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In reflecting on the year and my quite sporadic blogging (and that’s being generous), it occurred to me that this is in large part because of the amount of time and energy that goes into talking with journalists in the last few years. In 2014 I provided commentary for 31 media stories: 7 newspaper or online stories; 4 TV interviews; and 18 radio interviews. I also wrote a couple of Conversation pieces, and a story for Antenna. This is definitely my preferred ratio: the more radio the better, as it’s almost always live and I feel a lot more in control of the way what I say is actually reported! While is seems a bit boring and self-serving to continually report here when I’ve provided press comments (and something better suited to Twitter), I’ve nevertheless added a media section above so that my public comments are at least available in a central place beyond my CV.
My 2014 output was actually down a bit on 2013, when I was interviewed for 38 media stories (19 were print or online; 15 radio interviews; and 4 TV spots). In 2014 I was probably a little pickier about which stories I spoke on, which was influenced both by the rougher media experiences in 2013 as well as me doing a more strategic job of marking out times to focus on my academic writing only. As 2015 kicks off, I’m still going to try and be available to talk about online communication with the press, as I still firmly believe it’s important for academics to try and be public facing and engage with public debate. I’m sure I’ll tweet the better stories, but I’ll also try and keep the media section more or less up to date.
Links for August 29th through September 3rd:
- Navigating the new multi-screen world: Insights show how consumers use different devices together – Google Mobile Ads Blog – New report funded by Google: “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior” "discovered that 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, whether that’s on smartphones, PCs, tablets or TV. We set out to learn not just how much of our media consumption happens on screens, but also how we use these multiple devices together, and what that means for the way that businesses connect with consumers. In understanding what it means to multi-screen, we discovered two main modes of usage:
* Sequential screening where we move from one device to another to complete a single goal
* Simultaneous screening where we use multiple devices at the same time
We found that nine out of ten people use multiple screens sequentially and that smartphones are by far the most common starting point for sequential activity." [Full Report PDF]
- UKNova made to halt television and radio torrent links [BBC News] – "UKNova has stopped offering BitTorrent links after becoming the latest file-sharing site to be targeted by copyright defenders. Its administrators said they took the action after receiving a demand from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact). UKNova had pitched itself as a free catch-up TV and radio service and had asked its members not to add material available for sale elsewhere. It has been in operation since 2003. UKNova's use of BitTorrent links meant it did not keep any pirated material on its own servers, but rather provided the means for its members to download and upload material to and from each others' computers. […] Unlike many other file-sharing sites, UKNova did not run adverts on its pages. One of its administrators said it was not run for profit, had survived purely from voluntary donations and nobody involved had been paid."
- Apple kills Star Trek [YouTube] – Clever re-dub of classic Star Trek: The Next Generation footage in the aftermath of Apple's patent lawsuits. Things don't go well for the Enterprise!
- Are Apple’s innovations inside us now? [CNN.com] – Douglas Rushkoff: "Imagine that we were just developing spoken language for the first time. And someone came up with a new word to describe an action, thought or feeling — like "magnify" or "dreadful." But in this strange world, the person who came up with the word demanded that anyone else who used it pay him a dollar every time the word was uttered. That would make it pretty difficult for us to negotiate our way to a society that communicated through speech. That's the way the patent wars on smartphone and tablet advances are beginning to feel to me. […] Usually, advancements of this sort are developed through consortia of companies. The HTML standards through which the Web is rendered are not owned by a single company, but developed together and used by everyone. Imagine if one musical instrument company owned the patent on the piano keyboard, and another on the tuning of a violin. Or what if every typewriter company had to develop its own layout of letters?"
Links for November 6th through November 8th:
- It’s as easy as d.me [Delicious] – As the new owners, Avos make some useful changes to Delicious, add Posterous-like email updating and d.me as a permanent shorturl.
- Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children, Study Finds [NYTimes.com] – “Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics’ longstanding recommendations to the contrary, children under 8 are spending more time than ever in front of screens, according to a study scheduled for release Tuesday. The report also documents for the first time an emerging “app gap” in which affluent children are likely to use mobile educational games while those in low-income families are the most likely to have televisions in their bedrooms. The study, by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco nonprofit group, is the first of its kind since apps became widespread, and the first to look at screen time from birth. It found that almost half the families with incomes above $75,000 had downloaded apps specifically for their young children, compared with one in eight of the families earning less than $30,000. More than a third of those low-income parents said they did not know what an “app” — short for application — was.”
- Google eBooks arrive Down Under [Official Google Australia Blog] – Google eBooks are now for sale in Australia.
