Twitter is the New CNN | Lance Ulanoff [PCMag.com] – A pretty solid argument about why Twitter is better at sharing news and information than being a social network as such. The inequality of links (ie you don’t agree with a twitter contact to mutually interact, you can follow without being followed) is one of the strongest arguments against SNS use although, ultimately, I think is still depends on how individuals use the platform.
Keeping Your Photos Off Facebook & Other Privacy Concerns [The Age] – Stock-standard piece reminding everyone that stuff on Facebook and other social networks often isn’t private (and you should check if you think it is). I’m not sure quoting a “Cyber psychologist” talking about young people having a yet-to-mature frontal cortex is really the winning argument, though! Equally, the advice at the end (basically: be aware and check your Facebook settings) would be a little more genuine if it linked to something which actually illustrated HOW to make those changes (the complexity of Facebook’s privacy settings is one of the biggest privacy challenges today!)
Viacom v YouTube is a microcosm of the entertainment industry [guardian.co.uk] – Cory Doctorow’s fighting words about Viacom Vs YouTube: “From the Digital Economy Act to the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement, Big Content’s top brass are looking for ways to increase the liability borne by “intermediaries” – the companies that host and transmit user-uploaded material – in order to give them the footing from which to put pressure on tech firms to pay them off and go into bankruptcy. The lawmakers who say that they favour these draconian copyright powers are not on the side of creators. The creators are the ones busily shovelling their creative works on to YouTube. These laws are designed to provide full employment for the litigation industry, and to encourage the moral hazard that has TV and record companies turning into lawsuit factories.”
‘One Book, One Twitter’ launches worldwide book club with Neil Gaiman | Books [guardian.co.uk] – Twitter as global book club: “The brainchild of Jeff Howe, author of Crowdsourcing and a contributing editor at Wired magazine, the One Book, One Twitter scheme launches tomorrow. Readers have been voting for the book which they’ll be tackling for the past month, with Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel American Gods eventually triumphing […] “The aim with One Book, One Twitter is – like the one city, one book programme which inspired it – to get a zillion people all reading and talking about a single book. It is not, for instance, an attempt to gather a more selective crew of book lovers to read a series of books and meet at established times to discuss,” explained Howe at Wired.com. “Usually such ‘Big Read’ programs are organised around geography. […] This Big Read is organised around Twitter, and says to hell with physical limitations.””
Choose Privacy Week Video [Vimeo] – Fast-paced largely talking-head style video advocating better attention to privacy online. The video is US-based and features lots of candid interviews along with notable privacy advocates including Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman. Launched as part of the first US Privacy Week, 2-8 May, 2010. (Downloadable as 1280×720, 344.57MB Quicktime movie.) [Via BBoing]
Links for August 6th 2009 through August 14th 2009:
Gaiman and Doctorow Discuss Giving It Away [Tor.com / Science fiction and fantasy] – A few short questions with Doctorow and Gaimain about the usefulness (and profitability) of giving books away for free online. This quote from Neil Gaiman about giving away American Gods for a month is probably the most important: “It’s been really fun in my own slow way nudging HarperCollins out of the stone ages and into the dark ages. As far as I’m concerned the entire argument [of the validity of giving digital books away] was won at the point where I got them to put American Gods online…we gave it away for free for a month, and during the course of that month and for about four weeks after, the number of copies of all of my books…went up three hundred percent. As far as I’m concerned, that answered that question.”
Bringing the power of Creative Commons to Google Books [Inside Google Books] – Google Books now supports Creative Commons licenses: “Rightsholders who want to distribute their CC-licensed books more widely can choose to allow readers around the world to download, use, and share their work via Google Books. Creative Commons licenses make it easier for authors and publishers to tell readers whether and how they can use copyrighted books. You can grant your readers the right to share the work or to modify and remix it. You can decide whether commercial use is okay. There’s even a license to dedicate your book to the public domain. If you’re a rightsholder interested in distributing your CC-licensed book on Google Books, you have a few different options. If you’re already part of our Partner Program, you can make your book available under CC by updating account settings. If not, you can sign up as a partner. You can select from one of seven Creative Commons licenses, and usage permissions will vary depending on the license.”
Murdoch signals end of free news [BBC NEWS | Business] – “News Corp is set to start charging online customers for news content across all its websites. The media giant is looking for additional revenue streams after announcing big losses. Mr Murdoch said he was “satisfied” that the company could produce “significant revenues from the sale of digital delivery of newspaper content”. “The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive methods of distribution,” he added. “But it has not made content free. Accordingly, we intend to charge for all our news websites. I believe that if we are successful, we will be followed by other media. “Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to produce good reporting,” he said.” (It’s far too late to put the free genie back in the bottle … this plan could easily materialise as the move which killed NewsCorp!)
News Corp records £2bn loss [guardian.co.uk] – “Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire, News Corporation, slumped to a [US] $3.4bn (£2bn) net loss for the 12 months to June as a combination of plunging advertising revenue, impairment charges and online losses contributed to the company’s worst year in recent memory. The group suffered hefty accounting charges related to a drop in the value of its assets. After stripping out these one-off items, its full-year operating profit dropped by 32% to $3.6bn, with growth in revenue at the group’s cable television networks failing to make up for a slump in income from films, newspapers, books, magazines and online offerings. … n the final quarter of the year, News Corp made a $203m loss, compared to a $1.1bn profit for the same period in 2008, hit by a $680m impairment charge at Fox Interactive Media – the division that includes the social networking website MySpace, which recently shed 400 staff as it struggles to compete with larger rival Facebook.”
Why defend freedom of icky speech? [Neil Gaiman’s Journal] – Neil Gaiman on defending freedom of speech: “If you accept — and I do — that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said. The Law is a huge blunt weapon that does not and will not make distinctions between what you find acceptable and what you don’t. This is how the Law is made.”
ABC views year from on high [TV Tonight] – “The [Australian Broadcasting Corporation]ABC is hailing 2008 as its best ever result, improving 2% on its 2007 performance. With 7 of its top 10 shows being local productions, ABC is also buoyed by several brands hitting all time highs … The broadcaster also notes the popularity of its iView platform and the success of the relaunched ABC2 channel …
iView – Since iView’s launch on Wednesday 23rd July: ABC iView has recorded a total of 2.3 million page views. The most popular iView channel is Catch Up. (This data is up to midnight on Sunday 30th November 2008) (Source: WebTrends OnDemand)
VODCASTS (1 January – 16 November 2008)
• The total number of vodcast downloads this year to date is 14 million.
• Most downloaded vodcasts in 2008 to date include At The Movies, triple j tv (including jtv), Catalyst, ENOUGH ROPE segments, Bed of Roses, Not Quite Art, The Cook And The Chef, Gardening Australia, Lateline Business segments, Lateline segments. (Source: WebTrends, Akamai Mpeg Stats)”