I learned the hard way a few weeks ago how net neutrality can be equated with socialism, an argument that puzzles people who work on computer networks for a living and see networking as a big flow of electrons. I think it’s very important that we understand how this happens.
Here’s the tactic: Find a socialist who supports net neutrality. Anoint him the leader of the movement. Bingo, anyone who supports net neutrality follows him, and therefore is a communist.
Political lobbyist and Fox News contributor Phil Kerpen told me Robert W. McChesney was the leader of the net neutrality movement, and he sent me a quote in the form of a meme longer than the Third Epistle of St. John. Yet in a Google search for the key words from that quote, “net neutrality bring down media power structure,” I can’t find him. So then I tried Bing, where I found him quoted on a web site called sodahead.com, but I couldn’t find the primary source.
For the leader of a movement the size of net neutrality, he sure keeps a low profile. Google and Netflix are two multi-billion-dollar companies that support net neutrality. I’m sure it’s news to them that they’re taking orders from Robert W. McChesney. Read more
It’s interesting that I read two things about buying Twitter publicity today: John C Dvorak’s experiment for PC Magazine and an interview with my classmate and friend Ken. The idea is that people buy Twitter followers to make themselves look bigger than they are, whether they’re celebrities trying to make themselves look like they’re on their way up rather than down, or, like the scam my friend discovered, indie book authors trying to build a following.
The Encyclopædia Britannica is, after 244 years, calling it quits on its print edition, and I’m sure Wikipedia is gloating, because as I recall, that was one of its goals around a decade ago.
Wired argues that Encarta did more to kill Britannica than Wikipedia. I tend to agree.
Gawker founder Nick Denton (home of Mac Hacker, er, Lifehacker; Gizmodo; io9; Jalopnik; and formerly Consumerist) says online comments aren’t worth the trouble.
I agree and disagree.
Om Malik shared yesterday what he’s learned in 10 years of blogging.
1. Blogging is communal.
2. Be authentic.
3. When wrong, admit it and listen to those who were right.
4. Be regular.
5. Treat others as you expect yourself to be treated.
6. Respect your readers’ time.
7. Wait 15 minutes before publishing.
8. Write everything as if your mom is reading.
9. It’s not opinion–it’s viewing the world a certain way and sharing that view.
10. A little snark goes a long way.
So, Wikipedia is losing contributors. Cnet says so. People like me already knew it.
I left the place years ago.
Rich P. tells me all the cool kids use Twitter now. And that some people, instead of using RSS feeds, want to get blog updates from a Twitter feed.
I’m about four years late to that party, but I’m not ready to become a total curmudgeon yet. So I signed up for a Twitter account–I’m siliconundergro, or is that #siliconundergro? Or @siliconundergro?–and spent a little while figuring out how to get WordPress to talk to it.
What do you think of when you think of Bit Torrent?
I think of the place to quickly download ISOs of Linux distributions. My coworker one cube over calls it “that pirate thing.” Most people probably agree more with him than me.
But it seems the creators have come up with a novel use for it, by adding social networking elements to a new client called Chrysalis.
If you’re going to quote people on the Internet, you might as well quote them accurately. Here are some tips for quoting famous people accurately, based on my own detective work on one of my favorite quotes.
“The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you never can know if they are genuine.” –Abraham Lincoln
The death of bin Laden prompted a couple of quotes attributed to Mark Twain and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to be repeated endlessly on social networking sites. It turned out both quotes were false. Inaccurate quotes also tend to pop up in election years.
Here are some good tips to avoid spreading fake quotes the next time something really newsworthy happens. One nifty trick: A Google search, filtered by date, to see if the quote existed anywhere before the event.
“Abraham Lincoln” may be right, that you can never know for certain, but you can get a really good idea with a little bit of digging.
It looks like Google has taken action against content farms, low-quality sites that publish articles about anything and everything quickly, and try to make money from the ads.
I can’t tell yet if this has really affected my traffic any–my traffic can drop or jump 20 percent on a daily basis for no apparent reason. But I support the change.