Four short links: 14 April 2010

Social Think, Elegant Design, Online Safety, and Music Royalties

  1. Designing for Social Interaction — useful and thoughtful advice for designers of social applications. Some people believe that this is changing, that the web is making us closer to more people. On the contrary, research studies have shown that the vast majority of usage on social networks is between strong ties. As we saw earlier, on Facebook it’s with 4 to 6 people, with phone calls its with 4 people, and with Skype it’s 2 people. When people play online computer games with others, they are mostly interacting and playing with people they know, often with people who live less than a few miles away. This pattern of technology being used for strong tie communication is not new. When the telephone was invented, it did more to expand and strengthen strong ties than to weaken them. A study in the 1970s showed that the majority of phone calls were to people who live within five miles of the caller’s home. (via bokardo on Twitter)
  2. EveryTimeZone — beautiful HTML timezone visualiser.
  3. Teaching About Web Includes Troublesome Parts (NYTimes) — Common Sense’s classes, based on research by Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychology and education professor, are grouped into topics he calls “ethical fault lines”: identity (how do you present yourself online?); privacy (the world can see everything you write); ownership (plagiarism, reproducing creative work); credibility (legitimate sources of information); and community (interacting with others).
  4. How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online? — an astonishingly depressing chart of how uneconomic traditional online sales are for artists.
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