- State of the Blogosphere 2011 [Technorati] – Using a survey of just over 4000 self-identified bloggers, Technorati has produced this year’s statistical snapshot of blogging. Interestingly, as with last year, they’ve not mad any attempt to quanify how many blogs are out there. Notable stats:
* 82% of blogger surveyed are using Twitter.
* 89% use Facebook.
* Unsurprisingly, Facebook and Twitter were the services that most effective drove traffic back to blogs.
* Just over 60% use Google+ (demonstrating exactly who was likely to respond to this sort of survey!).
* Significantly, even amongst people who identify as bloggers, only 54% had blogged in the past 3 months, and only 11% in the last 24 hours.
* Blogging is dominated by the middle-aged, not the young.
Links for July 27th 2011 through August 5th 2011:
- The freedom to be who you want to be… [Google Public Policy Blog] – A February 2011 post from the Google Public Policy blog, which included this: “Pseudonymous. Using a pseudonym has been one of the great benefits of the Internet, because it has enabled people to express themselves freely—they may be in physical danger, looking for help, or have a condition they don’t want people to know about. People in these circumstances may need a consistent identity, but one that is not linked to their offline self. You can use pseudonyms to upload videos in YouTube or post to Blogger.” In light of the real names policy on Google Plus, I wonder if Google is getting so big that the left hand is writing policies while the right hand thinks about things?
- “Real Names” Policies Are an Abuse of Power [danah boyd | apophenia] – Some important thoughts about the increasing in ‘real names’ policies, especially on Google Plus. From an historical point of view, boyd makes the important distinction between Facebook’s evolution (starting in a closed , trusted community where real-names are the norm) and GooglePlus, which has most directly courted the geek/coder/developer communities which have a much stronger tradition of handles, avatars and other non-real (where real = legal) names. And, as most people have pointed out, the disempowered, disenfranchised and non-elite members of society are often those who have the best (and convincing) need to use names other than their legal ones.
- Evil fiction: teacher a target of fake Facebook profile [the Age] – “Police are hunting the creator of a fake Facebook profile that was used to impersonate a Sydney primary school teacher and frame him as a paedophile by targeting kids at his school. The teacher, who cannot be named, is a long-time campaigner against racism online and with others he runs a blog that names and shames racists by publishing their hate-filled Facebook postings. In a phone interview, he said he believed this is why he was targeted. He said he and his family had been harassed over the phone, received death threats and had threatening notes left in his mail box after his personal details – including his address, phone number, photos and work details – were posted on a white supremacist website. “This Facebook profile opened up a couple of days ago with a picture of me and a friend with shirts off holding a beer … they were writing things on the wall such as ‘i’m gay and I like little boys’ and all sorts of things like that,” the teacher said in a phone interview.”
- Google+ pseudonym wars escalate – is it the new being ‘banned from the ranch’? [guardian.co.uk] – “Google is handling the issue of monikers rather badly when it comes to Google+. The list of blocked users is what is now being referred to as the NymWars extends to some fairly influential users. […] Blocked users are told: “After reviewing your profile, we determined that the name you provided violates our Community Standards.” Standards that are being used to ensure that everyone using Google+ is signed up using their real name. It doesn’t take much imagination to work up a few conspiracy theories about why Google should be so insistent on a real-name policy, alongside some more rational, soft-policy theories on encouraging a more, mature constructive level of engagement that reflects how we best communicate in the real world – ie, when we know who we’re talking to. But online identity is more nuanced than that. Though the roots of pseudonyms may have been in the murky, early web days when users may have felt safer protecting their identity when exploring this new world …”
- 6,000,000,000[ Flickr Blog] – Flickr reaches 6 billion photos in size, increasingly roughly 20% the number of uploads per year. This is a lot of photos, but a good, official (instagram-like) Flickr mobile app would probably mean this number would be much higher.
- Facebook’s new ‘Expected: Child’ tag sparks outcry [The Age] – “Facebook just made it easier to tell all your friends and acquaintances about your new pregnancy in one fell swoop. The social networking site recently added “Expected: Child” to its list of friends and family tags. The company also allows you to write in your due date and has optional space for the soon-to-be little one’s name. […] When I heard the news I put in a call to a friend who is 10 weeks pregnant to see if she would consider adding an “Expected: Child” on her Facebook account. The answer? A big fat no. “I’m so curious to see who would even do that,” she said. She identified three main problems with this new designation.
1. It might hurt her friends’ feelings to hear about her pregnancy over Facebook rather than in person.
2. The issues around having a miscarriage.
3. For people who have had trouble conceiving, Facebook was already a minefield of pregnancy announcements and new baby photos.”
