsmålet (det er en stor forskjell på disse to). Om det feks er ord eller uttrykk i denne e-mailen du ikke forstår googler du det. Slik blir man smartere. Om man blir smartere kan man gjennomføre større og mer kompliserte oppgaver. Om du er ute etter å lage spill elle diverse apps trenger du et eller annet program som du foretar kodingen gjennom eller lære deg et programerings språk. Her er jeg like blank som deg da jeg ikke driver med game-development men Unity er program som er populært.

Likevel er hovedpoenget mitt her som med alt annet i denne verden. Start med det enkle og grunnleggende, lær deg å mestre dette.

“Wax on, wax off” og du vil få kunnskap som du kan ta videre til neste nivå.

Se for deg eller gjennomfør dette scenarioet:
Bruk en måned på å mestre de elementære delene av programeringsspråket BASIC og lage en enkel spørsmåls quiz. Du vil da lære diverse prinsipper som har overføringsverdi.
Bruk neste måned på å lage samme quiz i HTML og Javascript.
Bruk neste måned på å lage samme quiz i JAVA.
Bruk neste måned på å lage samme quiz i Python.
Bruk neste måned på å lage samme quiz i SCRATCH.
Bruk neste måned på å lage samme quiz i Unity.
Bruk neste måned på å lage samme quiz ved hjelp av Arduino og et LED display.
Bruk neste måned på kombinere software og hardware, fexs Unity med et nytt interface som BCI
What’s next ?

Jeg har ikke kommet lengre enn til den andre måneden, HTML/javascript…

Nå blir det en brå vending her og i fare for å virke frekk, er det en ting du (eller Eric) må forstå.

Min tid, er for meg, verdt mange ganger mer enn hva, din tid, er verdt for deg. (Spesielt denne måneden da jeg har hjemmeeksamen nå mens jeg skriver dette, samtidig som jeg forsøker å søke om grunder stipend og eventuelle legat ordninger, samt styrer med administrasjon rundt et nyopprettet Aksjeselskap)

Dvs om du må bruke 3 timer på å google deg fram til noe som jeg kunne hjulpet deg med på 20 minutter, har vi ikke et forhold som tilsier at jeg er villig til å investere disse 20 minuttene. Ikke denne uka i alle fall da jeg er sykt opptatt, og bakpå som faen med allt jeg skal gjøre..

Dette har vist din Onkel forbannet vanskelig med å forstå, eller så gir han faen. (Det må nok nevnes at prokrastinasjon og gammel irritasjon er en dårlig kombo) Dvs eg blir ganske irritert når Eric maser om at jeg må legge deg til på snap så du kan spørre meg om noe, uten at han selv gidder å bruke tid på å forsøke å finne ut hva du
1. faktisk trenger hjelp til
og
2. om dette er noe han selv kan finne ut med å google seg fram til svaret.
(Om det er slik at han ikke engang gidder bruke tid på å hjelpe deg til å stille et skikkelig spørsmål, hvorfor skal jeg da bruke tid på deg?)

Nå har jeg da faktisk et mål om å skape en bedre verden, noe som starter med en opplyst befolkning hvor all søk etter kunnskap er et sted i riktig retning.

Likefullt er det slik at all interaksjon mellom to personer er “give and take” så enkelt kan enkelte sosiologer forklare det. DVS: Hva kan DU gi tilbake, som gjør at den du har en interaktion med får noe igjen for tiden og energien som HAN har investert? Hvordan er balansen mellom “give and take” hva kan du gjøre for å tilte vektskåla i ditt favør? Dette høres nok kynisk og kaldt ut, so be it! Det er like fullt en sannhet med stor S at om du lykkes med å finne metoder som gjør at personen du interaktere med får følelsen av at han fikk mer tilbake en han har gitt, vil du ha knekt koden for mange vellykkede interaksjoner som gjerne ender med at folk gjør det lille ekstra for nettopp deg! Les mer om dette i boka “How to Win Friends and Influence People av Dale ett eller annet på C. (Google it, eller kjøp deg en hardcopy)

Og dude, brah, kompis, Benji, Brofistyolo, Corky cus eller Eric nevue. Bestem deg nå faen meg for hvilket språk du skal bruke ved skriftlig kommunikasjon hvor du ønsker et seriøst svar. Jeg sier til deg, som en eldre hippie kollega sa til meg da jeg var 23-24 år.

