The Riders
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‘Friends Forever’ is More than a Cliché

I can’t express how much we enjoyed hosting Richard Abendroth, Andreas Hochmuth, and Jake Mas. The young men, all in their earlier twenties, motorcycled across the country, from Maryland to California. They left here yesterday heading up the coast, with an eventual destination of Seattle before traveling back East.

These are fine young men, whose comradery and energy inspire me. Jake’s description of the three huddled together under the rocks at La Jolla Cove watching the sun set over the Pacific for the first time was evocative. “Friends forever” is more than a cliché. It is a living vital force as demonstrated by the travelers’ familiarity and trust. [Read more]

bankrupt of originality
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Aggregation is Plagiarism

On March 15, 2011, I started the post you now read with a headline left unanswered: “Is Aggregation Really Just Plagiarism?” Clearly, my answer—too long coming—is “Yes”. Unequivocally, news aggregation is plain, pure plagiarism.

Google enables, no encourages, content thieves, despite recent search engine penalizing strategies. Too often, the big G raps sites because of links to black-listed blogs. The problem is bigger: Mainstream blogs writing synopsis stories that include absolutely no original reporting but take away pageviews from the news site doing the real work.[Read more]

Trains Collide
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When Media Values Collide

Overnight, I came out against my colleague’s story “New Mozilla CEO is allegedly anti-gay marriage—Firefox developers boycott” . Had I been editor on duty, the story wouldn’t have run, not because of the topic but the sourcing. However, response to the post—820 comments as I write—raises an interesting quandary about the cultural clash between old and new media.

Reader response is explosive, and comments are much more interesting reading than the story (no offense to buddy Brian Fagioli). Commenters largely fall into two opposing camps—those complaining about societal constraints on free speech and others disgusted by Mozilla’s CEO being allegedly anti-gay marriage.  The polarized ends, and even some discussion between them, is fascinating snapshot about freedom, community, and human rights—one person’s personal versus those of the larger group.[Read more]