- Fox Network to limit Web access to its shows [CNET News] – Fox in the US increases the tyranny of digital distance and provides massive incentives for unauthorised downloading of TV shows: “Fox Network announced late today that it will begin delaying Web access to many of its popular TV shows to give cable and satellite TV providers greater exclusivity with programming, essentially putting up a de facto pay wall around its content. Beginning August 15, only those people who subscribe to a participating video distributor will be able to view TV shows on an Internet portal the day after shows air on the network, the company said in a press release. All other viewers who are used to seeing episodes of “The Simpsons,” “Bones,” and “Glee” for free the next day on sites such as Hulu or Fox.com will now have to wait eight days to catch their shows.”
- BBC iPlayer goes global with iPad app launch in 11 countries [guardian.co.uk] – “BBC Worldwide is launching its global iPlayer service today, via an iPad app that will be made available in 11 countries in Western Europe. The US, Canada and Australia will follow later this year, as part of what is intended to be a one-year pilot. The service will offer a limited amount of content for free, supported by pre-roll ads and sponsorship, but its core business model is subscription, with users paying €6.99 a month or €49.99 a year. The 11 launch countries are Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. The global iPlayer app includes some features that are not in the UK version, including the ability to stream shows over 3G as well as Wi-Fi, and a downloading feature to store programmes on the iPad for offline viewing. “We think we have a load of unmet demand for BBC and British content internationally,” said BBC.com managing director Luke Bradley-Jones in an interview with Apps Blog.”
- Media Piracy in Emerging Economies | A Report by the Social Science Research Council – “Media Piracy in Emerging Economies is the first independent, large-scale study of music, film and software piracy in emerging economies, with a focus on Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Bolivia. Based on three years of work by some thirty-five researchers, Media Piracy in Emerging Economies tells two overarching stories: one tracing the explosive growth of piracy as digital technologies became cheap and ubiquitous around the world, and another following the growth of industry lobbies that have reshaped laws and law enforcement around copyright protection. The report argues that these efforts have largely failed, and that the problem of piracy is better conceived as a failure of affordable access to media in legal markets.” [PDF]
Links for April 13th 2011 through April 28th 2011:
- Copyright – 25 April 2011 [Rocketboom] – This 5 minute Rocketboom episode focuses on copyright in the US, looks at what Fair Dealing can and can’t do (especially with regarding to sampling) with reference to the Mickey Mouse protection act (Copyright Term Extension) of 1998.
- YouTube founders’ Delicious new venture [The Age] – Delicious lives on, and may yet prosper! “Yahoo! has sold Delicious to YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who promised to continue and grow the popular social bookmarking site. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Hurley and Chen, who sold YouTube to Google for $US1.65 billion in 2006, said they planned to integrate Delicious with their new San Mateo, California-based internet company AVOS. “We’re excited to work with this fantastic community and take Delicious to the next level,” AVOS chief executive Hurley said in a statement. “We see a tremendous opportunity to simplify the way users save and share content they discover anywhere on the web,” Hurley said. The YouTube co-founders said they would seek to use Delicious to “develop innovative features to help solve the problem of information overload.””
- No Tweets Allowed at the Royal Wedding [Mashable] – “Any 140-character loving guests attending the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton will be sorely disappointed, as signal-blocking technology will be installed at Westminster Abbey to nix cellphone use. According to Yahoo, the idea was suggested by members of the royal family and confirmed by police and security. They hope nixing phones and tweeting will cut down on news photos and videos featuring cellphone-toting guests, distracting ringtones and info about the wedding getting out ahead of the ceremony.”
- YouTube star TomSka ‘makes thousands’ every month [BBC – Newsbeat] – “… 20-year-old student Tom Ridgewell, [is] one of a new generation of YouTube stars making thousands of pounds through the site every month. “I like to think I work in comedy,” he says. “I just try to make funny videos really – ones that make me laugh.” He’s written, produced and directed dozens of short films, sketches and cartoons. But get onto his channel and it’s the numbers that really stand out: 55 million views and 220,000 subscribers – numbers he’s been able to translate into money. “They put adverts around your videos and you get a cut of that,” Tom explains. He wouldn’t give away specific numbers but told Newsbeat he earns between £3,500 and £7,000 each month. The student makes his money through YouTube’s partner programme.”
