The social Web is, in essence, a huge popularity context, Digital Natives blogger Sarah Zhang points out, with even Google search rankings based on how many people visit and link to the sites in your search results. We can't afford to assume "that what is popular is also most worthy" or we stand to miss a whole lot of quality material that hasn't yet hit the public radar. Sarah writes about how people and organizations try to game the system to appear to have widespread grassroots popularity ("astroturfing") – and also how Web users can often tell and be put off by said. But how can we and our children assess the quality of the information we're seeking? That's where media literacy comes in – why it's so important and why its top practitioners, librarians, are so important in the current and enduring information glut. But media literacy is not only about content we consume. It's also about intelligently handling communication and behavior via email, IM, phone texts, or one's profile) – what's going out as well as what's coming in. Constantly reworking the algorithms is great, but critical thinking is essential.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Pretty faces in social media vs. mass media
- Risk implications of kids going mobile: Research
- A positive, insightful new book for schools on bullying
- Students called heroes in this 6th-grade class
- In the face of school violence, what do we default to?
- Popularity: The other kind of vulnerability
- FB & Oculus VR: The potential of a virtual-reality platform
- What’s (importantly) different about Snapchat
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Anonymous apps and services are not synonymous with ominous
- Facebook’s ‘Nearby Friends’ feature: What you need to know
- Identity theft a problem from cradle to grave — Kids most vulnerable
- How to protect your family from Heartbleed security flaw (slideshow)
- Beware of Heartbleed inspired phishing scams
- Are sites you use vulnerable to Heartbleed security flaw?
- Microsoft ends support of Windows XP: Machines highly vulnerable to security risks
- The evolution of online safety: Lessons learned over 20 years