Content Curation Faux Pas

This is a relatively short post that I wanted to get up to discuss one of the problems with the concept of content curation. I’m not necessarily a fan for many different reasons, and the link below is one of them.


This link is from CNN News, and it’s talking about the guy who set the record for skydiving from the highest point in space ever, more than 24,000 feet; ouch! It’s a great story, one I’ve actually been following for about a year since I first heard about it, and it all ended well.

Anyway, the story talks about how he got up there, how he jumped via balloon, how far he fell before deploying his parachute, speeds, and then the landing. It’s all fascinating stuff, and I wanted to read more about his feelings and what other people thought about him going through it.

There was, and probably still is, a lot of content in the story. However, after the first few paragraphs, it turns out to be all filler. And not just regular filler, but it’s all pre-event filler. In other words, it talked about potential dangers “before he jumps” when he’s already jumped. In essence, all the information and data that CNN had accumulated before he made the jump was posted again, and had probably been posted time and time again every time his guy was part of the story.

Thing is, that’s one of the problems I have with content curation. It’s a lazy way of reporting, and it makes you, the source, look stupid if you don’t update it in some fashion so that it looks current. If it had been written without time emphasis it might have worked better. But it wasn’t, and thus it’s disappointing reading and stuff that, for the most part, I’d already read. And if I hadn’t read it I’d still have been wondering why it was written in the past tense.

Maybe I’m being sensitive so I’ll ask you. Based on this story and the way they’ve used content they’ve previously curated, should they have updated it, not used it at all since it’s past its usefulness, or am I way off my rocker?
 

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Waiting For Social Media To Fail Is A Waste Of Time

Earlier today, there was a news alert that came through from CNN saying that the major portion of the health care bill has been ruled unconstitutional. Since Twitter is usually quick with news the flurry of reports of the story hit the airwaves and exploded. Minutes later, there was a retraction of that and it was then reported that the Supreme Court said instead that the health care bill was constitutional, and of course the conversation turned another way.


via birgerking via Flickr

Out of the blue, one of the people on Twitter came out with this statement:

I love Twitter, but I love seeing it get its comeuppance even more.

I thought it was kind of a stupid statement, so I responded by saying this:

Illogical statement since none of this had anything to do with Twitter getting it wrong.

His response back to me was thus:

I think we can all agree that Twitter is no match for a Supreme Court decision.

To which I responded:

“Apparently neither is CNN, which reported it first in a news release.”

I have to admit that the initial part of the exchange threw me off. Why would someone on Twitter, who must like it to some degree, be happy when ‘they’ took a hit, especially when they didn’t take a hit? I thought about that one for a moment, then realized that I probably do the same thing from time to time, as there’s a lot of things Google does that I don’t like, yet I use their services in many different ways.

So I concentrated on the second part instead, that being that Twitter wasn’t to blame for any of what occurred. Just like probably so many other people, I saw a news alert come to my phone telling me that the law had been ruled unconstitutional, went to Twitter to comment on it, and about 5 seconds after I typed my one line another alert came through issuing a correction. I at least waited 5 minutes before I wrote what I wrote, but the information wasn’t correct, and I wrote my little retraction.

Still, it wasn’t Twitter’s fault, but the exchange got me thinking about those people who are ready to find something wrong with something they don’t like, without any real background or reason for being against it, and then pouncing when they feel justified. We all know people like that, the negative Nellies that hate pretty much everything and, when something goes wrong, stands up like the paragon of righteousness, feeling superior to everything that eventually went their way.

Except things almost never go their way. Here’s a truth; everyone eventually will be correct if that’s not their natural state. It’s like hearing that someone 75 years old passed away and having someone say “see, I told you cigarettes would kill him some day.”

Now, I’ll put out a caveat here. I don’t agree with everything. But when I disagree with something, I almost always have a reason for it. I do get bad vibes about some people or certain things that I might not be able to explain initially, but usually my reason for it comes fairly quickly. I try to be fair, even with things I’m not in total agreement with, but if there’s something I really don’t like, I’ll have reasons. And if something goes wrong for the reasons I put out there… yeah, I might feel a little smug. But I’ll have stated my reasons; I won’t have just sat around waiting for something bad to happen without a specific reason so I can say I told you so.