- Many under-13s ‘using Facebook’ [BBC News] – “Almost half of British children aged 9 to 12 are using social networking sites, despite minimum age limits, a report claims. One in five has a Facebook page, even though rules say they must be 13, according to EUKidsOnline. The report’s authors suggest that removing such requirements would make it easier to monitor online behaviour. However, children’s charity Kidscape criticised the idea and warned it would lead to more cyber bullying. The research, carried out by the London School of Economics for the European Commission, was based on a survey of 25,000 young people – aged between nine and 16 – from across Europe. It asked if they maintained a social networking profile. In the UK, 43% of 9 to 12-year-olds answered yes, along with 88% of 13 to 16-year-olds.” [EU Kids Online Social Networking, Age and Privacy Report PDF]
- E-Book Sales Surpass Print: Is This a Win or a Loss for the Publishing Industry? [RW Web] – eBooks surpass print in US sales: “When the Association of American Publishers (AAP) released its sales figures for the month of February , the headlines were easy to compose: e-books have surpassed print in all trade categories. E-books have become the format-of-choice, these figures suggest. In January, the AAP said that e-book sales were up 116% year-over-year, and for the month of February that growth accelerated even further. February 2011 sales were up 202.3% from the same time last year. “
- iPhone 4 About To Be Flickr’s Top Camera. Point & Shoots? Pretty Much The Opposite. [TechCrunch] – The iPhone 4 is now the second most popular camera being used by Flickr photo sharers, well on the way to becoming the most popular. In comparison, point’n’click cameras are declining in use. This article also laments Flickr’s failure to create a mobile app, especially since it’s very clear that a large percent of vernacular photography will be done on mobile devices.
- White House unveils cyber ID proposal [SMH] – “The White House has unveiled a plan [for] the creation of a single, secure online credential. “By making online transactions more trustworthy and better protecting privacy, we will prevent costly crime, we will give businesses and consumers new confidence, and we will foster growth and untold innovation,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “That’s why this initiative is so important for our economy,” Obama said. The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) proposes the creation of secure and reliable online credentials that would be available to consumers who want to use them. It would be private-sector driven and participation would be voluntary. The “identity ecosystem” would involve the use of a single credential – unique software on a smartphone, a smart card or a token that generates a one-time digital password, for example, – and would eliminate the need to remember multiple passwords.”
- YouTube Live: The makeover continues – youtube, web, media streaming, internet [PC World Australia] – “Another sign that Google is positioning YouTube to compete with broadcast and cable TV, as well as other video-streaming services like Hulu and Netflix: YouTube Live, a new branch of the hugely popular video-sharing service, debuted on Friday. As its name suggests, YouTube Live provides live-streaming events rather than the recorded videos found on the regular YouTube site. “With over 2 billion views a day, it’s easy to think about YouTube as a place to watch videos recorded in the past. But you’ve told us you want more — and that includes events taking place right now,” Google managers Joshua Siegel and Christopher Hamilton wrote in a Friday post on The Official YouTube Blog.”
- Cisco plans to shut its Flip camcorder business [The Age] – This is extremely disappointing news (and appears quite silly in business terms, too!): “Cisco Systems, one of the titans of the technology industry, said it is killing the Flip Video, the most popular video camera in the US, just two years after it bought the startup that created it. It appears to be a case of a big company proving a poor custodian of a small one, even one that makes a hit product. Cisco never meaningfully integrated the Flip Video into its main business of making computer networking gear. Flip Video users are now lamenting the demise of a camera that broke new ground. It was inexpensive, pocketable and very easy to use, from shooting to editing and online sharing. These features have been copied by many other manufacturers, but the Flip Video still outsells them.”
Links for March 21st 2011 through March 25th 2011:
- Record Industry: Limewire Could Owe $75 Trillion – Judge: “Absurd” [Crunch Gear] – “… this is beyond ridiculous. This is… sublime. The record companies suing Limewire were asked to estimate the damages that should be paid by the file-sharing service. Their estimate? $400 Billion on the low end, and at the high end — $75 trillion dollars. That’s more than the GDP of the entire world. The judge, in a refreshing stroke of good sense, deemed these potential damages “absurd” and the plaintiff’s approach “untenable”. The $75tn figure relies on an interpretation of copyright law that provides statutory damages for each instance of copying, and with the numbers of downloads and individual songs the industry is alleging, the money adds up quickly. Even the $400bn figure is certainly grossly inflated, however “conservative” it may appear to Virgin, Atlantic, Sony, and so on. It was decided that an interpretation of copyright law enabling the music industry to sue for more money than they’ve made in the history of recorded music was necessarily wrong…”
- Troll jailed for posting child porn on tribute pages for dead children [News.com.au] – A MAN charged over Facebook vandalism for plastering child pornography over sites set up to pay tribute to two slain schoolchildren has been jailed. The Brisbane District Court was told Bradley Paul Hampson, 29, posted offensive messages and photographs on Facebook “RIP tribute” pages for a 12-year-old boy stabbed at a Brisbane school and a nine-year-old Bundaberg girl abducted and murdered in February last year. Hampson, of Tarragindi, on Brisbane’s southside, today pleaded guilty to two counts using a carriage service, the internet, to cause offence and one each of distributing and possessing child exploitation material between February 14 and June 4 last year. […] Judge Kerry O’Brien jailed Hamspon for three years, but ordered he be released after serving 12 months. Judge O’Brien ordered Hampson be placed on a two-year probation order upon his release from jail.”
