Politicked Off

With this post, I begin a more concerted effort to broaden the content of this blog. After all, politics is boring and for the most part useless, right? From now on, I pledge to address the more provocative, inspiring, and enabling elements that make this existence circa 2006 so damn exciting.

One look at my del.icio.us links opens a door to a new dimension of new media tools and concepts that have either enhanced my experience as a consumer and producer of a world of content or have been put on the backburner until i have more time to check them out. Additionally I invite one and all to steal my .opml file of the news and blog feeds I regularly peruse (thanks, Dave). Grab it here, import it to your newsreader, and try not to drown.

I originally intended this site to be a news aggregator, enabling the user to delve into a fully customizeable sampling of “everything between.” Sure, it was somewhat motivated by my disgust for the unreal extremism of our two-party system and the sheer irrelevance of the main talking points that were established to decide the 2004 prez election for black or for white.

After early talks with developers and other aspiring minds, I ditched enterprise for edumacation and have since been in grad school. But others have since beaten me to it, dirty work and all!
Gabe Rivera has done the best job with Memeorandum and Tech.Memeorandum.

Memeorandum refreshed every five minutes and features the most blogged-about articles (or posts) at any given time. As Rivera explains, the algorithm is based on the amount of recognition, or linked references a particular article gets throughout the blogosphere at any given time. This is why many of the same blogs appear regularly. Last fall I e-mailed Gabe as I was suspicious that some bloggers were they manipulating the algorithm? Or was I just narcissitically jealous that I couldn’t get up there no matter how many sites I trackbacked (I have since received a few referrals from the couple times I’ve appeared in memeorandum, if only momentarily). He reassured me that that was not the case — some bloggers just consistently are linked to and mirrored throughout the blogosphere. The shameless Michelle Malkin, seems to appear in memeorandum “headlines,” just as often if not more than AP or New York Times — and I would argue that this is thanks to her strategy of leaving all of her blog entries open to “trackbacks” and only a select few open to comments.

Technorati founder Dave Sifry noted in his February “State of the Blogosphere” report (a must-read) the fact that traditional media web sites (New York Times, Yahoo! News, Washington Post) GREATLY overshadow blogs in regard to measuring “authority,” or number of linked references.

The 150,000 or so well-read blogs represent what Sifry calls the magic middle: “A realm of topical authority and significant posting and conversation within the blogosphere.”

Together these statistics illustrate the effectiveness of blogs in shaping news and bringing the citizen voice to the forefront, while continuing to rely primarily on information published by the traditionally trusty broadsheet stalwarts.

In lieu of breaking out on yet another tangent… i’m gonna quit procrastinating — next time i’ll bring out some REALLY fun toys to play with, promise 😉

Fishbowl test posts

Daily News Relaunches LA.com… Again

Bringing you all the Bootie LA coverage you can ask for, (and without even a hint of MediaNews Group branding), the Daily News invites us to “a whole new concept in journalism,” otherwise known as the gossip and go-to guide, LA.com.

Perhaps the DN is playing along with Tribune’s distinctively-branded Metromix Los Angeles, which is now in Beta in LA after years of delay. Put in your ZIP code and find dinner.

“LA.COM isn’t just a Web site, it’s an experience,” promises DN editor Ron Kaye, of the re-titled “U” section in print and the revamped online city guide that was actually LA’s first local events blog when it launched in 1998.

This is MediaNews Group’s second effort at relaunching LA.com in five years.

The Journal Acknowledges Blogging, Ten Years Later

The Wall Street Journal has more paying online subscribers (over 900,000) than the LA Times has in print. But who would have thought the esteemed Journal would be the first rag to celebrate the 10th anniversary of blogging. The Happy Blogiversary special section came complete with video and top billing in the editor’s picks sidebar. And somewhere, Rupert Murdoch is smiling, or perhaps this is just a sign that Dow Jones truly is in his back pocket. Not only did the Journal fail to mention their small stable of blogs (which date back to…. May 2006), they overlooked bloggers ( entirely by printing the opinions of people like Tom Wolfe “I’m weary of narcissistic shrieks and baseless ‘information.'” Nice of them to acknowledge blog, of course — even if it’s just the Saturday paper.

Flying Away From LATimes.com

Sure it takes flashy ads to generate revenue on any Web site. But a real eyesore — and a true sign of desperation — are the identical ads, complete with animation of a 787 Dreamliner flying off the page and “Apply” in large text, on the LATimes.com homepage. LAT publisher David Hiller announced last week that the paper had just experienced one of its worst quarters ever and now it appears its taking its losses out on latimes.com visitors.

Times readers not interested in working for Boeing can still get the news at my.latimes.com or via rss.

Distraction Attraction

darth cheneyProf. Jay Rosen @ PressThink adds depth to my belief that the White House is having a field day with the OCD-ification of the press regarding such meaningless sideshows as the Harry Whittington Slow Train (or is it a short bus)? Read his insightful post today in which he expands up his theory of the post-Watergate/Vietnam-era “rollback” strategy as set in motion by our powermonger-in-command, Big Time:

[The White House] has a larger aim: to roll back the press as a player within the executive branch, to make it less important in running the White House and governing the country, but also less of a wild card in fighting enemies of the state in the permanent war on terror.?

A host of worthwhile links are embedded in Rosen’s post today. If only the WH Press Corps would bother with reading the latest Foreign Affairs instead of drumming up more fodder for Entertainment Tonight:

How does it hurt Bush if for three days this week reporters are pummeling Scott McClellan over the details of when they were informed about Cheney?s hunting accident? That?s three days this week they won?t be pummeling Scott McClellan over the details of this article from Foreign Affairs by Paul R. Pillar, the ex-CIA man who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year.Here?s what the article says: ?During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq? the Bush administration disregarded the community?s expertise, politicized the intelligence process, and selected unrepresentative raw intelligence to make its public case.? Pillar was there; if anyone would know he would.

Indeed, Cheney is riding high into the weekend on the cthulu of attention he’s received since shooting his way out of his bunker.

Not only can the #2 American public figure drink beer and shoot up his friends, he saw in Wednesday’s chummy interview with Fox News‘ Brit Hume a golden opportunity to claim lawful authority to declassify, for example, the identity of certain covert CIA operatives.

Steve Clemons debunks Cheney’s claims (slipped into his interview with Brit Hume on Fox News yesterday) in orderly fashion at the Washington Note.

Even George Will is fed up with the administrations utter disrespect for the Constitution.

Terrorism is not the only new danger this era…. The administration, in which mere obduracy sometimes serves as political philosophy, pushes the limits of assertion while disdaining collaboration. This faux toughness is folly….