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If Google+ Heads to the Grave, at Least It’ll Have Direction

Forced Google+ integration in Google Reader and YouTube, both of which had strong communities of their own beforehand, are prime examples of how Google+ fostered hostility rather than goodwill. The time is right for Google to rethink its approach. I still like the idea of Circles as a way of controlling who sees what, but there are other ways of letting people share without the Circle mechanism, whether it’s through…

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#MyNYPD Hashtag Promptly Hijacked

Someone is regretting this PR move. The official @NYPDnews Twitter account made an attempt at social media outreach today only to get promptly torn to shreds by users resisting the PR push. Hijacked hashtags are a common Twitter phenomenon, but tend to be played more for giggles (“trolling,” some call it) than to make a coherent political statement. With #myNYPD, however, a harsh pattern emerged right away. –NYMag

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Communities of Play: The Social Construction of Identity in Persistent Online Game Worlds

I played the open-source version of Uru with my daughter for a few weeks when she was about six or seven. I enjoyed the opening tutorial game, but after that found little to do and found the learning curve was too steep to keep my daughter interested. She was happy running around and endlessly re-dressing up her avatar, but I soon switched to DDO Online, something that I, my son,…

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The Pointlessness of Unplugging

What sex was for the Puritans, technology has become for us. We’ve focussed our collective anxiety on digital excess, and reconnecting with the “real” world around us represents one effort to control it. | And yet the “real” world, like the “real” America, is an insidious idea. It suggests that the selves we are online aren’t authentic, and that the relationships that we forge in digital spaces aren’t meaningful. [...]…