- Tweeting with the telly on [BBC News] – Twitter TV – it can be more than just #qanda! “The days of families reverentially gathered around the box may be long gone but the doom-mongers who said that on-demand would kill linear TV completely may also be somewhat off the mark. A new generation of viewers is watching what has been dubbed social TV – a synthesis between TV and social networking. A recent study from marketing agency Digital Clarity found that 80% of under-25s used a second screen to communicate with friends while watching TV and 72% used Twitter, Facebook or a mobile app to comment on shows. Currently it is little more sophisticated than watching TV with one eye on Twitter or Facebook, but that is beginning to change as TV executives start to experiment with greater social networking integration. In New Zealand, TVNZ has just launched a new youth channel which sees Facebook heavily integrated to create an interactive entertainment and music show.”
- Amazon Appstore: what does it mean for developers? [guardian.co.uk] – Amazon launch their new Android App store. Testimony to the choice available on an open system. However, launching it US-only seems ridiculous. Rovio’s ‘Angry Birds Rio’ is free for the first day of Amazon’s App Store, but no one in the US can ‘buy’ it (ie download it) at all. Not a terribly auspicious start. (Oh, and Apple are going to sue them for use of ‘App’ in the name of their App Store.)
- Piracy: are we being conned? [The Age] – A thoroughly research article which rebukes some of the ridiculous claims in several recent industry-backed “piracy” scare reports: “This month, a new lobbying group, the Australian Content Industry Group (ACIG), released new statistics to The Age, which claimed piracy was costing Australian content industries $900 million a year and 8000 jobs. The report claims 4.7 million Australian internet users engaged in illegal downloading and this was set to increase to 8 million by 2016. By that time, the claimed losses to piracy would jump to $5.2 billion a year and 40,000 jobs. But the report, which is just 12 pages long, is fundamentally flawed. It takes a model provided by an earlier European piracy study (which itself has been thoroughly debunked) and attempts to shoe-horn in extrapolated Australian figures that are at best highly questionable and at worst just made up.”
- Google accuses China of interfering with Gmail email system [The Guardian] – Google vs China, round two: “Google has accused the Chinese government of interfering with its popular Gmail email system. The move follows extensive attempts by the Chinese authorities to crack down on the “jasmine revolution” – an online dissident movement inspired by events in the Middle East. According to the search giant, Chinese customers and advertisers have increasingly been complaining about their Gmail service in the past month. Attempts by users to send messages, mark messages as unread and use other services have generated problems for Gmail customers. In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake in Japan, Google set up an application to help people find relatives and friends lost in the disaster. This service too seems to have been compromised. “Relating to Google there is no issue on our side. We have checked extensively. This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail,” said a Google spokesman.”
Links for February 1st 2011 through February 7th 2011:
- The ex factor: when love doesn’t click, revenge does … online [SMH] – Another digital shadow: “In dating land, revenge is now a dish best served online, with jilted lovers using Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to dish the dirt on their exes. And what would once have been a heat-of-the-moment spray can now live on forever, dredged up by a simple Google search. As the online reputation management company SR7 says, “what happens in Vegas stays on Facebook”. In the latest example, an angry ex-girlfriend took her ex-boyfriend’s professional photograph and overlaid it with derogatory text – then uploaded dozens of different versions to the web. They now come up every time someone Googles his name. The feud was first spotted by the SEO Roundtable blog, which also uncovered that the ex-boyfriend’s mother sought help from the Google Webmaster Help forum. The post has now been removed but not before hitting the blogosphere.”
- Big business buys up to outsmart ‘typosquatters’ [The Age] – “BIG Australian companies are buying up ”misspelt” internet domain names to stop others making money from their brand. Corporations such as Qantas, Westpac and Woolworths have registered the incorrectly spelt internet names because many people are terrible typists or cannot spell. Consumers can type in quantas.com.au and still get to the airline’s website. And if they leave the ”s” off the end of Woolworths, they are still diverted to the giant retailer’s website. Australia Post has registered austaliapost.com.au and australipost.com.au to make sure clumsy typists can still get access. Another company, Weather.com.au, has also registered whether.com.au and wether .com.au. Internet authorities are also cracking down on so-called ”typosquatters” who register deliberately misspelt domain names to make money from big business. The ”domainers” run ads on the misspelt websites and get paid up to $20 a click by the advertisers.”
