Tag: bloggers

Getting dragged to Andros for liar’s poker

What do you get when you combine a pack of wayward bloggers with the largest population of resident bonefish in the western hemisphere?

Deneki FIBFest. Duh!

Yes, I’m getting dragged kicking and screaming down to Andros, ostensibly to show everyone how to knock at least a half dozen people flat out on the casting deck using nothing but a #2 bead chain eyed fly (traveling at speeds of up to 100 mph of course). If you’ve ever fished the salt with me, you know I can hit a man (including but not limited to myself) square in the forehead without much trouble. Sometimes I even draw blood. If the crew has any say in the matter, we’ll probably spend the first evening constructing helmets from coconut husks.

They won’t get that opportunity, however, as I am now disclosing in advance 100% of the contents of my gear bag so there is no misconception regarding what activities they will be engaged in during the lion’s share of this adventure.

They’ll never know what hit them. ‘Cause they’ll be hungover. And broke.

MG signing off (to practice my double haul hit the poker simulator)

News I missed while I was intermittently visiting hell

Hell = golf course

    From betting on the game when the other team doesn’t show…

  • Bridgewater Associates say financial losses from the credit meltdown will hit $1.6 trillion. That means we’re just a few pitches into the second inning in this mess. (h/t Paul Kedrosky)
  • In 2008, autumn seems to be coming early (and looking a lot like 1987). I’ve mentioned this already.
  • Retailers won’t be able to hide rising prices in the revenue line forever – consumer spending is invariably linked to the housing market. (h/t Calculated Risk)
  • From pointing fingers is old hat, and old hats fit nicer than new ones…

  • European politicians are conflicted over how to deal with bloggers. Might I suggest they send a patsy to quiet them down?
  • Some social networks are having trouble monetizing their traffic. Forget the problem of short attention spans amongst teenagers – blame Google.
  • Global warming hysteria has a new friend, the plasma TVs everyone bought with their second mortgage loan.
  • And from technology is my oyster, now give it a sniff before you eat it…

  • How does a thriving technology company morph itself into General Motors? Become extremely bureaucratic about minutia. ADDED: Make sure that minutia is completely irrelevant too.
  • Voicemail is dead. I agree, not because of fabulous web services, but something much simpler – caller id and internal phone contact lists.
  • Email is in trouble too? I’ll agree with that as well, but not because of the newfangled services that exist today. Too few people are ever going to want their communication publicized, and too many are shifting platforms for Outlook to be a long term handicap. Someone is going to rise to the occasion for the mainstream user.

AP Fight: Protecting Content Or Temporarily Quelling Discontent?

boycott-apThe Associated Press vs. The Blogosphere

There’s a battle brewing between the Associated Press and the Internet. The gist…the AP sent DMCA notices to one Drudge Retort, a community news website that was republishing one-liners from their news stories. The AP is apparently opposed to websites quoting their stories – they’d rather just have a link, despite the fact that using short excerpts of news stories is well within the bounds of presently defined “fair use.” The AP says this move is all about protecting content, and they are going to set up “new standards” for the use of their stuff.

But let’s face the fact – the AP has long been THE source of printed news in the US. Once strictly controlled via agreement and paper-based distribution, the traditional media is now losing it’s stranglehold on the mindset of America. News is now sliced and diced, consented to and criticized. The AP knows newsprint has one foot in the grave, and they are pushing their way to the web, syndicating content with traditional news outlets’ websites as well as with the Yahoos and Googles of the world.

Their thought process is likely as follows… if we allow websites to directly republish content, there is both control over the substance of said content as well as a potential revenue stream. Stories are posted and directly attributed to the author/source. And even if we lose those languishing newspapers, we’ve still got Yahoo! and Google, who have assured us that there is plenty of traffic to keep us busy. By controlling each and every word, we can ensure our partners that they have (exclusive or semi-exclusive) rights to those words. [Fair enough]. And if a blogger wants to link to those stories, great. That’s just a bit more traffic for our partners and ourselves.

On the other hand… having some person in their pajamas pick your writers’ work to pieces, calling them out on either their glaring errors or blatant bias doesn’t lend to the AP’s credibility. It is difficult for a blogger to make a point about a story without an excerpt – bloggers know too few people will click through a link and parse out the relevant passages to which they refer – without quotation, blogging becomes much less effective as an argumentative mechanism. Influential political and technology bloggers are already boycotting links to any and all AP stories, as well as links to anyone who links to AP stories. Frankly, it’s the political part I’d be worried about.

Curiously, this kerfuffle comes at a time when we have critical elections right around the corner, and more Americans than ever using the internet to validate prevailing opinion. The AP’s move seems unmanageable – they may be able to make a point by bullying a few low-tier bloggers, and they may also get a few larger players to cease and desist under the guise of protecting their fiefdoms. But over the long haul, it would be virtually impossible to police the entire internet for suspected “infringement” – the AP and its partners would have to create an entirely new budget line items solely for sending out DMCA notices (although I doubt the lawyers would care).

