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Deanna Zandt
Lives in Brooklyn, NY
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Deanna Zandt

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Always forget how late things start in Berlin. Headed to the early list part of a party that actually opens at 1am. Luckily, I've napped....
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Party starts at 8, you go at 11 - that's about the rule: go 3 hours later.
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Deanna Zandt

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Baratunde Thurston originally shared:
 
BBC interview with elderly west indian man reveals painful truths about the London riots. It is truly a must-watch. All of this has happened before and will happen again.
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Deanna Zandt

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A.k.a., highway robbery. But here are some things that I learned in the last few days.
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That's because now the European carriers are sooo greedy... (the European Commission is now forcing them by law to lower their prices - insert 'socialism' here)
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Deanna Zandt

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This, plus this post on burnout from Lifehacker: http://lifehacker.com/5827809/how-passion-can-ruin-your-career-and-what-you-can-do-about-it , came into my feeds at about the same time. Good food for thought. Do something good for yourself after reading them, 'kay? (I did.)
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Deanna Zandt

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Yes, +Jillian C. York. Hope +Guy Kawasaki hears you.
Jillian C. York originally shared:
 
Uh, +Guy Kawasaki, your privilege is showing. Note #9, "9. It’s fun to watch Google smack down people who violate its terms of use."

Yay, so much fun! I love watching the ToS disproportionately enforced on women, activists, transgendered people and others because Google didn't have the foresight to think about the various use cases affected by their 'real name' policy! Yay!
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+Nick Grogan It's easy to not see any evidence when you insist on ignoring it.

As already stated: looking at the people in my circles says nothing about the people who have been shut down for violating the "real names" policy, or those who have not opened a G+ account due to the "real names" policy.

Me: "It's unfair that they didn't let anyone wearing red to come to this party."

You: "What are you talking about? There aren't any people here wearing red, so it's a non-issue."

Of course there are not people AT THE PARTY wearing red, they're all outside, trying to get in, or sitting at home, knowing they won't be allowed in so why bother going over there at all.

We've already established women and other minority groups have several reasons why they would need to use pseudonyms, in a higher proportion than (cis, hetero, able-bodied, white) men. Therefore, having a policy that does not allow people to use pseudonyms DOES target women, and other minority groups, disproportionately, because they are the ones who have a need for pseudonyms.

And, since you brought it up, promoting one's blog or business IS a reason to need a pseudonym, if that blog or business is how you make money to feed, clothe, and house yourself and your two daughters, as is the case in the link +Deanna Zandt posted, and the reason you must run that blog or business under a pseudonym is because you are discriminated against when you use your real name.
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Deanna Zandt

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You know you want to get down.
Avory Faucette originally shared:
 
Are there any dancers around G+ who might be willing to take part in a sort of collective dance project through Hangouts? All styles, body types, etc. sought! I will provide choreography and record the final product, and we'd be "meeting" on Hangouts on weekends to learn the choreography and rehearse. Please share with your circles :-)
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Deanna Zandt

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I read the new "Inappropriate grouping" flag on Facebook posts as something entirely different.
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Dogs ftw. The healing power of these empathetic creatures knows no bounds.
Scott Beale originally shared:
 
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go rosie!
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Deanna Zandt

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Important post from the ever-wise +danah boyd.

"People don't like to be configured. They don't like to be forcibly told how they should use a service. They don't want to be told to behave like the designers intended them to be. Heavy-handed policies don't make for good behavior; they make for pissed off users."
danah boyd originally shared:
 
Designing for Social Norms (or How Not to Create Angry Mobs)

In his seminal book "Code"(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0465039146/apophenia-20), Larry Lessig argued that social systems are regulated by four forces: 1) the market; 2) the law; 3) social norms; and 4) architecture or code. In thinking about social media systems, plenty of folks think about monetization. Likewise, as issues like privacy pop up, we regularly see legal regulation become a factor. And, of course, folks are always thinking about what the code enables or not. But it's depressing to me how few people think about the power of social norms. In fact, social norms are usually only thought of as a regulatory process when things go terribly wrong. And then they're out of control and reactionary and confusing to everyone around. We've seen this with privacy issues and we're seeing this with the "real name" policy debates. As I read through the discussion that I provoked on this issue, I couldn't help but think that we need a more critical conversation about the importance of designing with social norms in mind.

Good UX designers know that they have the power to shape certain kinds of social practices by how they design systems. And engineers often fail to give UX folks credit for the important work that they do. But designing the system itself is only a fraction of the design challenge when thinking about what unfolds. Social norms aren't designed into the system. They don't emerge by telling people how they should behave. And they don't necessarily follow market logic. Social norms emerge as people - dare we say "users" - work out how a technology makes sense and fits into their lives. Social norms take hold as people bring their own personal values and beliefs to a system and help frame how future users can understand the system. And just as "first impressions matter" for social interactions, I cannot underestimate the importance of early adopters. Early adopters configure the technology in critical ways and they play a central role in shaping the social norms that surround a particular system.

