Felix Salmon

The social media tail mustn’t wag the MSM dog

The Boston bombing and subsequent manhunt was in many ways the first big interactive news story. It wasn’t the first big event to be covered obsessively on social media, but it was the first big event where millions of people became part of the story themselves. Some did so through choice, combing through photographs on Reddit or 4chan; others simply happened to be in Boston and saw their public lives, as broadcast to the world on social media, become part of the story just by dint of where they were.

The social network you can’t opt out of

As befits a company backed by a Who’s Who of Wall Street names, Relationship Science has tapped Andrew Ross Sorkin as the vehicle of choice for its big public unveiling.

Counterparties: The social network that’s three times larger than Facebook

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Why social mobility is important

Tim Harford is a fan of the clear way in which Alex Tabarrok has couched the debate — which started with a Tyler Cowen post back in January — about the desirability of intergenerational economic mobility. Or, in English, is it a good thing if quite a lot of poor people become rich?

When credit cards go social

There’s a new credit card out there, called Barclaycard Ring, which manages the rare feat of being a good, solid financial product even as it’s also incredibly gimmicky. It’s being branded as “the first ever crowdsourced credit card” — a financial product “built on a community” which, by the looks of the stock photography on the website, is full of incredibly happy, healthy, outdoorsy types who live only in bright sunshine. You don’t just apply for this thing, you “join the conversation”.

The social benefit of pension funds

Matt Yglesias is, I think, very wrong about this:

The idea that a mass market of retail investors ineptly attempting to maintain a balanced diverse portfolio serves a useful role in steering capital to productive uses doesn’t pass the laugh test.

How social networks beat email

Maija Palmer, with another one of those end-of-email articles, finds this intriguing story:

The social safety net is broken

poverty.tiff

A lot of the coverage of the Census Bureau’s new Supplemental Poverty Measure treats it as a bit of a wash — child poverty down, poverty among the elderly up. But for me the big news is that America’s safety net isn’t working.

Will Europe socialize Greek losses?

Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd, speaking at the big morning panel discussion which kicked off this year’s Milken conference, laid out a simple case for how the next crisis could arise: