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word clouds as visualisations

Jacob Harris of the New York Times offers a useful critique of word clouds, which as he says are often used indiscriminately, providing little insight, or worse, making the actual data less understandable. His examples are excellent. Look at this meaningless wordcloud […]

the 99% movement’s use of social media

Like many others, I’ve been following the 99% movement in social media, intellectually interested in the use of social technology, and certainly engaged in the cause itself as well (from privileged Norway, certainly part of the 1% globally speaking). Mike Konczal’s analysis […]

sex, violence and video games

Today is the final class on Digital Media Ethics in DIKULT106, and we’re discussing sex and games. This is my least favourite chapter in Ess’s book – his discussion of sex barely mentions digital media, instead presenting a general ethical discussion for […]

facebook privacy

We’re working on digital media ethics in DIKULT106, and Facebook’s changes are perfect material for us to discuss in tomorrow’s class on privacy. Here’s ReadWriteWeb’s quick summary of the changes, or you can watch Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote for yourself. (If you’re going […]

ISEA with kids

Academic couples with small children who are interested in the same conferences get to choose between skipping the conference altogether and bringing the kids. Oh, when they’re older we’ll leave them with family (we hope!) but 18 months is young to spend […]

automated online debaters

I was at a meeting in the CIRLinC research group today, discussing our application to be a centre of excellence on the circulation of narratives about climate change, and was fascinated by Helge Drange‘s stories of the automation of climate change debates […]

piracy vs privacy

In a couple of weeks I’ll be teaching a three week module on digital media ethics, using Charles Ess’s book by the same name. I’m especially looking forwards to sessions discussing the ethics of surveillance and the section on global citizenship and […]