Bookmarked 7 Ps of Platform Education by an author
Social media research is not pop-cultural. It is a mechanism for understanding the very real performativity in platform education.
Naomi Barnes explores the effect of the platform economy on education. She breaks this investigation down into seven considerations: platforms, publics, profiles, produces/prosumers, professional expectations, policy and performativity. In closing, she highlights three points to be taken from all this: platform education is here and there is no pragmatically viable way to avoid it, social media policy makers should be aware of the ebbs and flows of social media platforms and factor that into workload and human resourcing, and policy makers must be aware of the effect of their presence on social media. This touches on the work of Ben Williamson and his book Big Data in Education.
Bookmarked How TripAdvisor changed travel by an author (the Guardian)
The long read: The world’s biggest travel site has turned the industry upside down – but now it is struggling to deal with the same kinds of problems that are vexing other tech giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter
I recently recieved an email from Trip Advisor informing me of a ‘big announcement’:

Imagine if everything you love about TripAdvisor was personalized around the friends and travel experts you follow, giving you an easy way to plan and make the most of every trip.

It was interesting thinking about this after reading the long read from Linda Kinstler discussing the rise of the platform. I wonder if it would have been better worked as:

Imagine if you provided TripAdvisor with a list of all your friends and those who you deem as ‘experts’ so that we can then use the profile to better target you with advertising on the web

Liked ‘By whatever means necessary’: The origins of the ‘no platform’ policy by Evan Smith (Hatful of History)
‘No platform’ was developed as a specific tactic to prevent the encroachment of the National Front (and the Monday Club) onto university campuses in the mid-1970s. However it seems that almost from the time of its implementation, it has been open to misinterpretation and abuse by certain student groups.
Replied to Meditation in the Time of Disruption by Mike Powell (The Ringer)
Using Insight Timer, which greets you with a large map charting everyone currently meditating on the app (as well as a tally of how many people have meditated today and a ticker of how many are meditating at that very moment), it can be impossible to feel alone. The first few times I use it, it reminds me of wandering into a good used bookstore: You’ll probably find what you want eventually, but you’re going to get lost in some weird stuff along the way.
Is it just me or does the combination of mindfulness and platform capitalism seem slightly ironic? I respect the lofty aspirations to develop:

A platform to give meditation away for free to everyone on the planet.

However, if this is built on the back of angel funding, then there is clearly some windfall at play? When the developer starts analysing the data:

In the course of charting user data and trying to discern exactly what Insight Timer actually is, Plowman has noticed that “People who come in with preferences set to secular and highly scientific teachings start to meander.”

It provides insight into the benefit that such a platform could gain, especially when combined with other data points.

Bookmarked How to Fight Amazon (Before You Turn 29) by Robinson Meyer (The Atlantic)

Amazon’s history seems to belie this claim. For more than a decade, Wall Street allowed the company to plow any profits into price discounts. Partly as a result, Amazon has grown so large that it can undercut other companies just by announcing that it will soon compete with them. When Amazon purchased Whole Foods, its market cap rose by $15.6 billion—some $2 billion more than it paid for the chain. Meanwhile, the rest of the grocery industry immediately lost $37 billion in market value. (Amazon protests that it has no control over how investors value its competitors.)

When a company has such power, Khan believes, it will almost inevitably wield that power far and wide, distorting not just the market itself, but the whole of American life. With sufficient power, companies can commission studies, rewrite regulations, bulldoze neighborhoods, and impoverish education and welfare systems by securing billions in sweetheart tax cuts. When a company comes to monopolize a market—when it grows so big that it can threaten other industries just by entering them—it ceases to be merely a company. It becomes an institution so powerful that it can rule over people like a government.

Robinson Meyer unpacks the story of Lina Khan and her investigation into Amazon and the antitrust movement. This stems from a paper, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” Khan wrote in the Yale Law Review. Although Meyer focuses on Amazon, this has ramifications for all the platform monopolies. It is also increasingly having an influence on education.
Liked Why We Need the #IndieWeb: A Short History by Cathie LeBlanc (Desert of My Real Life)
Members of the IndieWeb community are building tools to try to make moving your web presence off the corporate web easier, giving you more control over your digital identity. I like to think of the IndieWeb as a way of trying to regain the democratic ideals of early Web 2.0. IndieWeb wants us all to have a web presence that we own and control. We can still use tools like Twitter and Facebook to bring us together but we publish our content first on our own web sites and then decide where we want to share them.
Bookmarked Citizen of Apple, State of Lego (Julian Stodd's Learning Blog)
Imagine a future state, one of multiple citizenships, so i can be a Citizen of the UK, a Citizen of Apple, and a Citizen of Lego, not traversing physical borders to move from one to the other, but rather conceptual, or internalised ones. Each providing real utility, it’s own type of ‘space’, and each giving us it’s own component of culture. Perhaps in this model, ‘Culture’ becomes a meta entity that we each construct, through a combination of our geolocation within space, and our subscriptions online.
Julian Stodd explores the evolving idea of ‘citizenship’. Whereas it was defined by geography and culture in the past, Stodd wonders if in the future it will be subscription based. Rather than depending on the state and taxes to provide societies infrastructures, we now rely on the various multi-national platforms, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google. This reminds me of the conversation that was had recently around being a citizen of the #IndieWeb. If states lose their sway, I wonder if this upon up other alternatives? This is something Aral Balkan touches upon. I also wonder what this means for rituals?