Folks, here’s a reality; social media isn’t going away. No matter how many people say they’re against this or that, Pandora’s Box has been opened, and those things aren’t going back in. Lament all you will about the loss of people talking to each other or not communicating as well, but we all had best be ready to embrace social media because it’s only going to become more of the norm as time goes by. Goodness, large corporations have already embraced video conferencing so they don’t have to spend millions of dollars shuttling people all over the world for a 1-hour meeting.

And don’t worry. Social media will not replace everything. It won’t replace family; it won’t replace good friends. If you like going out to the bar it won’t be replaced by social media. Restaurants; I’m still coming. Romance… well, some folks might enjoy only what they find online but the majority still want someone in their lives.

Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, or whatever replaces any of these things as time goes by, I recommend learning about them, decide if you’re going to participate or not, and then get on with life. You’ll be happier that way.
 

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Paper.li

If you’re on Twitter and follow enough people, you’ve probably seen a notification every once in awhile from someone you follow that says something like “The XXXX Daily is out”, followed by a number of Twitter handles. Most of the time if you see it, then you’ll see your Twitter handle in there as well, eventually followed by a link. If you click on that link, you’re taken to your browser to view what looks like a newspaper of sorts, and eventually you’ll see your name and something you tweeted earlier in the day.

All of this is the creation of a company called Paper.li. Its intention is to create a daily newspaper out of Twitter and Facebook feeds that the service deems important based on categories you determine are important to you and deliver information to you based on the people who you follow or are connected to on both Twitter and Facebook.

What you don’t see are “chats”, per se, but the links any of these folks have put up during the day that fit into the types of categories you get to select. For instance, if you click on the image above to enlarge it some, you’ll see that the example I selected, one of my local online friends, starts with headlines, which all Paper.li sites begin with, then breaks down into Business, Arts & Entertainment, Stories, Sports, etc; just like a regular newspaper. The second example below, someone I don’t know, has different interests, so after headlines his goes Health, Education, Business, Leisure, and so on.

Overall it’s a combination of three things; links to blogs, links to news sources, and links to videos. You have the option of having a live Twitter feed showing on your newspaper as well.

Now, why would you want something like this? I’ll tell you after I own up to the reality that I don’t have one of these, and don’t see me doing it any time soon, though it could change in the future. I just wanted to get that out of the way because, though I could see how many people would love something like this.

Here’s the thing. On Twitter, if you have a lot of people you follow, there’s just no way you’re going to see everything that people post during the day; it’s impossible. So, you never know if you’ve missed something that you care about in a category you want to know more about. With Paper.li, you’ll know that you’re capturing news in categories you want to see that has been posted by people you’re following. And you also have the ability to highlight people who you want to follow more closely, to make sure their links show up before the links of people you follow but don’t necessarily care if you miss what they post or not.

What are the downsides? First, it only updates once a day. When it does finally update it will only catch the newest stuff if you follow a lot of people. Therefore, if someone posted a great link at midnight and your newspaper doesn’t post until 8PM, you’re probably going to miss it unless no one else posted something under a category you follow. You might not care all that much, but it’s something to consider.

Second, it determines what’s newsworthy and what’s not, just like Facebook does. Sure, you get to highlight certain people to come up first, but after that it makes all decisions for you. That’s just like regular newspapers, though; you don’t really get to select which news you read, just which section of the newspaper you wish to read.

Third, it could capture some items from people who might not have wanted everything out there for all to see. Now, if those people are savvy they can always follow the link and de-list themselves from being scanned by Paper.li, but they don’t always know about that possibility. This happens if you decide to list someone who otherwise normally has their tweets protected; there’s no way for Paper.li to know.

Of course, you could also decide to post the link to your newspaper on both your Facebook or blog sites for people to follow as well. Truthfully, some people will smile when they get the tweet showing your name as being on their newspaper. If other people follow it they might see your blog posts or links that you’ve shown, and the originator’s name and image is always next to those stories. For my friend, I’ve never shown up on his headlines page, but in checking out his stories page I found a couple of my blog posts and many posts from other people I know.

This isn’t such a bad thing if you’re going to read it. If not, don’t bother setting one up. Statistics show that only 14% or so of people who create these papers visit them more than once a month, which is a shame. I’m thinking the internet doesn’t need more clutter. But if you’re a reader, and you want to see what people you follow are saying that’s been determined to be important, this is a good way to go.