- WikiLeaks has created a new media landscape [Clay Shirky | Comment is free | The Guardian] – Clay Shirky on Wikileaks: “WikiLeaks allows leakers transnational escape from national controls. Now, and from now on, a leaker with domestic secrets has no need of the domestic press, and indeed will avoid leaking directly to them if possible, to escape national pressure on national publishers to keep national secrets. WikiLeaks has not been a series of unfortunate events, and Assange is not a magician – he is simply an early and brilliant executor of what is being revealed as a much more general pattern, now spreading. Al-Jazeera and the Guardian created a transnational network to release the Palestine papers, without using WikiLeaks as an intermediary, and Daniel Domscheit-Berg is in the process of launching OpenLeaks, which will bring WikiLeaks-like capability to any publisher that wants it. It is possible to imagine that secrets from Moscow, Rome or Johannesburg will be routed through Iceland, Costa Rica, or even a transnational network of servers volunteered by private citizens.”
- Single or Spoken For? Facebook Can Alert Your World [NYTimes.com] – “Why do so many Facebook users agree to announce their romantic entanglements? “What is a wedding ring, but a status report?” said Nancy Baym, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas and the author of “Personal Communications in the Digital Age.” But she noted that Facebook had changed the way people report developments in their love lives to the wider community, creating the ability to instantly send out an update, which, she said, “forces you to make things explicit.” “It can force you to have discussions, or arguments, or decision points,” she added. “When you start dating somebody, you go through the transition, ‘Gee, we are hanging out and having fun,’ you don’t usually make an announcement.””
- Finding the Global Village through a Twitter Bot [Just TV] – Media scholar Jason Mittell has responded to the misuse of Marshall McLuhan on Twitter by creating a Twitter bot which automatically assails tweets which mention MchLuhan with a famous line from Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. In that scene the real McLuhan confronts a pompous academic who misunderstands McLuhan, responding “You know nothing of my work! You mean my whole fallacy is wrong.” Now the Twitter bot shares that same retort; the Twitter profile points back to a YouTube clip of the scene in question, so anyone getting autotwittered at can share the joke (although not everyone does). Is this comedy, criticism, spam or the new face of the “digital humanities”? 🙂
- ePub Converter – Online electronic publication converter. Creates .mobi and .epub out of lots of different formats, including Word documents and PDFs.
- The New York Times vs. Fox News [POLITICO.com] – Damn right: “New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller has become the most prominent media figure so far to blame Fox News for the polarized discourse that has become such a hot topic in the wake of the Tucson shooting. During an interview with Marvin Kalb in at the National Press Club in Washington Monday night, Keller expanded his complaint with Rupert Murdoch beyond the scope of the Wall Street Journal’s newspaper war with the Times, accusing Murdoch of poisoning the American discourse through Fox News. “I think the effect of Fox News on American public life has been to create a level of cynicism about the news in general,” Keller said. “It has contributed to the sense that they are all just out there with a political agenda, but Fox is just more overt about it. And I think that’s unhealthy.””
- Media Life and Protests in the Arab World [Deuzeblog] – Mark Deuze: “It is safe to say that just about every news organization and technology-blog spends significant time these days engaging with the ongoing protests and turmoil across the Arab world and the role of internet and mobile media in general and Al-Jazeera, Twitter, Facebook, and texting in particular. […] I’m covering this debate in my (work-in-progress) Media Life book, aiming to articulate a position beyond whether ‘media did it’, instead suggesting that lived experience is synonymous with mediated experience, and therefore we cannot experience a revolution or indeed any kind of process of social change outside of media.”
Links for August 4th 2010 through August 10th 2010:
- Women Set the Pace as Online Gamers [NYTimes.com] – “Although women are still slightly in the minority among global Web users, they are closing ground with men and, once connected, spend about two more hours online a month on average. […] Women also outpace men in photo sharing and shopping, and in what may come as a surprise, gaming, favoring casual puzzle, card and board games. Female gamers over 55 spend the most time online gaming of any demographic by far and are nearly as common as the most represented group, males 15 to 24.”
- Wikipedia’s Lamest Edit Wars [Information is Beautiful] – Fantastic infographic showing a timeline of some of Wikipedia’s silliest editing wars.
- Omo GPS stunt opens doors for marketers [News.com.au] – Unilever Brazil has embedded 60 GPS trackers in OMO washing liquid bottles and then their teams have followed the pruchasers of these bottles home and given them prizes. Understandably, many privacy issues have been raised!
- Does Facebook unite us or divide us? [CNN.com] – Brilliant, and a little confronting, TED talk from Ethan Zuckerman (senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society) looking at how globalisation might be a technical achievement, but not a social or mediated one (“cosmopolitan globalisation”). We look to our own social networks, and they increasingly narrow our perspective rather than broadening it.
