Archive | January, 2009

Executive Editor of WaPo signs off

30 Jan

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Washington Post Gaza Protest-Photo-02

Washington Post Gaza Protest-Photo-02

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It is strange when world or industry news comes to you from your own Facebook feed but that is exactly what happened to day when I read:

Jim Brady is about to walk out of the building where he spent the most enjoyable professional years of his life. He’ll miss it a lot.

Brady’s departure has been in the works for some time but seeing this from his perspective gives it s a whole new dimension. 

Wikipedia summarizes Brady’s experience as follows:

James M. Brady, known as Jim Brady, is an American journalist and the Executive Editor of the washingtonpost.com since November 2004.

Brady was born in Queens, New York City and grew up in Huntington, New York. He graduated from the American University with a degree in journalism in 1989.

Brady began his career as a sportswriter at the Post in 1987 and has worked as a sports editor, managing news editor, and in other capacities, and was part of the launch of the Washingtonpost.com website in 1996.

He has also worked for America Online, UPI, Newsday and NBC Sports

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New UK Law May Make Taking Pictures of Cops Illegal

30 Jan

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Police - Football Celebration

Police – Football Celebration

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This is outrageous.

I was disappointed to read a post that Paul Buchheit posted on FriendFeed today regarding recently passed legislation in the UK which might make it illegal to photograph the police there. The article, from Prison Planet, cites the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 as containing the relevant legislation

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Vindication for Roubini at Davos

30 Jan

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Barclays Bank - Formerly Lehman Brothers, NYC

Barclays Bank – Formerly Lehman Brothers, NYC

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I have been recommending that people read Nouriel Roubini for some time now.  Years ago he was viewed as a pessimist when he spoke at Davos but all of that is different now:

At the World Economic Forum two years ago, Nouriel Roubini warned that record profits and bonuses were obscuring a “hard landing” to come. “I really disagree,” countered Jacob Frenkel, the American International Group Inc. vice chairman and former Israeli central banker.

No more. “Roubini was intellectually courageous, and he called the shots correctly,” says Frenkel, whose AIG survives only on the basis of more than $100 billion of government loans. “He gained credibility, and he deserves it.”

Arrianna Huffington agrees that Roubini has emerged as the star economist of the event with others feeling contrition and guilt for their failure to see our current problems coming:

That sense dominated discussions even after the session had ended. The mainstream media’s ADD — the desire to always look for the new hot story, instead of digging deeper into a complex one — was deemed partly responsible for the failure.

And since there were those who got it right — including Nouriel Roubini (who was there) and financial analyst Steve Eisman (who wasn’t) — there was the feeling that many more in the media could have gotten to the truth before it was too late. And if they had, who knows what could have happened?

The widespread contrition permeating Davos is matched by an unnerving feeling of paralysis. The people here — and we are talking about some of the most influential people on the planet — seem confused, at a loss about how to attack the financial crisis. No one seems to think that the steps being taken are sufficient. It’s as if we are watching things unravel — how many times, for example, are we gong to hear that layoffs have exceeded expectations? — but are powerless to stop the unraveling.

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Google Introduces New Weapon In Fight For Net Neutrality

29 Jan

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Your Truth Episode 1: Net Neutrality Part 2

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Net Neutrality Part 2

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net neutrality panel 2

net neutrality panel 2

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Google announced today that it will give end users the tools to figure out whether internet service providers are interfering with their broadband connections by blocking or “throttling” certain applications.

In a move that will undoubtedly ignite the issue of network neutrality, the company has partnered with the New America Foundation and Planet Labs to further develop Measurement Labs, an open-source platform that researchers can use to find out information about broadband connections.

This is excellent news.  I have always thought this was the first step in fighting for net neutrality.  If I had the coding chops I’d build something onto this application that aggregated throttling activity and mapped it to applications, carriers and let people (if they wanted to) disclose what they were doing.  Then we’d know how many grandparents were not able to video conference with their grand kids, how many skype conversations were cut short and the extent of damage that this behaviour caused.  We’d also have some visibility into the kinds of applications and services that the throttlers were trying to defeat. 