“Nå framstår du som en tulling som ikke en gang gidder å prøve. Hvordan tror du jeg tolker et slikt språk, positivt eller negativt, får jeg lyst til å hjelpe deg?”

Hensiktsmessig kommunikasjon er alltid viktig!
Ait?

Håper min email kan motivere deg på et eller annet vis, og om du skal ha hjelp til å få svar på det du ikke spurte om i e-mailen din er det å bare å starte med å google [mirc+how+to]! Her finner du muligens svar om ikke da et forum søk kan hjelpe deg 🙂 Videre hadde det vært meget gøy om du hadde klart å få noe ut av denne e-mailen for da ville jeg virkelig fått noe igjen for tiden det tok meg og skrive dette lange og små hissige svaret. La det likevel understrekes at all min aggresjon er rettet mot din onkel som faen ikke tar “nei eg har ikke tid nå” som et godt nok svar, samt eksamens nerver og generel mangel på søvn.
Lykke til med din intellektuelle ferd mot ditt valgte interessefelt, hva enn det nå måtte være.

Peace Out & gl hf

Gonzo Gaard
CEO, Trollscape AS
& Party Chairman, Kardemommepartiet

MEGET UKULT GONZO! IKKE NOE GREIT I DET HELE TATT

 

How to make enemies and alienate people!

Hello World… It is a new year..and this year I had some good plans and loads of motivation to do stuff. I even made a new years resolution plan, coviring all of my day. But some how, it all came crashing down after the 15. januar.  So how did this happen, what was my plan. Was it just to fuck with people, see their reactions, make people mad. No… I honestly think it was something else.

It always amazes me how fast people get mad or pissed of and how fast stuff get dragged out of context and placed on the battleground. Some times all it takes is one wrong word and the war is on! Everything else gets pushed out of focus and one see the dream and goals for 2018 disappear in the backway mirror.

 

I don’t really think we see the goals disappear. You just wake up on day, and it’s gone. The war train usually comes with it’s own neural pathways prepped and ready for a fight!

Sure, but all this just because we get stuck trying to defend our view point, our way of life. We are fighting an idealistic war, where we are sure that the other side is wong, and we are right. 

 

Nothing new with what you are describing here!

Even so…Why? Why the fuck do I bother? Why use time, energy and social relations to fight a war that is not worth fighting? A war that one did not really understand before the gun were loaded and pointed towards your heart. And why is it so fucking hard to let shit go..Agree to speak to the other side, and se what is what? Why is it always like that?

Because of your narcissistic ego and lack of good and stimulating friends! Not to mention a life without meaning, and the overbearing feeling of death angst closing in.

*Aouch*

 

Well that is the case, is it not? Does this not explain your sick ambition, your unrealistic goals and your need to prove yourself to somebody, anybody, the world? It is not like this is the first war you go into, only to get burned out and depressed some years later! Have you forgot all about www.majorfuckface.com how this war almost made you commit suicide?

 

No, yes.. I remember that when i did not end it, I got new inspiration and moved to Bergen to pursue a carriere, start Uni!

 

Yes, and how is that working out for you? Successful yet? Found something to live for? Have you made the world a better place? Found someone to love, someone to care for.

This shit is getting dark, FAST!

 

No need to speak, these were all rhetorical questions. I know you have not done shit. You are a fuckup, and everybody knows it!

Anders, Gonzo, U4IC or whatever “cool” name you choose to identify yourself with, it’s about time you face the fact and smell the burning fat.

YOU are a FAILURE! No need to identify with anything else!

This is a fact! 

 

 

Henry Jenkins

Henry Jenkins talks about participation culture, how through emerging technologies the kids who find school more or less boring are now finding a platform in which to channel their passions and beliefs. Jenkins longs for a world in which the people who are obsessed with anime, dungeons and dragons etc. will start to feel the same obsessions over democracy.

