Data Based is a weekly Cyborgology feature producing original, insightful, and fun data visualizations.
This is the second installment of Data Based, a weekly Cyborgology feature producing original, insightful, and fun data visualizations.
Data Based is a brand new Cyborgology feature producing original, insightful, and fun data visualizations.
BREAKING NEWS: PEOPLE ARE DEBATING AUGMENTED REALITY/DIGITAL DUALISM!!!
This post, however, takes a break from The Great Dualism Debates of 2013 and reflects instead on some musings that have been whirring around in my brain since #TtW13 based on discussions surrounding the Quantified Self.
After returning from my favorite professional weekend of the year (AKA the Theorizing the Web annual conference), I sat enjoying a cup of coffee with a good friend. She asked about my presentation, and we got talking about Self Quantification and Identity. This particular friend is also an occasional running partner and a fellow nutrition enthusiast. We seamlessly moved into her personal tracking habits, and she shared with me that when she uses her calorie tracking app, she ends up omitting a good deal of information, and contextualizing other data. Specifically, she tells me that she “forgets” to track her food while spending weekends with her long-distance boyfriend (during which she tends to eat more), and made a point to write down that it was her birthday to explain why she was so high above her daily allotment one day last month. Interestingly, she does not have any followers on this app, which means her justifications and omissions are purely for own benefit. She is not keeping up appearances for others, but rather, maintaining meanings for herself. (more…)
Each morning, after reading the news and checking my emails, I reward myself with a quick (okay, not that quick) scroll down the Facebook News Feed. Over a peanut butter bagel and strong cup of coffee, I look at pictures, laugh at status updates, ignore political rants, and leave small traces along the way: Likes, congratulations, the occasional snarky retort. I look forward to my Facebook time. It’s the dessert portion of my morning routine. The little sugary something that warms me into my day. And yet, this is a precarious treat—one day sweet, the next lip-puckeringly tart.
I never know quite how I will feel at the end of my scroll session. Some days, I am energized, connected, warm, fuzzy, and one with the world. Other days, I feel annoyed, left out, jealous, regretful that I let that half hour slip away while others were doing something more productive, more impactful, more meaningful. Admittedly, on most days, my feelings lie between these poles in the far less dramatic realm of mild amusement or hinted anxiety. (more…)
Before the 2012 meeting of the American Sociological Association kicked off last week, I challenged those of us who tweet at conferences—or “backchannel”—to reach out to those who don’t. (Nathan Jurgenson has since made a convincing argument for why ‘backchannel’ isn’t the right word for this practice, though I’m not yet aware of a good replacement term.) This week, I want to share some of my preliminary observations and questions about gender and Twitter use at ASA2012 by looking at Marc Smith’s (@marc_smith) Twitter NodeXL social network analysis maps.
So first off, what are we looking in the graph above?
Rob Horning has been working on the topic of the “Data Self.” His project has a close parallel to my own work and after reading his latest post, I’d like to jump in and offer a conceptual distinction for thinking about the intersection of the online/data/Profile and the offline/Person.
The problem is that our online presence is too often seen as only the byproduct of our offline selves. Sometimes we talk about the way online profiles are passive reflections of who we are and what we do and other times we acknowledge our profiles are also partly performative adjustments to the “reality” of the person. However, in all the discussion of individuals creating this content what is often neglected is how the individual, in all of their offline experience, behavior and existence, is simultaneously being created by this very online data. We cannot describe how a person creates their Profile without always acknowledging how the Profile creates the person.
This recent ad for Norton Antivirus software reinforces the concept of lifestyle consumption as articulated by Mike Featherstone (1991) two decades ago. When I saw this commercial, it made me wonder how the trends of lifestyle consumption are fast changing as a result of the increasing digitization of consumer goods. At a time when our very identities seem to be wrapped up in the information we circulate (via Facebook, email, and the various other affordances our digital technology allows), this ad seems to push the concept of lifestyle consumption to a new extreme. And it epitomizes postmodern advertising in that it “educates and flatters at the same time” (Featherstone 1987).