Archive for May, 2010

Friend Stats, May 23, 2010

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Useful information to archive for future analysis….
These are thumbnail images that were created by using 1) Friend Wheel, and 2) Friend Sets, both are Facebook Games that you can add to your profile. The applications arrange all of your FB connections into visualizations. I think they should be categorized under Applications instead of Games, but then again, maybe that’s because I haven’t found a use for any of the other FB games.

I am actually glad that I am not a game person today because it seems I will do anything on Fbook in order to avoid writing my paper. Remember how I told you that I had severe procrastination problems? Well, sometimes I will unconsciously/consciously structure my procrastination so that I am still productive, just not on the task that I am supposed to be doing. This explains why my posts to Postself have been more frequent this past week….and (fingers crossed) why I will be making fewer posts over this next week (please hold me to it!!!)

“You have to be somebody before you can share yourself”

:: Inspired by Calvin’s Schrag’s book The Self After Postmodernity, I am in pursuit of a philosophy of The Self After Facebook. For the autobiographical tone of this pursuit, I am indebted to Tom Sherman‘s Before and After the I-Bomb: An Artist in the Information Environment. I recently found out about another book that might be to my liking called, You Are Not a Gadget, by Jaron Lanier. I LOVE the UK edition front cover (see above). I’d like a poster of it for my office wall.

:: I’ve been thinking more about the social and interactive aspect of networks the past couple of days. Hannah Arendt (1958) wrote that “the subject appears and exists only in relation to others,” specifically through our actions and words – who you are is disclosed through your words and deeds. To examine the networked self, we need to not forget about the social behaviors of others, and of the network at large. To understand the post-Facebook “self” we need to understand the “social” in social media. The postself exists not merely through self-interpretation but through relations with others on/with/in the web. The internet has been described as a place where people engage in identity work, and an important arena for inquiry into the production of postmodern selves (Broad & Joos, 2004). The internet has evolved into a place/space for human interaction with social media. What is “social” about social media? (see Ron Burnett’s blog in the previous link for a good overview) What makes it more than a collection of individual actions?

To do: assess my data and its container

MEMO TO POSTSELF / FB = container / meta-software?

re: iNforMaTioN > “…as the power of computing increases and we must begin to think about the relationship between consciousness and our organization and dissemination of data. We must also reconsider how the organization of data reflects our collective shifts in perception and our relation to information and knowledge. Knowledge production is undergoing a radical reorganization because of the huge amount of data that is systematically being digitized and made available on the Internet. This digital reorganization means that we can anticipate the relatively fast-paced demand for, and creation of, new systems and establishments. Artists are in a unique position to participate in this process as “information architects” using data as raw material.” (Vesna, 2007)

re: SpaCe > “How one moves through a physical space such as a building or a particular room is very much determined by the way an architect has conceived it….The work presented within these spaces, in other words, cannot be viewed without a strong sense of their containers. Similarly, when navigating through various software “containers” and inputting our data, we are in effect following the established parameters of information architecture. ….the idea of an overarching meta-software that is intended to be used by one and all is alarming.” (Vesna, 2007)

*quotes above from Victoria Vesna’s “Seeing the World in a Grain of Sand: The Database Aesthetics of Everything,” in Victoria Vesna (Ed.), Database Aesthetics: Art in the Age of Information Overflow (2007)


re: eStaBliShiNg tHe iNdiviDuaL iN SOcial NetwOrk teMpLateS

“Often users can only choose from a limited set of templates. In networks that allow even less modification of the overall look , users attempt to individualize themselves by using characters (^_^) in their user names…Unlike the open source movement on Wikipedia…participants of social networks do not seem to follow a common noble goal, or celebrate a community spirit. The focus here lies on the individual, like the “i” in iTunes, the “my” in MySpace, the “you” in YouTube or the “we” in Wii (emphasizing the option of multiple individuals playing together). Even the shape of the “i” reinforces this sentiment. Similar to icons used to represent the user – a neutral figure which on one hand could apply to almost anybody, but on the other hand expresses personalization and individuality. The “i”, the torso with a faceless head stands for a promise of individuality and a big pool of me’s.”
~ Dennis Knopf, “Defriending the Web” in Digital Folklore (2009)

l_()()|{ ->

>…1:30 am…</

procrastinating w/ fb screenshots…thinking           ….:….;…./     ….<>….:….

@ web aesthetics & grids…

>…. mUst geT BacK to rEadiNg

from Within the Flickering web

“I feel this visual design (of television) has been carried over to the world wide web where the entire animated computer screen has become one image in itself, pulling its users in all sorts of directions analogous to the aesthetics of channel surfing.” (see Interrupting the Program; May, 2000)

…..   :   …..   :   …..   :   …..   :   …..   :   …..   :   …..   :   …..   :   …..   :   …..

I now immerse my self in the web aesthetics of the social network to be exposed to the collective experience. I then work within the structure of this blog, rather than separating myself from the artistic restrictions of the online system. I choose to embrace and utilize the technical limitations of the program, perhaps to encourage more critical awareness of the network itself…from within rather than from the outside looking in. I move constantly back and forth between the giving of myself over to the process of becoming (Munster, 2001) and the self/critical reflection I pursue. There is constant danger of losing my self to the flickering (Hayles, 1993) rhythm of this powerful digital medium….

Late to the party

It’s always a bit awkward to show up at the end of a party. The food has been picked over, the gifts have been opened, and those remaining are either too drunk or too tired to engage in good conversation. Reasons for arriving late most often relate to previous commitments scheduled for the same evening. But remember back in high school when it was cool to hang out with your core group of friends before moving on to the ‘big’ party. And sometimes in the process of the ‘before party,’ everyone would decide to stay put and forget about the ‘big party’. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe the ‘deciding to stay put’ came with age and laziness. I think it also depended on the weather…who wants to leave a nice cozy house to venture out into the freezing cold snow or rain, to risk the potential of a dead party?

I planned a late entrance to the FB party. First I was a voyeur, planning my attack from afar, lurking with caution. After listening to the experiences of party goers — the constant invites from people you don’t remember from high school that you would have nothing in common with, the persistence of wanna be friends who won’t give up the promising relationship they foresee with you, and the barrage of unnecessary visual information streaming minute by minute — I initially restrained from accepting the invites until I sensed that the novelty had worn off and it was safe to enter. Maybe now, there will be less chance of that annoying guy sequestering me in the corner to entertain me with his ’humour’ for hours.

I’m not the only one who decided to wait to ‘join’ >

Now I get the feeling that the party might be over….and that the cool people are deciding to call it a night. I know that some of my friends left before I even got here…

There’s this other party starting up down the street that might be good…

image source

Facebook, tell me about yourself

Dear Facebook,

Why do you know so much about me, yet I don’t really know who you are? Why won’t you let me add you as a Friend? Are you in a relationship? If so, how would you define it? What are you looking for? What do you “like”?

You’ve been getting a lot of bad press lately. Do you want to talk about it?  You can talk to me.



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