It’s an intriguing concept. And it’s something that I think is happening right now at an increasing rate. If you go to /r/all on Reddit right now (23.11.2017) the top posts are all about the FCC trying to dismantle Net Neutrality. Millions of people have come together to try and defend their right to an open and free flowing internet, and not having it become yet another victim of capitalist interests. The internet and its evolving potential stands as a last bastion (and some would say last chance) of the peaceful, harmonic world we’ve envisioned in everything from literature to music. We’re on the precipice of losing that last bastion right now and people are standing up. Not just the people who study how a world without net neutrality would work, but the gamers, the bloggers, the musicians who use social media to make themselves heard and interact–the people that Jenkins refers to, in other words.

It’s heartening to see so many humans set aside their differences and focusing on something we all love and hold dear, and it’s something I think we’ll see more of as the internet continues to evolve. If it’s allowed to, that is…

But even if Net Neutrality is upheld, the dangers of capitalism and profit still stand to ruin the freedom of the net. Jaron Lanier warns of this, and especially Facebook and Google and how they operate by creating mass behavioral modification systems based on pay. We’re in many ways already trapped. Facebook is as good as ubiquitous and works as a sleight of hand magician or a personally tailored spider web to create these spaces in which we believe the illusion that we’re in control of what he see and know, but the reality is very different.

The great thing about the internet, though, is that it can be changed at any time. It’s not set in stone. We’re still figuring this thing out and will be for the foreseeable future, but if Net Neutrality is dismantled we’re completely at the mercy of corporations like Facebook, and we would lose the ability to enact paradigm shifts that could change it for the better–or at least change it to something different when we realize that whatever we’re currently doing is the wrong thing to do.

Facebook is one of those things that I think needs to change–or go away completely.
They claim it’s meant as a social experiment, well the experiment failed from a social point of view. Now it’s just a billion dollar flytrap were we got stuck before we even knew what we were signing up for.


End of the line

This will be my last blog post as  a part of the 303 course I’m taking, but that does not necessarily mean that I wont post more at a later time.
This post will be based on readings again provided by my fellow students and will be much on the same theme as I am writing my thesis on, Participatory culture.

The fist part is a video by Henry Jenkins as a part of the Big Thinkers series.
Henry explains how youth in school actually learn more from engaging in communities where they have a invested interest outside of school. He debates that for a learning environment and the educational process to be successful, you need to also engage the different interests of the youth.
Give them a sense of entitlement and validation for their work not only in school, but outside aswell, and try to bring that fruitful creativity and willingness to learn into the education.

The second part is two chapters in the book Participatory Culture in a Networked Era Henry Jenkins, Mizuko Ito, danah boyd. Chapter 4 and 5 to be exact.
These chapters delve more in-depth on the theme that Jenkins talks about in his video, how and why we should encourage digital literacies as a part of education.
I wholeheartedly agree with the notion that we need to cater education more towards youths interests then the straight forward classroom teaching.
The fact that youth learn more and faster from engaging with online communities than actual classroom education should serve as a big indicator that it is high time to make some changes.
Creating interest, building interest and molding a solid learning environment should be the next step of education. As a part of the curriculum, there should be time devoted to alternative learning methods, this is where the students can shine, and really come forth with their interests.

The second set of readings are based on the music industry and their link to social medias. As his project my fellow student is creating a work of digital art. By taking comments on Facebook from pages belonging to music bands and rearranging them into new comments. This looks to be a surreal and ironic take on the fact that band can simply pay for likes. A band might have 10000 followers, but only 1-10 comments on their posts, and barely the same number of likes. It will be interesting to look at what this “Comment Generator” will come up with.
In the article from Metalsucks.net Vince Neilstein argues that social media have actually helped musicians to get more in touch with their fans, and have created a more direct stream of revenue from fan to band.
I have to agree with this. If you like a band, you can now just look them up on Facebook, like their page and all of a sudden you are informed of concerts, releases and other events. Just like the good old mailing list.
This of course only works when you are a fan and actually like a page. Though it is evident that bands, especially niche bands, or sub-genre band can exploit this by paying to get followers. These are just empty numbers, and not actual fans that will buy their product. But in the eyes of say, a label company, all they see is that this band has a huge following, and will be worth investing in.

The last reading delves into the music journalism and how journalism as a whole has not been able to keep up with the rapidly growing digital trends. The lack of innovation for journalists has led to a “forced sellout” where they hand over their content to other medias like snapchat or instagram, in the hopes that it will peak interest, and again lead to revenue.
The writer of the article Jason Gross talks about how journalism is not wholly suited for the new medias, and how, just like news papers, music magazines are suffering from the uprise of digital medias. Free content and amateur generated reviews are moving in on their turf.
I also believe that the availability of music today has led to music journalists not being needed anymore. “Back in the day”, one would read a music magazine to get inspiration to new music to listen to, or one would go to a record shop, talk to the sellers and maybe be allowed to listen to a track or two from selected bands.
Nowadays, it takes you a single search on YouTube, Spotify or any other digital media hosting music, and there you go. You can listen to anything at any time and make up your own mind than and there instead of reading a magazine, purchasing an album and then go home to listen to it.
Music journalism is dying and the cause is the fact that they are not needed in any capacity any more. We can find and listen to anything we want, and we do not need a journalist to tell us if the music is good or bad, we can make that decision for ourselves now. There is no need for a middle man any more.

Those are my thoughts on the ideas of Jenkins and the educational environment, and the music industry moving to social media as a platform of spreading content.
Hopefully there will be more to come on this blog, but as of now, the only thing left to do is finishing up the semester and do my exams.
Thank you for reading my blog, and I`ll hope you`ll be back if and when I start up again.


My turn

This week its my turn to provide the other students with readings, so I wont be commenting on that. Rather, I will do a short post on what my thoughts for class will be, since I`m going to be in charge of parts of it, and then I`ll write a bit on what I hope to achieve, both with my masters and in class.

Firstly, my thesis will be on The silent majority and participatory culture. What I hope to achieve, my “end goal” so to speak, will be to identify reasons why people want to participate in the online discourse, how to generate an interest in participating and lastly reasons why people avoid participating.
I hope to produce something akin to a book, or a guide to participatory culture, and I think the key to success here, is to identify why and why not people want to partake in this. By reading my thesis, people would gain a greater understanding of what it is to participate and the benefits from that one can reap from this.

I will have to divide my focus into two groups, the silent majority and the vocal minority. Hopefully by identifying key reasons why people participate, I will be able to come up with a sort of guide or rule of thumb on how to increase participation. My thoughts are that this will be useful in any scenario where one is dependent on the crowd and their feedback.
I aim to look at participatory culture in a few distinct areas with a different form of participation. The ideas I have at the moment are the gaming community and specifically those who produce content made to benefit others, guides, lore, tactics on forums and bulletin boards, and those who stream or produce video content and are engaging their audience that way.
I will also look at other forms of participation, like those who produce and/or correct information on sites like Wikipedia and lastly I will look at participation and the lack thereof as a whole.

One of the biggest issues I have encountered so far will be to define participation and the quality of contributions. Do I need to split them into different categories or genre’s? Will it suffice to call something useful or useless? An example would be someone who has spent 50 hours creating a game guide for no other reason then to help others V.S. one who posts a picture of food on a website or social media and just types #dinner #food.
Creating these definitions will be a challenge, and also trying to avoid being biased when labeling contributions. We all have biases, but being aware of them and hopefully being considerate while working might help me avoid the bigger issues, or so I hope.

The second large problem I know I will encounter, is how to reach out to the silent majority!? By posting on different forums, by using amazon Turk or by actively engaging with streamers, wont I just be reaching the vocal minority? So how do I reach the counterpart then? One idea I have would be to create an anonymous questionnaire and hopefully have the faculty spread it to students at UIB, and going by unconfirmed statistics, most of the answers I get would be from the silent majority. I can also post it on open forums and take my chances that seeing who its anonymous and does not require a login or giving up credentials to answers it, I might get a few lurkers there aswell.
Who knows, and that is the hard part of trying to research the silent majority, they are silent… And therefore hard to reach, and harder to research.

