Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Jarvis’

A Proposal for the Filter Bubble and the Future of Objectivity

May 26, 2011 5 comments

The Filter Bubble

So, first off, you need to watch Eli Pariser’s TED Talk about “The Filter Bubble.”  It’s getting a lot of traffic and discussion.

Okay.  Disturbed?  I am.

Human beings have a hard enough time agreeing on the basic facts of any given situation.  We don’t need more impediments in the way of our shared perception of reality.  In spite of the fact that more people have greater access to more information and interaction online today, I think most people would agree the United States is more polarized (particularly political rhetoric) than it has been in some time (and some research  even says we’re less informed). Read more…

The Most Important Aspect of the WikiLeaks Debate

December 8, 2010 85 comments

Wikileaks LogoThere’s a lot of thoughtful discussion going on about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in light of the publication of the 250,000 cables between the US and other foreign governments.  Some of the best I’ve read comes from Clay Shirky (“WikiLeaks and the Long Haul”), Jeff Jarvis (“WikiLeaks: Power Shifts From Secrecy to Transparency”) Evan Hansen (“Why WikiLeaks is Good for America”) and Ethan Zuckerman (“Why Amazon Caved, and What it Means for the Rest of us”)

If you’re interested in reading more commentary, Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic is doing a great job cataloging essays and editorials here.

As with so many things, the moral question of whether or not WikiLeaks should exist or should publish this sort of information is nearly irrelevant.  The REALITY is that it DOES exist and CAN publish these documents and videos.

Every communication sent by anyone, be it a lowly government official or a head of state, carries with it the inherent risk of disclosure either through breaching the security of the channel through which it is sent or via the disclosure by the sender/recipient.

Rather than expending so many resources trying vainly to conduct so much policy through a (nonexistent) veil of silence (which invariably increases scrutiny) organizations need to consider the possibility that it benefits them to be more transparent, particularly in light of the new paradigms that affect communication.



Howard Stern has a Moral Obligation to Leave Sirius Radio

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment
Howard Stern's Potential to Burst the Traditional Media Dam by Taking his Show Online

Howard Stern's Potential to Burst the Traditional Media Dam by Taking his Show Online

Like NPR’s Terri Gross, and CUNY Professor Jeff Jarvis, I’m a huge Howard Stern fan.  I listen to nearly all four hours of virtually every show, and the Stern Show is the sole reason I subscribe to Sirius radio.  I cite Gross and Jarvis specifically because they’re highly-intellectual people who illustrate the broad appeal of the show (something that is completely unique in an era of highly-fragmented audiences).

As I see it, Howard Stern has a moral obligation to leave Sirius Radio and take his show completely out of the traditional mass media and stream everything online.

Here’s why:

  1. It goes without saying that Stern commands a huge following.  His decision to go with Sirius is pretty much single-handedly responsible for Sirius’ dominance of the satellite radio market over XM (though it was a Pyrrhic Victory that bankrupted both companies in the process and ended up causing them to consolidate and raise rates).
  2. Internet delivery is really coming into its own as a mass medium, leveling the oligopolies of the traditional media.  This is good for the free market and for consumers as it stands to provide them with greater variety at lower costs.  The lingering problem is that it’s been difficult to monetize Internet media and as a result many institutions are hesitant to make the leap to investing in it.
  3. Given his unique position, were Stern to take his show online he could cause a tipping point that fundamentally changes the economics of Internet media – making it a financially-viable proposition for everyone (in a more powerful way than iTunes legitimized paying for digital downloads of music).

I tend to think that the “Freemium” pricing model would work well for the Stern Show; they could air the audio of the show for free once a day and then charge different levels to get access to podcasts and vodcasts of the show.  They would undoubtedly also command premium advertising rates for anything they do – and unlike “Terrestrial Radio” (a term coined specifically to contrast satellite radio to traditional broadcast radio once Stern drove millions to subscribe to Sirius radio) they could offer advertisers a rich stream of analytics data to help their marketing efforts.  They could also offer a textured and engaging presence in social media (and allow the show to spread farther and faster than satellites or broadcast towers ever could).

Unfortunately I don’t think that Stern will leave; he tends to like working FOR someone as opposed to by himself and he’s somewhat tech-phobic and wary of the new media.  For years he would often wonder aloud what good having a website would do (while simultaneously complaining about how miserable he was being censored by the FCC and gutless station owners).  Here’s a hilarious clip of Jeff Jarvis, Leo Laporte and Gina Trapani laughing at Stern’s reliance on Lotus Notes during an episode of “This Week in Google“:

Here’s to hoping…

Untangling Facebook’s Privacy Morasse

May 17, 2010 Leave a comment

UPDATE: Facebook’s privacy woes have become such a problem that MySpace is seizing upon them as a way of wooing users (via @mashable), AND Facebook is set to launch “Simple” privacy options (via @wired).

Facebook has long had problems with how it handles the privacy of its users; there was the Beacon debacle, the News Feed flap, the difficulties users have had when they try to delete their account, the problem with privacy regarding Facebook Apps, and more recently the opening up of Facebook profiles to search engines.

A recent New York Times article pointed out that Facebook now has 50 settings with over 170 options.  I’ve been online since became the first social networking platform and even I have trouble managing my Facebook profile – imagine if you’re a less-than-savvy grandmother who just wants to look at pictures of the grandkids?

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All the way along, Facebook has done what benefits Facebook – not necessarily what benefits its users.  That isn’t necessarily unsurprising – however, they’ve not been transparent when they’ve made their decisions and implemented their policies.  Jeff Jarvis encapsulated this perfectly in a recent criticism of Facebook:

“Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg seem to assume that once something is public, it’s public. They confused sharing with publishing. They conflate the public sphere with the making of a public. That is, when I blog something, I am publishing it to the world for anyone and everyone to see: the more the better, is the assumption. But when I put something on Facebook my assumption had been that I was sharing it just with the public I created and control there. That public is private. Therein lies the confusion. Making that public public is what disturbs people.” – (Jeff Jarvis, “Confusing *a* public with *the* public”)

Facebook should be wary; there are no shortage of other social networking platforms and as profile information becomes more accessible and portable – it’s easier and easier for users to migrate to other sites.  The Information Superhighway is littered with the bloated corpses of social networking sites that didn’t take that reality to heart and failed as a result.