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Video Highlights And A New Page

I have a lot of videos on this blog. Sometimes they’re easy to find because they match up with the content. Other times they’re kind of hidden gems, something I used to add something different to the post.

Overall the videos are all over the place, so I decided it was time to consolidate them, as well as highlight a few of them here. I did this before with my post showing my early videos up to June 2008. Below are 9 others I’d like to highlight, mainly because today is the 9th of March. For all other videos on this blog, though, go to the link above that says Videos, or of course you can click on the link I just created.

This video of Tunak Tunak Tun by Daler Mehndi just thrilled my wife and I when I discovered it last year. It’s infectious and fun.

This was the video of the year in 2009, a funny wedding entrance video.

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about commenting; this was Chris Pirillo’s take on it.

I had someone recently tell me about Google 411 service; told him I’d written about it in 2008, including the video.

I had finally written about the movie The Secret, and this was the 20 minute video clip from The Secret, which is enough to get you going.

This video caused a lot of consternation for a lot of people, mainly me, on my business blog for about 2 years before I decided to move it over here instead; it’s a motivational video of a boy with Down’s Syndrome.

A very recent video showing that stupidity and racism is still alive in America, courtesy of this Rachel Maddow clip with Pat Buchanan being stupid.

Talk about people with a passion that I’m not sure I could ever find again, this one highlights something known as Free Running.

Finally, we’re coming up on St. Patrick’s Day, and even though I’m not Irish and I’m not Catholic and I don’t drink beer (let alone green beer), I figured I’d get into the spirit of things this one time by presenting the Muppets singing Danny Boy.

And there you go, 9 videos I wanted to bring some life back to. I hope you check these out, and if you’re ever looking for some entertainment, remember to check out my Video page above.

2012:doomsday

2012: Doomsday (documentary)

Price – $19.98


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My Top 12 News Stories Of The Decade

You know, doing lists like this one are hard because there’s just so many news stories to pick from, and at the same time there’s a lot to try to remember.

There will be a lot of top whatever stories coming for this first decade of the century, even though there will also be debate as to whether the decade ends on 12/31/09 or 12/31/10. In my mind, the first year of the millennium was 0, not 1, so 2009 is the end of this decade. Heck, my blog, my post, my rules. 🙂

Here’s the thing with my list. These are actually my top 12 topics as much as my top 12 news stories. By that, I mean it might have been one specific thing, or it may have been a lot of things that made the story so significant in 2009. Also, I’ll own up to this right now; this is obviously from an American perspective, though I tried to make all of my stories pertinent to the world in some fashion. I believe that only a couple are specifically American news stories, but in their own way they affected the rest of the world.

So be it; it’s another topic to generate conversation and controversy, and I’m betting it’s not going to get a lot of conversation. I think, overall, that I enjoy these posts more than other folks do, because they make you think more than just teach you something. I guess we’ll find out. So, without more ado, here we go:

12. Michael Jackson – Some people might wonder why Michael Jackson merits news. If there’s one person who was more than just an entertainer for decades, let alone one decade, it was Michael Jackson. The decade began with his last released studio album of his career, Invincible. Critics called it a failure; that “failure” sold more than 13 million copies worldwide, the best selling album of 2001, and won him a Grammy, to date his last. Then there was the interview with Martin Bashir that almost brought his career down. There was the child molestation trial, which exonerated him, and encouraged him to leave the country and never live here again. And finally, there was his passing this year, shockingly, in June, weeks before he was going to be doing his last live performances, and 2 months before his 51st birthday. He immediately became the number one best selling artist of the year, his funeral was the 3rd most watched funeral in history. He’s the only artist in history who had one album sell more than 100 million copies; that’s more than 50 million albums than anyone else. He’s won more Grammy’s, American Music Awards, and world music awards than any other person in history. He’s up for more Grammys this year. And he’s my favorite singer of all time. If he’s not one of the top news stories of the decade, then people have no concept of what news is.

11. Y2K – The beginning of the decade changed a lot of things without really doing anything. There was so much worry that big and small businesses went out, changed their computer systems, bought new electrical equipment, and had people sitting by waiting for the world to come crashing down at midnight wherever they were in the world. Some airlines even stopped flying until after midnight, just to make sure nothing happened. It was the biggest news story that ended up not really being news, but it was fun while it lasted.

