Another Professor Fired After Another Stupid Tweet

A stupid comment about Hurricane Harvey cost a Florida professor his job.

Romney Campaign Required Campaign Tweets To Be Approved By 22 People

Clearly, the Romney campaign didn’t get the point of social media.

Facebook Sex Selection: It’s Complicated

“It’s complicated” has long been an option to describe one’s romantic status on Facebook. Now, it applies to one’s sex as well.

Twitter Hoax: SEAL Who Killed bin Laden Killed in Battle

Trending on Twitter this morning: “R.I.P. Paul Davis. The Navy Seal who killed Osama Bin Laden died in battle today. Retweet to honor him.”

Facebook ‘Relationship Status’ and Timeline

One of the oddities of the relative openness of our lives caused by the explosion of online social media is the Facebook “relationship status” and wrestling with when to change it. As regular readers know, mine changed suddenly for the worse over the Thanksgiving holidays. While Facebook offers Widowed as an option, I’d been reluctant […]

Breaking and Unbreaking News in Twitter Time

Within an hour last evening, I passed along and retracted two breaking news stories on Twitter.

Complaining About Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and other Constantly Changing Products

Henry Farrell thinks “The New Gmail Sucks” and doesn’t care who knows it.

Twitter As Breaking News Source

Sunday’s announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden was the latest example of how Twitter has become the go-to source for “Breaking News.”

Facebook Comments and the Authenticity of Multiple Identities

The lines between our public and professional identities and our private and social ones continue to blur.

Facebook’s Business Model

Facebook’s 26-year-old founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is one of the wealthiest men in America. Most of his work force is unpaid.

Social Network Omissions Reveal More Than You Think

Your Tweets, Facebook wall posts, and FourSquare announcements obviously provide a lot of insights into your life. But so does what you’re not posting.

Breaking: Twitter Doesn’t Matter

Technology guru Leo Laporte had been using Google Buzz to aggregate his social media presence for a few weeks and discovered that his feed had stopped going out and discovered that nobody gave a damn.

Facebook Most Popular, Most Annoying Site

While people keep flocking to Facebook in droves, the site has the lowest satisfaction rating of any e-business site.

Managing Online Relationships

What do you do when you’ve reached Twitter Terminal Velocity?

A Little Confirming Evidence (Facebook Edition)

Earlier today, James offered the following advice:  “Do not broadcast news of your rectal exams, your misdeeds, or negative opinions about your boss on social media sites!” Thankfully, no rectal exam information, but more or less on the boss front, the AP provides so corroborating evidence:  Waitress fired for griping about tip on Facebook. A […]

Facebook Privacy Tip

Kieran Healy and Kevin Drum point to the existence of a site that exposes just how public your “private” information on Facebook is.  Kevin: Making use of a public programming interface that Facebook released a few weeks ago, three programmers in San Francisco wrote Openbook, a website that searches Facebook profiles for — well, for […]

Two Blogospheres: Left and Right

It has long been an article of faith that — in terms of authorship, comment policy, other user interaction, and linking policies — Left-leaning bloggers are more communitarian and Right-leaning bloggers more individualistic. At the same time, however, several studies have found that neither side does a very good job of linking to and discussing […]

Do-It-Yourself Virtual Universities?

Anya Kamentz has written a new book titled DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education.  She gives us a taste of the argument in a piece for TAP: Since 2001, a growing movement — from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, and hundreds of other universities worldwide to insurgent bloggers and […]

Google Makes it Easy To Leave

Gizmodo’s Nate Anderson has an interesting piece on Google’s “cage free data” policy, which makes it easy to export the data you store in Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa and other of their systems.   The rationale behind it is not, as I’d have expected, giving users a sense of confidence — knowing you can leave makes […]

GOP URL Shortener Short-Lived

The Republican National Committee launched yet another URL shortener yesterday (coincidentally, on the same day that Google and Facebook did likewise) as part of their plan to catch up with the Democrats in social media space. As with their recent website relaunch, the debut was less than auspicious. The Republican party took down its innovative […]

Twitter Not Just About Lunch

Norm Geras remains baffled at the Twitter phenomenon.  Responding to a column by Nicholas Lezard, Norm asks: (1) Why would I want to record my daily activities for other people to follow? (2) Why would I want to follow the detailed doings of anyone else over the course of a day, and another day, and […]

