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Smartphones have transported us from an offline third place

November 16, 2012
Man texting on bus

Public transit used to be a version of what Ray Oldenburg calls a “third place”: a neutral space, neither work nor home, in which conversation and community can unfold. Have smartphones changed that?

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Trust, disclosure and social media

November 8, 2011

Two of the most frequent criticisms of social media hinge on the quality and quantity of information people disclosure through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social tools: Why does s/he think anyone cares? Asked about people who blog their latest meal, tweet their random observations, check in on FourSquare, or share other pieces of information [...]

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If we didn’t have computers…

November 19, 2010

LOVE Social Media but If we didn’t have computers-wouldn’t need #SocialMediab/c we wouldn’t have stopped being social in the 1st place. When I first shared this interesting tweet from online pal Brenda Johima, it was with some reservations. After mulling it over for a few weeks, I want to explain them. Massive counter-factuals always make me a [...]

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Strengthening weak ties online: A first response to Gladwell’s take on social media activism

September 27, 2010

Malcolm Gladwell has a new piece on Twitter, Facebook and social activism that is a must-read for people working at the intersection of politics and technology, and which feels especially timely after spending the past five days at Web of Change. He argues that the success of the civil rights movement — or any major [...]

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Defining the impact of social media on social capital

July 22, 2010

What are your online friendships worth to the community you live in? That’s the practical question that is implicitly raised by Jon Hickman’s interesting and slightly perplexing post on Social capital & social media. Hickman writes: …as academics start to examine social media they are likely to think about social capital, and they are likely [...]

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10 expert predictions on how the Internet will affect social relations

July 5, 2010

The latest Pew survey on the Future of the Internet looks at the effect of technology on social relations, and the expectations of 895 Internet experts are overwhelmingly optimistic. It shouldn’t come as a major surprise that a sample of people who are selected for their expertise in technology take a positive view; 85% of [...]

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How to use your RSS reader to enhance community

June 16, 2010

How to use your RSS reader so that it strengthens your connection to community, and helps build the kind of society you want to live in.

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Online activities reinforce offline social connections

June 11, 2010

How did I miss this one? In 2008, StatsCan published a very useful paper on How Canadians’ Use of the Internet Affects Social Life and Civic Participation. It speaks directly to the questions about the Internet’s impact on social capital that have been a big part of both my academic research and social media consulting. The [...]

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