Surface Pro 3 Keyboard
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I write Affirmative Headlines

This morning, I responded to a Betanews commenter who asks: “I’m curious though about one thing and have been for a time. Does a Editor or someone else choose your titles or do you?” He responded to my story “I’m Microsoft All-In“, writing: “I personally have found my groove with ‘All-in Apple. for many years.

He asks a good question, and I answer at length, which I share below (and not in block quotes for readability reasons): [Read more]

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Is that Video Legitimate or Propaganda?

In the era of misinformation, Amnesty International—rather than a major news organization—provides tools for ensuring accuracy in the media. Launched today, Citizen Evidence Lab is an outstanding resource for journalists, or anyone else, for assessing whether videos are real or fake. Amnesty’s agenda is straightforward: “To assist human rights researchers to systematically assess citizen videos that depict potential human rights violations”. However, benefits for news gathering cannot be overstated.

Hat-tip goes to Nieman Journalism Lab for posting about the tools, which include a step-by-step how-to guide that “integrates best practices of citizen video authentication and brings the myriad of required verification steps into one, linear format”, according to Amnesty. There are lots of useful tools here, and I strongly encourage review of these how-to ones, many of which predate today’s launch. That makes me wonder how much is really new versus packaged as a new resource. Regardless, Amnesty serves a cornucopia of valuables for anyone actually willing to do the work of validating videos. I worry too few news gatherers will make the effort.[Read more]

Japanese Drummers
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Aggregation Beats the Wrong Drum

BGR used to give great scoops. Now, too often, it scoops up posts from other sites and poops them out. Can you say “aggregation”, dudes? Case in point is today’s post: “Beats acquisition called Apple’s ‘best idea since the iPad’“. The “best idea” belongs to Marcus Wholsen, writing for Wired.

So what? BGR blogger Zach Epstein has to recap Wired’s opinion piece about the rumored Apple-Beats merger rather than write his own? Not that there isn’t already too much punditry about an acquisition that hasn’t taken place and might never will. [Read more]

The Paper
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Report! Don’t Repeat Rumors!

I don’t know if Google is strategically realigning its social network, nor if that is reason for Vic Gundotra’s sudden departure from the company. Google+ is, or was, his baby. But I do know what is irresponsible reporting, and there is plenty of it among tech bloggers and journalists. TechCrunch leads the pack, but the real offenders are those who follow along—news gatherers who repeat rather than report.

Following Gundotra’s April 24 departure announcement, Alexia Tsotsis and Matthew Panzarino posted at TechCrunch: “Google+ is Walking Dead”. The headline is compelling and clickable and would be worthy of praise if not for the anonymous sourcing. The story claims major reorganization that reduces the service’s role: “Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform…Google+ is not ‘officially’ dead, more like walking dead”.[Read more]

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Go Google, or Go to Hell

If there is a villain in my book Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers, Google is it. I fiercely criticize bad reporting practices perpetrated on behalf of the Google free economy, where a mighty monopoly extends incredible influence over advertising dollars and content distribution. Flip around to one of my other tomes, The Principles of Disruptive Design, and the search and information giant is praised for innovation that promises to usher in the “Star Trek”-era of touchless computing. So what? Is Google devil or savior?[Read more]