Here are today's must-reads:
With Australia’s high-brow newspaper publisher, Fairfax Media, heading for its knees, commercial broadcaster Network Ten about to shed one third of its journalists and the Nine Network now in the hands of unforgiving US hedge funds, who is going to emerge as the titan of influence and reach in the Australian media?
The likely answer is your ABC.
There is a news revolution going on within Australia’s publicly funded national broadcaster, likely to reveal itself early next year when the ABC re-launches its unloved digital news arm, seeking the online audience share ABC bosses believe it should command.
With less than two weeks until the election, even the most enthusiastic political pundits and hobbyists might be feeling a bit burned out. Not only is this the first “Super PAC election,” resulting in an unprecedented number of television attack ads, it’s also the first social media election. Every time you check Facebook or Twitter, it’s hard to avoid your uncle’s birther ramblings or your cousin’s “9/11 was an inside job” nonsense.
Thankfully, there’s Unpolitic.me, a Google Chrome extension that does its best to block all political content from your Twitter and Facebook feeds and replace it with… cat pictures. It was developed by Buzzfeed’s creative director Chris Baker and modeled afterUnbaby.me, which Baker helped develop to rid your feeds of infants (which makes me wonder, do we only like cute pictures of babies when they don’t belong to our friends and family?)
On Facebook and Twitter, the extension is a useful tool that may lose its novelty after the election. But on Buzzfeed’s site, Unpolitic.me is put to a much more fascinating use. It exists as a button that lets you effectively turn on/off all political content. And there are few sites better-suited for its implementation than Buzzfeed, where investigative journalism is often presented on the same page as baby animal pictures, a juxtaposition not every publisher is comfortable with.
This presidential election takes place in a world where Twitter is more than 100 times bigger than it was four years ago and Tumblr is 77 times bigger. This election season, political junkies, bloggers, and voters have been watching the debates for viral material just as closely as political reporters watch them for headlines.
Encouraged by platforms like Tumblr,BuzzFeed, and Reddit, bloggers have learned to pounce on every opportunity for a novelty website or parody Twitter account, all for the promise of followers and retweets. The mainstream media might report on these "memes" — a term that is now being used pretty loosely — and the most successful ones might get book deals. But of course, the motivation isn't money.
These are some of the other things I've been tweeting about today:
- "Horror Films You Didn't Realize Were Based On True Stories" http://pjblack.me/RIHff2
- remember this story?: "What’s a Monkey to Do in Tampa?" http://pjblack.me/SbPZNq ... well the monkey has been captured http://pjblack.me/SbPZNs
- i hate email: "How email, loathed but indispensable, might finally enter the future" http://pjblack.me/S7utJT
- this is clever: "IKEA Now Could Change Furniture Shopping" http://pjblack.me/S7teu9
- "Tube sites are 'changing porn', says UK regulator" http://pjblack.me/S7t9GL
- "Can We Trust Voting Machines?" http://pjblack.me/RGNno9
- "Tina Fey On Todd Akin: 'I'm Going To Lose My Mind'" http://pjblack.me/RNkHd0
- "Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption" http://pjblack.me/RN9nh0
- "The Island Where People Forget to Die" http://pjblack.me/RGT45x
- poor surly: "Bingo… Surly is dying, again." http://pjblack.me/Sba1I5 #bbau /cc @ryyder
- "Spotify study: Music more sexually arousing than touch" http://pjblack.me/S7qj4E
- "TV proving a turn-off for the infants of the internet age" http://pjblack.me/S7pMj4
- "Kill your verticals! Could Buzzfeed’s Unpolitic.me herald a new age of news personalization?" http://pjblack.me/RGJyiA
- the abc is looking to dominate online news in australia: "The ABC Plays Monopoly" http://pjblack.me/RGu7Hk
- "Public-sector litigation rules need an overhaul" http://pjblack.me/SaYdFw #auslaw
- a look at the conditions of federal magistrates: "Renewed push for better conditions is on the way" http://pjblack.me/SaVjkk #auslaw
- "Ashby team bigger than we said: AGS" http://pjblack.me/SaVb46 #auspol
- "Like Tweeting 1,000 Words" http://pjblack.me/RGtgX7
- "Watch Australian Dept of Justice Explain its Social Media Policy in Three Minutes" http://pjblack.me/RGm7pG
- appalling proposed legislation in victoria: "Melbourne University slams new Victorian laws on councils" http://pjblack.me/SaEBS9 #highered
- from the @verge: "In 2012 election, the meme factory hones its assembly line" http://pjblack.me/S7fpff
- from legally weird: "NYC Teacher Bribed Students With Soap" http://pjblack.me/S7fbER
- "'Jesus,' 'welcome' join list of worst passwords" http://pjblack.me/QG0CFU
- from @fraserspeirs: "Thoughts on iPad mini" http://pjblack.me/RGfWC8
- "The Art of Calling In Sick—Or Toughing It Out" http://pjblack.me/RGdawK
- "Apple Is a Follower" http://pjblack.me/P3Rb54
- "Obama's Edge: The Ground Game That Could Put Him Over the Top" http://pjblack.me/RIcQ0s
- "Colin Powell backs Obama" http://pjblack.me/RI8pmf
- i wish @instapaper had a mac app: "Introducing Pocket for Mac" http://pjblack.me/S89rL5
Follow me on Twitter @peterjblack.
And you can get my latest links anytime on my Rebelmouse social media front page.