I’m thinking that my research will be part case study part elimination process, by eliminating factors as I go, I hopefully will end up with a few key factors that play an important role in participating or not. These factors will then be easier to research once they are narrowed down.
One topic I will also look at, which is more theoretical and academic will be the consequences of participation.  I will use the 90–9–1 rule as a basis here. This is translated into 90% lurkers, 9% vocal but less engaged and 1% being the most vocal and those who regularly produce content.
Going by these numbers, it would mean that EVERYTHING we see online today, all the websites, all the forums, all the blogs and all the user-created content you can think of, is created by 10% of the internet users we`ve had since its origins… Digest that for a minute.
Now, imagine we could bump that number up to say 15 or even 20%. How would that change the web as we know it? We already have an incredible amount of information online, and we live in a society of total and utter information overload. What then, will be the consequences of increased participation. Would it cause a collapse, seeing how incredibly much content could be produced. Would sites like Reddit and Wikipedia soar to new heights and in turn become major online economics, like others have before them, Facebook, YouTube and Google to name a few.
Will crowdsourcing become the new way of getting things done? Crowdfunding be the new investors? If 15% of those who have access to the web gave you 0.1$ you would have 55,500,000$. That is insane, and surely more than enough money for any startup business to get on its feet.

So there you have it, that’s what I have planned for my thesis, as of now at least, and parts of what I have in mind for my session in class.
So if there are any lurkers out there, which I know there is, gimme a feedback, write me a comment, or even better, tell me why you don’t want to or like to participate!
In advance, thank you.

 


The Silent Majority

Read Nicholas’ readings about the silent majority and found them interesting!

It was fun to get an analyst’s view of how to reach this silent majority, for example, by
having anonymous surveys when dealing with subjects you’d rather not be too public about. I think that generally the term “Silent Majority” has a somewhat bad rep in this da and age, probably stemming from Trump supporters claiming the term by saying that “The Silent Majority stands with Trump” over and over, often putting this on signs at protests or posting about it on social media….Which is a bit ironic.

I’ve generally thought of the term as a way of saying that you, for example, disagree with current immigration laws etc. but don’t want to be vocal about it because of the backlash that often follows from, in my opinion, sane people.

So bearing this in mind, Nicholas’ readings showed me that from a data mining/analytical perspective the Silent Majority can be anything related to people “lurking” and not necessarily engaging in the same manner as the more vocal participants of, say, a message board.

On old message boards, before Reddit pretty much decimated them, you could always see how many people were on right now as “lurkers” or logged in, which I think maybe helped you to get a picture of  how vast the Silent Majority was.

Maybe something like that should be implemented on Facebook etc? So that whenever you’re browsing a comment field you could get an estimate of how many people were lurking and how many people were contributing. I’m sure Facebook already has algorithms for this, I mean, this is the kind of thing they earn money from, but it would be nice, I think, for vocal contributors to see that people are reading their comments so that the contributors don’t feel that they’re “shouting into nothing”, so to speak. It could prevent the growing tide of disenchantment with online discussion that I feel is growing–of course, it could just make it worse.


Facebook and Hecking Algorithms

I read: Understanding User Beliefs About Algorithmic Curationin the Facebook News Feed by Emilee Rader and Rebecca Gray.

It’s research paper that looks at how people perceive their Facebook News Feed, and how it they think it works. Interesting stuff!

What stood out to me was this little piece of information:
“Respondents indicate they believe an entity, characterized as Facebook or as an algorithm, prioritizes posts for display in the News Feed. Also, which posts they see depends on what the system knows about their preferences and characteristics, post popularity, and past interaction with other users. 80% No, 20% Maybe/Yes”

I thought it was common knowledge that the News Feed and other similar algorithms cherry pick what is presented to you. Like if google the word “Horse”, I will get a completely different list of hits than somebody else. It’s interesting to see that the people in the survey are unaware to what extent Facebooks tracks them.

