Getting Paid for Doing Bad Things

I have recently received half a dozen offers of placing links in my blogs to reputable companies’ websites. Think of it as product placement for the Internet. It’s been around a while, but I just figured out how it’s done, and it made me realise that the early dreams of a blogging utopia on the […]

Gay Lesbian Syrian Blogger? Or a Bearded American from Edinburgh?

Here’s a cautionary tale about how hard it is to verify whether someone is who they say they are: Syrian lesbian blogger is revealed conclusively to be a married man Tom MacMaster’s wife has confirmed in an email to the Guardian that he is the real identity behind the Gay Girl in Damascus blog Syrian […]

Social Media and Politics: Truthiness and Astroturfing

By Jeremy Wagstaff (this is a column I wrote back in November. I’m repeating it here because of connections to astroturing in the HBGary/Anonymous case.) Just how social is social media? By which I mean: Can we trust it as a measure of what people think, what they may buy, how they may vote? Or […]

Social Media and Politics: Truthiness and Astroturfing

(This is a longer version of my syndicated newspaper column) By Jeremy Wagstaff Just how social is social media? By which I mean: Can we trust it as a measure of what people think, what they may buy, how they may vote? Or is it as easy a place to manipulate as the real world? […]

The New Normal: Constant Flux

(This is a copy of my Loose Wire Sevice column, produced for newspapers and other print publications. Hence the lack of links.) I was reading a blog by a World Banker the other day—now there’s a phrase I wouldn’t have thought I’d use a few years ago—about our old favorite in this column: Twitter. Now […]

Software That Plays Tag

This week’s WSJ.com column (subscription only, I’m afraid) is about Jiglu, a sort of automatic tagging service you can see in action somewhere on this blog: If you’re a writer, you hope your words will be etched in stone for eternity. If you’re a blogger, you’re happy if someone stumbles on your writings a few […]

How to Flatter 100 Bloggers

Do portraits of them as ASCII art. Amit Agarwal, an India-based blogger of impeccable test and refinement, does some very cool pictures of 100 bloggers. Including that picture of me looking smarmy in the middle of the kampung: ASCII Art: Colored Text Paintings of Your Favorite Bloggers – Digital Inspiration

The Rise and Fall of Blogging, Twitter and Facebook

A lot of people ask me whether they should blog. Usually I give them the stock answer: blog because you’ve got something to say, because you feel you’ve got to write, and because you want to connect to other people on the same subject. But now I think I’d add another suggestion: don’t bother. Here, in a nutshell is […]

The Real iPhone Lesson: the Power of Schtum

I first wrote about Scoble, then the Microsoft Blogger Enfant Terrible back in 2004 or something. Maybe even earlier. But he was the breath of fresh air the company needed at the time. Now the ‘markets are naked conversations’ thing is the main meme, the conventional wisdom the smart people (smugly) get. Now Scoble’s on […]

Blog Off(line)

I know I’m old-fashioned, but I still like to edit my blogs from a client, not from the webpage itself. It’s probably something to do with the temperamental connections I get in this neck of the woods, but I’m always convinced my ramblings are going to disappear into the ether unless they’re somehow being saved […]