Has the Web Turned Into a Popularity Contest?

by JenniferCobb on 02/13/2012

The Internet and the WWW are in their relative infancy.  20 years is just not a lot of time for anything to reach maturity.   I think it is safe to say that the web has grown from a wild, unfettered space full of creative and yet fairly unkempt growth to a place dominated by apps […]


#OWS and the Paradox of Empowered Networks

by JenniferCobb on 11/10/2011

The leaderless, amorphous Occupy movement is the latest embodiment of the bottom-up, decentralized ideals of open source.   Any yet the path from open source to #OWS is a little more circuitous than it might appear.  Tracing the story offers some interesting insights on the way forward. Open source, also called commons-based peer production (CMPP) is […]


Real Names in the Networked Global Community

by JenniferCobb on 09/09/2011

At the recent Edinburgh International TV Festival, Andy Carvin of NPR tweeted a question to Eric Schmidt — “How does Google justify its real names only policy on Google+ when it could put some people at grave risk?”  Carvin was referring to places like Libya and Syria where the government routinely uses the Internet as […]

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The new Pew study out this week, Social networking sites and our lives, paints a very rosy picture of social networking (SNS).  SNS is associated with more trust, larger networks, more political engagement and greater social support.  Key findings from the study include: ♦  Facebook is the clear winner in the world of SNS.  59% […]


Ethan Zuckerman, writing today in his blog about privacy and the public sphere, states that in the digital world, “Ephemeral behavior becomes a permanent record.”  This simple statement gets to the heart of many of the issues we are facing as technology becomes a ubiquitous and permanent part of the fabric of our lives.   What […]


Social Capital is good stuff.  The term, widely popularized by Robert Putnam in Bowling Alone, refers to the resources we garner from our networks of friends, families, neighbors and acquaintances.  Like other forms of capital, this resource can be invested and grown or it can be neglected and lost.  Those of us who are rich […]


Facebook and Personality Types: Two New Studies

by JenniferCobb on 05/13/2011

With more than 600 million users worldwide, Facebook is having a marked effect on our social interactions and sense of self.  It is no surprise that academics are rushing to understand this impact.  Two recent studies look at the way various personality types impact Facebook use.  This is a rich vein of inquiry, as it […]


The Innovation Paradox: Our Hopes and Fears

by JenniferCobb on 04/13/2011

Innovation is the lifeblood not only of much of our economic and personal well-being, but of our forward motion as a species.  Our capacity to grow and change is what makes us adaptive, what enables us to survive and thrive on a planet that is not always hospitable to our needs.  The human drive to […]


Online Privacy: We are Far From Ready

by JenniferCobb on 03/25/2011

“People aren’t ready for the technology revolution that’s going to happen to them.” Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google Did you know that when you visit a page with a Facebook “like” button while you are logged into Facebook, the social network is able to track your browsing history?  I have to admit, this one took me […]


Income Inequality, Anxiety and Facebook

by JenniferCobb on 03/13/2011

We have all heard the bad news.  Income inequality in the US has reached historic proportions. ♦   The top 10% of Americans now control 2/3rds of our national net worth ♦  Since 1983, 43% of the wealth created by the U.S. economy went to the wealthiest 1% ♦  The top 20% accrued 94% of the […]


Teens, Tech and Politics

by JenniferCobb on 02/27/2011

We know teens are on-line. A lot.  I see it with my own kids – texting, gaming, facebooking — often all while doing homework and/or watching TV.  Two new studies out last week examine the impact of all this activity on two important issues – civic and political engagement and exposure to diverse perspectives.  The […]


Hillary Clinton, Internet Freedom and Values

by JenniferCobb on 02/16/2011

Hillary Clinton’s speech on Internet Freedom yesterday went a good distance toward addressing some of the most naive responses to the Internet’s role in the unfolding events in the Middle East.  Early sound bites labeling the uprising in Tunisia the “Wikileaks Revolution” or calling Mark Zuckerberg a modern-day “Moses” because of Facebook’s role in Egypt […]

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