Monthly Archives: February 2011

Smarter social networking at SMCDC

Tonight, I’ll be moderating a discussion at Porter Novelli DC about what “smarter social networking” means.

Fortunately, posing questions to this particular set of panelists will be much more easier than trying to herd LOLcats.

Some time shortly after 7 PM EST, I’ll start asking Frank Gruber (@FrankGruber), CEO & co-founder of TechCocktail, Shana Glickfield (@dcconcierge), partner at Beekeeper Group, and Shonali Burke (@shonali), principal at Shonali Burke Consulting, what “smarter social networking” means in 2011. We’ll be talking about forming relationships and acting professionally in the context of the Internet. I might even ask about what good “netiquette” means.

I expect to see Federal News Radio Chris anchor Chris Dorobek (@cdorobek) to be there in person to heckle me online, along with the rest of one of the more connected group of people in the District of Columbia. The DC Social Media Club, after all, comes heavily loaded with BlackBerrys, iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Some will even have two of those devices – one official, one not, and will be wired into Facebook, Twitter, email and txt messaging.

This is clearly a group of people that has thought a lot about how to practice “smarter social networking.” As prepared for the discussion last night, I was reminded that the actions that humans take online increasingly are aligned what they do offline.

That’s because the idea of a separate “cyberspace” is on life support. That’s was one conclusion that Clay Shirky brought to a discussion of the recent report by the Pew Internet and Life Project on the social side of the Internet at the State of the Net Conference.

In wired communities, people are increasingly integrating their online lives with their offline actions. As that trend grows with more of humanity coming online, the role of the Internet as a platform for collective action increases. The world has seen some of that power at work in Tunisia and Egypt this winter.

Those connections are not always strongly made, due to the anonymity sections of the Web of 2011 provide. You only have to look at the quality of civil discourse between commentary on YouTube or newspaper comment threads without moderation to see how anonymity can enable the id of humanity to wash over a page. Teachers, freedom fighters, activists, law enforcement, aid workers, insurgents, journalists or criminals can and will use the Internet for different ends. When any tool is put to ugly or evil use, naturally it provokes outrage, concern, regulation or outright bans.

As Stowe Boyd wrote this weekend in his essay on cognition and the Web, however, “throwing away the web because you don’t like what you see is like breaking a mirror because you don’t like your own reflection. It is us we are staring at in that mirror, on the web: and it is us looking out, too.”It is us we are staring at in that mirror, on the web: and it is us looking out, too.”

In this age of radical transparency, it’s becoming harder and harder to hide to hide demonstrated bad character over time. That’s even more true of people who choose to live their lives more publicly on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and where ever else there digital nomadism leads them next.

This isn’t an entirely happy development, as the number of citations of social networking in divorce filings suggest. By the end of the next decade, more people may well be paying money to assure their privacy than to gain more publicity.

In that context, “smarter social networking” in an age of digital transparency may well rely more on good character, better business ethics and placing value in building trusted relationships than faster wireless broadband, the newest smartphone or millions of followers or fans.


Filed under article, blogging, friends, personal, social media, technology, Twitter, Uncategorized

Your Twitter journalism is so phat that _____

Today, spurred by a (rather absurd) debate about whether Twitter is journalism, Brian Solis asked whether tweets are recognized as acts of journalism, and as such, regarded as bona fide journalism. That’s a much better question. As of yet, unfortunately, no media law expert has sprung to answer it in the comments for his post.

Del Harvey Somebody else did answer the question on Twitter, albeit substituting snark for substance: @delbius, also known as Del Harvey, the head of Twitter’s Trust & @Safety team.

Her reply, below, set off one of the funniest exchanges I’ve ever had in more than 3 years of tweeting.

Del: Not gonna lie, read that Tweet and what sprang to mind was “Your mom’s an act of journalism.”

Alex: Your journalism is an act of Mom! Or to put it another way, your journalism is so fat, it had to create a @yearly account.

Del: My journalism is phat, thank you.

Alex: Ok, I’ll play. Your journalism is so phat, it can only be published in 140 characters or more.

Del: Your journalism is so phat that it uses the full title of weblog.

