Publicy - Schott's Vocab ⇢
When the public, not the private, is the default.
(Publi[c] + [Priva]cy)
Writing for TechCrunch, Erick Schonfeld described how the advent of social networking and Web 2.0 tools have brought about a shift in social norms:
It used to be that we lived in private and chose to make parts of our lives public. Now that is being turned on its head. We live in public, like the movie says (except via micro-signals not 24-7 video self-surveillance), and choose what parts of our lives to keep private. Public is the new default.
Stowe Boyd, along with others before him, calls this new state of exposure “publicy” (as opposed to privacy or secrecy).
Explaining the concept on his blog, Boyd wrote:
There is a countervailing trend away from privacy and secrecy and toward openness and transparency, both in the corporate and government sectors. And on the web, we have had several major steps forward in social tools that suggest at least the outlines of a complement, or opposite, to privacy and secrecy: publicy.
The idea of publicy is no more than this: rather than concealing things, and limiting access to those explicitly invited, tools based on publicy default to things being open and with open access.
Tumblr is a tool based on publicy. So is Twitter. Tumblr blogs and Twitter accounts default to open unless the user takes great efforts, and as a result the resulting communities are based on sharing of posts rather than membership in closed groups.
As I have said in the past the open sharing model of Twitter and Tumblr will be the dominant motif of all successful social tools of the next decade. This will be the publicy decade, where network effects are induced by growing awareness of the benefits of publicy and the negatives of privacy and secrecy-based social tools, customs, and institutions.
Co-vocabularists are invited to share incidents where they have made public facets of their lives that, pre-Internet, would have remained private.
I guess I missed this February when it was published because of my mother’s illness. Still, nice to see it at all.
However, more academically-minded folks — like danah boyd and Jeff Jarvis — continue to use publicity for this, in a way that I think is confusing, considering how that term is generally used.