links for 2009-08-12

  • Great example of news coverage of a news story that links to original source documents. I can't understand why this isn't standard practice in ALL journalism. Links to sources and source docs are not a nice-to-have, they're essential for transparency. Would love to see more of this in coverage of legislation & regulatory issues, too. This is not rocket science
  • "Needless to say, Microsoft won’t pull Word off the market. The company has said it plans to appeal, and i4i actually sells XML products for Word, making that company reliant on the ecosystem. An agreement will be reached: probably one involving Microsoft signing a big check."
  • Heh… If there was a stripped down, uncluttered interface to Facebook I might actually use it more than weekly! So far, I vastly prefer Facebook's iPhone app to its full site.

    "Tonight, a number of Facebook users reported that they received beta invitations to a 'lite' version of the popular social networking service. Details about this simplified version of Facebook are still sparse, but we know that the site will be available on and will offer users a "faster, simpler version of Facebook." Judging from what we have seen so far, Facebook Lite turns Facebook into a very Twitter-like experience. It is interesting to see that Facebook is working on this now, especially given that it only announced the acquisition of FriendFeed yesterday. If these screenshots turn out to be true, then this would be a full-force attack on Twitter."

  • "Twitter is still growing, according to this data, but not at the breakneck pace of the past. Compete has it at 23.2mm US uniques, up just 1.25% from the month before. Visits are up 1.64% month to month. Most interesting to me is the breakdown of referral traffic: 11.44% is from Facebook (see below). Now that Facebook Lite move is starting to make sense…."
  • "If you explore the potential of digital history and the problem of abundance, you realize that it presents a very real challenge to analog history and the close reading that has been at the heart of graduate work and the monograph. Digital history and the abundance it tries to address make many historical arguments seem anecdotal rather than comprehensive. Hypotheses based on a limited number of examples, as many dissertations and books still are, seem flimsier when you can scan millions of books at Google to find counterexamples. I believe it will be possible to marry digital techniques with close reading and traditional methods, but very soon it will be perilous to ignore these new techniques."
  • This sort of effect is why I wrote my apology as my final Tidbits post.

    "One of the most deflating discoveries I’ve had in acquainting myself with the work and ideas of some online media sages is the kick-em-when-they’re-down tone of their diatribes. Occasionally I’ve gone to their sites to gain information and understanding and often feel instead like I’m getting punched in the stomach for not being in the vaunted generation of young journalists with laptops in their cribs. Journalists from the “legacy” domain have been regarded as a clueless, antiquated and unreconstructed bunch, especially if they are at a mid- or late-career stage."

  • Murdoch isn't just getting greedy about walling up his Web presence. Even his relationship with's (Nasdaq: AMZN) Kindle isn't safe.

    "We're changing the price of The Journal on the Kindle," Murdoch notes. "We will get a better share of the revenue, though I can't say that I'm satisfied."

    "It's not a big number, and we're not encouraging it at all, because
    we don't get the names of the subscribers," he adds. He also notes that
    the company is looking into Sony's (NYSE: SNE) e-book reader and monitoring the rumor mills on Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL)
    tablet. "Kindle treats them as their subscribers, not as ours," Murdoch
    says. "I think that will eventually cause a break between us."

    If Murdoch follows his own advice and turns his back on the Kindle — or follows Cuban's advice and turns his back on news aggregators — I'm guessing this experiment will die cold and alone.

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