links for 2007-12-31

links for 2007-12-30

links for 2007-12-29

Social Media Tradeoffs

Travelator, via Flickr (CC license)
Though it’s often trivialized and denigrated, instant gratification is a very powerful thing.

As I’ve gotten more comfortable and involved with using the microblogging tool Twitter, I’ve realized that I’ve been using the social bookmarking tool less and less. I’m not the only one.

When I posted about this on Twitter, my friend Beth Kanter tweeted in response:

“I’ve had the same experience — less social bookmarking, more Twitter. But Twitter not great for retrieval.”

“Twitter offers immediate gratification and connection with people, not just resources. But retrieval is hard.”

This got me wondering about why I really use each of these social media tools in the first place. But Beth has a point: I’d be lying if I downplayed the appeal of instant gratification.

The question then becomes: What precisely am I finding so gratifying with Twitter?…

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links for 2007-12-28

Bhutto Assassination News via Blogs, Twitter

The Teeth announcement on Twitter of Bhutto’s assassination, viewed via Snitter.

This morning as I was making tea, I learned via NPR that Pakistani opposition leader and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Google News already offers a slew of mainstream news coverage of the assassination — based almost entirely on reporting done outside Pakistan, since tight restrictions on journalists remain in force in Pakistan even though President Pervez Musharraf lifted lifted six weeks of emergency rule on Dec. 15. (More on that country’s press restrictions from the International Federation of Journalists and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.)

Given the current dearth of available professional journalism from within Pakistan, the country’s lively blogosphere — much of it in English — has become a key source of original and diverse news, analysis, commentary, and context from around that troubled nation. Today especially would be a good time to start paying close attention to Pakistani blogs.

One of the easiest places to get started is a blog aggregator with the unlikely name of Teeth Maestro

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links for 2007-12-27

How to make Furl better (so I’d start using it more again)

Furl, I love ya, but…

First, the good news: I love Furl. I really do. I have for several years. It’s long been one of my favorite social bookmarking tools because it includes several features beyond basic item tagging and descriptions:

  • Archiving: Furl saves a complete copy (or at least, it attempts to, and lets you know if that attempt fails) of every web page you bookmark there. So when you search your archive, you’re not just searching the metadata, but the complete document. As a journalist and general research hound, I’ve found that immensely useful.
  • E-mailing: I can e-mail a link and comment to people I know as I bookmark something in Furl. Google Shared Stuff allows this, but other popular social bookmarking services (like don’t.
  • Optional privacy: I can mark Furl items as private or public — and I can specify private to be my default setting.
  • Ample comment space: Furl allows me lots of space to record notes about the items I’m bookmarking, or to clip quotes from the content. No ludicrously tight character limits like the appalling 255-character ceiling on

…Now, the bad news: In the last six months or so I’ve been using Furl less and less — even though I still believe it’s a superior service — mainly because the site’s not keeping up with state of the art user interface issues. That is, I’ve found that it’s getting progressively more difficult to use Furl, compared to and Google Shared Stuff.

Furl, because I love you and I want to see you thrive, here are my tips for how you can upgrade your service…

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