10. Space – There was so much that happened in the past decade regarding outer space or the concept of how the universe was created that to not talk about it would be a fallacy. Scientists found the coldest place in the universe, and it turned out to be our own moon. We saw it snowing on Mars. There was water found in both places. There were planets found circling other stars in other galaxies in other solar systems. They landed a module on an asteroid; they put another one in the path of a comet. We saw some amazing pictures; we learned that there’s a black hole in the middle of every galaxy. They declassified Pluto as a planet, creating a major uproar. China joined the space race. We had another space shuttle disaster, this time as one was coming back from space, Columbia. And we started flying civilians into space, turning it from being primarily a government thing to more of a citizens event, meaning anyone with guts and at least $20 million of expendable cash can go into space. Man, think of what the next decade is going to bring us.

9. Fidel Castro resigns as Cuba’s president – Who can say they saw this one coming? Fidel has been in the crosshairs of America for almost 50 years, defiant as anything as he took his country into poverty but stuck to his principles. He finally stepped down “officially” as president of the country in 2008, and now his brother Raul is president. We’re not really sure who’s running the country, because Fidel is still sending out missives and commenting on world events, but Cuba is starting to progress, albeit slowly, and finally an American administration is talking with them about the possible thaw in relations. I guess soon we won’t be seeing any more of these Cuban cars.

8. Bush 2000 election – Man, was this ugly or what. For the first time in American history, a president was actually elected by the Judicial branch of the country rather than the people of the country. It all came down to Florida and 16 votes, Florida being the state where the president’s brother was governor. There were allegations of voter fraud and we all had to learn the term “hanging chads”, but in the end Bush won the presidency by a 5-4 vote in the Supreme Court while losing the popular vote to Al Gore by more than 540,000 votes. We all have to wonder how different things might have been if Bush hadn’t been in office then, or with both #3 and #1 on this list.

7. Social Media – This was probably the quickest change in history, and has brought the world closer together in a big way. When the decade started we only had newsgroups, some instant messaging, and most people still were on 52K dial up. By the end of the decade most of us are on some kind of high speed internet connection, are connected via Twitter or Facebook, blogs are the rage and are more than just diaries for the love lorn, and we have multiple business sites for different industries or blanket business ventures for everyone.

Many people around the world can connect via Skype for free; there’s video conferencing also. And, with the release of Windows 7, computing could become more interactive with touchscreen technology; yeah, we had it with those weird thick pens and green CRT monitors in the 80’s, but this is something much different.

I guess we could tie in text messaging and the demise, at least in my opinion, of instant messaging, but it’s probably modifying instead of just going away for good. Social media has taken over our lives, and as we migrate into Web 3.0, I’m sure there are going to be some amazing changes in the next decade.

6. Avian, West Nile, Swine Flu – As we deal with this supposed pandemic (lots of people are getting sick, but few are dying) known as H1N1, or swine flu, we have to remember that the decade started out with something known as west nile virus, then the avain or bird flu virus. We were suddenly looking at animals as the ends to our destruction, and people went nuts all around the world.

Of course, none of these compare to the ebola scare or bubonic plague, but the thing that’s made all of it much more scary is that the news gets out faster, there’s more news sources to keep pumping it into our consciousness, and therefore people are panicked beyond belief. I hate to think of what might be coming in the next decade.

5. World Recession – We’re dealing with this now, but anyone who had their minds open saw this one coming as early as 2006. Gas prices shot up, then jobs started leaving America and going to other countries, which meant high unemployment here and no buyers for products coming back into this country. Around the world jobs were lost, houses were lost, people started going hungry, stock markets crashed, and many banks started to close.

When things really got bad, it proved something I’ve been saying for a long time, that all that money that was being lost wasn’t being lost; it never existed. Bernard Madoff proved that, as did banks that lost their existence because those bad loans they made to people who didn’t see it coming came due, and no one had that kind of money to pay things back, and we all learned once again that the stock market in every country was overvalued.

Right now, “experts” are speculating that it could be as long as 2012 before things really get better. I’m a bit more optimistic than that, but that’s because I believe in people, and believe that, somehow, world governments are going to step up and help people and businesses do the right thing. And what is the right thing? I haven’t written that post yet on my finance blog, but it’s coming.

4. 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake/Tsunami – This was the day we all learned where Phuket was, and that it really existed, but rich people have always known. Within hours of a massive underwater earthquake, a killer tsunami came through the Indian Ocean and killed more than 230,000 in 11 countries. It was scary because a lot of it was caught on tape, and we could see the devastation occurring before our eyes. It had a magnitude between 9.1 and 9.3, the second worst earthquake in recorded history, fourth largest since 1900, lasted nearly 10 minutes, and caused earthquakes in other areas around the world. We really saw what nature can do to us and there’s nothing we can possibly do to keep it from happening anywhere.

3. War – I thought about selecting one specific war, but I decided that two wars in particular had to be talked about. Yeah, there were some other skirmishes here and there, but the war in Afghanistan and Iraq are the two biggies because each involved more than two countries. Both, in their own way, were related to the #1 news story of the decade, in my opinion, although in different ways.

One seemingly had an air of legitimacy to it; the other seemed more vindictive, with false information generated to convince us and the world to join forces and go after Saddam Hussein. I don’t weep for him, as Bush Sr. should have taken him out when he had the chance, and in my opinion, would have lessened the possibility of the first attack on the Twin Towers of NY in 1994 and other attacks around the world. The problem now is that we’re still conducting both wars, with little sign that either one is going away, although there’s a supposed time frame for each one to wind down. For two wars that seemingly were resolved so quickly, they’re turning out to be really costly and the loss of life almost doesn’t seem worth it anymore. Almost, that is, because terrorism has changed and the world has changed. But we also have to acknowledge that the war has probably contributed to the recession.

2. President Barack Obama – When Rep. John Lewis of Georgia announced he was switching his support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, he was asked why. His answer summed up the entire election: “It’s hard to go against a movement.” The campaign of Barack Obama was more about the dream and vision people had of America than anything else. My dad would have been proud.

Every one who supported him had something they wanted. I supported him because he was a black candidate; I’ll admit that, mainly because he wasn’t my first choice, and I didn’t decide I was voting for him until he won the Democratic primary. For once, I wasn’t voting against someone, but for someone, though that was my only reason (otherwise, I would have been voting against someone, so my vote wouldn’t have changed). Some people supported him because they thought he would end the war. Some people voted for him because they believed he’d get a national health care plan pushed through. Some people voted for him because they thought he’d support gay rights.

Whatever it was, it was a movement, and it was euphoric the night he won, and again on the day he was elected. Right now, he’s proving why most of us would never want to run for president; it’s ugly, for sure. But for one night and one day, he changed history, and over the course of this year, he’s helped the United States raise its standing in the world, helped bring some peace in international relations, and I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt. For now, that is.

1. 9/11/2001 – What really needs to be said? This was the biggest act of terrorism in history. More than 3,300 people were killed on this day. We saw the attacks on the Twin Towers, the second one live. We saw the remnants of the attack on the Pentagon. We later learned about the plane crash in Pennsylvania, when a bunch of heroes decided they’d rather down the plane, Flight 93, and give up their lives instead of allowing a bunch of stupid hoping-to-be martyrs crash their plane into another building, supposed aiming for the Capitol or the White House, which they’d have never gotten close to because, finally, military planes had been scrambled and were ready to shoot down any plane approaching Washington D. C.

That one act of terrorism defined the decade, setting the stage for most of what came afterwards around the world; war, recession, and more terrorism from extremists who think they’re actually winning. It was the first time the Stock Exchange was closed, for six days no less, and other stock markets around the world closed. Planes didn’t fly for 3 days or so. It was an attack on America, but the world felt it and still feels its effects, and I still have this image of Arafat laying on a table giving blood that was supposed to be sent to America. How weird was that? And yeah, 8 years later I’m still mad.

There you are, my top news stories of the decade. Did you see anything there that you want to comment on? Is this one too long for you? Luckily, you can listen to it if you want, so lay back, close your eyes, and enjoy it. Then comment; I’m sure some of you have something you think should be on the list.

Cherry brown finish wood bookshelf with optional corner units

Cherry brown finish wood bookshelf with optional corner units

Price – $695.00


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