filizefe's blog

Houseboat Living: Day 2

Posted in houseboat by filizefe on November 6, 2011

Nov 6th, 2011

First full day in the houseboat in Lake Union, Seattle, WA.

I woke up to the morning, where the sunshine reflecting off the lake filled my room with dancing sparkles! First morning on a #houseboat

We had a picnic on the roof and we’ve met more neighbors in 36 hours than we’ve met at our old neighborhood in 2 years.

First shower: The water pressure is a little bit lower than what we are used to, but we’re ok with that.


Build a Strong Online Portfolio in 9 Steps: A strategic approach for designing a portfolio and building a site in WordPress

Posted in portfolio by filizefe on April 11, 2011

If your career goal involves content creation and digital media management, you need to maintain control of your online identity by building a portfolio website. This past weekend in the MCDM, we’ve discussed the fundamentals of creating an effective online portfolio. If you haven’t had the chance to attend this workshop, this 9-step tutorial presentation will give you an outline for developing a content strategy, selecting appropriate work for publication, as well as building and maintaining your portfolio without falling into common pitfalls.

Book Review: “The Laws of Disruption: Harnessing the New Forces that Govern Business and Life in the Digital Age” by Larry Downes

Posted in review by filizefe on December 7, 2009

Revolution is coming, as well as the consequences of law and business in digital life. Innovative communication technologies disrupt the social, political, and legal systems. New forces, driven by these communication technologies, are replacing the government forms of the industrial age. Larry Downes, in his new book “The Laws of Disruption: Harnessing the New Forces that Govern Business and Life in the Digital Age”, explores this intersection of law and business in digital life, describes emerging principles that are shaping a new legal code, and draws a roadmap especially for policy makers and lawyers in this transformation period.

Downes is a consultant on developing business strategies in the digital age and the author of the Business Week and New York Times business best-seller, “Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance”, which was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the five most important books ever published on business and technology.  (, 2009) (, 2009)

Moore's Law: Plot of CPU transistor counts against dates of introduction. The curve shows counts doubling every two years.

Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law, show that the communication technologies are getting faster, cheaper, smaller, and the value of the network expands exponentially with the number of connected users to the system. Law, by design, changes slowly. Downes draws the central thesis of the book around these principles which is “technology changes exponentially, but social, economic, and legal systems change incrementally.” The normal evolution of legal systems is slow and incremental. But the innovative communication technologies disrupt the current system and ultimately demand dramatic transformation.

In particular, the book brings forward nine emerging principles for a new legal foundation, built on the information economy. These nine principles, divided into three groups, reflect the major components of digital life and form the laws of disruption:

Private Life

1.            Convergence – When Worlds Collide

2.            Personal Information – From Privacy to Propriety

3.            Human Rights – Social Contracts in Digital Life

Public Life

4.            Infrastructure – Rules of the Road on the Information Highway

5.            Business – All Regulation is Local

6.            Crime – Public Wrongs, Private Remedies

Information Life

7.            Copyright – Reset the Balance

8.            Patent – Virtual Machines Need Virtual Lubricants

9.            Software – Open Always Wins … Eventually

The exploration of these critical areas is not new to the reader; Yochai Benkler in his book published in 2006, “The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom”, examines the emerging social production in the digitally networked environment and how it transformed our most fundamental understandings of our society, economy and democracy. (Benkler, 2006) While Benkler is targeting academics about the same topics framing cultural reflections, Downes aims policy makers and business lawyers with up to date case-studies, and future predictions including warning sign.

Downes in his book, not only explores these nine critical areas in a very well structured outline with solid up to date stories from business and social life, but also suggests solutions to the emerging consequences. For example, in the last part “Information Life”, “Law Seven: Copyright”, Downes explores the history of copyright from its beginning to the present, and proposes a radical but simple solution, which is resetting the balance between information producers and users: He proposes setting realistic time limits to the legal protection on the content, restoring the concept of fair use, and undoing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 2000, which has done considerable damage to the balance between information producers and users and added no value. He emphasizes that markets do a better job than traditional forms of government in establishing rules in legal protection of digital content.