- Update on Google Wave [Official Google Blog] – Google Wove: Wave development ceases, after users find it’s all too complicated.
- CommBank app lets people snoop on your house [SMH] – House-pricing information is apparently available to the public generally, but there is a real sense of privacy invasion at work here: “There’s a brand new property app on the block that gives iPhone users detailed information on the value of any house they care to point their handset towards, but privacy experts warn it may not sit well with the neighbourhood watch. Detailing sales prices of 95 per cent of Australian homes, the free app has been launched by the Commonwealth Bank in a bid to deliver more immediate buying and selling information to the public as they are actually viewing properties, helping them to ward off rogue sellers who attempt to talk up property prices. Just by pointing an iPhone at a particular property, they will be able to see the last sale price of the property, and if the home is actually for sale, the app will bring up a listing from realestate.com.au with details such as home layout and pictures.”
- Thunderous Bolt sensitive to parody [ABC The Drum Unleashed] – Jason Wilson weighs in on fake Twitter profiles in the wake of Andrew Bolt’s angry denouncement of (fake) himself: “Online fakery is something that draws on different strands in online and offline cultural history. Apart from drawing on early online examples like Fake Steve Jobs, Twitter faking has links with political impersonation, writing techniques like pastiche, and it also has some relationship to genres like fan fiction. After all, the best fakes don’t just go after their targets with blunt instruments, they create a narrative world for the fake persona to inhabit …”
Links for March 1st 2010 through March 4th 2010:
- Tangerinegate… by Robert Popper [BBC Comedy Blog] – What happens when a prank call alleging the British PM’s temper got the best of him is aired live? Fact checking? Verification? Nope: straight to the daily newspapers! Popper’s tale: “So I switched on LBC (a London talk radio station) where the topic was Gordon Brown’s alleged bad temper. I called up and got through almost instantly. “What do you want to talk about?” asked the LBC operator. Without time to think I replied, “Gordon Brown visited my place of work and lost his temper right in front of me”. Very soon I was on air, explaining how Gordon Brown had toured my workshop – a ‘lamination factory’ – and thrown a tangerine into one of the machines, breaking it, before calling a member of staff a ‘citric idiot’. It was all I could think of at the time. A load of nonsense. But I was quite proud of the phrase, ‘citric idiot’.”
- If you blog unauthorized “Daily Show” or “Colbert” clips, Viacom will sue your ass [Boing Boing] – Couldn’t agree with Xeni more on this one: “The Hollywood Reporter asked Viacom if the network intends to go after websites or bloggers who post unauthorized clips. “Yes, we intend to do so,” PR rep Tony Fox told THR. “My feeling is if (websites) are making money on our copyrighted content, then that is a problem.” What a big steaming pile of epic fail. How ’bout blogs (like, oh, let’s say Boing Boing) start suing Viacom for every time a Comedy Central writer lifts an idea, a blog post, a funny turn of phrase, or a story—and fails to credit, namecheck or pay us? Cmon guys, you know you do it. Television suit-people, when will you ever learn: we are the internet. We are your traffic machine. We are your idea machine. We are the engine that propels your shows.”
- Ballmer: Google’s culture isn’t responsible for its success [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – Steve Ballmer proves he doesn’t get irony (or: how does he think Windows got its dominance?!?): “Ask Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer why he thinks Google is the internet’s most powerful company, however, and he’ll offer a straightforward alternative: it got there first. Speaking at the SMX West conference in California on Tuesday, the man in charge of rival search engine Bing said that Google’s success today was not tangibly linked to the company’s culture, but simply spun out of the fact that it became successful in web search before its rivals. “The number one thing that Google benefits from in search is that they did it right, first,” he said. “There’s a value to incumbency.” “You can ascribe these things to things like culture, but it’s never clear which came first – incumbency or culture,” he added.”
- Researchers Suspect “Perfect Storm” of Political Opportunism in Game Violence Studies [GamePolitics] – Debunking videogames = violence:
“* In the last 10 years, video games studies have been overwhelmingly popular compared to studies on other media.
* Less than half of studies (41%) used well validated aggression measures.
* Poorly standardized and unreliable measures of aggression tended to produce the highest effects, possibly because their unstandardized format allows researchers to pick and choose from a range of possible outcomes.
* The closer aggression measures got to actual violent behavior, the weaker the effects seen.
* Experimental studies produced much higher effects than correlational or longitudinal studies. As experimental studies were most likely to use aggression measures of poor quality, this may be the reason why.
* There was no evidence that video games produce higher effects than other media, despite their interactive nature.
