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May 21, 2009

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tommas

hey McQ,

Not sure if ur r a digital prophet or just lucky, but today's Washington post came out a day later than your Blog Post with a supporting story. They report that Amazon's web site #1 seller this week was a T-shirt with a moon and 3 wolves. It not because its for a hot rock band, or promoted on American Idol, but it beat out "Crocs" and Levi 501's because bloggers reported amazing "results", cures for cancer, lost gf, bf's found etc. Clearly, non of it true, but they created an online product buzz, and it works.

tommas

The Ethics of Blogging, that's a nice title for a college course. This is a very thought provoking and challenging digital issue. Indeed, the digital age is reshaping the relationships of media, consumers and advertisers. Many wine bloggers for instance are reviewing complementary wines or accepting advertising dollars for their blogs from wineries that they review. Some commercial wine social media sites are only in existence because of their ties to their advertising base. So, digital media bias is all part of the new digital media experience.

jackie

No newspapers, oh my!....
What to put under all those hot, steamed crabs on the picnic table?
What to put down while I polish my shoes?
What to wrap fish and chips in?
Swatting that fly? Boyscout paper drives?
What to hide behind on the commuter train?
How to project that cosmopolitan image on the subway?, etc., etc.

Carlykinz

McQ,

This is pretty cool. I meant I thought about journalism as a career once but besides that I love the notion of biased-ness (if this is a word. if this is not a word then perhaps journalism wouldn't have worked anyway). There's a very interesting essay by a one Linda Smith titled "Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigineous Peoples". One of the main points is that there is no way to approach another culture with a completely unbiased perspective and one place we've gone wrong is in reporting back about the people we've encountered. When America was discovered the only knowledge people back in the UK or whatever Lorship Nation of Old was in the reports and sketches done by the explorers. Later, scientists and "ethnographers" and such reported back but all their reports were done in a methodical, scientific manner. The people were dehumanized and studied like little cases. And even when a person tries their best to report accurately about another person or culture, they speak about it from a point of view that's completely inseperable from their own culture (be it national or familial).
BUT NOW
people can report for themselves. There are still limitations of language of course. Not evertything crosses over into English, but we can read about the goings on in another person's country from their own point of view. cool
BUT STILL
hi. i like caps
there is a super massive space for argument. because everyone's biased and ones own culture can be defined and influenced by more than country borders. I would represent America, Maryland, Baltimore, My suburb, My college, and My family unit quite differently than any one other person.
Hopefully this all makes sense. But this is pretty cool and interesting. to be mused about further when i know more.

much love.

Denise C

Greg makes a great point. At least those readers knew that the blogger had accepted gifts. I'm more concerned about bloggers not being transparent. Could a company pay people to post rave reviews, tricking readers into thinking these were independent opinions? How would we ever find out?

And I completely agree with Patty in wanting to have a hard-copy of the puzzles. As a die-hard crossword-puzzler (and Ken Ken solver), I really want to be able to use paper and pen. Online solving just isn't as rewarding.

greGBaker

My worry about setting up contacts in the social networking world is the potential backlash caused when the blogger (who is often offering an opinion) is viewed as being influenced by the very group/industry they are blogging about. For instance, prior to Microsoft's release of Vista, they sent several top of the line computers loaded with Vista to prominent bloggers (top computers were needed to run all of the features of Vista). Readers were furious that the blogger would accept this gift, worth a few thousand dollars. Traditional journalist and newspapers are skilled at balancing their connections with the need to remain independent. I'm not sure Billy Birdwatcher will know how to balance that relationship.

Megan McQ

Patty,

Sure, we all have conversations around the water cooler (or local watering hole). But I think that social media allows a way for people to find communities that share common interests and converse on a different level than, say, a random person at the local watering hole. For example, a person who loves bird watching in Alaska can find a community for Alaska bird watchers on Ning (I imagine).

Perhaps traditional media isn't dead, but social media is creating a niche for more specific passions that people can converse about.

Thus, marketers who need to reach out to 'Alaska bird watchers' can target these individuals more easily through social media, increasing the quality of conversation generated from the marketing campaign.

Spending thousands of dollars on TV advertisements wouldn't be as effective as this type of social media engagement.

patty

human to human opinionated conversation? hmmm. isn't that what we used to do around the water cooler and dinner tables? instead we have worldwide 'stop and chats' in cyberspace? no need to walk outside in your pj's on a frosty morning to retrieve your local paper freshly pitched from some friendly delivery service? no crumpled, wet, ink-smeared puzzle pages strewn across my bedroom floor? i'm not sure i can give that up yet. there's something 'nostalgic' about the smell of wood pulp in the morning and the sight of inkstained fingerprints on my coffee mug.

Sohrab Najafabadi

I won't approach this from a marketing perspective because well, that's not my role. But from a perspective of a responsible citizen, I don't know how I feel about all this. On the one hand I like the idea that power of information is more diffuse and going away from the old establishment. On the other hand, while we may not be getting more bias going to people we deem to be credible members of our community, there is another problem... the problem is not inherent within any one form of media but within our culture. It has become obvious since the rise of cable television. Important decisions that the capable within our society should be making are instead used as entertainment. Look at newstainment channels like Fox News and MSNBC for proof. The partizan hackery is no better than 'professional' wrestling. I don't know why that happened but it is caused by a more systemic problem of some people not understanding that they do not have the integrity, knowledge, nor capacity to credibly to know when to shut up and let the experts discuss the tough decisions. I don't think it's possible to shut them up, the genie is out of the bottle, the only recourse is for competent people to rise up and defeat the voices of ignorance within the media. Social media can allow everyone to participate. We can't rely on the old institutions any more. Without the ability to distinguish credible people from sophist attention whores we will have destroyed relatively trustworthy concentrated sources of information and replaced it with a diffuse array of opinions from internet hacks and wannabee celebrities.

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