The metaphor of fast cars and speed limits to describe the state of copyright is a great one:  “It is now virtually impossible for average consumers to avoid violating copyright law on a daily basis. It’s as if every time cars were made faster, speed limits were reduced to minimize the incidence of speeding.” (Downes, 2009 pg 207). Almost everyone agrees that the copyright system is broken, “72 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 don’t care whether the music they downloaded onto their computers was copyrighted or not”. (Downes, 2009 pg 207)

Metcalfe's Law: Two telephones can make only one connection, five can make 10 connections, and twelve can make 66 connections.

As Moore’s Law makes it possible to digitize and store information much easier every day, Metcalfe’s Law helps it to explain how the information is exponentially distributed within the network. Once the information is digitized, any user can make any number of perfect duplicates. Chris Anderson in his book “Free: the Future of a Radical Price”, has already predicted that revolution is coming, even happening right now. Anderson takes a business approach to frame the topic, where Downes takes it from the legal point of view.

Anderson explains new business models where every product on the digital platform is competing with the price of “free” and it is already happening now. Because once it is digitized, the marginal cost of a product approaches zero and so its price falls toward zero. However, it is not threatening profitability of a product. (Anderson, 2009) Downes agrees with it: “The Law of Disruption always challenges the existing rules and profit allocations of industries, but in the end it creates more value than it destroys.” (Downes, 2009 pg 218)

Communication technologies are dramatically rewriting the rules of business and social life. This is disruptive and revolutionary. As real life and digital life continue to converge, the rise of consequences in private, public and information life is inevitable. I highly recommend “The Laws of Disruption” to lawmakers, entrepreneurs and anyone who is interested in witnessing and taking advantage of the revolutionary change in our economic, social and private life that digital technologies and emerging ways of communication bring about.


Anderson, C. (2009). Free: The future of a radical price. New York: Hyperion.

Benkler, Y. (2006). The wealth of networks: How social production transforms markets and freedom. New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press.

Downes, L. (2009). The laws of disruption: Harnessing the new forces that govern life and business in the digital age. New York: Basic Books.

Law of disruption (Nov 30, 2008) In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved Dec 4, 2009 from

Supernova Hub (2009) In Speakers, Retrieved Dec 4, 2009 from

The Laws of Disruption (2009) In Retrieved Dec 4, 2009 from

Book Review: “The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom” by Yochai Benkler

Posted in review by filizefe on November 16, 2009

Benkler, Yochai. “The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom” Yale University Press, New Haven, 200.

In his book “The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom”, Yochai Benkler examines the emerging social production in the digitally networked environment and how it transformed our most fundamental understandings of our society, economy and democracy. These new ways in which we produce and share information in the digital network, not only changed all of our lives but also the way information is capitalized, emphasizing on the commons-based peer production, the collaborative efforts, such as Wikipedia, Creative Commons and open source software, which are based on sharing information. (The Wealth of Networks is itself published under a Creative Commons license)

There are three parts to the book. In the first part, Benkler explains the emerging patterns of nonmarket individual and cooperative social behavior, and how this affects the economics of information production and sharing. The second part delves into the political economy of property and analysis to claim that these emerging practices offer defined improvements in autonomy, democratic discourse, cultural creation, and justice. The third section addresses the policies and questions the future of the internet and opportunities for democratic participation, and the creation of culture.

In the industrial society, information economy has been simply described as the information and services, rather than physical goods and services, which are based on the exchange of knowledge (DFEEST, 2008). Industrial information economy is now being displaced by the networked information economy. As Chris Anderson also argues the post-industrial information economy in his book “Free: the Future of a Radical Price”, the marginal cost of every product on the digital platform approaches zero, because once it is digitized it costs almost nothing to reproduce and distribute information. Information as a good and information technologies have replaced the goods which are made of atoms, and made a radical change in the way information is capitalized.

