Opinion

Anthony De Rosa

Overheard in the Alley Part 2: The real problem with job creation – Tech Tonic

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 25, 2012 05:09 UTC

I sat down with Venture for America founder and CEO, Andrew Yang, to talk about the real issues in job creation and how his new venture will help the start-up industry take the lead on job creation.

Pinterest stands apart in a crowded social network world – Tech Tonic

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 25, 2012 05:06 UTC

Watch out Facebook. One of the fastest growing social network’s online right now is newcomer, Pinterest. Pinterest is exploding in popularity. A skeptic at first, I show how Pinterest works, how small businesses can take advantage of it and if its success can be sustained.

Open source politics: Reddit drafts “The Freedom of Internet Act”

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 25, 2012 03:50 UTC

Reddit users have taken it upon themselves to draft legislation in place of SOPA and PIPA, unsatisfied with Washington politicians, who seem to have shown a willful ignorance of how the Internet actually works. Using a Google Doc open for anyone to help write and edit, they’ve come up with a draft version of “The Freedom of Internet Act”

The act addresses some basic tenets they’ve set forth. Note that these proclamations are subject to change as this is a living document and only reflect the content at the time of this publication:

    Censorship – No government of any form presiding over any land, people, or assets in any form within the United States of America shall pass any law, nor ratify any treaty, which imposes or administers any kind of censorship on the Internet, except content found to be illegal content in accordance with this act. Culpability – Only the creator or uploader of data is responsible for whether that data is legal to upload, possess or make available to other users or information services. Restrictions on the Internet - No federal union or sovereign state may pass unilateral restrictions on the Internet. Content removal - Notice must be given to an administrator of the information system and to the uploader of the content within at least 30 days in advance of any deletion of data from any information system or service, or within 24 hours of the transfer of the data in question from publicly accessible storage to privately accessible storage. Judicial proceedings - Anyone undergoing judicial proceedings based on this document must be judged in the courts of the nation where the alleged offence was committed. Appropriate punishment - TBD Rights of the user – Addresses right to anonymity, privacy, use of proxies, encryption without fear of discrimination or suspicion. Liability and Settlement of Copyright Infringement Claim - All calculations related to this are to be carried out in a consumer, retail, individual level pricing upon which the production cost, marketing cost will not influence, capped at 200% of calculated damage.

The sub-Reddit page for FIA is located here, where it was created by a user named “RoyalwithCheese22

Sky News longs for Victorian internet, applies dark age social policy

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 7, 2012 22:51 UTC

In an attempt to shoehorn the social media genie back into the bottle, Sky News has told its reporters they cannot retweet non-Sky sources and must not stray from the topic area or beat that they cover when posting tweets on their Twitter accounts. Not only does this make for a staid and boring feed, but it also puts Sky News reporters at a significant competitive disadvantage to places like Reuters, where we have reporters verifying and tweeting out sources of news from all over the web and from many different news outlets.

Their own boss @RupertMudoch doesn’t even follow these new rules, he frequently references news organizations outside of his own, as @RossNeumann points out. The idea here at Reuters when it comes to social media is to be the beacon for all news, which makes us the go-to source, no matter what the source may be, after being put through our own filters of verification. I’ve written before about how important it is for my own company, Reuters, to be careful if they try to tread in these same waters.

There are occasions where we may share a bit of news or simply cite what other folks on Twitter are saying as a retweet, which in Twitter parlance is an act of quoting someone. It doesn’t imply an endorsement or even an acknowledgement that it is a statement of fact. It is an act of stating, “look here at what this person is saying.”

President Barack Obama’s statement on Syria

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 4, 2012 15:35 UTC

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2012

Statement by the President on Syria

Thirty years after his father massacred tens of thousands of innocent Syrian men, women, and children in Hama, Bashar al-Assad has demonstrated a similar disdain for human life and dignity. Yesterday the Syrian government murdered hundreds of Syrian citizens, including women and children, in Homs through shelling and other indiscriminate violence, and Syrian forces continue to prevent hundreds of injured civilians from seeking medical help. These brutal killings take place at a time when so many Syrians are also marking a deeply meaningful day for their faith. I strongly condemn the Syrian government’s unspeakable assault against the people of Homs and I offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones. Assad must halt his campaign of killing and crimes against his own people now. He must step aside and allow a democratic transition to proceed immediately.

The Syrian people demonstrated in large numbers across Syria yesterday to participate in peaceful protests commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Hama massacre. They labeled the protests, “We are Sorry, Hama – Forgive Us.” We owe it to the victims of Hama and Homs to learn one lesson: that cruelty must be confronted for the sake of justice and human dignity. Every government has the responsibility to protect its citizens, and any government that brutalizes and massacres its people does not deserve to govern. The Syrian regime’s policy of maintaining power by terrorizing its people only indicates its inherent weakness and inevitable collapse. Assad has no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community.

The international community must work to protect the Syrian people from this abhorrent brutality. Earlier this week, our Arab partners called on UN Security Council members to take action to support a political solution to the crisis in Syria and stop Assad’s “killing machine.” The Council now has an opportunity to stand against the Assad regime’s relentless brutality and to demonstrate that it is a credible advocate for the universal rights that are written into the UN Charter.

