Please stop marveling at how anything is happening in Egypt even though the internet is shut down and people can’t get on Twitter or Facebook. You do realize that there were popular revolts before social media, don’t you? In the latter half of the 20th century we had the Prague Spring in 1968, the Soweto uprising in 1976, the Paris riots in 1968, and even Tiananmen Square in 89. How do you think people coordinated the labor demonstrations of the 30s, the anti-colonial revolts of the developing world in the decades following World War II. What about the French Revolution in 1789? OMG? How did they get anything done. They didn’t even have land lines!
The top mailing was meant to give me three reasons for firing Barney Frank, but in fact the mailings themselves were 3 reasons NOT to vote for Sean Beilat!
When I picked up my mail today I found a magazine, a fund raising appeal, and four political mailings relating to the elections next week, three of which were targeted against Congressman Barney Frank. According to the first mailing, Americans for Limited Government believe he “no longer represents ‘us'” and that Nancy Pelosi “has him in the palm of her hand.” Sean Beilat for Congress sent two mailings. The first claims that Frank “and his “rich friends… live by a different set of rules,” and the other that provides three reasons why voters should “fire Barney Frank on November 2,” claiming he caused the financial meltdown, bailed out friends in the financial sector, and accepted vacations from the people who got federal bail out money.
These claims are, at best, exaggerations, some of them outright falsehoods. They are examples of some pretty intense negative campaigning and an obvious attempt to mislead the public. Quotations are taken out of context, presented in the mailing to look like press clippings, and topped with the logos from the newspapers’ mastheads so they look like actual published news articles, when in fact they are taken from opinion pieces or editorials. They are not objective analyses.
”]Apparently the World Cup final represented the largest period of sustained activity for an event in Twitter’s history. According to Twitter Blog, during the final, people from 172 countries tweeted in 27 different languages. I really don’t have anything to add to the post, as it speaks for itself. Clearly Twitter is now a global phenomenon. Continue reading →
Some Grey Bloke is one of my favorite YouTube channels. Here are two recent videos that make me laugh. The first raises the question of the World Cup and just why we call it that. Now that Graham mentions it, I’m annoyed, too.
However, while blogs have created hundreds of prominent new voices in the national media, social networking sites like twitter have only reinforced the position of people and institutions who were already prominent in other media. Not a single person has risen to become a prominent national media figure just through their tweeting. However, popular TV shows, musicians, and politicians have gained two million followers or more through the medium.
Given this, it is a legitimate worry that the decline of blogging, and the rise of social networking, will mean that the media status quo that was once threatened by the Internet will now be reinforced by it. Rather than new media functioning as a democratizing force, it could become yet another tool of the status quo. Maybe once in a while it will be used by street demonstrators against a totalitarian regime, as it was in Iran, but most of the time it will just make the already famous and the already dominant even more so.
I have not been active in social media much this week, having spent most of my time updating my web 1.0 personal site now that I am no longer with NITLE. I thought I had finished, but I’ve discovered a few things I still want to fix: Typos, a misplaced section divider, and other things of that nature. If you have a chance, look at it and send your comments. I welcome them all, whether it’s about a typo or the whole design.
Still, I did tweet a bit. The most popular ones this week were, most to least popular: Continue reading →