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#C3t The Command & Control of Twitter

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On a Socially Constructed Twitter &  Applications of the Philosophy of Data. Paper presented by Brian Ballsum-Stanton (@DenubisX) at the ICCIT_10 Conference in Seoul South Korea …

On a Socially Constructed Twitter &  Applications of the Philosophy of Data. Paper presented by Brian Ballsum-Stanton (@DenubisX) at the ICCIT_10 Conference in Seoul South Korea

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  • Ask questions at any time
  • Before we startJoin my co-author and the rest of the audience on twitterDiscuss the talk live
  • Command: The technology which enables a leader to set objectivesControl: Decide on ways to accomplish objectivesCommunication: Transmit orders through the hierarchyTwitter represents a shift in C3The users are no longer following designer ordersUsers form their own C3 networksNo single vision of what to doFacebook - The old modelAuthoritarian and hierarchicalThey decide what you do and how you useUsers communicate their new understandings of twitter through useOther users copy good ideas because they’re useful to them
  • Twitter offers the web and API protocolsOther developers, as users, can invent their own techniques of useFew constraints on the interfacePliable affordances@replies, a construction indicating a usernamecreated by usersembraced by developersDevelopers embraced ideasAdding infrastructure to support use after users adopted practiceTool grows and changes with its usersUsers set objectives, adapt or create practices to accomplish them
  • Socially constructed technology: A tool that has its uses determined and evolved by its users, rather than traditional controlling entities.Engineers take noteTwitter's initial intent as a microblogging service clearly demonstrates the designers' intent to have it compete as a one-to-many blogging service in direct competition with the traditional blog enginesSuccess in despite of its goalsDevelopers listened to its usersUsers are in control: a system which allows its users’ control can be very successfulMany eyes have many ideas, some ideas will be better than initial developer vision. Ideas come from different ways of thinkingForcing users into the developer’s mold only worked with no significant competitionNow users can find a tool to do what they want, even if it isn’t yoursUser-discovered usage techniques will happenContinuing blithe disregard for the original concept.Lessons learnedDon’t try to hold onto the traditional control modelThe internet will find its own uses for thingsEmbrace their ideas and profitAn increase in chaos (no centralized control) results in order emerging from the system, organically.
  • Twitter founded on exchanges of messagesUsers interpret question of “what’s happening” according their own philosophy of dataNot the developer’sData as electronically stored communicationsTweets are communications between peopleThe service is useful as it enables communication@replies are vital, as they provide context to communicationData as subjective recorded observationsTweets are recorded sense-impressions of environment#tags provide relationships between tweetsAllow people to filter based on their interests and knowledgeData as objective and hard numbersTweets are temporal records of actionRecordings of the world, rather than of the impressions of the worldMost tweets uninteresting
  • Change in the locus of #c3t from developer to user represents a new socially constructed technologythrough the social construction of technology, users influence their computing environment and shape it around their own needs, wants, and missionsdifferent philosophies of data, error sparks creativity which in turn generates new affordances, new perceptions of embodied technique.


  • 1. #c3t The Command & Control of Twitter:  on a Socially Constructed Twitter &  Applications of the Philosophy of Data
    By Brian Ballsun-Stanton & Kate Carruthers
    #ICCIT_10 and #c3t
  • 2. t
    Before we start …
    Discuss this talk right now on twitter!
    Use #c3t as the hashtag.
    Dec 2010
    B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers
    Source: Marcus Angerhier @ aperto.de
  • 3. t
    What is Twitter?
    A social question: “What’s happening?”
    “Tweets” update a timeline with short text messages
    People can choose to follow your updates
    A social network reinterpreted by its users for their own purposes!
    B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers
    Dec 2010
    Source: http://www.yiyinglu.com
  • 4. t
    #c3t - Command, Control, and Communication in Twitter
    Major shift in locus of command & control
    Users decide on: Tools, Practice, & Goals
    Different to Facebook: the user is genuinely in control
    Users communicate innovations to their followers through action
    Dec 2010
    B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers
    Source: War Games (1983)
  • 5. Creation of Social Practices
    Minimalist interface enables user constructed practices
    Users evolved their own signifiers
    The developers responded to the pressure of user’s innovations
    Dec 2010
    B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers
    Source: Wiki Commons
  • 6. Social Construction of Twitter
    • A socially constructed technology is:
    • 7. A tool that has its uses determined and evolved by its users, rather than traditional controlling entities.
    • 8. Traditional technology has uses determined by designer fiat.
    • 9. Each user constructs Twitter for their own uses.
    Dec 2010
    B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers
    Source: Hackers (1995)
  • 10. Philosophy of Data & Twitter
    Different understandings of data change understanding and use
    “What’s happening” means different things based on philosophy:
    Tweets are communications between people
    Subjective sense-impressions of environment
    Temporal records of action
    Dec 2010
    B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers
    Source: Kryptos by Jim Sanborn
  • 11. Conclusion
    Twitter is an example of a socially constructed technology
    Users influence their computing environment.
    shape it around their own needs, wants, and missions
    When different philosophies of data interact:
    spark creativity
    generate new affordances
    new perceptions of embodied technique
    Dec 2010
    B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers
    Source: Riku @ f.ollow.me
  • 12. Contact the authors
    Brian Ballsun-Stanton
    Twitter: @DenubisX
    Kate Carruthers
    Twitter: @kcarruthers
    Dec 2010
    B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers