Farewell to IAMCR 2011

This week, esteemed friends from Kadir Has University, Istanbul successfully hosted a five-day IAMCR conference. I was proud to be a part of it, met some very interesting colleagues, and listened to even more interesting papers presented throughout the conference.

Congratulations to IAMCR, the local organizing committee at Kadir Has University, and Delano for bringing IAMCR to Istanbul.

Hope to see you in South Africa in 2012.

My two presentations from the conference are below:

  1. Lemi Baruh & Mihaela Popescu. Communicating Turkish-Islamic Identity in the Aftermath of Gaza Flotilla Raid: But Who is the “Us” in “Us” vs. “Them”?
  2. Mihaela Popescu & Lemi Baruh. Captive audience protections for the digital environment.

New issue of Çizgidışıdergi is out

A new Turkish  journal called Çizgidışıdergi is out with its third issue. 

I also had the pleasure of writing a short article titled “Benibendendahaiyibilenler.com: Etkleşimli Ortamda Tüketici Gözetimi (Surveillance) ve Kimlik” [Roughly translated as ThosewhoknowmebetterthanIdo.com: Consumer Surveillance in Interactive Media].

The issue is available for free download.

Resist The Face(book) of Surveillance

About a week has passed since Facebook decided to change its privacy policies to make users information available to everyone (not only on Facebook, everyone online).

Public backlash seems to be rising:

The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

You can also take action by making a complaint with the eTrust.

The hidden cost of e-books

As a person who spends about 12 hours a day in front of the computer screen, one thing that I can never do is read an article or a book from the computer screen.  Even with a two-page article, my impulse is to first print the article and then read it.  For this, I apologize to all the environmentalists who rightfully should blame me for killing trees.

On the other hand, as Kindle and other options for reading e-documents, e-articles and e-books become increasingly popular, the question becomes why we should be  willing to submit ourselves to the misery of agreeing to license contracts that impose important limitations on how you use a piece of content you own (“you can read but….can’t share, can’t sell, can’t lend”–and the list goes on).

Why should a reader be required to let the Amazon.com servers record every book they read? Why should that reader be forced to forfeit rights afforded to him or her by the existing copyright laws just because the contract that they never have actually read says so?

And who gives the right to Apple or Amazon.com to decide, “hey this is our device, so you can’t consume this content on it” or “well, we decided to remove the content from your device, without even asking to you“?

So, risking to sound as archaic as can be, here is the solution: continue flipping the paper pages for as long as we can. And here is why the book should (but will probably not) win over e-book. And if nothing else works to convince my readers to opt for hard copies of books, apparently e-books may be bad for physical health, too (bad for the eyes, dangerous if you have heart batteries and may explode!!!)

Beware what you read and what you opt out of…

A few years ago, in an article published in New Media & Society (2007), I attempted to draw attention to a recurring problem with respect to user privacy online: the lack of transparency surrounding the data collection/sharing/use practices make it almost impossible for even the most “savy” user to actually challenge corporations’ “interpretations” about who we as individuals are… The problem gets even more complicated when we start confusing “data security” with privacy and somewhat falsely believe that coupled with higher consumer knowledge, opt out systems will be able to protect the privacy of individuals (no…not consumers, we are individuals).

In a recent entry, blogger, security and privacy analyst Christopher Soghoian provides some very useful examples from Google.  For those of you who are too busy to read the rest, the gist is that when you opt out of Google’s web history etc. all you are doing is stopping Google from using the data (but the data remains in their servers):

Consider this snippet from the Frequently Asked Questions page for the Google Web History service:

You can choose to stop storing your web activity in Web History either temporarily or permanently, or remove items, as described in Web History Help. If you remove items, they will be removed from the service and will not be used to improve your search experience. As is common practice in the industry, Google also maintains a separate logs system for auditing purposes and to help us improve the quality of our services for users. For example, we use this information to audit our ads systems, understand which features are most popular to users, improve the quality of our search results, and help us combat vulnerabilities such as denial of service attacks.

As this page makes clear, Google does not promise to delete all copies of your old search records when you delete them using the Web History feature. No, the company will merely no longer show them to you, and will no longer use that information to provide customized search. I’m sure this was an honest mistake on Mayer’s part, right? As the company’s vice president of search products and user experience, its not like she should actually be expected to understand the fine grained details of the company’s policies for search and user privacy.

In other words, shall the Big Brother or one of the smaller brothers need data about you, it stays there. And all you are left with is the rightfully and comfortingly false belief that Google or Yahoo or else is protecting your privacy.

A new book on Social Interaction Technologies, coming out soon

Here we are again with an announcement of a new book… This new book, perhaps the first of its kind, is  edited by Tatyana Dumova and Richard Fiorno and is entitled Handbook of Research on Social Interaction Technologies and Collaboration Software: Concepts and Trends. The book is expected to be out in July, 2009 from IGI Global.

SocialIntTech

I am happy to have contributed to this volume with two chapters:

  • Social Media Marketing: Web X.0 of Opportunities (Chapter 4).
  • Public Intimacy and the New Face (Book) of Surveillance: The Role of Social Media in Shaping Contemporary Dataveillance (Chapter 35, with Levent Soysal).

Below is a detailed description of the book.  You can also click here for the abstracts of all the chapters.

We live in a time unparalleled in human history: a time of fundamental cultural, political, social, and economic change marked by an exponential growth in human powers to electronically collect, process, store, retrieve and disseminate information and create new knowledge.

The Handbook of Research on Social Interaction Technologies and Collaboration Software: Concepts and Trends focuses on the latest explosion of Internet-based collaboration tools and platforms reaching end-users; it explores their origins, structures, purposes, and functions; and it muses over how SIT can expand human abilities and powers. This broad spectrum of applications and services includes: online social networking, blogs, wikis, podcasts, web feeds, folksonomies, social bookmaking, photo and video sharing, discussion forums, virtual worlds, and mashups intended to advance interaction, collaboration, and sharing online.

Key Features:
  • 50 authoritative contributions by the world’s leading experts in social interaction technologies and collaboration software
  • Comprehensive coverage of each specific topic, highlighting recent trends and describing the latest advances in the field
  • More than 1,750 references to existing literature and research on social interaction technologies and collaboration software
  • A compendium of over 380 key terms with detailed definitions
  • Organized by topic and indexed, making it a convenient method of reference for all IT/IS scholars and professionals
  • Cross-referencing of key terms, figures, and information pertinent to social interaction technologies and collaboration software
  • Book on Interactive Marketing

    After almost a year since we organized a workshop on Interactive Marketing, our (me and Müberra Yüksel) edited volume on advertising in interactive media is out.

    The title of the book is “Değişen İletişim Ortamında Etkileşimli Pazarlama”, which can roughly be translated as “Interactive Marketing in an Evolving Communications Landscape”. The book  investigates theoretical (i.e. interactivity and simulations), practical (viral marketing, advergaming, datamining) and ethical (i.e. privacy) dimensions of interactive marketing.

    We would like to extend our thanks to our contributors, Kadir Has University, Tubitak and Doğan-Egmont Publishing

    Here is the list of our contributions (in order of appearance):

    1. Parlak Bir Ekran ve Üzerindeki Parmak İzleri (Lemi Baruh & Müberra Yüksel)
    2. Yeni Bir İletişim Ortamı, Yeni Bir Medya (İsmail Hakkı Polat)
    3. Etkileşim Boyutuyla Yeni Medya (Nurhan Babür Tosun)
    4. Haberlere Kliklediniz: İnternet Ortamında İçerik Yönetimi ve Habercilik (Pınar Seden Meral)
    5. Etkileşimli Pazarlama Nedir? (Tanses Gülsoy)
    6. Yeni Nesil Pazarlamanın Anatomisi (Fikret Şahin)
    7. Bir Internet Tezi (Cemil Türün)
    8. Fırsatlar Ağı: Sosyal Medyada Marka İletişimi ve Viral Pazarlama (Lemi Baruh & Ayça Kırgız)
    9. Geleceğin Öncü Mecrası Mobil Pazarlama: 4. Ekran (Melis Türkmen & Elif Tözge)
    10. Reklam Oyunlarının Pazarlama İletişiminde Oynadığı Stratejik Rol (Müberra Yüksel)
    11. Moda Sektörü ve Fiziksel Perakende (Nur Baytok)
    12. Entegre İletişim Araçları Kullanımı ve Medya Planlamasında Yaratıcılık (Bilgen Başal)
    13. Web Veri Merkezleri, Gizlilik ve Pazarlama

    In addition, the book contains a short dictionary focusing on terminology used with respect to new media and interactive marketing.The dictionary was edited by Tanses Gülsoy.

    To buy the book:
    Değişen İletişim Ortamında Etkileşimli Pazarlama kitabını pegem.net'den satın al!

    ICA Presentation on Social Media and the “New Surveillance”

    As the ICA Conference in Chicago came to a close earlier this week, I guess it is time to share my and my coauthor Levent Soysal’s presentation during the conference… with special thanks to Monroe Price (panel chair), Mihaela Popescu, Ece Algan, Mark Andrejevic and Shoshana Magneti.

    Here is the link to the presentation

    ICA Conference is this week

    The annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) will be held this week (May 21 – May 25) in Chicago.  I (along with Levent Soysal) will be presenting a paper called “Social Media, Public Intimacies and the Transformation of Contemporary Surveillance.”

    The panel will  include Mark Andrejevic, Shoshana Magneti,  Mihaela Popescu and Ece Algan. Looking forward to seeing anyone interested…