Mark Davis at the Ischool, UC Berkeley in April, 2007

Mark Davis
April 26, 2007

Social Media Guru in 110 South Hall – iSchool

The nature of information, how to rethink it

Context content community

2.7B cell phones on planet – networked mm computers

2010 – 4B will be Internet access will come from mobile

Changes info science.

The four questions:

How many of you read text every day?
How many write text every day?
How many of you look at photos, or listen to audio, watch TV, DVDs
How many take photos, record audio…

We are all becoming MM producers.  What happens when everyone has?
Networked vid recorders worldwide.

Hyping iSchool and the field.

Prof Kalay is here from center of new media, CNM.

Ask and investigate fundamental questions and assumptions are the keys
To intellectual and tech innovation.
What is information?
What is a document?
What is a person?
What is context?
What is a computational system?
How do we understand what we see?

Interdisciplinary Innovation

Design is the mediating practice connecting humanistic, social
Scientific, and tech disciples in an iterative process of
(De) constructing theories and (de) constructing artifacts.

If you are not fluent in clashing of sections of multiple disciplines
You can’t innovate.

Conduit metaphor vs. toolmakers paradigm

What is information?

Most people have a naive model of info processing.  Dominant models
Exist. Different model evolved for information … it’s a process. The
Toolmaker’s paradigm.

Signals are passed, not objects.  Meaning is enacted in dialogue.

What am i storing?  Create a mechanism for process.

Can we be human without tools?  It requires technology, language and
Culture. We need other people to be human. Human is a function of a
sociotechnical system.

When you think about it this way, you innovate.  Design for this
world.  Billions of people and mobile computers.

What kind of company is Yahoo?
media? tech?
a people company. you customers are valuable to the company. from
consumption to production.

2005  to be the most essential global Internet service for consumers
and biz

2007 to connect people to their passions, their communities and the
world’s knowledge

The Internet is not a doc repository

The Internet is a live network that connects humans around the planet.
socio-technical system

Social media becomes a platform, programmable network.

Systems Theory to Social Media
… computational history
HCI Interlude

What are the incentives? economics, social science
How do I structure the system?
Interdisciplinary …

How do users connect to each other?
What flows over the network?

II. What is social media?

A. definition
1. Media made by and for users in communities
a business model in which” our customers are our suppliers”

how do you motivate people to participate online
game dynamics proves a more powerful way to do this
social media is a radical change in the business model and it’s also a
new way to socialize

media made by and for users

>From systems theory to social media
networks that connect humans to computer together
it’s not just as computer system there’s human and computer that work
but as computer science started to rebuild, there was a limited system
of what the computer-user relationship would be
there will be 4 billion connected to each other in a 4 years

if you think of social media as the way of connecting people to each
design the sociotechnical system, not an application or user interface
design the network topology
– how to users connect to each other
– what are the means of communication
– design the network data and metadata
o what flows over the network?
– design to optimize certain activities of the nodes
– how do you design metrics, monitoring and analysis mechanisms for
the state and dynamics of sociotechnical system
– design way to rapidly and iteratively modify all of the above
– all of this requires radically interdisciplinary teams
– scale changes; “quantity is a different type of quality.”

III. Web 2.0 and World 2.0

The intersection of the web and world and causes you to think of the
nature of information

How do you move through your life? Through space? Through time?
Through social relationships? Create a path of your social patterns in
a day.

A. Types of attention

1. shared attention
a. where and when and how and what
b. you leave a trail of data everyday
c. we’re also living in a world where it’s going to be possible for
people to gain ownership
2. contact attention

-online communities are defined by the intersection of these two types
of attention
– you can take the whom, what and when and infer their relationships
to each other

Exercise: what can we learn about people from graphs of a single day?
Hint 1: you’re given where, when, who (some explicit, some implicit).

B. Yahoo is in the attention business
a. We invite, capture connect and monetize human attention
b. Behavioral technology
i. Targeted, personal, contextual marketing
– what you and your social network wants  where and when you want it
– advertising delivered in the right context to the right community is
a “gift” not an annoyance.
– Understanding enough of what people attend to be able to give them
literally what they want

C. context content community

1. content – the what, the this the strings, the different things
you’re looking at
a. but how do you begin to understand content


context        community

– semantic gap
– sensor gap
gap between how an objects appears and what it is
different images of the same object can appear dissimilar
– what is it that allows people to bridge this gap

Computer vision and context
– you go out drinking with our friends
– you get drunk
– really drunk
– you get hit over the head and pass out
– you are flown to a city in a country you’ve never been to with
language you don’t’ understand and an alphabet you can’t read
– you wake up face down in a gutter with a terrible hangover
– you have no idea where you are or how you got there
– that is what it’s like to be most computer vision systems – they
have no context
– context is what enables us to understand where we are.
o There are other pieces of metadata that the world is giving us
o Model – World

