Thursday, April 02, 2009

Les Mis 2009

Like it's 1977

After following the demonstrations yesterday on a palette of applications someone said to me: "I think I'm going to be an anarchist...again." Hard not in this Red Riding, Labour isn't Working, time not to juggle youth and middle age. Rory Cellan-Jones seems to be thinking the same, only with a hard news hat on.

I particularly liked this message from one frustrated Twitterer trying to get the word out from the Bank of England:

"Mobile coverage v bad prob due to number of anarchists also using iPhones".

Just a minute - anarchists using iPhones? Or Twitter? Does that really compute? One is a mobile phone that you might think was more of a yuppie toy than a revolutionary tool - the other is a social network used principally by an older, more establishment crowd than, say, Facebook. Or maybe those are just my preconceptions?

As I find myself London (re) Calling courtesy of the ripped CDs, it's not hard to also remember what punk begat for 18 years.

Dot Life, & Rory Cellan-Jones.


Eighteen months down the road to mainstream Twitterdom, it's far less alarming when photographer Christian Payne, or Documentally, is describing the birth of his son. It's not a one-way exchange but a conversation...

From the Guardian

A Few Months Ago...

...I watched a presentation on the realities of the 'google generation' - that's all of us btw - and how they search, read and source the web. Striking stuff. Afterwards a man from the Encyclopedia Britannica asked: "Ok, so what shall I do?"

“Wikipedia has been accused of exhibiting systemic bias and inconsistency; critics argue that Wikipedia’s open nature and a lack of proper sources for much of the information makes it unreliable. Some commentators suggest that Wikipedia is generally reliable, but that the reliability of any given article is not always clear. Editors of traditional reference works such as the Encyclopædia Britannica have questioned the project’s utility and status as an encyclopedia.”

Then look at A search for Encarta in the free portion of the Britannica site turns up nothing. And a search for Wikipedia provides one paragraph plus a pop-up window telling you you are trying to access premium content

wiki on wiki.

From the Christian Science Monitor on the death of Encarta.

No Relation Gets Worried About Democracy

Banker or Journalist? Now there's a game to play.

According to Bloomberg journalist Albert R. Hunt, people should be as concerned about the fall of newspapers as they are the fall of the banks. He says that society without a tough media is not democracy. He even mentions the French government's proposition to subsidise newspapers and the dangers it might bring. He cites a Harvard researcher who estimates that "about 85 percent of the news people get is initially generated by newspapers" and that most scandals are revealed by professional hacks who have the time and the means to investigate.

From The Observers.

Best of Breed eats Best of Breed

AKA posh dog eats posh dog.

I told Arthur that I had not yet fully read the story. “Well, I’m getting out of the business,” he said. Startled, I gazed through the window at the cars and people shouldering through the cold rain, the headline already forming in my mind: publishing scion resigns! “Wait, Arthur,” I said. “Is this a major scoop? Or are you just saying that you aren’t talking to writers anymore?” He laughed his high-pitched, zany laugh. “The latter,” he said.

AKA: Vanity Fair on the New York Times.

The Daily Philanthropist

If it ain't broke - but it is - don't fix it. Investigative reporting: the comeback?

Investigative journalism, one of the casualties of shrinking newsroom budgets, is getting some help from an unlikely source: The Huffington Post, an internet darling known for links and commentary, not in-depth reporting. The HuffPo, along with The Atlantic Philanthropies and other unnamed donors, is launching a $1.75 million fund to support the work of up to 10 investigative reporters. Their work will run on but will also be made available for free to any publication that wants to print or post it, according to an Associated Press report.

From the Washington Post.

Hiatus Status: twitter et al

“ Twitter did not just kill my blog though, it also killed my golf game. I have not played a round of golf since my birthday in September and as passionate as I have been about golf since my early teens, I barely miss it. Tiger Woods wounded my golf game because no matter how much I played or practiced and no matter how much technology I threw in my bag, I could NEVER hit the shots he could hit. Twitter finished it off for now because it replaces the social part of the game that I craved. The course was where I ‘closed’ business.

The Venture Capitalist, Fred Wilson, writing today about - I guess - time. I too have cause to wonder how to find the time to juggle two blogs, a tumblog, twitter, facebook, and two email accounts. Life in eight tabs isn't easy. In the absence of Around Robin newspapers have got into worse shape, (Chicago Tribune, holy hell!) and Jon Stewart has gone for the financial press.

I've been looking hard at download culture, and the results will be published soon: it's a free-fall world out there if the figures are anything close to accurate. And I've just signed to write a book about the future of the book. There is life after post-modernism, and Budapest. And the Kindle works on the iPhone...the e-reader is coming!