👓 A Close Look at How Facebook’s Retreat From the News Has Hurt One Particular Website—Ours | Slate

Read A Close Look at How Facebook’s Retreat From the News Has Hurt One Particular Website—Ours by Will Oremus (Slate Magazine)
New data shows the impact of Facebook’s pullback from an industry it had dominated (and distorted).

(Roose, who has since deleted his tweet as part of a routine purge of tweets older than 30 days, told me it was intended simply as an observation, not a full analysis of the trends.)

Another example of someone regularly deleting their tweets at regular intervals. I’ve seem a few examples of this in academia.


It’s worth noting that there’s a difference between NewsWhip’s engagement stats, which are public, and referrals—that is, people actually clicking on stories and visiting publishers’ sites. The two have generally correlated, historically, and Facebook told me that its own data suggests that continues to be the case. But two social media professionals interviewed for this story, including one who consults for a number of different publications, told me that the engagement on Facebook posts has led to less relative traffic. This means publications could theoretically be seeing less ad revenue from Facebook even if their public engagement stats are holding steady.


From Slate’s perspective, a comment on a Slate story you see on Facebook is great, but it does nothing for the site’s bottom line.


(Remember when every news site published the piece, “What Time Is the Super Bowl?”)

This is a great instance for Google’s box that simply provides the factual answer instead of requiring a click through.


fickle audiences available on social platforms.

Here’s where feed readers without algorithms could provide more stability for news.

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👓 How Facebook Punked and then Gut Punched the News Biz | TPM

Read How Facebook Punked and then Gut Punched the News Biz by Josh Marshall (Talking Points Memo)
In the digital publishing world, there’s been a buzz about this article in Slate in which slate staffer Will Oremus detailed the impact on the publication of Facebook’s dramatic retreat from the news business. The numbers are stark but not surprising for people in the industry. Indeed, Oremus makes the point that most news organizations are not willing to release these numbers. (We’ll come back to that point in a moment.) In January 2017 Slate had 28.33 million referrals from Facebook to Slate. By last month that number had dropped to 3.63 million. In other words, a near total collapse.
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👓 Trump has turned words into weapons. And he’s winning the linguistic war | George P Lakoff and Gil Duran | Opinion | The Guardian

Read Trump has turned words into weapons. And he's winning the linguistic war by George P Lakoff, Gil Duran (the Guardian)
From ‘spygate’ to ‘fake news’, Trump has turned words into weapons. The press must do more to dull their power
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👓 George Lakoff says this is how Trump uses words to con the public | CNN: Money

Read George Lakoff says this is how Trump uses words to con the public (CNNMoney)
Lakoff said the president manipulates language to control the public narrative.
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👓 “Did you even READ the piece?” This startup wants to make that question obsolete for commenters | Nieman Lab

Replied to “Did you even READ the piece?” This startup wants to make that question obsolete for commenters by Christine SchmidtChristine Schmidt (Nieman Lab)
The battle against the uncivil comments section is also a battle against high bounce rates for reallyread.it.

This is an intriguing little company. I could see this being some great opening infrastructure for creating read posts.

On my own website I’ve got a relative heirarchy of bookmarks, likes, reads, replies, follows, and favorites. (A read post indicates that I’ve actually read an entire piece–something I wish more websites and social platforms supported in lieu of allowing people to link or retweet content they haven’t personally vetted.) Because I’m posting this content on my personal site and it’s visible to others as part of my broader online identity I take it far more seriously than if I were tossing any old comment into an empty box on someone else’s website. To some extend this is the type of value that embedded comments sections for Facebook tries to enforce–because a commenter is posting using an identity that their friends, family, and community can see, there’s a higher likelihood that they’ll adhere to the social contract and be civil. I suspect that the Nieman Lab is using Disqus so that commenters are similarly tied to some sort of social identity, though in a world with easy-to-create-throw-away social accounts perhaps even this may not be enough.

While there’s a lot to be said about the technology and research that could be done with such a tool as outlined in the article, I think that it also ought to be bundled with people needing to use some part of their online social identities which they’re “stuck to” in some sense.

The best model I’ve seen for this in the web space is for journalism sites to support the W3C’s recommended Webmention specification. They post and host their content as always, but they farm out their comment sections to others by being able to receive webmentions. Readers will need to write their comments on their own websites or in other areas of the social web and then send webmentions back to the outlet which can then moderate and display them as part of the open discourse. While I have a traditional “old school” commenting block on my website, the replies and reactions I get to my content are so much richer when they’re sent via webmention from people posting on their own sites.