– if I want to understand text, images, video, audio, how might I get
that other metadata?
o Cell phone is a revolutionary body
o It’s the most personal computer there is
o A two-way voice communication device
o It’s a media consumption device
o More importantly it’s a media production device.
o When you think about time, don’t just think about linear time, think
about cyclical time

– Spatial structures
o Maps and trees
o Useful for privacy protection
o Social data structures; the Who would for example by Dana Boyd’s
social data structures
o Dynamic, temporal structures of people’s dynamic interactions
o The flows of data and metadata

– experience flow; it’s a new form of architecture of information

IV. Other Yahoo and Berkeley projects:

A. MMM2 Web Site

B. Photo LOI (level of interest)
C. ACM MM 2005 – analyzed patterns of photo taking

1.Context-Aware Face Recognition

-context is one of the most difficult challenges of computer vision
-if the information is in the photo then facial recognition should
– image analysis alone (PCA on image content) 43% accuracy
– context analysis alone (SFA on contextual metadata) = 50% accuracy
– context+content analysis (clustering on CVA)

He showcases different social tracking projects. Where projects can we
find these projects?

Ex. a radio calendar of where photos are taken.
Tokyo tidbits walk.

D. MMM2 assisted metadata propagation
E. Student mobile startups – from Garage Cinema Research

V. Yahoo Research Lab

A. Zone tag, similar to MM1
B. What’s happening with social media?

1. Data is being automatically gathered from cell phones
2. Tags provide a social temporal information space, so that all these
relationship strings are beginning to create a social map of the world
3. Invisible, intangible, permanent human activity slowly becoming
track able

New word for the day:


>From phone tags, not only can you track what people like or where they
go or are moving, but you can also track how people are shaping spaces
they’re in. So people are forming a collective view of the world that
could be filtered by whatever people find interesting.

Zone tag forms a map from the number of photos and what people take
pictures of from their cell phone and forms a map of collectively
authored map drawn by the attention of human beings around the world
and it’s happening right now.

V. but what do people do with this information?

A. the relationship between media production and the relation of media
B. who are the people who consume media, but tell you a lot about it.

1. roles from type of data and who generates it

producers, enthusiasts, remixes, consumers

C. Old model of one source to many consumers to this heterogeneous
ecosystem of production, consumption, remixing.
Ref. Jump Cut yahoo program

D. there are 99 million people in 7 million groups creating media and
sharing it
E. changing monetization
1. part of yahoo’s “brand universe”
2. leverages yahoo’s social media, communication, info, shopping,
search, etc assets – in a fully integrated, completely brand centric
3. provides fans a place to hang out on yahoo while extending and
deepening their relationship with the brad
4. provides the brand owner with…

F. we’re looking at world we’re going to be able to track human
attention, spatial content and create a new ecosystem of how
information is creating, recombined and routed.

VI. Trends

A. context
– growth of context-aware devices (like camera phones)

B. content
a. user generated content and social media offer a better economic
model and monetization opportunities that traditional media

C. community
a. social search and community-based products and services support
user engagement and word of mouth marketing

it changes the model of advertising quite rapidly

D. challenges

1. mobile software development and distribution

2. privacy

3. interoperable metadata and unique identifiers

4. monetization models

5. merging markets

VII. Q & A

A. accuracy of tags and inaccurate tracking of people
There is a fundamental discussion of what journalists’ role today and
about the information they convey.

B. social networking and journalism

1. He’s optimistic about highly decentralized journalism because the
centralized journalism is very limiting in its coverage

In a world he’s describing he can see other angles, hear other voices
and potentially in real time. There’s a challenge where journalism
will be.

3. There’s a difference between a most popular and most viewed photo
guided by a computational theory of beauty. The same with news. The
role of professional editors, especially where there is a radical
democratization of data and information, is to allow people people to
consume, produce and remix information….

4. goes back to this model:

conduit metaphor vs. toolmakers paradigm

take the paths of people interactions and try to create other types of

VIII. for even more fun

I’m hiring a few great innovative mobile designers and prototypes for
a new team. come talk to me…
-Yahoo research media experience research: email Elizabeth Churchill

Life after the dead blog

After I somehow managed to delete my old blog, which I had had for years and throughout college, I have finally decided to start blogging again and have that beginner’s mind to my new one. Since I am a furious notetaker, I will also be posting my unedited notes (except for spelling) here and have a a medley of journalism discussion and whatever ensues from the sheer need to write. So here goes:

February 6, 2008
11 pm
I’ve turned off the email, the radio, and the random response reaction to calls and online communication. I have done it, I am taking rule of this island, I have stopped being the immigrant and gone native. I am differentiating signal from noise and stopped this madness of overabundance in information. What better time to do it than now. Every instinct inside me has been telling me that it’s time to reflect (dare I say it) to write it down and later decide on the sharing aspect of it all. The world will always be there waiting to listen and to respond in whatever way it will.
I have avoided this reflection because I have sought to avoid distinguishing between information that I would share (and with whom of course), information I would keep to myself and information that I would send off that special friend (the details of which I will keep to myself). But avoidance is not really taking responsibility for the act, it is taking no responsibility for choosing not to act. Even worse is realizing that overabundance may in fact come from the same fear of deprivation and that by having too many choices, too many options I am equally stunted in action with only a sense of having acted by creating these options for myself. But focus and filtration, now there are my two words.
The world has conspired tonight in some way to put me here. I have listened to Henry Jenkins speak about online media literacy and resiliency and the crafting of identity, but even now as I write it’s difficult because as a journalist I’m used to writing for an audience.

