Updated: 5/16/2006; 2:49:55 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses


daily link  Thursday, September 23, 2004


How News Portals Serve Up Political Stories:  Why Google News shows so many second-tier conservative news sites. Google won't fully explain it, but Harvard fellow Ethan Zuckerman offers likely explanations.  First, they are organized as alternative news networks, rather than just 'blogs'.  Second, they use more specific phrases like "John Kerry" rather than standard journalism's tendency to use just "Kerry" after the first mention.  The more specific term is considered a better match.

""You have to wonder why some of these wacky sites make the cut..". With an occasional exception, Weblogs are generally not found among the Google News results, so Zuckerman had some advice for aspiring political publishers who want to game the search engines: Don't blog -- start an alternative news network. Use terms like George Bush and John Kerry frequently, rather than their last names alone, in both your text and headlines. Publish new works frequently.  What Zuckerman calls gaming the system, others call optimizing your site."

  11:21:54 PM  permalink  

Flip-flopping charge unsupported by facts / Kerry always pushed global cooperation, war as last resort: Marc Sandalow surveys the record.  Several quotes from Kerry included in the article.  "No argument is more central to the Republican attack on Sen. John Kerry than the assertion that the Democrat has flip-flopped on Iraq. .. Yet an examination of Kerry's words in more than 200 speeches and statements, comments during candidate forums and answers to reporters' questions does not support the accusation.  ..

Over and over, Kerry enthusiastically supported a confrontation with Saddam Hussein even as he aggressively criticized Bush for the manner in which he did so. Kerry repeatedly described Hussein as a dangerous menace who must be disarmed or eliminated, demanded that the U.S. build broad international support for any action in Iraq and insisted that the nation had better plan for the post-war peace. ..

"Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm (Hussein) by force, if we ever exhaust ... other options,'' Kerry said 23 months ago on the Senate floor before voting to authorize the force, imploring Bush to take the matter to the United Nations.  "If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the international community," Kerry said, insisting that Bush work with the United Nations. "If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out,'' Kerry said.  "Congressional action on this resolution is not the end of our national debate on how best to disarm Iraq,'' Kerry said on the eve of the vote. "Nor does it mean we have exhausted all of our peaceful options to achieve this goal.''

Yet in the fall of 2002, several months before the air strikes on Baghdad began, Bush himself insisted the vote was not the same as a declaration of war but instead gave him the hand he needed to negotiate the peace.  "If you want to keep the peace, you've got to have the authorization to use force,'' Bush said in September 2002. "It's a chance for Congress to say, 'we support the administration's ability to keep the peace.' That's what this is all about.''"

  11:12:57 PM  permalink  

Iran's bloggers in censorship protest: "Earlier this month, three reformist websites - Emrooz, Rooydad and Baamdad - re-appeared in a stripped-down form after having been blocked by the authorities. One of them moved the content of its site onto a blog as a means of getting around the block.

It is thought that the number of Iranians keeping blogs is now between 10,000 and 15,000.

However, some recent reports have now suggested that Iranian authorities are considering the creation of a national intranet - an internet service just for Iran - which would be separate from the world wide web. This would potentially mean that users would not be able to access anything the authorities do not want them to see. But Mr Derakhshan said he and his fellow bloggers are working on a strategy to get around the intranet, using email subscription services. "

  1:01:52 AM  permalink  

Bloggers as disruptive innovation for media: "disruptive innovations--those destined to change the structure of an industry--tend to attack from below. They usually first appear in a form that is in some ways inferior to the existing dominant technologies, and hence are unlikely to get the attention or respect of industry incumbents. They provide examples in industries ranging from steel to semiconductors. In steel, for instance, the challenger technology was "mini-mills" using electric arc furnaces to melt scrap. At first, the steel produced in these mills wasn't as good as the steel produced with the incumbent technology, the gigantic integrated steel plants, so they focused on an unglamorous and relatively low-margin market: reinforcing bar (rebar). Big-steel executives could afford to disregard the mini-mills and to focus on higher-end business.

I would bet that the comments made by some big-steel execs about their mini-mill counterparts were quite similar in tone to the comment recently made by a CBS exec about bloggers in their pajamas. After all, they (the big steel guys) had the vast facilities, stretching out for miles. They had the globally-recognized brand names. They had the big cash balances and large market capitalizations...

This kind of thing happens all the time. Manufacturers of mainframe computers--and their corporate IT customers--tended to discount the personal computer, which was initially a toy for hobbyists. Most incumbent telephone companies did not intitially perceive the Internet as a threat. And so on."

  12:57:36 AM  permalink  

 
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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 2:49:55 PM.