Twitter Memes

Becks observes, “I suspect many Twitter memes that I find annoying (one letter off movie titles, failed children’s books, etc.) would have been quite hilarious Unfogged threads.” The post title, “The Medium Is The Message,” is appropriate.  Several Twitter memes  (created by adding a hashtag such as #failedchildrensbooks) of the sort mentioned can be amusing […]

Twitter is Dead, Long Live Twitter

Julian Sanchez notes that the rise of Twitter as a hot tool for political communication has killed Twitter the social networking service. After resisting for a while, I finally signed up for Twitter a little over a year ago because it became clear that it was no longer socially optional: My friends were coordinating via […]

Twitter Outages

Twitter, the social media tool that’s supposed to revolutionize politics, save the Republican Party, and bring freedom to Iran is, yet again, down. is virtually useless but, because the service is open source, dozens of applications have sprung up to make it practical to actually use Twitter.  But these apps, too, continually fail because […]

Blogs ARE Social Media

Copyblogger‘s Brian Clark has noticed a distinction developing between blogs on the one hand and “social media” on the other.  He rightly notes that “blogs were the first modern form of social media” and thus the distinction is artificial. My sense is that, blogs are indeed social media, they’re definitely of a different piece than […]

Obama Revamps White House Communications

Danny Glover reports on President Obama’s total restructuring of the White House message machine in a piece ominously titled “The Cost of Controlling The Press.” Barack Obama’s White House is spending more than $80,000 a week to staff its old and new media offices. Add the price of speechwriters and the White House communications tab […]

Failure of Breaking News Reporting?

Aaron Brazell argues that, with the advent of instant-reporting of rumor via Twitter and other social media, the mainstream press has fallen behind.  He cites yesterday’s Steve McNair murder, the false rumors that Jeff Goldblum had died, and Michael Jackson’s death. He laments that, while the McNair news broke on two Nashville stations but “It […]

Google Not Shut Down! (Shot Down, Maybe)

An inordinate people are coming in to view my four-year-old post “Google Shut Down for 15 Minutes, Thought Hacked.”  A couple minutes of digging reveals the likely cause. Michael Arrington reports, in a piece with the odd title “Twitter Mania: Google Got Shut Down. Apple Rumors Heat Up,” that there are rumors that Apple is […]

Will Twitter Kill the Blogging Star?

Rand Fishking and Darren Rowse have noted a remarkable decline in the social nature of blogs, most notably the culture of inter-linking, and think Twitter and other social media outlets may be partly to blame. In 2006, a popular blog post or piece of content would generate a remarkable amount of blogging activity. It wasn’t […]

Twitter Etiquette: Are Tweets Fair Game?

TAP’s Adam Serwer and TPM’s David Kurtz independently report that ABC’s Jake Tapper has blocked them from following his Twitter feed. They note the irony that a journalist who expects politicians to be transparent is doing this. I happen to follow Tapper — and am apparently not important enough to block — and see that […]

Twitter Revolution Will Not be Televised

Kathleen Parker seems vaguely annoyed by the Twitter phenomenon. Shorter than a blog posting, a “tweet” consists of a concise sentence or two and essentially answers the question: What are you doing? […] On Planet Facebook, nothing in one’s life is not worth mentioning. To what end, one can only surmise. I am, therefore I […]

Google Search Moving Web 2.0

Michael Arrington previews what purports to be a prototype of a new Google search experience, incorporating user commenting and voting such as we see on Digg and other social media sites: The video above shows a user interface being bucket tested by Google to select (probably randomly determined) users. Earlier today we showed a screen […]

Evolution of Social Media: From Blogger to Twitter

Looking for art to illustrate the previous post, I stumbled on this amusing bit at Dave Schappell‘s blog: There’s some truth to that. . . .

Congressional Twitter Fight Hits NPR

Friend of OTB Aaron Brazell was on NPR very early today talking about the controversy over Congress and social media. The cause of the Twittering representatives has been taken up by bloggers like Aaron Brazell of Technosailor. “Frankly, we’re in 2008, and we have a government for the people and by the people,” says Brazell, […]

Blogrolls, RIP

Duncan Riley laments the demise of the blogroll. Once upon a time in the land of the blogs, the blogroll reigned suprmeme. Everyone had a blogroll, and it was a great way to discover new and interesting blogs. But somewhere along the way blogrolls fell out of favor, and you don’t seem them much at […]

Congress Banning Social Media?

As if to prove Robert Heinlein correct, the House Administration Committee is, apparently with honorable intent, considering effectively banning the use of popular social media sites, including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook by Members. Soren Dayton couches this in partisan terms: “In typical fashion, House Democrats are trying to pass rules that stifle debate and require […]

Blog Linking Less Important?