Combating the Participation Gap: Why New Media Literacy Matters

Distinguished Lecture, School of Information, UC Berkeley

Speaker(s): Henry Jenkins
Wednesday, February 6, 2008, 4:00pm-5: 30pm
South Hall

I. Digital natives vs. digital immigrants

A. The immigrant

-We don’t say the immigrant can’t do this or that.
-Jenkins wants a real conversation between adults and youth and fluidity of relationship between groups in the online world.

B. Participation gap is different than digital divide spoken about during Clinton era, this was more about access.
C. There’s a fundamental difference between a kid accessing stuff at the library and who can’t store his information and one who has unlimited access.
D. The unlimited access kid has different experiences with creating identity and information as social skills and competing to be a full participant in this society. It’s not just access, but it’s about defining cultural patterns.
E. It’s the hidden curriculum. There’s a different relationship to learning.
F. Transparency – kids don’t have a language of seeing themselves in a context
G. It’s not that kids are uncritical it’s that they don’t have ways to talk about it.
-PBS: “growing up online.”

II. Ethics challenge; how professional ethics emerged for journalists

1. Shows data on use of live journal.
2. You people need tools to process some of the stuff that’s going on.
3. It’s about how do young people treat each other in a community where they don’t physically “see” each other
4. Get the white paper

III. Skills and principles of learning
a. Multi-tasking
i. The ability to scan one’s environment and shifting focus to salient details. It’s about managing and shifting your attention and having a broader view of the world around you.

b. Play
i. The capacity to experiment with your surrounding as a form of problem-solving
1. Try, experiment, explore.
2. The core of a video game is experimenting.

C. appropriation
The ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content.

D. Networking
The ability to search for, synthesizes, and disseminates information.

E. Collective, intelligence, Pier Levi

1. the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal.
a. It starts with the assumption you have some expertise to contribute.
b. Teaches trust in others’ knowledge and social negotiations of knowledge sharing.
Ex. “Twin Peaks” and the divide between online fans’ understanding of the plot and characters and of the show critics who didn’t follow the blogs.

* Dumbing down is the clearest way out of the marketplace.

F. Ethics of learning
a. Gold farming in China and how kids are playing games for money. There is an anti-Chinese mania on gamers.
b. There is no stigma for gold farming in China, but there is here in the US.
c. Find kids who are gold farming in US.
G. Debates on ownership and authorship
a. Appropriate existing media content as the raw materials for their own cultural expression through a range of remix practices.
b. See Henry’s blog

H. Privacy
a. Today’s privacy involves careful management of disclosure –what is hared, how is it presented and who can access it.
i. Ex. Srong party girl who started her blog about sex workers

I. identity
a. Through exploration, youth are able to “play” with different identities in a low –stakes method and environment. Online this process is less encumbering social norms or physical limitations.
b. The web IS your permanent record
c. Need to empower children to allow you to deal with the basic benefits and risks to when they are online and what is at stake.
J. Resources to develop
a. Social skills
i. WIkipedia
1, 280,000 million articles in Spanish

Think about different models of expertise. Check out exercises on his blog.

b. performance
The ability to adopt alternate identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery.

C. Reaching your audience
Independent comments
Artists creating spaces where they can dialogue.

D. new media literacies
Ex. Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”
1. in schools now media literacy is not integrated into the curriculum.
2. What makes Moby Dick a different book to read is that it’s a mash-up.
3. If we think of it as a mash-up we process it differently.
Reference: Ricardo Fitzwalley’s “Moby Dick”
Old vs. new version of Moby Dick

IV. Questions and answers

Kara question: You use the language of native and immigrants online and I wonder how that parallel/language/reality is going to shape your people’s sense of ethnic identify and also increasing or reducing immigrant gaps and access gaps.

Jenkins: We don’t deal with mixed cultures and realities online. Here hasn’t been a lot of research with diasporas identity.

How much of this media literacy skills building is relevant to adults? How do we teach them?

Jenkins: As a leader of the Center for Civic Media they starting to do media literacy for adults. Ellen Hume working with ethnic communities and ethnic negotiation at Center for Ethnic Media.

Other references and contacts:

Link TV
Civic Media Center, launched in Sept. 2007.
Education Arcade game
Media Lab at MIT
IQ game will take advantage of newspaper sites and create game as a social network,
Marin Levina
Mass comm. Berkeley
Lonnie Brooks
Cal State East Bay does work in convergence