Benkler brings forward the possibility that “a culture where information were shared freely could prove more economically efficient than one where innovation is frequently encumbered by patent or copyright law, since the marginal cost of re-producing most information is effectively nothing.” (Wikipedia, 2009) He examines this radical economic change and how social dynamics drives the information production and information sharing to a non-market and decentralized framework. Previous communication technologies centralized communication, but the Internet and the declining costs of computation, communication and storage capacity provide new ways of social sharing and exchange of information. Although social sharing and exchange of information, is not a new phenomena. It’s not the first time we do good things to each other as social beings, but It’s the first time it is having major economic impact.

Information economy is shifting from physical products to decentralized and non-market information goods. Networked information economy, is not dependant on the market strategies. The most important components of the information economy – computation, storage and communications capacity – are now in the hands of population at large.

As a modality of economic production, social sharing and exchange is decentralized authority in a non-market based production framework. Below chart shows the four transactional frameworks and where this emerging networked information economy takes its place.

Benkler's four transactional frameworks

Benkler's four transactional frameworks

Benkler brings four economic observations:

1- The proprietary strategies of information economy are not as dominant as it is perceived. Most of education, arts, and sciences are merit based or volunteer based. Most of information is derived from non-market based systems.

2- The proprietary strategies make access to information resources more expensive for all as ownership becomes more restrictive.

3- As the information production, storage and sharing systems become cheaper and accessible, non-proprietary peer-production and sharing models become more attractive than ever.

4- The rise of peer-production: We coproduce and exchange economic goods and services, but we do not count these in the economic census. “The pooling of human creativity and of computation, communication, and storage enables nonmarket motivations and relations to play a much larger role in the production of the information environment than it has been able to for at least decades, perhaps for as long as a century and a half.” (Benkler, 2006, pg. 464)

In conclusion, Benkler in his book, brings a solid analysis to the emerging networked information economy, a detailed explanation to the social production and sharing dynamics, and discusses the social and cultural possibilities in the future. The book covers many important issues, such as intellectual property, copyright laws, personal freedom, and democracy, and it might worth to read through the whole book for a deeper understanding of the nature of the networked information economy. However, the length of the book and his long labyrinthine sentences are intimidating. I strongly suggest readers to have a look at his interviews, talks and lectures online to get the gist of his argument and warm up, before reading the book.


Anderson, C. (2009). Free: The Future of a Radical Price. New York: Hyperion.

Benkler, Y. (2006). The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press.

DFEEST (2008). “What is the Information Economy?”. Creating Online Opportunity. Information Economy. Retrieved on Nov 15, 2009 from

Yochai Benkler. (Oct 13, 2009). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved Nov 16, 2009 from

Class Reflection: Fair Use

Posted in reflection by filizefe on November 10, 2009

After a long discussion about copyright, digital rights management and fair use in tonight’s COM 548 #netEcon class, I’d like to share my “fair use” presentation from Spring 2009, where I told my own content creation story as a fair use case study:

Class Reflection – How to differentiate content in this “free” space?

Posted in reflection by filizefe on October 29, 2009

How to differentiate content in this “free” space?

Digital content, regardless of its’ origin, is a type of information. In this sense, content creators produce information. In order to differentiate your information from other information in free space, you need to get into the habit of viewing your content as solely “information”.

  1. Content should have a place: You need to collect your content under your domain name or at least on a blog or a SNS page. Think this is your office address on your business card, where you drive people from other locations and redirect people from it.
  2. Content should have neighbors: There is almost no marginal cost to copy and place your content on different platforms. You need to take place on different platforms (communities) and create links (connections) between your locations. As @yush said “The Internet connected our hard drives, and social media connected our minds”. We need to connect with other minds through social media.
  3. Content should be visible: In other words “searchable”. Every digital content on the internet should be tagged/keywords, linked or embedded in order to increase the potential of visibility.
  4. Content should have a value: You need to think and create different layers of information to represent your content. Chris Anderson would call creating scarcity in abundance. As @kegill mentioned in COM 548, “It is not easy to make people buy something online, if they find it somewhere else or something close (good) enough”.

