What if Al-Qaeda Secretly Ran FourSquare

kyle played with his new blackberry whilst we drank the famous black stuff in a blues bar
Recently I’ve been doing plenty of research into online game mechanics for a presentation that I’m giving in a few weeks (Online Game Mechanics for Social Activism), and it got me thinking about how the methods might be used in the future.

This led me to think about using game mechanics for evil, rather than good, and I wondered about using some of the methods involved to gain access for less than reputable reasons. One captivating thought was: what if a terrorist organisation, like Al-Qaeda, started using some of the methods without our knowledge? This led me to further contemplate: what if Al-Qaeda secretly ran foursquare? They could use the massive amount of data about the movements of a large community to get an understanding of the best places to attack.

An extreme thought I know. But it does get you thinking about some alternative goals for data mining.

Social Media Has Jumped the Shark


I know. A bunch of people are going to tell me that I’m late to the party on this one, but social media has jumped the shark.

Today I’ve started the process of removing the term social media from my bios. It’s now plainly obvious that the title Social Media Specialist means nothing.

Social media specialists are more common than seagulls at a beach picnic. Every day I look at someone’s twitter bio, or I see an event with a bunch of people calling themselves social media experts. And I’ve never heard of these people before – which in itself might not be amazing, but in a city as small as Perth it’s ridiculous to have not met someone who “specialises” in the field I’ve been involved in for 15 years.

That leads me to believe one of two things: that social media is so easy that we don’t need specialists anymore. Or that there are a bunch of virtual snake oil salespeople selling social media specialism to the world. Either way, the title is now sullied.

So, until I find a better title, I’m relabelling myself an Internet Specialist.