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Tweets and transformation: How social media is changing news

28 Jan

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Chris Pirillo Show Mac OSX on his IBM thinkpad - Northern Voice 2006

Chris Pirillo Show Mac OSX on his IBM thinkpad – Northern Voice 2006

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If you’re going to Northern Voice in Vancouver next month you may want to check out a panel I’m on with some smart, local news people.  Here is the roster in case you were interested.

Panel topic

Established media organizations are struggling with the shift to social media on the internet. Social media represents an inherently different paradigm of communication from traditional mass media. It creates a many-to-many relationship and encourages participation, whereas the traditional media relationship is based on a one-to-many, producer-consumer model. This panel would examine how established media are seeking to incorporate social media into their work and discuss best practices for journalists.

Panelists

Alfred Hermida is an award-winning online news pioneer, digital scholar and journalism educator. He came to Vancouver just over two years ago to join the faculty at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism where he leads the integrated journalism program. He is an authority on digital journalism, having been a founding news editor of BBCNews.com. During 16 years at the BBC, he worked in TV, radio and online, both in UK and the Middle East. His research looks at how the media is changing, with a focus on participatory journalism. He was one of the first BBC News bloggers and now blogs about journalism at Reportr.net.

Kirk LaPointe is Managing Editor of The Vancouver Sun and an adjunct professor at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism. He has held the senior editorial roles at CTV News, The Hamilton Spectator and Southam News. He was the founding Executive Editor of National Post, a former Ottawa Bureau Chief and General News Editor at The Canadian Press, and host on CBC Newsworld.

Michael Tippett, a successful entrepreneur for almost two decades, is recognized an as international expert on emerging news models. In 2005, Tippett co-founded NowPublic. The company has been named one of the top five most useful new sites on the web by The Guardian and Time magazine named it one of the Top 50 Websites for 2007. In 1995, Tippett founded the WebPool Syndicate, one of Canada’s first Internet companies. After the success of the WebPool venture, Tippett travelled to the United States and worked for some of the largest web companies in North America, including TheGlobe.com and Register.com. Outside of his role at NowPublic, Tippett is a member of the University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism Advisory Board and is also a board member of CABINET, a Vancouver-based arts organization.

Moderator

Gillian Shaw is the Digital Life writer at The Vancouver Sun. She writes for The Vancouver Sun and the Canwest News Service. A journalist in traditional media she is among those making the shift to the digital age and sharing the journey in print and online. She blogs at www.vancouversun.com/digitallife ; writes at www.vancouversun.com/gillianshaw and plays around on social media sites, several of which she keeps track of at http://krunchd.com/gillianshaw.

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Social web bigger than porn, gambling and pills

27 Jan

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Business sought my LA homeownders-Photo-01

Business sought my LA homeownders-Photo-01

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A little more conversation, a little less action please.  Internet business types often joke that if you really want to make some scratch you should just set up a porn site.  Though it is sometimes tempting to believe that pandering to the porn crowd is a recipe for a quick return, it looks like the social web is displacing adult destinations as a surefire traffic play.  According to hitwise:

Last week we provided the BBC with some interesting data illustrating how UK Internet visits to Social Networks and Forums have overtaken Adult websites. As the chart below illustrates, social networks overtook last October and have remained ahead since.

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Social web bigger than porn, gambling and pills

27 Jan

A little more conversation, a little less action please.  Internet business types often joke that if you really want to make some scratch you should just set up a porn site.  Though it is sometimes tempting to believe that pandering to the porn crowd is a recipe for a quick return, it looks like the social web is displacing adult destinations as a surefire traffic play.  According to hitwise:

Last week we provided the BBC with some interesting data illustrating how UK Internet visits to Social Networks and Forums have overtaken Adult websites. As the chart below illustrates, social networks overtook last October and have remained ahead since.

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