Archive for Technology

Anthropological Research on the Use of Social Media

Public Access ICT across Cultures: Diversifying Participation in the Network Society (MIT Press); Social Media in Southeast Turkey, Social Media in Northern Chile, Social Media in Industrial China, Social Media in Rural China, Social Media in Southeast Italy, Social Media in South India, Social Media in Emergent Brazil(this latter volume is due out in October 2017. They and others to follow are all part of the  Why We Post ethnographic project tracing the use of social media in various communities around the world. (The volumes are published by the University College London Press.) Also, look at Anthropology of Social Networking, a directory of research projects.

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A Look Inside SnapChat

For an in-depth look at SnapChat, a secretive company, read its IPO. Here are some interesting data: what risk factors might hinder its growth?(p 12); it had 158 million Daily Active Users at the end of December 2016(12);  age and title of its executive officers (125); that “Our team is kind, smart, and creative” (119); that “Snap Inc. is a camera company. We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way that people live and communicate. Our products empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.” (60); who they think their audience is (66); and their top ten advertising markets (118). Much more can be gleaned from this document.

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Four Billion People Still Without Regular Internet Access

While we bemoan slow buffering or the occasional downtime encountered with Twitter, please be aware that BILLIONS of people have no access to what we take for granted. Both of these reports – World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends (World Bank) and The State of Broadband 2015 (UNESCO) – estimate that four billion people do without. And if you think the United States does not have a digital divide, please look at this FCC report and this White House infographic.

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What is Cloud Computing?

For those who would like a brief and lucid description of cloud computing along with access to additional reports, this is a good place to start – Dispelling the Fog Around “Cloud Computing.”

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The Digital World in 2025

The Internet of Things Will Thrive by 2025 from Pew Research Center posits:

 “A global, immersive, invisible, ambient networked computing environment built through the continued proliferation of smart sensors, cameras, software, databases, and massive data centers in a world-spanning information fabric known as the Internet of Things.

 “Augmented reality” enhancements to the real-world input that people perceive through the use of portable/wearable/implantable technologies.”(2)

As well as disruptive technologies in many sectors, such as finance, entertain, and education. Based on interviews with some of the digital world’s movers and shakers, the report details how by 2025, digital technologies will be a normal part of life, from personal devices monitoring health and activities to “smart systems” that will provide real-time coverage for a host of situations, such as pollution monitoring and factory production/shipments. The Guardian has a nice piece on this report as does the Center for Digital Education.



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Social Media Guidelines for Teachers Published by NYC Board of Education

These guidelines do not ban online interactions between student and teacher, but they do advise education professionals to adhere to certain parameters of online behavior.  Further reportage is at: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Bergen Record.

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