I’ve also recently been experimenting with some small outlets in allowing them to receive webmentions. They can display a wider range of reactions to their content including bookmarks, likes, favorites, reads, and even traditional comments. Because webmentions are two-way links they’re audit-able and provide a better monolithic means of “social proof” relating to an article than the dozens of social widgets with disjointed UI that most outlets are currently using.

Perhaps this is the model that journalism outlets should begin to support?

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👓 Our big loop | Scripting News

Read Scripting News: Our big loop by Dave Winer (Scripting News)

I want people to be able to put up their own web servers. Not companies. Not people with Computer Science degrees. People. Anyone. Everyone. #

I think every journalist should learn how to set up and run a web server. I think any student, no matter how young, should learn, if they want to. The doors to publishing should be open to everyone. It's never been easier, and it could be getting easier all the time. That should be one of the overarching goals of our profession, to make what we do easier and easier, all the time. To make what we did ten years ago something anyone can do. It's the nature of software, that once we know what we can do that we make it easy for everyone to do it.

I think every journalist should learn how to set up and run a web server.

I agree with this certainly…

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📺 Investigative Toolkit | Jon Udell

Watched Investigative Toolkit by Jon Udell from Jon Udell

This is great! The more citation of sources, the better. If I want to check those sources, though, I often wind up spending a lot of time searching within source articles to find passages cited implicitly but not explicitly. If those passages are marked using annotations, the method I’ll describe here makes that material available explicitly, in ways that streamline the reporter’s workflow and improve the reader’s experience.

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❤️ voss tweet

Liked a tweet by Jonas VossJonas Voss (Twitter)

My older brother who speaks some Dutch might be impressed at how popular I apparently am in the Netherlands/Belgium.

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👓 Annotations are an easy way to Show Your Work | Jon Udell

Read Annotations are an easy way to Show Your Work by Jon Udell (Strategies for Internet citizens)
In A Hypothesis-powered Toolkit for Fact Checkers I described a toolkit that supported the original incarnation of the Digital Polarization Project. More recently I’ve unbundled the key ingredients of that toolkit and made them separately available for reuse. The ingredient I’ll discuss here, HypothesisFootnotes, is illustrated in this short clip from a 10-minute screencast about the original toolkit. Here’s the upshot: Given a web page that contains Hypothesis direct links, you can include a script that pulls the cited material into the page, and connects direct links in the page to citations gathered elsewhere in the page.

Jon is always building something interesting. Here he covers some useful tools for journalism as well as education.

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👓 Vice Media Was Built on a Bluff. What Happens When It Gets Called? | Daily Intelligencer | New York Magazine

Read Vice Media Was Built on a Bluff. What Happens When It Gets Called? by Reeves Wiedeman (Daily Intelligencer)
For almost 25 years, Shane Smith’s plan was that, by the time the suckers caught on, he’d never be stuck owning the company he co-founded.

A fantastic article.

This reminds me a lot of the recent Theranos stories and book. It’s sad how companies don’t do enough due diligence on potential investments like this. When I think about how much basic work and discussion Marcus Lemonis does for $100,000 investments, I’m appalled to hear what people are doing for multi-millions. It’s stunning that a company can get to this size and be worth nearly nothing. Using the relative size (ie number of employees) of business units like human resources and legal within a particular industry could be a reasonable guide for the internal management of a company.

This is also a good example that while investments may give a company a particular valuation, it can rarely be the actual potential present value of the company. As a result, workers who are working for near free plus stock should be paying closer attention to company internals to know that their stock portion is going to be completely worthless.

Worse, I’m always pained to hear that young people (rich or otherwise) are essentially giving away their work and sweat equity away for free to big companies that could easily pay them. Eventually the pendulum is going to swing back the other way and companies are going to need to pay more.

One of my favorite quotes from the piece:

“Shane would always say that young people are the No. 1 bullshit detector, which was annoying once you realized that the thing he mastered is getting young people to buy shit,” says a recently departed senior employee.

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IndieWeb-ifying ColoradoBoulevard.net

I’ve spent some time over a few days this month to help IndieWeb-ify my local Pasadena online newspaper ColoradoBoulevard.net. They can now send and receive webmentions and can backfeed their comments, likes, and other responses from their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

They can stand to improve their support for microformats v2 and do some more work on their h-cards and other related metadata, but the editor seems thrilled with the initial results–particularly having their conversations in other areas of the internet come back to the original article.

I know that individual journalists have brought their personal websites into the IndieWeb fold, but this may be one of the first online newspapers/magazines I’m aware of to begin using some of these principles and tools. With any luck and some testing, they could be one of the first journalistic enterprises to begin receiving “Read” posts of their articles via webmention! Update: read posts are working! See the first example here.