Amid social media fury, Komen backs down, pledges to continue Planned Parenthood funding

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 3, 2012 16:24 UTC

Here’s the press release that just dropped from the Komen Foundation

We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.

The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

Tumblr’s first executive editor Jessica Bennett

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 3, 2012 12:31 UTC

Tumblr, the microblogging platform that has been experiencing explosive growth which I detailed recently, has hired Chris Mohney to become their editor-in-chief, along with Jessica Bennett, who will act as executive editor.

What exactly will they do? I spoke to Jessica to find out.

What do you envision the content you’re going to create to sound like? Will it be entirely on the staff blog or will there be some other platform?

What will the content sound like… I think it’ll sound a lot like the stories I write now. Probably less women’s issues, and certainly no Jerry Sandusky, but it will be real journalism — stories that are both about Tumblr’s users, what those users are creating, the social trends and cultural observations that are growing out of that creation, and the broader ideas and themes that surround it all. So: think trend stories — the democratization of creation. Think on the ground: who are the teen tumblr users in a remote town in Ukraine, and how did they find the platform? Think big picture: how is social media changing the way we interact and engage? Think data: what can Tumblr users tell us about the current presidential race? How do men and women interact differently online? Is it possible to find love on Tumblr? The mandate is broad, and the format will go beyond the written word. It’s really an opportunity to think outside the box, to experiment with what works — and to have some fun while we’re doing it.

The most interesting data points in Facebook’s IPO

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 1, 2012 22:09 UTC

Here are some of the most interesting bits of information in Facebook’s IPO filing:

    Zynga accounted for approximately 12% of Facebook revenue Net income rose 65 percent to $1 billion in 2011, off revenue of $3.71 billion Sheryl Sandberg’s 2011 Facebook compensation: $30.9 million Facebook CFO David Ebersman’s 2011 total compensation was $18.65 million Advertising accounted for 85% of Facebook revenue in 2011 Mark Zuckerberg’s compensation in 2011 was $1.49 million 845 million active users on Facebook Total capitalization as of Dec 31, 2011: $4,899 million Full time employees increased from 2,127 as of December 31, 2010 to 3,200 as of December 31, 2011 Mark Zuckerberg holds stock with total voting power before IPO of 56.9% Facebook major ownership: Mark Zuckerberg : 28%, Accel (invested in 2005) :11.4% Co-founder Dustin Moskovitz 7.6% DST: 5.4% Peter Thiel: 2.5% Mark’s letter in the middle of the IPO filing Mark Zuckerberg’s annual salary will fall to one dollar starting 1/1/2013 Facebook had 483 million daily active users on average in December 2011, an increase of 48% as compared to 327 million in December 2010 425 million monthly active users of Facebook’s mobile products in December 2011 An average of 2.7 billion likes and comments per day were generated by users during the three months ending December 31, 2011 Facebook cites Google+, Cyworld in Korea, Mixi in Japan, Orkut in Brazil and India, vKontakte in Russia as competitors Also cited by Facebook as competitors: Renren, Sina, and Tencent if they “are able to access the market in China in the future”

Peter Lauria points out that 85% of revenue dependent on advertising makes it more reliant than CBS, the most ad-dependent old-media firm.

Another interesting section addresses risks:

Any number of factors could potentially negatively affect user retention, growth, and engagement, including if:

Lingering concerns about Twitter’s censorship policy

Anthony De Rosa
Jan 31, 2012 15:03 UTC

There’s a bit of a debate going about whether Twitter’s new censorship policy is reasonable or not. My colleague Paul Smalera wrote one of the better posts leaning toward Twitter’s policy having some merits, in the way it makes it easier for those outside censoring countries to see what’s being censored. But I also see some flaws with this, which Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin helped me realize. She calls it “a polite step down a slippery slope”

First, the very act of tweets being censored in those countries, even if those outside the country can read them, removes an early warning system for the folks in country to know of incoming danger. Let’s say, for example, there is a riot on the march toward the village they live in, or there is police activity by an oppressive regime under which they’re force to live headed their way. Twitter’s supposedly enlightened method of censorship isn’t going to protect them.

You also can’t assume everyone is a geek. Some activists use Twitter simply because it’s a broadcast medium and have no idea how to hack their way around censorship. They may have no knowledge, for example, about Tor, an application that can help sidestep the type of blocks that countries try to use to stop citizens from reaching certain bits of information or, in some cases, the entire Internet.

President Obama hangs out on Google+

Anthony De Rosa
Jan 30, 2012 23:39 UTC


A social media first occurred this evening when President Barack Obama held a Google+ Hangout to take live questions from five Americans and a few people who were taped beforehand, including a homeless veteran and an Occupy protester.

He answered questions about the economy, job creation, small business, and the use of drones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama referenced a New York Times story on the use of drones, which he called “overwritten,” and said that the use of drones had not resulted in an unusual number of civilian casualties. Asked about the anti-piracy legislation that set the Internet on fire, Obama said, ”When SOPA came up on the hill, we expressed some concerns about the way the legislation had been written.”

Almost as fascinating as the Hangout itself was the discussion of the Hangout on Twitter.

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