It makes me wonder if this move is a tactical ploy – attempting to scare the internet into submission. It’s a vain attempt, but those pissed off bloggers will boycott our content for a while, essentially playing right into our hands.

UPDATE: I’m giving the AP credit for potentially being extremely shrewd. Others are not.

UPDATE 2: It isn’t a first for these folks. Simon Owens gets into the details.

Google News move gives blogs more punch

Google announced this morning that they are going to provide limited commenting capability over at their news page – the limited part means limited to the subjects of the news, and or their agents. When I first read the “news, ” (no pun intended) which came via TechMeme in the form of these three stories….

  • Google News To Newsmakers: Send Us Your Comments
  • Google News Adds (Special) Comments
  • Freedom from the press: Google News lets newsmakers comment on stories
  • …my first inclination was so what! I used to have Google News as my browser home page – then RSS came along. Google was late to party with respect to integrating feeds into their news page, and I’d since found other sources that sliced and diced things more to my fancy.

    My second inclination was…damn, that is going to be a lot of work. Who is going to sort through all those comments, trying to figure out which are legitimate and which are coming from some public relations firm trying to do damage control? Mike Arrington (along with some others) had the same idea.

    Then my third and final thought hit…this is going to be great fodder for bloggers! Just imagine a whole bunch of “interested parties” emailing Google with comments meant primarily to “correct” factually inauspicious information and/or debate the facts as presented. A whole lot of emails are going to come in attempting to “re-spin” every news item. Journalists themselves are likely candidates to join the fun.

    Bloggers are going to pounce on this – they’ll be linking to scurrilous commentary like white on rice. Now, not only are the news folks themselves going to take heat – the subjects of the news (at least those that lack any sense of self-control) will too. As the de-facto editor-in-chief, Google should get used to ducking – it could get very ugly. For the bloggers’ sake, let’s hope there is no comment retraction function!

    Rather than just rain on the parade with gross speculation that will likely wind up completely and utterly wrong, I’ll end with a suggestion for Google – call the guys at Intense Debate and let them help you with the implementation bit. I saw a presentation they did last night and was impressed. While they could use a little polish on the public speaking front, they explained their technology sufficiently and answered a few tough questions to boot. What really hit me, however, was their humbleness. They didn’t have all the answers, but certainly seemed enthusiastic enough to go find them. That I really liked.

    Now if I could only be that way myself.

    UPDATE: More from Mike Masnick, with some alternative thoughts.

    UPDATE 2: And still more from the other Mike…on the crawling restrictions at Google News. That won’t stop people from linking (and berating), will it?

    The BIG WHY on blogger disclosure

    Josh Catone has produced a quality write-up on the issue of blogger ethics and disclosure. My question is…why should bloggers disclose when mainstream media journalists don’t?

    Before you blather on that this is just an isolated case, I’ll go ahead and throw a penalty flag. It’s just that someone was stone-cold busted, which doesn’t happen very often. And it won’t change soon – the media will keep using the same old tricks until they are insignificant and, well…dead. And they’ll be whining about the internet until someone puts them in the grave.

    The real problem, Mr. Newspaperman, isn’t that your content isn’t online or isn’t online with multimedia. It’s your content. Specifically, it’s what you report, which stories you publish, and how you publish them to people, who, by the way, have very different individual interests. The problem is the content you’re giving them, stupid; not the platform its on.

    Thank you, Mr. Crosbie.

    People are wising up. I’ll add that trying to sneak into a convention full of enthusiastic security hackers un-noticed is a fine sign that the mainstream media isn’t. I’ll also keep listening to the bloggers, regardless of their disclosure. I know some of them are full of it. Some may be arrogant, but at least they try to be amusing. I like their content.

    And I can actually respect many of them too, because I know they aren’t just plain stupid.

    Bloggers, journalism and newspapers

    The last line of the second comment here should provoke a lot of whining.

    How Top Bloggers Earn Money

    With few exceptions, it’s all about ads. Sooner or later that will have to change.

    UPDATE: More.

    Out with the old, but the rules may still apply

    Old media may have taken a liking to new media (think social networks and blogs), but according to some, they are still figuring out how to play nice in an ever shrinking sandbox.

    If the continuing questioning of bloggers’ ethics is any indication (think journalistic integrity), maybe they have all already figured it out.

    Of course, the fighting isn’t all over yet.
    (more…)

    Don’t be a prima donna – show a little class

    Yesterday, the TypePad blogging service suffered an outage. I read quotes from so called “professional bloggers” pissing and moaning and calling Six Apart “ridiculous.” I am not even going to link back to the bullshit, because bad publicity is still publicity for you. You know who you are. You missed your four 50 cent ad clicks yesterday, and now you are pissed. I’ve got some news for you, Gods o’ Blogs…
    (more…)

    Google getting bombed, with eggs

    It seems the blogging community is trying to “fight” back in the comment spam battle. There is a concerted effort in progress to increase the Google PageRank of Wikipedia for the term “online poker.” Somehow, bloggers feel if they can increase Wikipedia’s PageRank, that the spamming of their blogs will stop.

    Is this a viable effort, or a show of infantile force? I think there are several issues at hand here.
    (more…)