Archive for March 16, 2010

“Be a force for good.”

Posted in Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

So, Twitter wants to be a force for good?

How nice.

I’ll admit, it’s certainly more commendable than Google’s misleading “Don’t be evil” slogan, which I’ve talked about before.  But really, who believes that this is anything more than shameless self-aggrandizement?  Over at TechCrunch, Michael Arrington suggests:

What I’d like best is if Twitter just focuses on keeping the lights on, and adds competitive features that keep Google, Facebook and others on their toes. Let others use Twitter to do good things. Twitter should stay goodness-neutral and self righteous free.

I agree wholeheartedly. In my experience, companies that talk about being “good” are a lot like countries that put “democratic” in their official name – neither turn out to be what they claim.

What makes a blogger tick?

Posted in Finds, Random, Thoughts with tags , , , , on March 16, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I just finished filling out a survey for a study that is investigating the motivations that drive people to maintain blogs. It is apparently being conducted by a doctoral candidate at the City University of New York. Here is the description from the survey’s own blog:

My name is Leora. During my training to become a clinical psychologist, I have become interested — both personally and professionally — in issues of identity and the role technology plays in the formation of identity. I have created this study in the hopes of adding a new dimension to our current understanding of the role that blogging plays in people’s interpersonal worlds. In this study I aim to better understand the inner lives of a variety of bloggers, each of whom will add a distinct and personal perspective. I hope you will join me!

The survey contained a very interesting set of questions. In fact, a lot of them were not ones that I would have linked with blogging at all. But having completed the survey, I can see where the researcher is hoping to go – especially considering that she is in the field of clinical psychology.

I won’t give away what was actually in the survey. (You’ll have to participate if you really want to know.) But I will say that it asks the kinds of questions that teach you certain things about yourself.  The basic format requires (for most questions) that you answer using the researcher’s words.  And that can be hard to do sometimes. It’s the kind of survey where, if you are not careful, you may find yourself inadvertently giving answers that you wish were true.

It’s funny how even in anonymous surveys we find it difficult to admit certain things about life – as if checking the True box make a problem more real.