Class Reflection – Learning Goals

Posted in reflection by filizefe on October 8, 2009

Reference: COM 548 – Economics of Digital Communication – Instructor Kathy Gill

MCDMUniversity of Washington

If I were an artist, I would try to stay away from the economics of creative process: Dealing with the production costs or profit margins is definitely not inspiring. But I am not an artist: I am a “Creative Professional”. In other words, I am doing business by using my creative skills. Economics is the heart of business.

I have almost no theoretical background in economics, but I took executive roles in corporate communications for 10 years in Turkey and in Europe. This professional empiric education taught me how to make good economic estimations about the possible impacts of public relations projects. I’ve always found myself negotiating my project budgets with business executives. The ones I got succeed were the pitches in which I displayed a good economic approach. When I was able to demonstrate my project in “numbers”, my clients were more likely to buy it. I believe the business executives like short presentations and they are not interested how “creative” the project is; they are interested in the “value” of the project.

I switched my career to digital communications by pursuing a degree in Digital Media. I improved my skills in using all sorts of digital media tools and gained critical thinking. I learned how to listen, converse and engage in digital media and the significance of this behavior in business. I learned new ways in research and presentation. Now, I need to learn how to monetize my capital.

In this class, I want to gain an economic approach by improving my knowledge in the current practices in the digital market. Hopefully this approach will help me to better understand the online business practices and to create valuable projects in my professional future.

Visual Storytelling For Web: Tips And Techniques

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 31, 2009

Draft Chapter – Visual Communication

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 10, 2009


Introduction will be with either a quotation or a story.


–          What is visual communication?

The study of visual communication comprises such wide-reaching and voluminous literatures as art history, the philosophy of art and aesthetics,  semiotics,  cinema studies,  Television and mass media studies, the history and theory of  Photography, the history and theory of  graphic design and  typography, the study of word–image relationships in literary, aesthetic, and rhetorical theory ( Rhetorical Studies), the development and use of charts, diagrams,  cartography and questions of geographic visualization (images of place and space), the physiology and psychology of visual  Perception, the impact of new visual technologies (including the impact of digitalization and the construction of “virtual realities”;  Digital Imagery), growing concerns with the concept and/or acquisition of “visual literacy,” and the boundless social and cultural issues embedded in practices of  visual representation.(Griffin 2008)

–          Sector overview

  • general background info on the sector: (Kathy)
  • sector use of social media in general: Twitter, Facebook, MySpace
  • financial importance of sector: (Kathy)
  • the unique factors at work that make this a good sector for analysis: On the one hand, the nature of the sector is challenging on Twitter. On the other hand, it is worth to analyze their alternate ways to reach their communities and their own use of the visual communication language on Twitter platform such as profile pages and links.

–          Methodology
I’ve used various tools to pick my profiles during my research about the organization/brand profiles related with the visual communication field:

1- Twitter People Search (specific brand names)

2- Twitter Keyword Search (visual, communication, photography, creative, design, image…)

3- Twitter Directories (WeFollow & TrackingTwitter)

4- Google

5- Google Finance (searching for brand competitors)

6- Visual communication related individuals and their following lists

Many corporate visual communication brands do not have a presence on Twitter yet. Some of the well known brands and organizations have been using Twitter but most of them are not paying attention to their profile descriptions and keywords, which make them invisible during search.

Visual communication is not classified on Twitter directories yet. In WeFollow there is only one representative of “photography” category. These profiles does not reach millions of followers, so it can be called as a niche category to deal with on Twitter.

–         How Is Twitter Used In This Sector?

  • types of communication to analyze: marketing, PR, reputation management.
  • themes and norms of how Twitter is used: Kodak Social Media Guideline

Kodak has been growing its participation in social media to strengthen our brand and our connection with customers and key influencers.

Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, news sharing and bookmarking sites like delicious and Digg, and photo- and video-sharing sites like flickr and YouTube can be exciting new avenues for communication in our professional and personal lives.  Used responsibly, they provide an effective way to keep abreast of new trends and topics, and to share information and perspectives.  Kodak has thousands of followers who have subscribed to keep up with Kodak blogs, podcasts and “tweets” each day. The number continues to grow, as does the number of viewers watching content on KodakTube, our YouTube channel.

