#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

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  • Ask questions at any time
  • Before we start
    Join my co-author and the rest of the audience on twitter
    Discuss the talk live
  • A social network
    People produce tweets
    Status updates
    Anything they can think of
    People may follow
    No need for recirprocation
    No fake concept of “friends”
    Continually reconstructed by various communities to suit their own needs
  • Command: The technology which enables a leader to set objectives
    Control: Decide on ways to accomplish objectives
    Communication: Transmit orders through the hierarchy
    Twitter represents a shift in C3
    The users are no longer following designer orders
    Users form their own C3 networks
    No single vision of what to do
    Facebook - The old model
    Authoritarian and hierarchical
    They decide what you do and how you use
    Users communicate their new understandings of twitter through use
    Other users copy good ideas because they’re useful to them
  • Twitter offers the web and API protocols
    Other developers, as users, can invent their own techniques of use
    Few constraints on the interface
    Pliable affordances
    @replies, a construction indicating a username
    created by users
    embraced by developers
    Developers embraced ideas
    Adding infrastructure to support use after users adopted practice
    Tool grows and changes with its users
    Users 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 note
    Twitter'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 engines
    Success in despite of its goals
    Developers listened to its users
    Users are in control: a system which allows its users’ control can be very successful
    Many eyes have many ideas, some ideas will be better than initial developer vision. Ideas come from different ways of thinking
    Forcing users into the developer’s mold only worked with no significant competition
    Now users can find a tool to do what they want, even if it isn’t yours
    User-discovered usage techniques will happen
    Continuing blithe disregard for the original concept.
    Lessons learned
    Don’t try to hold onto the traditional control model
    The internet will find its own uses for things
    Embrace their ideas and profit
    An increase in chaos (no centralized control) results in order emerging from the system, organically.
  • Twitter founded on exchanges of messages
    Users interpret question of “what’s happening” according their own philosophy of data
    Not the developer’s
    Data as electronically stored communications
    Tweets are communications between people
    The service is useful as it enables communication
    @replies are vital, as they provide context to communication
    Data as subjective recorded observations
    Tweets are recorded sense-impressions of environment
    #tags provide relationships between tweets
    Allow people to filter based on their interests and knowledge
    Data as objective and hard numbers
    Tweets are temporal records of action
    Recordings of the world, rather than of the impressions of the world
    Most tweets uninteresting
  • Change in the locus of #c3t from developer to user represents a new socially constructed technology
    through the social construction of technology, users influence their computing environment and shape it around their own needs, wants, and missions
    different philosophies of data, error sparks creativity which in turn generates new affordances, new perceptions of embodied technique.
  • #C3t The Command & Control of Twitter

    1. 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. 2. t Before we start … Discuss this talk right now on twitter! Use #c3t as the hashtag. Dec 2010 B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers 2 Source: Marcus Angerhier @ aperto.de
    3. 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 Source: http://www.yiyinglu.com Dec 2010 3
    4. 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 4 Source: War Games (1983)
    5. 5. Creation of Social Practices • Minimalist interface enables user constructed practices • Users evolved their own signifiers – @replies – #hashtags • The developers responded to the pressure of user’s innovations Dec 2010 B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers 5 Source: Wiki Commons
    6. 6. Social Construction of Twitter • A socially constructed technology is: • A tool that has its uses determined and evolved by its users, rather than traditional controlling entities. • Traditional technology has uses determined by designer fiat. • Each user constructs Twitter for their own uses. Dec 2010 B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers 6 Source: Hackers (1995)
    7. 7. 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 7 Source: Kryptos by Jim Sanborn
    8. 8. 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 8 Source: Riku @ f.ollow.me
    9. 9. Contact the authors Brian Ballsun-Stanton Twitter: @DenubisX brian@ballsun.com Kate Carruthers Twitter: @kcarruthers kate@katecarruthers.com Dec 2010 9B. Ballsun-Stanton & K. Carruthers