Annewil Neervens

New Media Blog

Twitter’s Implications: Is Less Really More? October 12, 2008

Filed under: Communication,Microblog,New Media,Opinion,Web 2.0 — Annewil Neervens @ 20:53 p10

It’s around us everywhere. Increasingly, the trend of creating single-phrase sentences – or aphorisms – is taking over the way we write and read, online and offline. It almost seems as though there is no more room for elaborate writings and conversations. It has to be short, fast and informative. But, is less really more?

The microblog Twitter is a good example of what we all put on line in short sentences, with a maximum of 140 characters. Letting others know what we are doing and when we’re doing it. What have these aphorisms to contribute to society, and why are we all so eager to take part in it? Why do we use Twitter and what are the implications?

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What added value lies in your online connections? October 5, 2008

Filed under: Online Social Networking,Opinion,Web 2.0 — Annewil Neervens @ 20:53 p10

With different social networking sites, connections are also different. This might seem obvious, but how do these connections differ and what does that mean?

In their paper ‘Public Displays of Connection’, MIT Media Lab professor Judith Donath and academic danah boyd write:

‘Networks are the extension of our social world; they also act as its boundary. We may use the network to extend the range of people we can contact; we may use it to limit the people who can contact us. Most of the networking sites so far are designed to grow networks, not limit them. Yet costs and limits can add value. The expenditure of energy to maintain a connection is a signal of its importance and of the benefits it bestows.’

Especially the last sentence of this paragraph seems somewhat paradoxical to me. Isn’t the whole point of social networking sites that contacts (friends and acquaintances, either known in real life or not) are easily managed without the awkwardness of face-to-face contact, and possibly more important: without having to spend lots of time and energy in the maintenance process? It surely has to be easier and less time consuming than making appointments and ACTUALLY spending time with them in real life?

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Workshop (De-)Constructing Information Visualization October 3, 2008

Filed under: Blog,Information,New Media,Personal,Visualization — Annewil Neervens @ 20:53 p10

I attended a workshop on (De-)Constructing Information Visualization yesterday evening, led by Yuri Engelhardt and Christian Behrens, who are both specialized in information visualization and data visualization and information design. It was all about ‘exploring the notion of a ‘building block systems’ of visual language: Which basic visual coding principles can be identified as the building blocks of visualization? Which of these building blocks are appropriate for representing which kind of information? What are the ‘rules of the game’ for combining two, three, or many of these basic visual coding principles into meaningful and interesting visual representations?’, as they explain it themselves.

We got a brief introduction to the history of data and information visualization, and then started cutting and pasting and created our own data visualization graphics. We used different cards and figures to represent the data or ‘building blocks’ and tried to recreate existing data visualizations (charts, maps and graphs). This turned out to be a pretty hard concept to grasp, because it’s so abstract. We finally got the hang of it though, when we came up with our own data concept and a visualization to match.

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