Given the reach of the internet, it’s important that when you use these various media, you follow some basic procedures that support our “one voice” policy as described in the Business Conduct Guide.  That policy applies to Kodak employees when they blog or participate in social media for work, but it should also be considered if personal blog activities may give the appearance of speaking for Kodak.  Adhering to the following points in either situation will provide protection for you and Kodak

  • Rhetorical analysis of tweets 

Case Study 1 : CreativeReview

Creative Review is a visual communication magazine based in UK. I’d like to compare it with National Geographic Magazine.

Why this organization? What is its history of social media use? How is it using Twitter? Why is it using Twitter? What is the problem/opportunity?  Policies? Obstacles overcome? [narrative comes from the Q/A — look for good quotes and tweets that can be used as call-outs]

–          Screen Shot

–          Stats (followers, following, number tweets, date joined, first tweet)

–          pie chart (link tweets, @ tweets, RTs, other)

–          Elements that will be “graded”

–          External analytical data (tool TBD)

Case Study 1 : KodakCB

The competitors of Kodak is not actively taking place on twitter yet. Although Sony Pictures is not the direct competitor, it is relevant to compare two global visual communication brands and how they interact with their communities.

Why this organization? What is its history of social media use? How is it using Twitter? Why is it using Twitter? What is the problem/opportunity?  Policies? Obstacles overcome? [narrative comes from the Q/A — look for good quotes and tweets that can be used as call-outs]

–          Screen Shot

–          Stats (followers, following, number tweets, date joined, first tweet)

–          pie chart (link tweets, @ tweets, RTs, other)

–          Elements that will be “graded”

–          External analytical data (tool TBD)

Case Study 3 :Startup Company Analysis – Lilipip

My case studies above are global brands and organizations. A startup company and their tone of voice is significant to examine and compare with global brands. Therefore, I want to give a place to Lilipip, which the Twitter profile is run by the company owner.


–          Thought Leaders

Recommendations on who to follow in this sector and why.

–          Lessons Learned / Recommendations

Synthesis of all case studies (at least two per chapter is the goal) and heuristic analysis.


Griffin, Michael  (2008) “Visual Communication.” The International Encyclopedia of Communication. Donsbach, Wolfgang (ed). Blackwell Publishing. Blackwell Reference Online. Retrieved on 02 August 2009 from

Quality vs. Quantity: Which one to pay for?

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 6, 2009

Bill Wasik in his talk at BigThink claims that shorter written content (newspapers) is inherently going to be free in part because there’s so many people making it. In contrast, there is demand in the market to longer content (e-books) even though people need to pay for it. He determines that modern media made it available for everybody to create content and find a large audience to stage so there is an amateur explosion creating short content. Also people have no patience to pay for short content online. However, what is the role of quality? Is it the effectiveness or length of the content make us pay for it.

I agree, the modern media made it incredibly easy to produce content and share with large or selected audiences. Hanson Hosein, Director of the Master of Communication in Digital Media Program at the University of Washington, commented about the modern media by also naming as pocketmedia: “everyone is a communicator, a filmmaker, a journalist, a content creator, a community  organizer, a rabble rouser, a message disrupter, a salesperson, a marketer, a broadcaster, a narrowcaster.” This media environment turns everybody a potential producer. However, the ratio of effective content when compared with the informational pollution is not too high. People are improving their skills to find quality content or willing to pay a fee to be a member of a platform where they can be served with selected quality content.

Quantity on the other hand is losing its importance. Nobody has time to spend with useless information. As a reader, if one day I believe that I can’t reach accurate news through my own Internet search, I’d open up my wallet to pay a fee for online news service. In other words I’d trade my time with money. This is more about getting a service not the length of the content itself. But also there are some good examples of short quality content which can compete with 1000 pages: Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words.

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

…and is said to have called it his best work.