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Links for August 25th 2009 through September 1st 2009:
- Twitter is Now Bigger than MySpace in the UK [Mashable] – "According to Hitwise UK, Twitter has overtaken MySpace for the first time on the list of most visited UK websites. Last week, Twitter was the 27th most visited website in the UK, while MySpace was 28th. Looking at social networks alone, Facebook was the biggest UK site, followed by YouTube (YouTube) and Bebo, with Twitter in the 4th place and MySpace in the 5th. And that doesn’t even take into account all the visitors that used one of the many 3rd party Twitter applications such as TweetDeck (TweetDeck) or Seesmic Desktop (Seesmic Desktop). "
- Bad news for newspapers, great news for journalism [bronwen clune] – Bronwen looks beyond the paywall: "Of course the argument for paid content is about defending commercial news organisations and not journalism. Problem is the two aren’t mutually exclusive anymore. For starters, it excludes the competition from government subsidised media – SBS and ABC – who probably can’t wait for News Corp and Fairfax to start charging for their content. A senior news person at SBS told me just yesterday that he “WANTS those sites to charge!” – not because he believes in paid content, he doesn’t, but because it certainly brightens his future."
- ABC most reliable network, Nine worst -readers [TV Tonight] – "The ABC is the most reliable network -according to readers of TV Tonight- and Nine the least. In the Audience Inventory, the public broadcaster was a clear winner in the key question of starting TV programmes on time by a huge 55% win. It was followed by Foxtel (22%), SBS (11%), TEN (7%), Seven (3%) and Nine (2%). The question was completed by 99% of the survey respondents, which totalled over 800." (That certainly matches with my thoughts!)
- Murdoch attack on 'dominant' BBC [BBC NEWS | Business] – "News Corporation's James Murdoch has said that a "dominant" BBC threatens independent journalism in the UK. The chairman of the media giant in Europe, which owns the Times and Sun, also blamed the UK government for regulating the media "with relish". "The expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision," he told the Edinburgh Television Festival. The scope of the BBC's activities and ambitions was "chilling", he added. Organisations like the BBC, funded by the licence fee, as well as Channel 4 and Ofcom, made it harder for other broadcasters to survive, he argued." (Or: if the BBC stays free and Newscorp puts everything they create behind a paywall, James is rightly concerned people will just read the free BBC stuff instead!)
- Wikipedia Will Limit Changes on Articles About Living People [NYTimes.com] – "… as the English-language version of Wikipedia has just surpassed three million articles, that freewheeling ethos is about to be curbed. Officials at the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit in San Francisco that governs Wikipedia, say that within weeks, the English-language Wikipedia will begin imposing a layer of editorial review on articles about living people. The new feature, called “flagged revisions,” will require that an experienced volunteer editor for Wikipedia sign off on any change made by the public before it can go live. Until the change is approved — or in Wikispeak, flagged — it will sit invisibly on Wikipedia’s servers, and visitors will be directed to the earlier version. The change is part of a growing realization on the part of Wikipedia’s leaders that as the site grows more influential, they must transform its embrace-the-chaos culture into something more mature and dependable." (With great power comes great(er) responsibility?)
Links for March 31st 2009 through April 3rd 2009:
- Internet traffic in Sweden plummets on first day of law banning web piracy [Guardian] – Internet traffic in Sweden – previously a hotbed of illicit filesharing – has fallen dramatically in the first day of a new law banning online piracy. The country – home to the notorious Pirate Bay website, whose founders are awaiting a court judgment on whether they have broken the law by allowing people to find films, games and music for illicit downloads – has previously been seen as a haven for filesharing, in which people can get copyrighted content for free. As many as one in 10 Swedes is thought to use such peer-to-peer services. But the so-called IPRED law, which came into force on Wednesday, obliges internet service providers to turn over details about internet users who share such content to the owners of copyrighted material, if a court finds sufficient evidence that the user has broken the law. … internet traffic in Sweden had fallen by about 30% compared with the previous day.”
- New Wolverine film leaked online [BBC NEWS | Entertainment] – “An almost finished copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman has been leaked online a month before its cinema release. The high quality copy of the film has been uploaded to several file sharing and streaming video websites. The movie is incomplete, with some special effects still in need of fine tuning and green screens and wires attached to actors still visible.” (It took less than 24 hours for this workprint to appear for sale in Jordan’s pirate DVD markets and C20th Fox are on the warpath. While a leak like this might be good for publicity, given that a workprint – which means unfinished special effects more than anything else – tends to emphasise the quality of the plot and dialogue, this could really hurt the box office.)
- Obama Depressed, Distant Since ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Series Finale [The Onion – America’s Finest News Source] – “According to sources in the White House, President Barack Obama has been uncharacteristically distant and withdrawn ever since last month’s two-hour series finale of Battlestar Galactica. “The president seems to be someplace else lately,” said one high-level official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Yesterday we were all being briefed on the encroachment of Iranian drone planes into Iraq, when he just looked up from the table and blurted out, ‘What am I supposed to watch on Fridays at 10 p.m. now? Numb3rs?'” “I haven’t seen him this upset since Admiral Adama realized that Earth was actually an uninhabitable wasteland,” the official continued. “Or at least that’s what he told me. I don’t actually watch the show. It’s not really my thing.””
