Category: Media

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The Case for Advocacy Journalism

Judging by Philip Elmer-DeWitt’s Google+ posts, he is a nobody—less than 500 Circles and virtually no comments. Reality is something else: Philip is a respected reporter responsible for the Apple 2.0 blog. Googlism is primary reason, I believe, for the response—or lack of it. The social network attracts Google fanboys and abhors others. There isn’t much audience for him on Plus.

But over on the Fortune website, Philip’s following is clear, judging by comments to his frequent posts. He falls into the “advocacy journalism” category. Philip writes for an Apple audience and often, but by no means always, favorably about the fruit-logo company.

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I Take Away Control From Google+

My personal site is in state of revival, as I follow through on a long-contemplated change to my blogging style. I let inertia hold me back. No longer.

Since July 2011, I reserved most of my personal writing for Google+ and built there a fairly robust following (more than 16,000 Circles at present). The social network makes easy posting and connecting to others. Elsewhere, I write for BetaNews (e.g., for work).

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You Live in the Present, Write That Way

If you want your writing to impact, be present. Past tense weakens the narrative and deadens the emotional connection with readers.

Present tense is a weapon, which use raises body counts. Over at the BetaNews, some commenters consistently accuse me of being an overly-emotional writer. I cock my head and laugh, because just the opposite is true. Ambivalence is my feeling about 95 percent of stories, if not more. But accusations persist that I am a killer. For sure—of past tense.

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'Comic-Con Heroes' Weekend Sale

To celebrate the opening of San Diego Comic-Con 2014 pre-registration, I discount my book Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth. Go to Smashwords and use coupon code “SZ79R” to get the book for $1.49 instead of $3.99. The coupon expires tomorrow, so grab the ebook today.

Comic-Con Heroes also is available from other major ebookstores, like Amazon Kindle and Google Play. I offer the deal through Smashwords because the store lets me generate coupon codes and offers readers a wider selection of format options, with ePub and Mobi being the most important.

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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”.