Hierarchies and/or networks

The world really doesn’t need another response to Malcolm Gladwell’s article on Twitter and social revolutions so instead of offering my full thoughts, I’ll just make one point.  Gladwell: Facebook and the like are tools for building networks, which are the opposite, in structure and character, of hierarchies… There are many things, though, that networks …

Facebook’s “Photo Memories” and filter failure

If you’ve scanned your friends’ photo albums on Facebook recently, you may have noticed a new feature on the right sidebar labeled “Photo Memories.”  This raises an important issue that I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while: our collective digital memory.  It’s the subject of a fairly new book titled Delete: The Virtue …

Apple’s music social network, Ping, and a followup on Facebook feeds

After my last post, I had a few conversations with friends about a categorized or sortable Facebook feed.  The point of my post was as much about how Facebook could have better managed the transition from profiles to feeds as it was about categorizing updates, but the latter was, for whatever reason, what I ended …

Facebook Profiles and the News Feed

Richard McManus has a post at ReadWriteWeb on the declining significance of profile pages on Facebook.  This is as good a jumping off point as any for a post I’ve been wanting to write about what I consider a missed opportunity for Facebook.  But first, a little background from McManus: As Facebook becomes more and …

Population and the Senate

Admittedly, this has nothing to do with media or the web – the usual topics of this blog… but the U.S. Senate has been on my mind recently for many reasons, including this excellent New Yorker piece by George Packer. Since each state has two senators regardless of population I started to wonder what the …

A journalistic ethic for the 21st century

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how to preserve the best features of traditional journalism as media continues to be transformed in the online era.  At its best, journalism is defined by the ethic of its practitioners, though defining that ethic can be difficult.  Some might say it’s about objectivity – or even impartiality.  …

The vanishing media middle class

Pew published a study a while back titled New Media, Old Media on the differences between new/social media and the traditional press.  There are a lot of interesting takeaways, among them: The BBC, CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post accounted for fully 80% of all links [in the blogosphere]. But what about …

Case Study: Why I don’t need to pay for news

I learned yesterday viaTwitter that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham would not be supporting the Kerry-Lieberman climate & energy bill that he helped to craft.  Grist reporter David Roberts tweeted: Profile in Courage: Lindsey Graham now says he’ll vote against #climatebill. Not enough offshore drilling left. http://bit.ly/bHraHO The link, to National Journal, requires a subscription and …

The future of paying attention

Nicholas Carr has a short piece in The Wall Street Journal reiterating his argument that the web is “turning us into scattered and superficial thinkers.”  (More Carr here and here.)  Is the web uniquely full of “constant distractions and interruptions”?  Carr drives home his point with a comparison to another medium: It is revealing, and …

Framing your friendships

Two things are indisputably true of Tyler Cowen: he has an interesting mind, and he has an economist’s mind. This struck me as I was reading Chapter 4 of Create Your Own Economy, titled ‘IM, Cell Phones, and Facebook’.  It’s a quirky (and occasionally funny) chapter about how our choice of communication platform impacts our …