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Twitter Has Displaced Old-Fashioned Blogging

Intel geek extraordinaire Josh Bancroft notes that Twitter has "sucked the life out of [his] blog". I posted the following as a comment, but in an effort to give any semblance of life to this blog I'm gonna repost it here:

Updating Twitter is much easier than updating my blog; it seems like "what my cat ate today" posts are encouraged on Twitter whereas posting something like that on an old-fashioned blog practically relegates you to a Live Journal/MySpace-only crowd.

The bar has been lowered (at least for now) and so writing anything on Twitter is much easier than having to come up with a whole blog post. You know, the kind that require thought and *gasp* maybe even research? Maybe it's just easier to swallow "what my cat ate today" tweets since they're limited to 140 characters, and blog posts can drag on, and on, and on…

In other news, I'm still waiting on a Wordpress plugin that automatically adds "Add me on Twitter" links to every post so I don't have to.

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Free NY Times Select for .edu's

Scott points out that the New York Times premium content, NYT Select, is free for current students and faculty. It only requires a .edu address, so alumni with lifetime addresses would likely fly under the radar. YMMV

And because it wouldn't be a 2007 blog post with a Twitter mention…

I've signed up but still haven't gone through the registration yet. Twittervision is too time-consuming for me to have enough time to even skim the New York Times.

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Twitter Is Not The New Blog

I posted this as a comment on Dave Winer's Scripting News for 03/14/07 (via Thomas Hawk). I don't want to forget it so I'm reposting it here.

***

I have two big concerns with Twitter that set it apart from blogging and that could impact its success:

1. How do I find out about other Twitters I might be interested in? I only added people to be followed because they linked to it from their blogs. What about Twitter-only "bloggers"? Furthermore, blogging created a network because bloggers link to each other. The "@user" is limited because it requires so much effort to find that user. This could be solved by Twitter auto-linking when it finds an @user, but so far it doesn't do it.

2. It's too distributed. To follow a conversation, I have to either be following all the users taking part or sort through the "With Friends" section where other conversations may be taking place.

3. It's too concentrated. At least with Technorati, Techmeme, et al, I have a small chance of discovering gems in the long tail. This is practically impossible on Twitter since the only mechanism to discover new people is the public timeline, which will become increasingly useless as the service grows.

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When River of News Doesn't Work

Since I switched to Google Reader, I've read my feeds all at once in the trendy "River of News" style. This past week, however, I was on vacation and while I did have internet access, it was spotty and I didn't get a chance to keep up with my feeds (on a side note, Google Reader doesn't play well with half-working 'net connections; I lost a lot of starred posts and read/unread statuses).

It's unfortunate that three big events took place this week: the Geneva Motor Show, SxSW, and PMA. River of news just isn't working for the ton of posts I have to sift through. So I'm currently plowing through my feeds one at a time and learning new key commands ("?" works well as a reminder). It's no longer j, j, j, s, j, j, shift+s, as Scoble puts it; it's now j, j, j, shift+n, shift+o, j, j, etc. It does take some getting used to and I'm going slightly slower, but at least my brain doesn't get as tired jumping from cameras to cars back to cameras and everything else sprinkled in between.

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PayPerPost in Traditional Media - Ruckus and the DP Caught In Bed

Whatever little ethical integrity or journalistic standards the Daily Pennsylvanian still had left, it probably lost after a "guest editorial" ran this past week. The so-called editorial was basically an advertisement for the Ruckus Network, an online music subscription service that aims to compete with Napster, Rhapsody, et al by forming agreements with universities for campus-wide coverage instead of having to deal with pesky end users.

The editorial is "written" by Ruckus President and CEO Michael Bebel and tries to extol the benefits of using Ruckus over illegal services by running the RIAA line about how illegal downloading steals from the record industry ("According to industry observers, more than 25 million songs are illegally downloaded daily. This translates into roughly $4.5 billion worth of pirated music annually, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.") and how it can lead to getting sued ("Last year, the RIAA sent letters to 700 colleges nationwide, informing those students who ignore warnings and continue to engage in illegal downloading of music they will be sued.").

How do I know Ruckus paid to run this "editorial"? I don't. But why else run something like this? Surely the paper isn't starved for content; I haven't seen anything like this in the 3.5 years I've been reading the paper and there definitely hasn't been a shortage of news either (like what the University is doing about the string of assaults on campus?) Either it was a straight ad buy or there were promises of ad purchases or free iPods or something else fishy. I do think that running this type of ad under the guise of an editorial shows how morally bankrupt the editors of Daily Pennsylvanian are. This ad is a cut and paste/mail merge job. An almost identical piece was run in the Daily Princetonian on December 15th. And that was what I found from just searching for the last sentence of the article.

I've detailed why I don't like Ruckus when the Penn service was announced. Between this and the Brock Ruckus/Facebook incident that I just read about on the Wikipedia article, I like them even less. Only now I like the DP much less also.

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