The Open Web can learn comment moderation from Instagram

Instagram

Starting today, you can protect your account from unwanted interactions with a new feature called Restrict. Bullying is a complex issue, and we know that young people face a disproportionate amount…

Source: Empowering Our Community to Stand up to Bullying – Instagram

 

Bullying is about power and perception. When someone cyberbullies you, the idea that other people can see the comments and choose to ignore them, which makes bullying banal, or even someone else’s comedy, that idea is sometimes more hurtful than the comments themselves.

What’s interesting to me is that Restrict is a rehashing of a system that has existed since forever on the Open Web – comment moderation. The ability for a blog to not show a person’s comments has existed forever, and due to the lack of transparency and user-feedback in companies like Facebook and Google, has largely been ignored until they get to it.

However, Restrict is an improvement, depending on how they’ve implemented it. In blog comment moderation, the bully/poster sees and knows that their comment is under moderation. This gives them cause to go and continue their bullying on some other platform.

Restrict seems to make it so that the bully will not find out they are under review. This is a powerful tool, because the perception for the bully will be that other people saw their comment and ignored it, thereby removing the feedback loop that pushes them to bully more. Simultaneously, for the bullied, it will tell their subconscious that their community has not abandoned them in favor of the bully, because the community can’t even see the bully’s comments.

If this is how it’s implemented, and if it is successful, I’d say this is a good thing for the Open Web and for comment systems like Disqus and WordPress to also implement. Taking power from the bully means letting them think that their ‘hot takes’ have been ignored by bystanders. In this case, perception is power, and the bullied should be able to wield it.

Notes for Week 19 of 2014

The last time I did this, it was week 2 of 2014. But here we are again, with a bunch of nice links to share with you nice folks. Enjoy!

 

Internet

Which is the most popular IP among network engineers? It’s 8.8.8.8, which is Google’s DNS. But this wasn’t always the first IP to be pinged. Before this was Level 3’s not-really-public DNS on 4.2.2.2. Here’s an excellent roundup of the story behind the company across the hill.

Critical Thinking

Here’s a very simple, very straightforward approach to critical thinking. Be advised, I love repeating this ‘program’ over and over again. Do bookmark it.

Religion

Here’s an image explaining why religion can be a bad thing sometimes. Enjoy. 🙂

Writing Tools

There are some really interesting writing tools on the Internet. Here are two that blew my mind with their approach – Gingko and Lines. Do tell me what you think about them.

Finally

Speaking of writing tools, here’s one of my favorites. It’s a beautiful idea, embodied by the simple example that the developer created called “I Made Tea”. I’d really like to know what my readers make with something as elegant as Telescopic Text.

 

Title tells all

Take a look at the following tweet –

Interesting isn’t it? The tweet tells you the title of the article and there a link present with it! How wonderful is that?!

Frankly, that’s the crappiest type of tweet I’ve ever seen. Social networks like Twitter and Alpha can mostly only support enough space that if someone is putting up a link, they’ll either put up a title and a link or an explanation and a link. And guess what type of post super busy (read: lazy) business people, SEO Gurus and Social evangelists who use automated services like Buffer or IFTTT go for? You guessed it, the former.

Why does it matter? It matters because in this world of micro blogging and tweeting, everything is just a headline and nothing is context. If I start giving importance to everything anyone ever posts, it’ll be hell for me. So, it only goes to say that it’d be etiquette to ensure that whatever you’re posting is easier to read by your followers. How can you do that? Pretty simple. Do NOT post links with titles. Post links with reasoning. By posting in context, you’re ensuring the other person has an understanding of why you recommend this article or service instead of them just hopping to the link only to discover they’re not interested.

Oh, and SEO gurus, by posting the context, you’re adding more keywords to your posts, thus making sure you get better hits. It’s really a win-win situation even though it might seem to take longer for you to make that post.

By the way, when you look at it, does my post’s title do a good job of explaining what the article is about? Not really. That’s just an example of how bad/wrongly worded blog post titles really are. So by adding context, you’re adding a lot more value to your followers.

Good day and have a good weekend! 🙂

Was just reading Dalton Caldwell’s scathing remarks about Facebook and Twitter and his angst towards ad-based platforms. The whole point will be tested when the deadline for app.net comes by. If he’s able to garner enough money to start executing his idea, he’ll have proved himself right. But then again, there are so many ideas that are underfunded even though they are brilliant… LT itself is a good example. Others are all those kickstarter concepts that do not reach full funding. Is Dalton not advertising enough? Is he taking a very emotional route to solving the problem with today’s social networks? Who knows. What’s clear is that if he’s able to succeed, he’ll have shown all the twitters and disaporas of the world that being free and open is not the only way to create quality platforms.

VMware buys Nicira for $1.26 Billion

The big news for today is VMware’s acquisition of Nicira for $1.26 Billion. For those who don’t know, Nicira is a pioneer in Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Openflow. SDN is a technology that allows the virtualization of the network, thus abstracting the network and allowing a company to create multiple virtual networks based on their needs.

This is big news because of two reasons –

1. This opens doors for VMware into the networking world. Traditionally dominated by Cisco, Juniper, Brocade and a few others, the networking industry is now ripe for major disruption. There is a lot of buzz with the Cloud and SDN and now these buzz words are becoming a reality. By buying Nicira, VMware, traditionally a server virtualization company has stepped into the networking world, allowing them to take their expertise of virtualization and apply it to data centers. This way, VMware controls major portions of the data center world, from servers to the networking itself. The acquisition seems befitting too, considering that Nicira is often called the VMware of the networking world.

2. Nicira is not just an Openflow/SDN company concentrating on networking. It is a backbone to another project called OpenStack. OpenStack is a complete data center solution that has components that help a datacenter control the servers that store information, that do large computations and those that provide networking. By acquiring Nicira, VMware has enabled itself to be an end-to-end solution for datacenters and thus expanding their presence in that market.

 

This news comes at a time when the entire tech industry is in a flux, with many companies taking on new roles that are not traditionally theirs. If anything, this proves that the future of the networking industry is big and led by companies you wouldn’t expect to take the lead.

 

Further Reading –

TechCrunch’s news about VMware/Nicira acquisition

Marc Andreessen talks about Nicira on Forbes