Friday, December 10, 2004

REPOST from Norfolkskies > from Rachelle to social software

Monday, November 29, 2004

Without a clear idea of exactly what to look up on the web, I end up at Blogdex. Today, the most read piece was
livejournal blog murders own mother

At number 3 is the young girl's site, My Crappy Life showing her last entry, Thursday November 18 2004, at 10.56am.

Just to let everyone know, my mother was murdered

I won't have computer acess until the weekend or so because the police took my computer to go through the hard drive. I thank everyone for their thoughts and e-mails, I hope to talk to you when I get my computer back.

I trawled through 5 or so of her posts to see what this was about, without much success. Presumably there is something way back which helps to explain what was happening here, but I rapidly lose interest when I see what she is writing. Withlittle desire to find out from her what is going on, return to the Glassdog post, 26 November 2004, number one for interest [ ! ], in Blogdex today, to read what has been going on more carefully.

One link gets me to what I want, the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

Rachelle Waterman had posted to an online journal dating back to February. In the journals, which she titled "My crappy life, the inside look of an insane person." She says she lives in Hell, Alaska, details conflicts with her mother and writes about a desire to commit violent acts against herself and others, KRBD reported.

I went back to look at some of the comments on her site to discover an awful lot of presumably young people who did not see what was going on. The moral is quite simple: there is limited use in real life human terms for much of the bitstream, because without the personal contact it is very difficult to see what is going on. Is it real or fantasy. It might have been better if Rachelle had used a cam. if she was trying to convince people of her distress. It wold have been relatively easy to pick up genuine cues from a face.

There will be a Hollywood film out next year on this to coincide with the end of the trail, certainly. The script is the posts.

I don't know if she is sick or bad. But I can see her poetry and know that manic depressives do a lot of that. The "creative" stage is usually during mania. Though it is not always that simple: sometime there is a mixed state of mania and depression, when both sets of symptoms are exhibited. High anxiety, restlessness, etc.

LiveJournal allowed Rachelle to rated feelings at the bottom of each post [ and interestingly to me what music she was either playing or thought about ]. Though I haven't checked all, the long posts almost certainly correlate with good mood - not a world shattering observation. A more balenced personality would probably show (a) longer posts (b) posts closer in length to the mean. It might be possible to assess what mood [mental state ] a person was in from simple things like that. The problem with words is that they might not truly reflect the mental state one is in. Well, Rachelle is the proof. I thoroughly searched for other contacts she made with school friends and others she contacted on the net, without finding anything that might have suggested her thoughts were something quite else..

Some clever guy is going to do some research on the networks teenagers create on the net. Simple links with little content in the way Police software is used to track complex crimes like money laundering might be useful.

I think I am changing my mind about this young, troubled lady. I will go back to her writing to see if I can understand her and also look more carefully at the comments that go with her more distressed remarks. The few that I have read, again presumably from youg people, show how much web users are looking for somewhere to dump their pain and anger. Some of them say really horrible things without knowing anything about the person who is writing them. It is not much different in "the real world", where judgements are often initially made about others on very slim evidence. Though without a facial or body response we can't see what damage we have done by our remarks.

It's been done...

User Patterns on LiveJournal
A study of LiveJournal, a diary-format weblog, shows that the average pair of users in a group of 250,000 can be connected in four hops or less, and that this degree of connectivity relies on a small but fantastically connected core of users who serve as 'human routers'. The way their behavior affects the system as a whole has interesting implications for weblog design and use patterns.

Who is Clay Shirky ?

...teaches at NYU's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program. ...writes and consults on the social and economic effects of the Internet, concentrating particularly on the decentralization of applications (peer-to-peer architectures and programmatic interfaces) and on the current explosion in social software.

This, on Lj, 2003, by Neel Murarka is good too, with some graphs


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