Entries tagged "twitter"

On Disinfo, Louise Mensch, Our Feeds and Can We Have A Legit 2018 Election?

 I came *this close* to posting this on Facebook without putting it here first. This is a bad habit I have acquired. I don’t get to spend as much time with my friends as I used to. FB designed a platform that lets us see each others faces/avatars and thread quicker it feels more like we are *with* each other than on blogs. I spent many years in Silicon Valley asking WordPress developers and many others to give us better tools for tummeling, for the social connection between us and to allow us to make it. I’ve advocated and tried to show how putting social and emotional goals *first* (and learning the skills to do so) makes all the difference in building more human social platforms that serve human goals and not financial ones of centralized control and manipulation. I have had some influence but the problem still stands. And it’s only increased because it seems the last election was turned in part, by disinfo.
Louise Mensch’s initial post about FISA warrants and Comey caught my eye and she was on it long before the MSM (I just went to her site to find and link it and couldn’t so that’s interesting in itself). It was the first idea I saw anywhere that there may have been more going on with the leaked letter about HRC’s emails than what was on the surface. I spent time in a whole bunch of twitter feeds around her to pick up some ideas and still do some. I filtered out personality as much as possible and read for info and then looked at many other feeds and sources and considered it. I didn’t pass on anything unconfirmed. But I unfollowed Mensch and Taylor on twitter once journalists I have more faith in are more involved and now that the FBI and whomever else (I don’t know) is managing a leak and other strategy. The game is on.
 
I’m generally dubious about anyone who leads with beefs and reactions and name calling. Our media has just been so full of that. It’s toxic to sit in that soup. I appreciate and endeavor to make mindful critiques. But non-stop reaction is not a great idea. 
 
That said I still embrace citizen journalism and parts of the threads between folks around Louse Mensch months ago reminded me a bit of earlier twitter days when twitter was just days ahead of CNN on major revolutions in countries. There is definitely bitterness and reaction beefs from MSM guys too who don’t like being scooped or feel like someone has to pay their regular media dues to be entitled to get cited and referenced.  
 
Also the abject failure of MSM in the campaign was enormous and they haven’t all just earned trust back. All the falling for HRC email crap? Where was all this Russia reporting then? Who looked deeply into Il Dupe’s obvious money laundering then? They liked the easy clicks and misogyny runs very very very deep in our culture.  
HRC literally spelled out the connection between Donald’s campaign and Russia in the debates. Did the mainstream media really grok that and pressure Il Dupe over and over on it? Mhhmm. Even with their own freedom to report in peril!   
 
FB has been almost completely let off the hook by a MSM happy to print puff personality and book pieces (and donations) fed to them by the company even as there has been admission or bragging by Il Dupe’s campaign they ran vote suppression campaigns on Facebook (on which presumably Facebook made money).  So everything we’re reading is influenced by ongoing disinfo.
 
When, as HRC said Il Dupe is Putin’s puppet, 17 ICs are investigating disinfo / hacking the election, what makes people and MSM believe we will have a legit 2018 election? This is not paranoia when it is just listening to investigations. Or perhaps I should say, what makes white people think we definitely will have a legit 2018 election? Because voter suppression has been a tactical strategy of the GOP for a long time. It is worth using this filter in reviewing everything we see in social media feeds and what comes up when. Many very smart people I know don’t grasp (and seem to not want to hear) that their FB feed is not just something they and their friends control.
 
It is important to ask what media you get access to and when you see it and what other motivations there could be. FB and twitter are huge media platforms not held to the same standards or understanding as traditional broadcast and print. We know FB ran emotional manipulation studies. They may still run them. Do they sell this? Our behavior isn’t just affected by artificial news but what we see who we see it from and when. All other media platforms are *dependent* upon them now for traffic. They control, without public accountability how much we see of the news from various sources. Both made our feeds  stop being chronological. There’s now no expectation you’ll see something when it was posted or from everyone your follow or friend. This is true in many countries with many political situations. Disinfo is now a major weapon of the war we are clicking in. We know that FB and many other tech cos willingly sent top execs and gave photo op of legitimacy to Il Dupe when he was in his earliest days and doubted the most. 
 
FB *sponsored* the RNC even after the GOP candidate mocked disabled people said all kinds of racist stuff and intentions, ran pror-Nazi style rallies, was incredibly sexist etc etc. FB has a Board member who is a major advisor to Il Dupe
 
FB and twitter *could have stopped and still could* the effort at autocracy anytime. They haven’t and they haven’t been questioned by other MSM about it much, if at all. These same media who depend on these platforms now to get, lunch so they hand over lunch money.
 
As annoying as it is and as imperfect as this post is I am not forcing myself to go to my website and post it there first. Because I know that without this practice media *is* controlled by these platforms. It was annoying to learn to always put my seatbelt on back in the days when it first became the law. But with enough practice it became a simple, much safer habit. Please do not forget we have the open web.
 
It is openness and real *earned* trust autocracy cannot bear. Autocrats trust no one. They only control. Trust cannot be built by hacking. Trust isn’t grown by twitter and Facebook . These companies rely upon the existing trust in networks you have and the ones you build. They have no accountability to the people using the platforms but to the companies to which they sell data.
Trust demands real openness and owned-up imperfection. There is no quick acquisition technique for real trust. We must practice openness and feel our own power in order for it to operate. Do not just hand it over to a guy who’d like to be an autocract or to some social media platforms that take full advantage of our fundamental hard-wired need to connect socially without doing much to assist it.
Let’s post on our blogs. Let’s take time to get together. Don’t get in the hole. 

Why Blog? (and tools we need for it) feat. my 2011 WordCamp talk Tools for Tummeling in the age of Google +

I just came across this post which I wrote about a year ago when I was near the culmination of finally getting a central website up at heathergold.com, something that I stressed about and thought about for *years.* I’m posting it in the event you may find it helpful. And because I recently gave a talk at WordCamp (the annual WordPress conference from Automattic) about my view about the need for changing blogging tools. It’s interesting to see how much further my feelings about blogging platform needs have gone only a year after I was about to end my insanely long struggle to have a “proper” central site / blog under my name.

A couple of key notes from the performance/talk Tools for Tummeling in the age of Google +
(but it’s pretty funny and includes some awesome 9 and 6 year old sisters dropping some serious web knowledge, so it’s worth a watch)

• blogs are still brochure-like and one-to-many-ish which seem static and unsatisfying in the era of social activity streams. People are in “social media’ to be with each other. How do we create a “with” space and feeling on a blog?
• the emotional interfaces of blogs and the web haven’t progressed farther than the era of an 1997 Site Under Construction animated gif. We have emoticons. We can do a lot better than that.
• How do you make people comfortable on your site and create a sense of space? How do I do the equivalent of offering you a piece of cake here?
• How do you let people know you are with them even when you are not speaking and commenting
• How do you know when someone is listening to you?
• People speak and express differently when they know they are being listened to and cared about.

Extreme Web MakeOver + Under (written 9/21/10)
Have you ever dealt with something so overwhelming and confusing that you just gave up? That was me and my web sites. For years they’ve felt like a jewelry box full of knotted and tangled chains. If only I could get it together, I know there’s something valuable there.

I’ve been embarrassed and annoyed with myself. You can imagine how productive that has been.

So now I’m coming out with it. Being open and vulnerable and authentic is something I speak about, practice in my art and believe in. It’s always worked for me. So I’ll be sharing the journey.

And I finally think it’s possible to conquer the confusion. I’ve got a great team shaping up and I decided, as I often do, that the most helpful thing to do would be to own up to it publicly and share the journey with all of you. I’m not the only person with old web sites that don’t quite work now, or abandoned technical ideas making things difficult. Perhaps there’s something in this that will be helpful to you and perhaps you’ll have some good ideas. Perhaps we’ll discover something else

Maybe the mess isn’t your site, but you.
Ah, how can you tell the dancer from the dance?

I create in many different ways, often spontaneously on stage, and speak to many different “audiences.” I might keynote for Internet professionals at Web 2.0, I might be bringing together students at a southern college that’s been having hate speech problems performing my show Cookie, I might be giving advice to queer folks about coming out, I might just rant about Hillary and Obama running for President.

But as the always insightful Merlin Mann said to me “anyone is only one Google search away from other parts of you.” That’s our current version of Whitman’s insight that “I contain multitudes.”

So I will be combining, and organizing, my work and information about me for the many different people who are interested in my work. I am not my keywords.

Why focus on a web site in 2010? Aren’t you on twitter?
Wired Magazine recently questioned the future of the web itself. At a time when the shiniest attention is going to iPhone and iPad apps and Facebook and other “activity streams” which are certainly unmoored from a central place or site, why do this? I’ve been tweeting way more than blogging. Why should I go back to focussing on my web site(s)? Just as some are declaring email bankruptcy, shouldn’t i just declare web site bankruptcy?

There are 3 good reasons:
1. I’ll be able to better find and share all the work I’ve made.
I have lots of writing and years and years of great video and audio content from all kinds of shows, including: stand-up, Cookie (my first interactive show in which I’ve baked over 25,000 chocolate chip cookies with audiences all over the US) and my deep love the Heather Gold Show (soon to be renamed subvert w heather gold and based on subvert.com), a talk show in which the guests are there to spark a conversation with everyone. Don’t you want to see Maria Bamford riff ridiculously on her depression or see me call out Julia Allison in the audience and have her sit on my lap when she booed then Valleywag editor Owen Thomas on my infamous SXSW Gossip panel? How about punk rock legend Lynnee Breedlove connecting with Darfur survivor Gadet Riek? I have amazing moments but it’s hard to share them if they’re just going to be like another tangled necklace in the jewelry box.

2. I’ll make more work.
I need a sense of space in order to create. Working with designers at Wolff Olins years ago made me conscious that blank space is essential for me to make something new. I need to know that something will have a place to go. Knowing where something will go and that it has it’s place to go helps free my mind.

3. It’ll be easier to find my stuff and me and much easier to give me money.
Like many artists I work to support myself through my creative work. In my case that includes speaking about what I learn through my art and teaching it to others and applying it to business (which needs art the most). I need a clear central place where people can find my work and out about me, get to know me, hire me and access and buy my work. I want to get to know you too and I’ve got twitter and facebook and podcast chats and live shows to help me do that. Perhaps that will happen on my site too. But not until something simple and basic works first.

Bonus Reason: The open web matters. I don’t care how many streams I end up creating or that my stuff will travel and be posted all over the web (I will creative commons license most all of it), all those links need to go somewhere. Tummeling, which I do and speak, teach and podcast about,  is all about making connections and the best way for me to make connections between different kinds of work that I’ve done is through a central site.

The obstacle of being early
I started a web presence back in 1996. Like many I knew I was blogging before it was called that and before there was handy software to make it happen. So some kind friends who’d begun a small (now defunct) web agency developed a custom publishing tool for me to make subvert.com possible. (Thanks Eric Lawrence and Dan Eckam / eyephonic) Unlike Ev or Ben and Mena, it didn’t occur to me that they should sell this tool to everyone. But I have no right to feel bad. I can always listen to Justin Hall‘s Great Opportunities I Missed at my 2000 Internet Roast)

I can’t tell you how long it took to get all the stuff I’d published into real blogging software. (Thanks Paul Schreiber). It’s easy to get attached to the tool you’ve used, but it’s easier to use the open tools lots more people are using *now.*

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