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November 09, 2010

Innovative ways teens deal with Facebook: the super-logoff, the whitewall

danah boyd | apophenia -- Risk Reduction Strategies on Facebook
Mikalah uses Facebook but when she goes to log out, she deactivates her Facebook account. She knows that this doesn’t delete the account – that’s the point. She knows that when she logs back in, she’ll be able to reactivate the account and have all of her friend connections back. But when she’s not logged in, no one can post messages on her wall or send her messages privately or browse her content. But when she’s logged in, they can do all of that. And she can delete anything that she doesn’t like. Michael Ducker calls this practice “super-logoff” when he noticed a group of gay male adults doing the exact same thing. Mikalah is not trying to get rid of her data or piss of her friends. And she’s not. What she’s trying to do is minimize risk when she’s not present to actually address it. For the longest time, scholars have talked about online profiles as digital bodies that are left behind to do work while the agent themselves is absent. In many ways, deactivation is a way of not letting the digital body stick around when the person is not present. This is a great risk reduction strategy if you’re worried about people who might look and misinterpret. Or people who might post something that would get you into trouble. Mikalah’s been there and isn’t looking to get into any more trouble. But she wants to be a part of Facebook when it makes sense and not risk the possibility that people will be snooping when she’s not around. It’s a lot easier to deactivate every day than it is to change your privacy settings every day. More importantly, through deactivation, you’re not searchable when you’re not around. You really are invisible except when you’re there. And when you’re there, your friends know it, which is great. What Mikalah does gives her the ability to let Facebook be useful to her when she’s present but not live on when she’s not. Shamika doesn’t deactivate her Facebook profile but she does delete every wall message, status update, and Like shortly after it’s posted. She’ll post a status update and leave it there until she’s ready to post the next one or until she’s done with it. Then she’ll delete it from her profile. When she’s done reading a friend’s comment on her page, she’ll delete it. She’ll leave a Like up for a few days for her friends to see and then delete it. When I asked her why she was deleting this content, she looked at me incredulously and told me “too much drama.” Pushing further, she talked about how people were nosy and it was too easy to get into trouble for the things you wrote a while back that you couldn’t even remember posting let alone remember what it was all about. It was better to keep everything clean and in the moment. If it’s relevant now, it belongs on Facebook, but the old stuff is no longer relevant so it doesn’t belong on Facebook. Her narrative has nothing to do with adults or with Facebook as a data retention agent. She’s concerned about how her postings will get her into unexpected trouble with her peers in an environment where saying the wrong thing always results in a fight. She’s trying to stay out of fights because fights mean suspensions and she’s had enough of those. So for her, it’s one of many avoidance strategies. The less she has out there for a jealous peer to misinterpret, the better.

October 29, 2010

Shoot digital video like Louis Daguerre for $40

Wanderlust Cameras : Pinwide Photographers Justin Lundquist and Ben Syverson...

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October 26, 2010

Champions Online going Free-to-Play

This surprises no one at all. The other big superhero MMORPG, City of Heroes & Villains, just went free-to-play. So Champions pretty much has to follow suit. The wave of current top tier MMOs going free-to-play (F2P, in the lingo) was started with Dungeons & Dragons Online, which doubled its monthly revenue by going F2P. Other games who have a fraction of World of Warcraft's player base (They are at 12 Million now, if you include China) are looking at F2P as a solution to their midlist woes. Free-to-Play | Champions Online Official Site

October 14, 2010

(UPDATED) Sociologist finds strong correlation between annual income and the class you play in Warcraft

As astute commenters have pointed out, neither the sociologist nor the journal mentioned in this article exist. This is probably a hoax. World of Warcraft Strategies: Sociologist Parker Benth Publishes WoW Class Case Study
With an average of 5,000 players, Benth organized each class from largest to smallest of real-world net worth. He also based much of his data on professions. Classes near the bottom of the list tend to have more blue-collar and factory jobs than classes at the top of the list, for example. 1.) Warrior (An average of $89,000 per year) 2.) Hunter 3.) Rogue 4.) Mage 5.) Shaman 6.) Druid 7.) Death Knight 8.) Priest 9.) Warlock 10.) Paladin (An average of <$30,000 per year) The question struck Benth, and probably anyone else who read this list. Why do people who have greater incomes pick the Warrior over the Mage, Warlock, Hunter, Shaman, Paladin, or Rogue? . . .