My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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maps + tech companies

XKCD has the best map today:

I couldn’t help but think of an old post that i wrote about search engines as evil nation states of the 20th century, resulting in this silly image:

This had particular resonance today when a friend IMed me to say that Digg is like the UAE: it looks clean and modern on the surface, but it’s no doubt corrupt as ever on the inside.

(For those who are unaware, Digg’s users revolted yesterday over Digg’s decision to block posts concerning the HD-DVD key. A bigger question has emerged over what else Digg quietly suppresses.)

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8 comments to maps + tech companies

  • I was just sad that USENET didn’t merit a spot on the map. Alas, poor USENET.

  • Michael Chui

    Um, Usenet is there. It’s sunk. =P

    I’ve decided to answer Munroe’s question (look at the TITLE attribute of the original graphic) as, “That little island with 3 mountains south of the Bay of Angst. I christen is The Off-Shore.”

  • Oh, sure enough, right next to IRC. Never mind.

  • I actually thought the Digg fiasco brought up some interesting issues. Mainly how not taking the time to really think through how your communicating to your community can result in a minority of them steering you into exactly what you were trying to avoid. Digg ended up saying, “our community refuses to bow, despite the consequences” and I’m sure some minority believes that, but I’m not sure that’s actually representative of what was going on.

    Meh, perhaps it’s all old hat in a lot of ways, but it at least had me revisiting some issues of communication, how hard it is to communicate what you think you’re communicating, and the repercussions of enabling and believing a minority is speaking for the majority. More of this kind of ranting on my blog.

    Again, perhaps it’s been rehashed enough not to provide insight, but I was surprised for it not to trigger a longer response here. In large part because Danah and her commentators regularly provide such fascinating insights and discussion, so when something tickles my brain there’s almost always something here already discussing it.

  • Neil K

    Funny, a couple of days ago a Yahoo engineer departed for Google. His metaphor: Yahoo is the United States, and Google is the Moon. I guess that means all other websites are earthbound.

    I’m lucky enough to be in the equivalent of Hawaii according to this guy, though… his metaphor is spot on there.

  • I’m not sure if you’ve written about this in the past, but I would be interested to hear your thoughts on “virtual rape”. A link about it can be found here: http://sexcrimes.typepad.com/sex_crimes/2007/05/virtual_rape.html