I’d like to get them to a place where they can automatically syndicate to social silos and display their syndication links properly. In the end it would be really nice if their writers could own their own articles on their personal websites, syndicate them to the newspaper itself (as the rel=”canonical” link), and then both parties to be able to receive the appropriate backfeed, but this is a nice new baby step on the way to bigger and better things.

I did run across one interesting identity related issue that may need some addressing within this particular space. Some of their journalists prefer not to display photos (or even names) so that they’re not easily (or as easily) identified in person for the sake of doing online reviews or other sensitive reporting assignments.

❤️ ehernandez tweet

Liked a tweet by Elizabeth HernandezElizabeth Hernandez (Twitter)
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📺 re:publica 2018 – Jim Groom: Domain of One’s Own: Reclaim Your Data | YouTube

Watched re:publica 2018: Domain of One's Own: Reclaim Your Data by Jim GroomJim Groom from YouTube

A Domain of One's Own is an international initiative in higher education to give students and faculty more control over their personal data. The movement started at the University of Mary Washington in 2012, and has since grown to tens of thousands of faculty and students across hundreds of universities. The first part of this presentation (5-10 minutes) will provide a brief overview of how these Domains projects enable not only data portability for coursework, but also a reflective sense of what a digital identity might mean in terms of privacy and data ownership.

The second part of this presentation will explore how Domain of One's Own could provides a powerful example in how higher education could harness application programming interfaces (APIs) to build a more user-empowered data ecosystem at universities. The initial imaginings of this work has already begun at Brigham Young University in collaboration with Reclaim Hosting, and we will share a blueprint of what a vision of the Personal API could mean for a human-centric data future in the realm of education and beyond.

A short talk at the re:publica conference in Germany which touches on the intersection of the Domain of One’s Own which is very similar to the broader IndieWeb movement. POSSE makes a brief appearance at the end of the presentation, although just on a slide with an implicit definition rather than a more full-fledged discussion.

Toward the end, Groom makes mention of MyData, a Nordic Model for human-centered personal data management and processing, which I’d not previously heard of but which has some interesting resources which look like they might dovetail into some of what those in the IndieWeb are looking at. I’m curious if any of the folks in the EU like Sebastian Greger have come across them, and what their thoughts are on the idea/model they’ve proposed? It looks like they’ve got an interesting looking conference coming up at the end of August in Helsinki. There seems to be a white paper outlining a piece of their philosophy, which I’ll link to below:

MyData: A Nordic Model for human-centered personal data management and processing by Antti Poikola (t), Kai Kuikkaniemi (t), Harri Honko (t)

This white paper presents a framework, principles, and a model for a human-centric approach to the managing and processing of personal information. The approach – defined as MyData – is based on the right of individuals to access the data collected about them. The core idea is that individuals should be in control of their own data. The MyData approach aims at strengthening digital human rights while opening new opportunities for businesses to develop innovative personal data based services built on mutual trust.

Based on a quick overview, this is somewhat similar to a model I’ve considered and is reminiscent to some ideas I’ve been harboring about applications of this type of data to the journalism sphere as well.

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Repost of Jon Udell tweet about journalism and annotation

Reposted a tweet by Jon UdellJon Udell (Twitter)
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👓 The platform patrons: How Facebook and Google became two of the biggest funders of journalism in the world | Columbia Journalism Review

Read The platform patrons: How Facebook and Google became two of the biggest funders of journalism in the world by Mathew Ingram (Columbia Journalism Review)

Taken together, Facebook and Google have now committed more than half a billion dollars to various journalistic programs and media partnerships over the past three years, not including the money spent internally on developing media-focused products like Facebook’s Instant Articles and Google’s competing AMP mobile project. The result: These mega-platforms are now two of the largest funders of journalism in the world.

The irony is hard to miss. The dismantling of the traditional advertising model—largely at the hands of the social networks, which have siphoned away the majority of industry ad revenue—has left many media companies and journalistic institutions in desperate need of a lifeline. Google and Facebook, meanwhile, are happy to oblige, flush with cash from their ongoing dominance of the digital ad market.

The result is a somewhat dysfunctional alliance. People in the media business (including some on the receiving end of the cash) see the tech donations as guilt money, something journalism deserves because Google and Facebook wrecked their business. The tech giants, meanwhile, are desperate for some good PR and maybe even a few friends in a journalistic community that—especially now—can seem openly antagonistic.

A stunning and relatively detailed overview of where we’ve been in the last several years on the journalism front with too many questions about where we may be going.

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