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We the Media: Chapters 8 & 9

Chapter 8: Next Steps
Proposed laws and codes of cyberspace and the technological world were presented in this chapter, though I am not sure "laws" is the correct term for them. Most of them are generalizations based upon opinion and analysis of the natural progression of technology. Gillmor first discusses Moore's law, named after Gordon Moore who is a cofounder of the Intel company. The law basically states that because people want things to be better and faster there will be a greater/more frequent production of new versions of technology. Specifically, Moore proposed that the density of transistors on a piece of silicon would double every 18-24 months and he was correct.

The second law discussed was Metcalfe's Law, named for Ethernet founder George Metcalfe. This law is centered on the value of networking. The third law is Reed's Law, named for David Reed. It states that on the web people communicate through many to many or few to few rather than from one to many like in print. We also begin to see that as the Net gets bigger so does its power base and value.

Note: Creating the News...Publishing on the Net
Adam Curry a former MTV VJ now is very involved with online media such as blogs and other forms of streaming media broadcasting. Curry even has his own blog. He even continues his DJ/VJ role on a radio-type blog that he maintains from his home.

News kinds of Big Media are taking over the web now...ie: Microsoft, Google and Yahoo!. Google's news feature is often used as a research tool for other journalists. Gillmor gives a tutorial of all the Google features and specifically devotes attention to Google Alerts. RSS feeds and blog syndication are the last thing I want to talk about for this chapter. I find it interesting how quickly one entry one a person's blog can become a popular link and be trackbacked.

Last year people commented and linked to my blog that I did not even know and it's kind of an honor to recieve feedback from an audience outside of the Seton Hill University community. In one comment section, a student (most likely in high school) wanted me to help her analyze one of Shakespeare's sonnets. (something I was just learning myself as a student) I always enjoy looking at trackbacks and googling my own name and blog. Over the summer the academic article I wrote was linked to several times.

Chapter 9: Trolls, Spin and the Boundaries of Trust
Misinformation is a growing problem because of the internet. Because people are cutting and pasting so much, the information that is actually sent in e-mails can change when taken out of context. The original author then becomes a victim of scrutiny by his or her peers. A famous instance of this happened with the graduation speech attributed to Kurt Vonnegut (SlaughterHouse-Five) but was actually written by columnist Mary Schmich.

Gillmor had his own similar experience with Microsoft when he joked in a column about a potential information leak from an un-named source of the company. E-mails flew around the office about who it might be at Microsoft. This just exemplifies the point that it is very easy and simple to manipulate public opinion. But is that the fault of the media? Or are we simply conditioned to do that? Another thing that goes along with faking stories and taking credit for ideas is doctored photgraphs & doctored videos.

Image altering is something that I do in a joking way for things such as my Jerz Jests, but other than that I would never think of altering a photo of a prominent political figure in order to get across my own agenda. This is not the case with some people on the internet. (John Kerry & Jane Fonda) I do digital editing and make images for my blog headings, but thats about it. All I know is that you can get in some serious trouble for things like that but in many cases you can also get away with it because of anonymity on the web. Being anonymous in general is a double-edged sword. Though you want the source to feel safe and comfortable, credibility is the issue.

Links for the chapter:
Special Report - How the media is spinning gun control?

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 21, 2005 1:45 AM.

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