Everything from you IP address, to analyzing your pictures, to following your location even when facebook, or your phone is switched off, is used. As well as how you comment, what you comment on, what you share etc. to better direct ads your way, and also show you posts you might be interested in interacting with. A good ol’ ad blocker does wonders for most of this, coupled with a VPN, but I guess those things have yet to seep into the mainstream conscious.


Filter bubble.

This weeks blog will be on algorithms, how they work and how they shape our movement on the web, whats available to us and how to break the cycle.
A fellow students thesis revolves around algorithms and the filter bubble, so this week, its his readings I`ve been looking into and it will be his thesis in the crosshairs in the days to come. If the readings are anything to go by, it will be a most productive session we have in store.

The term filter bubble was first coined by Eli Pariser around 2010, and here you have the Wikipedia definition of what it is;
“A filter bubble is a state of intellectual isolation[1] that can result from personalized searches when a website algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to see based on information about the user, such as location, past click-behavior and search history.[2][3][4] As a result, users become separated from information that disagrees with their viewpoints, effectively isolating them in their own cultural or ideological bubbles.[5] The choices made by these algorithms are not transparent. Prime examples include Google Personalized Search results and Facebook‘s personalized news-stream. The bubble effect may have negative implications for civic discourse, according to Pariser, but contrasting views regard the effect as minimal[6] and addressable.

In the opening pages of chapter two in his book “The Filter Bubble. What the Internet is Hiding from you” Eli Pariser talks about how the news press and published journals lost their advertisement revenue due to the same content being available online. Those who used to purchase ads in newspapers now turned to websites instead. Anyone who has spent time online over the past few years will have noticed the evolution of online advertisement. At first it was “pay to be on the site”, and you got the same ads on the same pages because that’s what companies paid for. Then it evolved into more regional ads, suddenly they where in your native language, and for stores and companies in your country. This again evolved into the stage of I.P targeted commercials, where they used your I.P address to give you ads from local stores and businesses. Lastly, this again, evolved into the data mining algorithms that tailor online ads especially for you, by looking at your search history, website visits and what links you`ve clicked on other websites. Algorithms are now in charge of all online advertisement, and they are uncannily accurate.

It is hard not to leave any sort of traces behind when traversing the web, but if you manage to stay somewhat under the radar, the algorithms will have a  hard time to target you. They will instead show you commercials of interest for the populus in your general area or town instead.
Some easy steps you can do is to clear your web history, and make sure to delete cookies aswell, since this is where most of the algorithms gather their information. You can also make sure not be logged in on sites like YouTube or your google account when doing searches. This will prevent them to link and store information about you on their servers aswell as your cookies.
Something that was very popular was Ad-block extensions to your web-browsers, but websites soon learned how to block their content from being shown if you had such an extension. Sites like YouTube took this a step further and deliberately gave users with Ad-blockers the longest commercials and removed the “skip” function that commercials that last more than 30 seconds have.
Ad-blockers still work, though more and more web-sites are getting better at blocking the blocker, literally.

Pariser later talks about how the future of news online will be personally tailored, with a few major events being present and the rest being all local news, tailored to meet your specific interests and likes. The danger of having such a personalized news filter is that the odds of missing out on a major event becomes all the more present. By filtering in only a few global events, there are plenty of cases that might be ignored and left out, case that you might find interesting and of importance. The algorithms wont take this into account though, it will only report to you that which it has parameters to do. Today at least, you can get varied news by visiting the different major new sites and local sites, but when you read articles like this http://www.journalism.org/2017/09/07/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2017/ where a scary high amount of people state social media as their main source of news than things get complicated.

These algorithms are affecting all our lives, whether we are aware or not, and it can be an increasingly difficult task to circumvent, break or reset them.
When reading the work of Emilee Rader and Rebecca Gray on algorithmic curation in the Facebook news feed, it is apparent that we share concern. Concern at people’s ignorance at what algorithms actually produce.
The algorithms are biased, the information the filter and show you on your feed are biased and in the end, if you do not realize this, those “objective and partial” pieces of information you are given will give you a false sense of neutrality.
Knowing the information you receive is biased is one thing,  but doing something to change that is night but impossible, at least when it comes to Facebook.
There are ways to increase the amount of difference you can be shows, and that is simply by pressing like on a lot of different and unique things. The more stuff you like, the more diverse ( or not at all ) your Facebook wall will become, or at least that is the thought behind the algorithm. So keeping in mind what you give a thumbs up and not can make a big difference in the long run.