How a new social media system rolls out is of critical importance. Your understanding of a particular networked system will be heavily shaped by the people who introduce you to that system. When a system unfolds slowly, there's room for the social norms to slowly bake, for people to work out what the norms should be. When a system unfolds quickly, there's a whole lot of chaos in terms of social norms. Whenever a network system unfolds, there are inevitably competing norms that arise from people who are disconnected to one another. (I can't tell you how much I loved watching Friendster when the gay men, Burners, and bloggers were oblivious to one another.) Yet, the faster things move, the faster those collisions occur, and the more confusing it is for the norms to settle.

The "real name" culture on Facebook didn't unfold because of the "real name" policy. It unfolded because the norms were set by early adopters and most people saw that and reacted accordingly. Likewise, the handle culture on MySpace unfolded because people saw what others did and reproduced those norms. When social dynamics are allowed to unfold organically, social norms are a stronger regulatory force than any formalized policy. At that point, you can often formalize the dominant social norms without too much pushback, particularly if you leave wiggle room. Yet, when you start with a heavy-handed regulatory policy that is not driven by social norms - as Google Plus did - the backlash is intense.

Think back to Friendster for a moment... Remember Fakester? (I wrote about them here: http://www.danah.org/papers/NoneOfThisIsReal.pdf ) Friendster spent ridiculous amounts of time playing whack-a-mole, killing off "fake" accounts and pissing off some of the most influential of its userbase. The "Fakester genocide" prompted an amazing number of people to leave Friendster and head over to MySpace, most notably bands, all because they didn't want to be configured by the company. The notion of Fakesters died down on MySpace, but the most central practice - the ability for groups (bands) to have recognizable representations - ended up being the most central feature of MySpace.

People don't like to be configured. They don't like to be forcibly told how they should use a service. They don't want to be told to behave like the designers intended them to be. Heavy-handed policies don't make for good behavior; they make for pissed off users.

This doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't design to encourage certain behaviors. Of course you should. The whole point of design is to help create an environment where people engage in the most fruitful and healthy way possible. But designing a system to encourage the growth of healthy social norms is fundamentally different than coming in and forcefully telling people how they must behave. No one likes being spanked, especially not a crowd of opinionated adults.

Ironically, most people who were adopting Google Plus early on were using their real names, out of habit, out of understanding how they thought the service should work. A few weren't. Most of those who weren't were using a recognizable pseudonym, not even trying to trick anyone. Going after them was just plain stupid. It was an act of force and people felt disempowered. And they got pissed. And at this point, it's no longer about whether or not the "real names" policy was a good idea in the first place; it's now an act of oppression. Google Plus would've been ten bazillion times better off had they subtly encouraged the policy without making a big deal out of it, had they chosen to only enforce it in the most egregious situations. But now they're stuck between a rock and a hard place. They either have to stick with their policy and deal with the angry mob or let go of their policy as a peace offering in the hopes that the anger will calm down. It didn't have to be this way though and it wouldn't have been had they thought more about encouraging the practices they wanted through design rather than through force.

Of course there's a legitimate reason to want to encourage civil behavior online. And of course trolls wreak serious havoc on a social media system. But a "real names" policy doesn't stop an unrepentant troll; it's just another hurdle that the troll will love mounting. In my work with teens, I see textual abuse ("bullying") every day among people who know exactly who each other is on Facebook. The identities of many trolls are known. But that doesn't solve the problem. What matters is how the social situation is configured, the norms about what's appropriate, and the mechanisms by which people can regulate them (through social shaming and/or technical intervention). A culture where people can build reputation through their online presence (whether "real" names or pseudonyms) goes a long way in combating trolls (although it is by no means a fullproof solution). But you don't get that culture by force; you get it by encouraging the creation of healthy social norms.

Companies that build systems that people use have power. But they have to be very very very careful about how they assert that power. It's really easy to come in and try to configure the user through force. It's a lot harder to work diligently to design and build the ecosystem in which healthy norms emerge. Yet, the latter is of critical importance to the creation of a healthy community. Cuz you can't get to a healthy community through force.

This is from Apophenia: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2011/08/05/design-social-norms.html
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Deanna Zandt

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OMFG I'M IN BERLIN. (3 hours later than expected, but hey! Izzy and I are bouncing off the sleepless walls.
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Welcome! And C U soon
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Media technologist + strategist. Author of "Share This! How You Will Change the World With Social Networking"
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Media technologist, author, dog lover, captain crazypants.
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Media technologist, author, dog lover, captain crazypants.
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Brooklyn, NY