Tag: Twitter

Read More

Praise Be Citizen Journalists

On this Easter, like others, I think about resurrection—but this day, strangely, how it should apply to the news media. Three years ago, I wrote largely-overlooked ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers. The concept germinated from my June 2009 essay “Iran and the Internet Democracy“, following protests in the country that citizens documented on social media/self-publishing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, which at the time were little more than three years old (with respect to availability to the public). I predicted that these nascent services would disrupt editorial monopolies on news and other information, which has occurred in varying degrees during the nearly eight years since.

By March 2010, a troubling trend lead me to write what would become the other genesis for the book: “The Difference Between Blogging and Journalism“. Too many news gatherers single-source blog and socially-shared posts, without independently confirming their accuracy. As I have told my reporters over the years, when working as an editor: Write only what you know to be true. If you haven’t communicated directly with the source, then you don’t know what’s true. But I am more disturbed by social media activity that mainstream media presents as news, such as stories that turn trending topics, or simply single tweets, into clickable headlines. Often they’re unconfirmed filler for driving pageviews. 

Read More

What Do Amazon, Google, and Twitter Share in Common?

Let’s spin some wild conspiracy theories—because it’s fun. You can choose whether or not to take them seriously, as nothing makes better hay than a presidential election year.  So I look fondly on the Obama Administration’s preparations for the president’s last State of the Union address—nearly a year before Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or some other soulless political pretend maven—boots him from the White House. Also, as a long-time tech journalist, what goes on behind the prep interests me.

Our Commander in Chief wants you to get the message whenever or wherever you may be. That’s an admirable ambition. But I can’t help wonder if the buddy-rule still applies; I suppose it could be coincidence that the tech that will bring you President Obama’s speech and followup conversations with the Veep, First Lady, and others is provided by people/companies close to the Administration. Hehe, a crony by any other name is still a crony, just not the same. 

Read More

Tweet This and That!

My ninth Twitter anniversary is come and passed without my noticing. Looking at the archive the service graciously provides, first tweet was on Dec. 26, 2006 about, of all things, Microsoft Zune. Now there’s a device for the archaeological tech trash heap, eh? The tweet topic must have been traumatic, because the next isn’t until Jan. 2, 2007. 🙂

The same month I signed up for Twitter, Ziff Davis hired me to run the Microsoft Watch blog created by the esteemed Mary Jo Foley. Editors planned to build brand around a core of so-called star bloggers, putting personalities before content. But six months later, Ziff sold off the enterprise group, of which MW was part, to an investment group that had other ideas. My tenure ended on April 30, 2009, after bankers took more control over Ziff Davis Enterprise during to Econolypse. I was overpaid, they said. 

Read More

Who Mourns for the Fourth Estate? (Part 2)

June 2009, the future of 21st Century journalism moves with protestors across Iran’s capital. In an area somewhat removed from the commotion, philosophy student Neda Salehi reportedly steps from a car and is soon shot by a sniper. A bystander videos her death and uploads it to YouTube. The moment becomes the rallying point for demonstrators in the country and for spectators from around the globe. It is a seminal moment of change for the news media.

The next night, June 21, I write

Read More

Responsible Reporting Section 2 ‘The New Journalisms’: Chapter III

It must be Sunday, because here I write another introduction to a chapter from my ebook  Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers. Section 2 introduces five journalisms—contextual and process were presented the previous two weeks. Next up, conversational journalism applies community concepts from local newspapers to the expansive Internet audience, which is actively engaged wherever and on whatever device it may be.

Please also read the other excerpts: Foreward and from Section 1, Chapters, I and II, III and IV, V and VI to grasp the logical flow. Reminder: The book releases into the public domain soon after the serialization completes. 

Read More

Responsible Reporting Section 2 ‘The New Journalisms’: Chapter I

One section down, it’s two to go as we begin the second. The serialization of my ebook  Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers continues ahead of its release into the public domain. So far we have the Foreward and from Section 1, Chapters, I and II, III and IV, V and VI.

The section’s short introduction is explanation enough what to expect. However, let me remind that all information was current when published 14 months ago and largely is unchanged today. Largely isn’t completely. Relevant clarification: Pricing for the New York Times digital editions is accurate but doesn’t reflect a current half-price promotion for 26 weeks. That said, the point—pricing that is an affront to consumer contextual consumption of news—is just as valid. 

Read More

Sometimes Reddit Comments are the Best Storytelling

What could be better Sunday reading than cats jumping into cars? I stumbled onto this Reddit post roundabout way from something that appeared in my social network. Stated simply: A “cat climbed into” Jonny_Bloodbeard‘s “work van in downtown Detroit to keep warm. They choose you right?” Nearly 500 comments later, I’m impressed by the civil discourse and some of the cat tails—er, tales.

Take a look at the screenshot and the story about the cat riding to church for attention and a couple other Redditers’ ribbing responses. I love it. This is what interaction should be among commenters, and their personal stories add so much to the original post. 

Read More

Twitter betrays You

Today, over at BetaNews, my colleague Mark Wilson asks:
Twitter may be within its rights to block ISIS beheading content, but is it right?” The social service did more—suspending accounts for some users who shared the gruesome video depicting the slaughter of front-line journalist James Foley, who was held in captivity for about two years. Mark writes:

Twitter has a responsibility to allow events to unfold without intervention. The sheer number of people using the site means that it is possible to get a fairly balanced view of what is going on in the world—do a little research and you should be able to find supporters of every side of just about any story or argument. But for this to work, censorship just cannot happen.

I agree but see far darker implications with respect to news reporting. 

Read More

One Word Describes Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts

Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Billboard and Twitter are partners in a new project delivering real-time music charts anytime, anywhere, on anything. The mechanism measures conversations around music on Twitter and presents them on Billboard’s website. Now this is contextual journalism in practice.

Billboard’s traditional approach to charting is in too many ways antiquated. The music consuming community lives in the moment—able to sample, stream, or purchase songs whenever, wherever, and on whatever device they may be. Weekly charts are stale before they publish.

Read More

Transparency Is All About Trust

Dropbox, like Twitter, demands more freedom to disclose government national security requests. The cloud companies share something vitally important. Their businesses are built on trust. You won’t store your stuff or tweet from an oppressive regime if someone can access your content or identify you. Twitter’s position, as I explained last week, also supports free speech and benefits news gatherers across the globe.

“Whom do you trust?” is a vitally important question, with so many devices connected to the Internet and accessing cloud services. Dropbox learned lessons—okay, presumably—three years ago when changing its Terms of Service agreement to allow government access. Suddenly all those encrypted files weren’t as permanently secure as customers expected. They responded unkindly.

Read More

Twitter's Defiance is Good News

I love Twitter, all the more since Eric Snowden’s revelations about the U.S. government’s secret spying program. The company largely stands apart from other techs’ positions, but not completely. In December, I scolded Twitter, along with Apple, Facebook, Google, and a smattering of others for their “disingenuous and self-serving” call for global government surveillance reform.

Today, Twitter tweaks the government regarding an agreement that expands disclosure of information requests, including those that fall under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In a startling act of defiance, Twitter chooses not to disclose the number of FISA and other national security-related requests, contending they’re scope is an “overly broad range”.