- Victim Of Wikipedia: Microsoft To Shut Down Encarta [ paidContent.org] – “Microsoft will discontinue both its MSN Encarta reference Web sites as well as its Encarta software, which have both been surpassed by rising competitors, like Wikipedia. In a message posted on the MSN Encarta Web site, Microsoft says, “Encarta has been a popular product around the world for many years. However, the category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed. People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past.””
Interesting links for September 4th 2008 through September 5th 2008:
- 19% of U.S. Households Watch Online TV [NewTeeVee] – A new report from The Conference Board shows that 19% of US households watch broadcast TV online: “In its study of 10,000 households, TNS and the Conference Board found that of those who watch TV online, 43 percent tune into the news, the most popular category. Thirty-nine percent watch drama shows, 34 percent sitcom/comedy shows, 23 percent reality shows, 16 percent sports, and 15 percent user-generated content.”
- Wikipedia vandals target West Australian politicians [The Australian] – “According to giant online encyclopedia Wikipedia, West Australian polician Matt Birney has a small penis and premier Alan Carpenter is helped by the outlaw bikie gang Gypsy Jokers. … As the State election draws nearer, volunteer editors at the site, which has more than two-and-a-half million articles, are scanning the entries of WA politicians to ensure inaccurate entries are removed as quickly as possible. … Alan Carpenter’s Wikipedia entry was vandalised three times late last month. It said he was sacked from the ABC, had a drug addiction, “destroyed the teaching profession” and insisted “teachers are overpaid and underworked kretins (sic) of our society”. But two minutes after the final act of vandalism, editor Rror removed the offending material.” (That’s pretty quick editing! Who’d’ve thought so many people were watching WA politicians’ wikipedia pages?) [Via Anna @ iGenmasters]
- Google backs down over browser amid privacy concerns [The Age] – “Google has made an embarrassing backdown after it was revealed the company would have rights to any information entered into websites by people using its new internet browser. A day after the Google Chrome browser was released, a controversial clause in its “End User License Agreement” (EULA) has been removed following concerns it breached people’s privacy and copyright.” (I’m delighted that clause is gone, but credit to them, it disappeared pretty quickly after blogosphere unrest! It’s interesting, too, that in The Age Google backed down … for the BBC it’s a “tweak“.)
Like the Asian Tsunami (December 29, 2004),the The London Bombings (July 2005) and Hurricane Katrina’s Aftermath (September 2005), information about the current demonstrations and atrocities happening in Burma are flowing through user-generated channels as much (indeed, often more so than) through the traditional mainstream media. There is a great deal of activity both in blogs and throughout the broader sphere of citizen media, but some noteworthy places to look are:-
[X] The 2007 Burmese anti-government protests Wikipedia entry – Wikipedia is at its most useful during moments of crisis which have many sets of eyes watching. The collective intelligence of Wikipedia contributors continues to develop one of the best resources on the Burma protests.
[X] YouTube has a number of clips like this one which simply show the enormous scope of the protests [Via]. A very good source is the videostream from news6776 which collates a great deal of footage (both mainstream media-produced and from citizen journalists)
[X] The Support the Monks’ protest in Burma Facebook Group – To be honest, I’ve never really thought Facebook would provide a terribly useful platform for political activism as the ‘groups’ often seem a peripheral part of Facebook’s design. However, I happily stand corrected as the exponential growth of the Support the Monks’ protest in Burma Facebook Group has been amazing – over 170,000 members when I checked this morning – and the links, advice and descriptions of how members can actively support the Burmese demonstrations in that group seems quite robust to me, not just a tokenistic gesture. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say this Facebook group has probably done more to promote the ‘ Day of International Action for a Free Burma – Free Aung San Suu Kyi & Support the Monks in Burma’ on October 6th than any other single outlet online or offline.
[X] The SmartMobs blog notes that cameraphones and other mobile devices are one of the main tools allowing information and media to get out of Burma, but the government has moved from shutting down Internet Cafes to blocking the entire internet in order to try and stop knowledge about the situation in Burma being available internationally. Taking the massive step of blocking the entire internet speaks volumes to how widely the impact of citizen reportage is from inside Burma is disseminating to international viewers and readers.
[X] For a traditional media rundown of the impact of citizen media, see ‘Bloggers in Burma keep world informed during military crackdown’ in the San Francisco Chronicle and Dan Gillmor’s response at the Centre for Citizen Media where he points out, quite rightly, that there’s a lot more than just blogging going on!
[X] Finally, you should visit Free Burma (dot Org) which is a portal for international information on how to support the protestors and get involved in their struggle.