* Overall, effects were negligible, and we conclude that media violence generally has little demonstrable effect on aggressive behavior.”
- Picnik Acquired by Google [Picnik Blog] – So Google have purchased the online photo editing service Picnik. I’ve always found Picnik really useful for quite edits and found their integration into Flickr really useful. Of course, Flickr is owned by Yahoo, and while the noise initially is “nothing will change” we’ll have to see how Flickr’s integration with Google Picnik continues. In the meantime, I’m hoping to see a lot more of Picnik in Picasa! 🙂
- Understanding the Participatory News Consumer [Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project] – “The internet is now the third most-popular news platform, behind local and national television news and ahead of national print newspapers, local print newspapers and radio. Getting news online fits into a broad pattern of news consumption by Americans; six in ten (59%) get news from a combination of online and offline sources on a typical day. The internet and mobile technologies are at the center of the story of how people’s relationship to news is changing. In today’s new multi-platform media environment, news is becoming portable, personalized, and participatory: portable – 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones; personalized – 28% of internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them; participatory – 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.”
Links for September 2nd 2009 through September 3rd 2009:
- Copyright protection without the court action [Blogs – Twisted Wire – ZDNet Australia] – An excellent little podcast looking at the challenges challenges to copyright in the digital age, but more importantly exploring alternative distribution models which could circumvent many of the current big media strategy of litigation against a few file-sharers. Comments from Nic Suzor (Australia's Electronic Frontiers Australia), Peter Coroneos (Internet Industry Association (IIA)) and Mike O'Donnell, (CEO of iCopyright in the US). Amazingly, the idea of having better, quicker, more efficient ways to buy movies over the web was one of the main ideas put forward! 🙂 (See also the previous week's show & podcast where AFACT argued with Suzor and Coroneos about the role of ISPs in policing the content viewed by Australian internet users.)
- Web2.0 tools for Gov2.0 beginners: a practical guide [Centre for Policy Development] – A useful beginner's guide looking at web 2.0 tools and social media in relation to campaigning and building links and conversation between government and citizenry in particular ways. Gives a solid sense of the benefits and potential barriers with each platform mentioned. Written by Barry Saunders.
- YouTube Said to Be in Talks on Pay Movies [NYTimes.com] – "YouTube, the largest video site, is in negotiations with major Hollywood studios for a deal that would let its visitors pay to watch full-length movies, according to two people briefed on the negotiations. If an agreement is reached, it would be a major change for YouTube, which has built a huge audience by offering an eclectic collection of free video clips and earns most of its revenue from advertising. It would also put YouTube, which is owned by Google, in direct competition with services from Netflix, Amazon and Apple, which allow users to buy or rent movies online." (YouTube's creep away from a primary focus on supporting user-generated content continues …)
- Media favours Coalition, study finds [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – "Newspapers are left wing, television is right wing, and the media as a whole tends to favour the Coalition. And surprisingly, according to researchers from the Australian National University, the ABC Television news is the most pro-Coalition of them all. Former Liberal prime minister John Howard railed against the alleged left-wing bias of the ABC, but the researchers found Aunty was more likely to favour his side. Researchers pored over news stories from 1996 to 2007 to establish if the media was biased. The results, released today, point to the media being generally middle-of-the-road, with the coalition tending to win out."
- Conroy urged to 'end net censorship farce' [The Age] – "The Federal Government's internet censorship trials have been repeatedly delayed over the past nine months, leading to claims from the Opposition that the Government is deliberately withholding the results to avoid embarrassment. The Opposition's communications spokesman, Nick Minchin, today called on the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, to "end this farce and produce his long overdue trial results for independent assessment". Live trials of the filtering policy, which is intended to block "prohibited content" for all Australians as determined by a secret Government blacklist, were initially slated to begin in December last year and take about six weeks. They were then pushed back until July, then September and, today, the Government is still unable to put a date on when it will release the results to the public."
- TV facing 'iTunes moment' warns Microsoft's Ashley Highfield [Media | guardian.co.uk] – "The TV industry has as little as two years to create viable digital businesses or face a version of the "iTunes moment" that saw the music business cede the online future to Apple, according to Ashley Highfield. Highfield, the the managing director of consumer and online at Microsoft UK, said he believed the reluctance advertisers feel to advertise on sites such as Facebook will soon be a "non-issue", putting more pressure on broadcasters' advertising revenues. "Once this happens the shift of spending from TV to web will accelerate even more," he said, giving the Futureview address at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival today. "So realistically I think the industry has about two to three years to adapt or face its iTunes moment. And it will take at least that long for media brands to build credible, truly digital brands. But, importantly, I do believe TV does have a small two to three year window in which to respond.""
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