Felix Salmon

Holding aggregators to journalistic standards

November 10, 2011

Now I’ve got my rant off my chest, let me try to add a bigger-picture point to the noise surrounding Romeneskogate. The unanimous reaction to Julie Moos’s ridiculous piece has held little back: Hamilton Nolan called it “perhaps the most bullshit nonexistent plagiarism case in the annals of online journalism”, while Rem Rieder called her “portentous, not to say sanctimonious” and said that Romenesko “doesn’t deserve to be treated this way”.

CDS demonization watch, ISDA vs Morgenson edition

November 8, 2011

I’m very much enjoying ISDA’s media.comment blog — corporate blogging done right, with attitude. Its latest broadside is directed against Gretchen Morgenson, who spent the first half of her column this weekend railing against the dangerous nature of MF Global’s “bad derivative bets” and “complex swaps deals”.

Occupy Wall Street and media ethics

October 31, 2011

Occupy Wall Street seems to be throwing up much more than its fair share of media-ethics questions — from a news-organization perspective, it’s a movement which seems to be very easy to respond to badly, and very difficult to respond to well.

How to blog, Dealbreaker edition

October 27, 2011

If you want a masterclass in old-school econoblogging, check out this fantastic post from Dealbreaker’s Matt Levine.

The NYT’s silly trademark spat

October 26, 2011

Here’s what I don’t get about the NYT’s silly nastygram targeting HuffPo’s new Parentlode blog. It ends like this:

Netflix and the economics of nonrival goods

October 24, 2011

Netflix released its third-quarter results this afternoon, showing net income of $62 million, down slightly from the second quarter’s $68 million. And things are going to get much worse before they get better: “We expect to report a global consolidated net loss,” the company said, in the first quarter of 2012. Maybe the company shouldn’t have spent $40 million, over the course of the third quarter, buying back 182,000 shares at an average price of $218 apiece. (In the wake of today’s results, they’re trading in the $80s.)

The small, light, fill-in blog

October 21, 2011

I’ve been saying for a while that blogs are dead — certainly the one-person, one-voice blog, and also the big splashy expensive blog launched by a new or old-media company. Both I think had their heyday a few years ago. But as bloggish tendencies get incorporated into the broader news business, and as the sharing-and-linking part of the blogosphere moves to social media, something quite encouraging is happening: media organizations are finding it easy to set up small, light blogs which they’re not particularly invested in.

Fact and fiction about student loans

October 19, 2011

Post updated, see below

USA Today’s Dennis Cauchon has a very odd story today, headlined “Student loans outstanding will exceed $1 trillion this year”:

The Abacus sign

October 18, 2011


Ben Furnas only has 325 followers on Twitter, but that’s all it took to make this photo of his go seriously viral over the past few days. He posted it on Twitter at 5:42pm on Saturday, with no commentary other than the hashtags #ows and #win. It didn’t take long (I’m a little bit unclear about the timezone of BoingBoing timestamps) before Xeni Jardin posted it on her hugely popular blog. And from there it went, well, everywhere.