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A Bad Day for Social Media

You may be forgiven for thinking I’m a fan of social media, and, in particular, Twitter. Headlines like “Twitter: the future of news” and “Twitter, the best thing since the invention of the thong” may have given the misleading impression I thought Twitter was a good thing. In which case I apologize. The truth is I think Twitter is bumping up against its limits. It’s possibly just a speed bump, but it’s a bump nonetheless. The problem as I see it is that we thought that social media would scale. In other words, we thought that the more people got involved, the more the crowdContinue readingA Bad Day for Social Media

On News Visualization, Part II

This week’s Loose Wire column in WSJ is about visualizing news. Researching the column I had a chance to interview Craig Mod, the guy behind the excellent Buzztracker. Here’s an edited transcript of our chat: Craig Mod: We have over 550,000 articles in the DB now, spanning back to Jan 1st 2004. “Buzztracker” went from 750 hits on google the day before the launch to now … 39,000+ which was suprising Jeremy: when was the launch? Craig Mod: About 3 weeks ago Craig Mod: got slashdotted within 12 hours Jeremy: could you walk me thro how you think people might use it, or derive benefitContinue readingOn News Visualization, Part II

The Phone Belch

Why is it that cellphones ring louder the longer they go unanswered? The ring starts quietly, then builds up to an ear-splitting crescendo. I know what the apparent logic to this is — if the phone is right in front of the person, they don’t need it loud to be able to hear it, so the loudness is only needed if the phone hasn’t been answered immediately — but is that really logical? What happens most of the time is that folk don’t hear the phone ringing immediately because it’s in their pocket/bag/desk/mouth. So they remove it just as the ring gets louder. The phoneContinue readingThe Phone Belch

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