Friday, August 12, 2011

In three's

I'm curating the first ever library book sale, of my time here anyway. I have some downtime after spending most of the summer weeding, packing and hauling a over a thousand books to the gym. People are here and buying stuff which is really encouraging. If you're not doing anything, please feel free to head on over to Johnson City, NY. I'll be here until 5pm today and 8-12 tomorrow.

So as I'm catching up on some reading came across this infographic on student use of social/media. I thought the quote unquote sophomore slump, toward the bottom of the graphic, rather interesting though there is a distinct lack of actual data as to why this slump might occur. It would be interesting if there was more research to fill-in why there might be less social media interaction than other years.

Via Siva Vidhynathan's twitter: London, Egypt and the nature of social media by Dr. Ramesh Srinivasan. Solid article for a several reasons the best being this quote: "With or without these technologies, (social media) people will ultimately stand up and speak their minds." Srinivasan nicely lays out that the tools don't necessarily matter. They may help, and sometimes greatly, but all the focus on social media may miss the point slightly. This is especially true in light of British PM Cameron's proposal to shut down social media sites and restricting information access. "Mr. Cameron said the government was working on measures that would stop rioters from using social media — Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger, principally — to coordinate and direct their “horrific actions.”" There is some degrees of doubt that Facebook/Twitter were actually used to coordinate any of the riot and rather BBM was used as the primary vehicle (see Zeynep Tufekci and David Parry) The two-part question that has been raised in multiple areas 1) What specific action determines when the BBM would be turned off and 2) what would keep the government/police from leaving it off? Control is not easily relinquished by or wrested from official hands once those hands have enjoyed a tighter clasp.

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