One issue what Rader and Gray points out is that in privacy settings on Facebook, you can elect who can and cannot see your posts and you have no real way of telling if someone has elected to put you on such a list. From the questionnaire they ran, they were given the result that 73% of those that answered believed that they where not shown all of their friends posts. This could be due to different reasons, like mentioned above, people electing to remove a person from viewing posts.  An issue that was also brought up from the questionnaire was the fact the some of those that answered felt that Facebook filled their wall with posts that the algorithm “thought” they would find interesting. In effect, the algorithms taking away choices from us.

My personal issue and use of algorithms.
Firstly I must say that I am a victim of these algorithms as much as the next, but I am fully aware of them, and I actually go to great lengths to throw them off-balance.
I have both  a Netflix and YouTube account, where algorithms are hard at work tailoring films, series, streamers and content just for me.
The way I break the Netflix algorithm is that I have created multiple profiles, I have my own, which I use for movies and series that I like, namely sci-fi and crime, but I have another profile that I share with my wife. On this profile, we look at series together, comedies, stand up shows and the odd documentary. I also share the Netflix account with a friends of mine, who in return, shares her ViaPlay account. We have vastly different tastes in both film and series, and by letting her use my account, she looks up stuff I would never consider. Or so I thought. It turns out, we have a few interests in common, films and series I would not have found, if not for my friend using my account.
As for YouTube, I have channels I subscribe to, I have my musicians that I look up and I have my favorite streamers. This gives me basically the same content every time I log on, my “recommended” tab is always the same. Not the same videos or songs, but the same in ways of content. Its gaming, music and british panel shows.
The way I break this cycle is that  once or twice a month, I have friends over for  a “YouTube” night.
It basically consists of my friends and I, looking up all sorts of stuff, showing each other certain gems we`ve found in the course of our browsing of YouTube. What happens it that in a week or so after my friends have been over, my “recommended” tab is full of new and unique content. Suddenly I have  a ton of new stuff to explore, or not to if I so choose, but at least I have fresh content and new stuff to view.

How do you break or interact with the algorithms affecting your time online? Please leave a comment if you have any comments or thoughts on the issue.

Until next time.


Social Media and its Impact on the Music Industry

So for my contribution to the e-book, I was thinking of submitting a paper that looks at how social media has changed the way the music industry works.

I’ve done some similar work before, looking at how Spotify has affected musicians compared to the old model of the pre Napster days. In this case I think I would keep it simple and look at how Facebook has changed the game when it comes to reaching your audience, building said audience and connecting with it. Before social media came along there existed much more mystery regarding bands and musicians and most of what you could find out about them came from tabloids or from music magazines. I happen to know a band that managed to have an impact riiiiight before the great age of piracy came about, and so I would like to interview them and get their opinion of how they feel the industry has changed and how it has affected them.

I would obviously also connect this to factual statistics, as well as relevant readings where it can be found. There hasn’t been too much written about this yet, that I can find, but I’m sure there’s good stuff out there.

The paper would be presented in a sort of investigative manner, I think.
I know that, right now, the music industry is making more money than it ever did back in the heyday of vinyl/CD’s, but the peripheral artists are suffering more than they used to, it seems. One of the reasons behind this, I believe, is social media. At the same time, it also seems to be a great way of communicating with your fans and reaching a broader audience–so there’s a paradox here that would be fun to explore.

I’m also a big fan of making webpages, so if it’s possible, it would be fun to present the paper as a sort of narrative webpage where you click your way forwards to the conclusion. Much like several articles do on the web, I guess. Or perhaps create a Youtube-video where I outline my findings backed by some visual design to complement what I’m saying.