How News Consumption is Shifting to the Personalized Social News Stream

The social network of a reader is quickly becoming their personalized news wire. That’s because in the last five years, a revolutionary shift has taken place in the way we consume news. We have gone from consuming news through traditional media and news websites to having the news broadcast to us by our social network of friends. In fact, 75% of news consumed online is through shared news from social networking sites or e-mail. Social news is finding us.

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Palin pushes back on video of testy exchange – Yahoo! News

The queen bee of media spin can’t quite spin herself a new set of clothes, when confronted with an old constituent who can see through her invisible costume. Just watch her try to articulate what she’s trying to do for America…

Videos like this, where a famous media personality clearly demonstrates their inability to explain themselves or their policies to average folks, just totally shock me. It makes me think there’s a list of “Emergency Buzzwords To Fall Back On In Case Someone Asks You A Question”. Watch closely; you can see Palin trying to remember them, but she can only seem to come up with two, which she stammers over and over again… “Constitution” and “America”.

Zing: Too bad she seems to have no understanding of what either of them stand for!

Google & Verizon Propose Enforceable Net Neutrality

I love it when the mainstream media gets whiff of closed-door meetings, creates a story out of their worst fears, then finds out the meeting was convened to discuss the exact opposite of the reported story. I love it, except when I believe the “Rumor News” and start to distrust Google.

Sorry Google; don’t be evil to me!

Wikileaks Data Spurs App Development – ReadWriteCloud

While politicians, pundits, military, and journalists assess and debate the fallout from Wikileaks’ release of the “Afghan War Diary” – the legality and ethics of Wikileaks, its impact on the war efforts, the rise of the “world’s first stateless news organization” – a number of developers are diving right into the 91,000 some odd classified documents and seeing what they can do with the data.

Update to my previous WikiLeaks post: information is, in fact, still able to permeate even the strictest legal strangleholds. I applaud these lunies who risk life and limb to develop the code that empowers us to understand the data we pay for yet are systematically denied access to by the people we’ve put in power. Take it back!

Anybots

I’m a fan of anything that looks like a mashup of Wall-E, Johnny 5, and a Segway, but I think this company is a little too optimistic about our ability to interface with 5-foot-tall robots.  If I was in a meeting with one of these things, I’d be oscillating between poking at it and wanting to break it in half.  Plus, I just don’t think I could stare into one’s eye bulbs as it delivered a speech without reverting to laughter, or trade business cards with it at a mixer.  The biggest hurdle I see is its inability to actually sign a document, probably the single most important purely physical function required in a business setting.

What do you think, could you work with someone you know via one of these proxy avatars?

WikiLeaks to Pentagon: You’re Obnoxious. And In Another Country. Back Off, Dude.

Hasn’t anyone explained to the Pentagon how globalization works?  Turns out you can’t lure expatriates back to the US by promising to arrest them.  Similarly, you can’t convince them to relinquish top secret materials said expatriates have made a lifelong crusade out of liberating, simply by asking.  Who hires these people?

Massive Censorship Of Digg Uncovered

A group of influential conservative members of the behemoth social media site Digg.com have just been caught red-handed in a widespread campaign of censorship, having multiple accounts, upvote padding, and deliberately trying to ban progressives. An undercover investigation has exposed this effort, which has been in action for more than one year.

One bury brigade in particular is a conservative group that has become so organized and influential that they are able to bury over 90% of the articles by certain users and websites submitted within 1-3 hours, regardless of subject material. Literally thousands of stories have already been artificially removed from Digg due to this group. When a story is buried, it is removed from the upcoming section (where it is usually at for ~24 hours) and cannot reach the front page, so by doing this, this one group is removing the ability of the community as a whole to judge the merits or interest of these stories on their own (in essence: censoring content). This group is known as the Digg “Patriots”.

As much as I love the distributed network of news sources and aggregators I rely on, like Digg, I’ve always been wary of their hidden algorithms and the possibility of ‘gaming’ the results. My first reaction was, “well, this throws any semblance of impartiality out the window” – but really, is this all that different from how pundits and lobbyists have gamed the major news sources for the last 50 years?

In either case, it’s clear that shifting the curation and editorial power directly into the hands of the users necessarily complicates my relationship with that news even further. As millions migrate to these new, largely unpoliced news sites, these coalitions, conspiracies, and collaborators will become even more pervasive and influential.