Tag: Echo Chamber

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Facebook, Mainstream Media, Confirmation Bias, and the Trump Trauma

Lots of Americans, like those out here in liberal-leaning, Hillary Clinton-supporting California, are suffering what I call the “Trump Trauma”. They were sure she would win, easily, and are shocked at the unexpected outcome. It’s all disbelief, like someone suddenly died without warning. They were unprepared and now mourn the death of the Clinton candidacy. How could this come to be?

During our pre-election Frak That! podcast, on Nov. 7, 2016, cohost Randall Kennedy and I discussed the social media election. He expressed surprise at the “speed with which information travels”. I interrupted: “The speed with which disinformation travels now”, later describing social media interaction as something like “Borg sentience”, in context of phenomenon “confirmation bias“. The group mind—perpetuated by Facebook, news media reports, and political polls over-weighted to fit the narrative booming from the Echo Chamber—led many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, to misguided expectations about whom would be President-elect.

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Affirmatively Advocate Counterpoints

Earlier today I explained my recent “Chilling Chromebook” writing approach, which seemingly contradicts my more pro position taken throughout 2013. Simply stated: My stance seeks to counterbalance sudden media fan frenzy—bloggers and journalists relating the same points of view because they think it’s vogue. There is too much me-too enthusiasm, rather than real reporting.

The recent rah-rah rash of “Chromebook is better than sliced bread” blog posts and news stories represent two types of contextually-relevant journalisms: advocacy and mob. Both get considerable treatment in my new book Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers.

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Chilling Chromebook

Over the weekend, I got email from developer Jeff Nelson with his blog response to my BetaNews story: “Chromebook belongs to computing’s past, not its future“. He is among a majority of responders who disagree with my assessments about the future of PCs depending on keyboard and mouse.

Today’s Android Wear platform announcement foreshadows exactly where computing is headed. For longer perspective, please see my book The Principles of Disruptive Design. But suffice to say that Google champions “Star Trek”-like computing, where you—by sight, sound, touch, and voice—are the user interface.

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Mob Journalism shouldn’t take away an Olympic Gold Medal

As I write, 1.7 million people have signed a Change.org petition to: “Open investigation into judging decisions of Women’s Figure Skating and demand rejudgement at the Sochi Olympics”. The signatories and the news media’s response to them is classic example of “Mob Journalism”, a term first used on this blog in April 2010.

I coined Mob Journalism, or thought so four years ago, to define a populist response that is a social media byproduct. Services like Change.org, Facebook, Twitter, and others with online reach, enable the mob (referring to the masses not the mafia) to have a much louder voice. That’s quickly, too, unlike letter-writing campaigns used by protesters of earlier eras. Rapid response benefits societies, as explained in June 2009 analysis “Iran and the Internet Democracy“. The news media’s response is another matter.

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Twenty-Fourteen isn’t Year of the Chromebook

There are reasons why I am so obnoxiously loud about bad news reporting tactics. NPD innocently kicked off a writ-storm about 2014 being year of the Chromebook. A Dec. 23, 2013, press release observes strong Chromebook commercial channel sales of preconfigured desktop and notebook PCs.

Looks like NPD pulled the PR—I can’t find it—over this whole “year of #chromebook” meme; it’s a blog and press echo chamber that continues to boom. Goddamn, my ears hurt. Even The Register, of which I expect much better, misquotes the NPD press release, too. That 21 percent market share figure refers to commercial U.S. channels only, not the entire market.

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Finally, a Sensible Story sets the Chromebook Record Straight

Gregg Keizer corrects the record regarding Chromebook sales. Somebody had to. Gregg is consistently a thorough reporter who actually reports rather than hypes or falls into The Echo Chamber.

NPD’s press release clearly states U.S. “commercial channels” not all retail sales, as has been widely misreported. That 21 percent number isn’t the whole pie but a much smaller portion of it. This misreading, misunderstanding, or misreporting (take your pick) fostered an echo chamber of stories predicting 2014 as the year of the Chromebook. In your dreams.