Astroturfers Revisited

Good piece (video) by Jon Ronson about astroturfing: Esc and Ctrl: Jon Ronson investigates astroturfing – video In the second part of Jon Ronson’s series about the struggle for control of the internet, he looks at online astroturfing – when unpopular institutions post fake blogs to seem more favourable. He meets the former vice president …

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Locking Users In the Smart Way

I was directed to this excellent piece, A Victim Treats His Mugger Right : NPR, via Facebook last night.  And it made me realise how publishers don’t make the most of that kind of referral. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that nowadays we tend to get more and more of our reading from peer suggestions …

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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 …

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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? …

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Web 2.0 or Social Media? It Depends on the Year

A client asked me the other day what the difference was between social media, new media, digital media and Web 2.0. I told him: time. To see what I mean look at the following timeline from Google Trends: The blue line is searches of “social media” since 2004, orange is ”new media”, red “web 2.0” …

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Why Hotels Should Avoid Social Media

By Jeremy Wagstaff (this is a copy of my column for newspapers) If The Wall Street Journal is to be believed—and as a former contributor I’ve no reason to doubt it—the best way to get decent hotel service these days is to tweet about how bad it is. And reading the piece made me realize …

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Is Microsoft Censoring Windows 7 Tweets?

Intrigued to see that Microsoft has turned a page of its website over to “What people are saying about Windows 7”: The page is designed a bit like twittefall: a cascade of seeminlgy “live” tweets (their dates and times of posting cleverly removed from the cascade.) Amazingly, 99% of the comments are positive, or at …

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