Tag Archives: Buzzfeed

Your Attention Please 9/10

We love our phones.

App developers create spaces online that we can’t resist.  They want us to “Stay, play and pay with our attention or personal data”. (Paul Kennedy, Ideas podcast)

The adoption of the smart phone was one of the most massive and ubiquitous technological uptakes in our history.  When we go from laptop to mobile phone, the keyboard and mouse are gone, and the browser and search engine are not really used much.  Writing  a lot of text is challenging, so we tend to be more focused on images and video, particularly inside apps.  These capture our attention.

According to Sue Gardner (formerly of Wikimedia Foundation), people are choosing apps because they are convenient, customized for the device, and therefore they can be designed to be a more pleasurable experience for users.

We trade our privacy for convenience, but this is how we monetize the internet.  Apps can collect far more information about users than the open web can. We are using the web in the way that technology companies are designing it for us, and that is not under our control when we are inside apps.

In a sea of information, though, the apps are arguably providing a service, sorting and personalizing the flow of information for us (Brodie Fenlon).  But then we are getting lost in our apps.  It’s an addictive activity, and companies use strategies for growth hacking – making people want to stay longer.

Sue Gardner: Apps give people exactly what they want, which is dangerous.  There is no “wholesome diet” of information.  There is no tough information to grapple with.  What gets attention gets more attention and snowballs.  Popular fake news is shared.

Apps also create a cycle of privilege.  We enter and pay with our data, which allows them to better meet our needs and keep us there, away from outside information, and making money for them.

Brodie Fenlon: Facebook favours sharability over public interest.  It favours scale over niche so local news is out.

People don’t see things that don’t share well, yet they are grabbed because they are getting what they like, so they are not taking the time to look elsewhere.  But this WORKS for us.  We are happy with this experience – even addicted to it.

And it’s our attention that is monetized over truth.  Buzzfeed reported that during the 2016 US election, Macedonian youth made money on grabbing our attention and producing clickbait, primarily for Trump supporters.

buzzfeed-clicks-are-money
Craig Silverman on Buzzfeed https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/how-macedonia-became-a-global-hub-for-pro-trump-misinfo?utm_term=.nd43K3l13j#.maB3N3nB3M

 

This model of monetizing our attention is very effective in intensifying and amplifying our beliefs, capitalizing on confirmation bias, and splitting us into a deeply divided society, where all we see is what we want to see, and what we already believe.

It’s a dangerous way for information to flow in a democracy.

 

All of the posts in this series can be found here:

3/10 – How the “smart phone” and mobile apps have changed the way we interact online

4/10 – Historical perspective – the co-created open web to corporately owned platforms

5/10 – Algorithms: What’s controlling what you see and read?

6/10 – Information Literacy: What will your lesson plan look like now?

7/10 – Videos and Images – From Facts to Feelings

8/10 – Popularity over Importance: Celebrity culture in a time of wicked world problems

10/10 – Escape Your [Filter] Bubble

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Featured image by Agberto Guimares on Unsplash

Resources:

CBC Ideas Podcast

The Truth About Post-Truth

This post is part of a 10 day posting challenge issued by Tina Zita. You can’t be a connected educator if you don’t contribute. Sometimes we need a nudge to remember that if nobody shares, nobody learns. Thanks Tina! 

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A caution about this post: I am a learner, not an expert.  

I have set out here to use my #10posts10days  (#10days10posts) challenge to explore this area that deeply interests me, in an open way that lets others see what I am learning.  If you know more than I do, please correct me if necessary, and share! If you have more questions, please post those in the comments too.  Let’s learn more together.

All of the posts in this series can be found here: You Live in a Bubble

Popular, or Important? 8/10

People LIKE fake news better.

buzzfeed-fake-news-wins
from Buzzfeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/viral-fake-election-news-outperformed-real-news-on-facebook?utm_term=.uuYnWnaKn5#.kddEBEnzEM

It’s hard to argue with that.  And if you are going to click and share it, Facebook is feeding you even more of it, because as long as you are sharing and liking it, they are making money.

With the invention of the cell phone, we have left behind the open web of democratized text, for the convenience and preferred design of mobile apps.  Our phones have become our televisions. We open apps to read our feed, and if we like what we see, we can share it or make our “like” known.  And someone gets paid for that!

But if not enough people “like” it, something more popular will replace it.

The internet has become popularity-driven.  If you write something that not many people are interested in, it is very challenging to get eyes on it.  (Hossein Derakhshan ~ 9:55)  If your work isn’t popular, it’s essentially invisible.

In the open web, you move from site to site through hyperlinks, seeing and learning a variety of things while you are there.  Apps, on the other hand, confine you to one site.

Our apps determine how, when and where we are accessing information – as well as what information we can view.

A further shift to images and video, means we are watching online instead of reading online.  When we are reading, we are thinking. When we are engaging in video and images, we are invoking feelings and emotions, which means that in online environments, we are focusing on feeling over truth, and emotion over thinking (Hossein Derakhshan).

According to Henry Giroux, ‘celebrity culture’ in the US “dumbs down culture and collapses the distinction between serious and frivolous ideas”.  Celebrity culture fills people with nonsense.  The flow of money – the flurry of clicks – replaces the flow of thoughtfulness.

Popularity is monetized. Entertainment is more important than thinking.

And we are seeing the result of new reality on a global scale.

 

All of the posts in this series can be found here:

3/10 – How the “smart phone” and mobile apps have changed the way we interact online

4/10 – Historical perspective – the co-created open web to corporately owned platforms

5/10 – Algorithms: What’s controlling what you see and read?

6/10 – Information Literacy: What will your lesson plan look like now?

7/10 – Videos and Images – From Facts to Feelings

9/10 – The Attention Economy

10/10 – Escape Your [Filter] Bubble

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Featured image by Noah Hinton on Unsplash

Resources:

Canadaland: People Like Fake News Better

Buzzfeed: How Macedonian Spammers Are Using Facebook Groups To Feed You Fake News

CBC Ideas: Screened Off – The Dangers of an Insular Web

The Truth of Post-Truth

_________________________________

This post is part of a 10 day posting challenge issued by Tina Zita. You can’t be a connected educator if you don’t contribute. Sometimes we need a nudge to remember that if nobody shares, nobody learns. Thanks Tina! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A caution about this post: I am a learner, not an expert.  

I have set out here to use my #10posts10days  (#10days10posts) challenge to explore this area that deeply interests me, in an open way that lets others see what I am learning.  If you know more than I do, please correct me if necessary, and share! If you have more questions, please post those in the comments too.  Let’s learn more together.

All of the posts in this series can be found here: You Live in a Bubble