Alex: Your micro journalism is so phat that you have to make the Twitter display widgets auto-width.

Del: Your journalism is so phat your lede takes up a paragraph.

Alex: Your journalism is so phat that the IEEE had to create a new standard data format for your letters.

Del: Your journalism is so phat that your angle is obtuse.

Alex: Your journalism is so phat that you have to use to share what your officemate ate for lunch.

Del: Your journalism is so phat your informant was Mrs. Fields.

Alex: Your zombie journalism is so phat that your editor has to use liposuction to find where you buried the lede.

Del: Your journalism is so phat you’re below the *second* fold.

Alex: Your journalism is so phat that your readers are directed by their physicians to go on Lipitor after reading it.

Del: Your journalism is so phat your b-roll had butter on it. (wince @ self)

Alex: Your journalism is so phat that newly elected Congressmen are considering a vote to defund it.

Del: Your journalism is so phat your jump cut is a jiggle cut.

Alex: Your journalism is so phat that you had to get 5000 TB SATA drives to be the scratch disks for your video editing.

Del: Your journalism is so phat your POV pieces are for two people at once.

Alex: Your journalism is so phat that your hyperlinks are coated in myelin.

Alex: Your journalism is so phat that @cjoh had to start running marathons to stay on his information diet.

If you have more reasons your journalism is phat, please add them in the comments.


Filed under blogging, journalism, social media, technology, Twitter

“Internal evidence of harm has a lot to do with freedom of speech”

“Remember that privacy harm is not only a question of reputation – that’s external harms – but internal harm. if you’re concerned about your reading or watching habits could be watched, you could be chilled. To me, knowing that other people might know, we might say it’s a privacy invasion that could be chilling.

Internal evidence of harm has a lot to do with freedom of speech. If we don’t have a right to read or watch something in a way that can’t be monitored, it goes to free speech.” –Danielle Keats Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland School of Law, commenting on an iTunes privacy hole.

[Image Credit: Rob Pongsajapan]

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In the Category of Awesome: Legend of Zelda movie trailer, 80s style

Perfect mental health break for the day: seminal Nintendo adventure game mashed up with live action spoof trailer, with nods to half a dozen cult classic films from the 1980s. It’s like a glorious stew of my childhood television and gaming in less than 5 minutes. Well done, team. Full credits and show notes are available at the Legend of Zelda movie trailer YouTube page.

The complete version of the electronica theme is available at Bizarre Love Triangle

From the shownotes:

You’ve seen God of War. You’ve watched Inglourious Plummers more times than you’d readily admit. Now find out where it really all began with this recently discovered hidden gem from 1987.

In this charming critically-acclaimed tale of first love, Link (Jon Tomlinson), an eternal optimist and adventurer, seeks to capture the heart of Zelda, an unattainable high school beauty and straight-A student (Zane Bauer). He surprises just about everyone-including himself-when she returns the sentiment. But the high school’s over-possessive, megalomaniacal Principal Ganondorf (Dominic Moschitti) doesn’t approve and it’s going to take more than just the power of love to conquer all.

Perfectly capturing the essence of what it means to be a teenager in the 80s, Nick Murphy, Mike Sadorf, and Dom Moschitti reimagine one of the most celebrated video game franchises of all time with the heart, charm, and wit that only they could. It’s the legend of high school. It’s the legend of love. It’s The Legend of Zelda.

And no, they’re not actually making this.

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Filed under movies, technology, video

Esperanza Spalding wins Grammy for Best New Artist, @WhiteHouse celebrates the moment

Esperanza Spalding won a Grammy for Best New Artist tonight. She’s an extraordinary talent. Moments after her win, White House new media director Macon Phillips congratulated her on Twitter and linked to a video of her performance at the White House Poetry Jam on YouTube:

Shortly after that, the White House account shared the same video, along with a link to all of the performances on the White House YouTube channel.

It’s good to know there are some music fans down the road at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Congratulations to Spalding for the well-deserved recognition.


Filed under art, music, social media, Twitter, video

Atlantic Jobs and Economy Forum at the Newseum


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Strata Conference


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