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Annotated Digital Culture Links: April 24th 2009

Links for April 23rd 2009 through April 24th 2009:

  • A little cynicism about the Susan Boyle phenomenon [Just TV] – Some useful points to think about in terms of the dramatic rise (or spread) of Susan Boyle, the Britain’s Got Talent competitor who has taken the internet by storm. Mittell asks why so few people are allowing for the possibility that Boyle’s appearance was more manufactured than it appeared – this is reality tv, after all!
  • calling a customer a brat: twitter and the distinctions between public and private [jill/txt] – A cautionary tale: in Norway a teenager wrote on Twitter, complaining he couldn’t legally purchase a song in Norway which was available in the US. A Warner Brothers’ representative in Norway saw the tweet, and twittered back a response which basically called the teenager a brat and suggested (sarcastically) that he should just pirate it. The exchange was widely linked to, Warner Brothers had to issue a public apology. Jill notes this is a clear case of folks on Twitter not clearly understanding that it’s public space: “… if the record company exec had been talking to a journalist rather than firing off 140 characters from his sofa he would almost certainly not have called a would-be customer a brat. He would have moderated his tone and choice of words according to his awareness that he would be quoted.”
  • Oprah effect: 43% jump in Twitter traffic – Technology Live [USATODAY.com] – “Oprah Winfrey’s effect on book sales when she supports a new title is legendary. She may have even contributed to the election of the nation’s first black president with her endorsement of Barack Obama. So what happened in Twitterland after Winfrey started Tweeting, and used her TV show as a platform to announce her online Twitter presence? According to market tracker Hitwise, traffic to Twitter went up 43% in a before and after survey of the Oprah Effect. Additionally, on April 17th, the day of Winfrey’s first Tweets, 37% of visits to Twitter.com were new visitors, Hitwise says. By comparison, Hitwise says Facebook’s ratio of new visitors in March were 8%.”
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