Louis Gray believes the importance of blog linkage is declining, noting that, “I’ve seen traffic from other blogs to be driving an ever-declining percentage of visits to my site, swamped by social media tools, aggregation sites, and of course, Google search.” He offers three likely explanations: 1. People are relying on aggregators to find them […]

Presidents and Computer Literacy

Jane Hamsher wants to know, “If You Can’t Use a Computer, How Can You Be President?” I chuckled when I saw the story at memeorandum since, after all, it’s unlikely that any president before Bill Clinton could “use” a computer in any meaningful sense. (Maybe Jimmy Carter, who was a nuclear engineer in a past […]

Shelby Steele: Yes He Can

The gang at Media Matters is excited that they have caught Shelby Steele admitting that the subtitle of his book, A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can’t Win (Free Press, December 2007) is wrong to Sean Hannity. HANNITY: All right, so he can’t win? STEELE: He can win. I […]

Social Media Overload

Mark Glaser calls attention to one of the strange dilemmas of modern life: deciding whom to “friend” on various social media sites like Facebook and MySpace. Is the person a friend, a real friend, or someone who wants to be a friend? Should I add them as a friend because it’s polite, or ignore them […]

Intelligence Agencies Don’t Want Intelligent Employees

That’s my takeaway from Noah Shachtman‘s story on the Office of the Director of Intelligence’s research on employee screening procedures. With the growing prominence of information technologies (IT) in the home and work place, individuals spend an increasing proportion of time engaging in computer-mediated activities and communications. Many computer-mediated activities provide opportunities for individuals to […]

Decline of Political Blogs?

Aaron Brazell, who used to blog politics but now mostly does tech and social media, notes something interesting: While political blogs are blogging in terms of media coverage of the phenomenon, they’re actually a relatively small part of the story. It’s not just that, as we all know, personal diary blogs far outnumber others in […]

Obama, The Jewish Lobby, and the Perils of Web 2.0

One of Barack Obama’s key advantages in building grassroots support, especially among young people usually not apt to vote, has been his innovative use of the latest Web techniques, including the integration of social networking technologies. Not only did he lap the field in getting “friends” on Facebook and MySpace but he actually hired the […]

Lori Drew, MySpace Cyber-Bully — and Criminal?

A federal prosecutor has filed cyber-bullying charges against Lori Drew, a very mean woman who used a fake MySpace identity to harass a teenager. A Missouri woman was indicted [May 15] on federal charges for fraudulently using an account on the social networking website to pose as a teenage boy who feigned romantic interest […]

Journalism in a Post-Literate Society

In a recent speech at Harvard, TPM founder Josh Marshall argued that the competition from the Internet is killing newspapers but improving journalism. Stacy McCain, though, contends, “iIt’s not the Internet that’s killing journalism, it’s illiteracy.” Rather than former print consumers switching to digital media, “There is, instead, a shrinking readership of news, period, regardless […]

Saudi Woman Killed for Chatting on Facebook

“A young Saudi Arabian woman was murdered by her father for chatting on the social network site Facebook.” The Guardian‘s Damien McElroy: The unnamed woman from Riyadh was beaten and shot after she was discovered in the middle of an online conversation with a man, the al-Arabiya website reported. The case was reported on a […]

Professors on Facebook II

Responding to a Stephanie Rosenbloom piece in the NYT about professors who blur the lines dividing them from their students via Facebook and other social media networks, Dan Drezner observes, I neither accept nor proffer friend requests from current students. I do this because, well, I’m not their friend — and letting them think otherwise […]

Google to Store Patient Health Records

Google continues its quest to take over the world with a new program to store health records online. Google Inc. will begin storing the medical records of a few thousand people as it tests a long-awaited health service that’s likely to raise more concerns about the volume of sensitive information entrusted to the Internet search […]

McCain 10,000 Years Music Video

This parody commercial, putting John McCain’s speeches about the war in Iraq into a song a’la the Barack Obama “Yes We Can” video, is pretty funny. It’s already going viral, with quite a number of bloggers in my Google Reader list posting it today. Josh Marshall terms it “Genuinely Hilarious.” Hilzoy and Matt Yglesias merely […]

Professors on Facebook

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting piece on the pluses and minuses of professors joining Facebook. It creates some social issues, with some students feeling that their free speech zone has been invaded by the enemy and some profs worrying about fraternizing with those whom they are in charge of evaluating. It also […]

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