Pig Piglets
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‘We Are Web Journalists’

Three days ago I laughed hysterically at Nate Dern’s Funny or Die post “The First Rule Of Web Journalism Is You Don’t Fact Check Web Journalism“. This poke-in-the-gut missive is so close to the truth, I almost couldn’t chuckle. The second rule is the same as the first, by the way.

Snippet:  “The eighth rule of web journalism is that if it’s too good to be true, you have to post it. The story goes up. It goes viral. It’s revealed to be fake. The apology goes up. The apology goes viral. You forget about it in a day and we’ll do it again in a week”. Funny because it’s true! [Read more]

Rolling Stone 1223 Cover
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Defending Rolling Stone

I subscribe to five magazines: Entertainment Weekly and Vanity Fair (print and digital) and Economist, New Yorker, and Rolling Stone (digital only). EW is cheap (as little as $10 a year), while the business weekly offers news analysis I mostly trust. New Yorker is for culture and the occasionally exceptional long-form feature. The other two deliver some of the best investigative journalism available anywhere. Today, I defend one of them, but also criticize its archaic news reporting methods.

Over the past few weeks, Washington Post leads blasting criticism against RS for story “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA“, which appears in issue 1223, Dec. 4, 2014. Online the dateline is November 19. The furor over the investigative report’s credibility is, ironically given the headline, a rape on Rolling Stone‘s credibility—and makes me just want to puke for the outrageous, holier-than-thou repudiation that should be pointed elsewhere. Mountains of irresponsibly-reported online news stories overshadow the amount of trustworthy content, yet the Post and other media outlets choose to gang-bang a magazine with standards for accuracy and accountability but also advocacy. The misdirected, and sometimes self-serving, attacks are shameful for their shamelessness.[Read more]

Art of Social Media Test Results
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The #ArtofSocial is What?

This morning, on Google+, successful self-promoter Guy Kawasaki posted about the #ArtofSocial quiz, which promotes his new book co-written with Peg Fitzpatrick  You can see from the screen grab my score, which isn’t as good as I expected. Dammit. (By the way, I didn’t take nearly 6 minutes to complete the quiz. I had a cat interruption midway through.)

Grumble. Grumble. Now I must buy another Guy Kawasaki book, with hopes this time there’s gold. I’ve yet to earn a living writing ebooks, even after reading APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book. Yeah, yeah, go ahead and blame the author—meaning me, not him. :-)[Read more]

Jerry Robinson
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Finding Flickr

Closing the storytelling loop from my thinking-out-loud writing, an update: I let my Flickr Pro account renew on December 6. That may surprise some people after I questioned the photo-sharing service’s trustworthiness for plans to resell Creative Commons Commercial images and  for recommending that anyone concerned should change the license (technically CC isn’t revocable when applied).

I seriously considered closing down my Flickr, and moving everything to my SmugMug or even to 500px. But something stung my ambitions. I still believe in Yahoo, and announcements yesterday and today—mobile developer conference and new opportunity for advertisers—demonstrate a company in upward motion. My oldest online identity is with Yahoo. Call me sentimental, even though my Yahoo mail account collects more spam than all the others combined by several times. That given I rarely use the address. [Read more]

Geico Commercial
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What Next? Price Negotiations at Walmart Checkout?

One Geico Insurance commercial claims that “auctioneers make bad grocery clerks“. Strange if bidding is soon the norm in big-brand retail, but one-on-one. Today, Amazon announced something surprising: “Make Me an Offer“, where buyers can negotiate prices with sellers. I do not jest. Seriously. As if Amazon prices aren’t insanely low enough.

The web retailing giant claims 150,000 items in the program, which isn’t about auctions, since all negotiations are solely between buyer and seller. From my quick review, Amazon chooses wisely. The majority of items I see are those where pricing could be, perhaps should be, considered more arbitrary, like artwork, memorabilia, and other collectibles. [Read more]