Opinion

The Great Debate

from For the Record:

Counting quality — not characters — in social media

dean-150Dean Wright is Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards. Any opinions are his own.

Are we too connected?

In recent days and weeks I’ve been wondering if our mobile phones, Blackberries, text messaging and constant access to email and social media have brought us too close together for our own good.

Or maybe the quality of our connected life is only as good as the information we share.

At this point, social media and microblogging phenomena like Facebook and Twitter focus on short answers to such generic questions as, “What are you doing?”

We hear from network and cable television anchors who tell us what they’re having for lunch (often a quick sandwich in the company cafeteria because they are, well, really busy). Or from usually cynical White House journalists who can’t resist Tweeting which B-list celebrity they saw at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Here are a few actual Tweets from the so-called nerd prom:

Facebook, shmacebook: What’s the next great thing?

John Abell

John C Abell is the New York Bureau Chief for Wired.com and edits the Epicenter Blog. The opinions expressed are his own.

Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla in the social media space, with some 200 million members, a valuation of perhaps $5 billion and a base that has expanded well beyond its early roots as a private hangout for bored Ivy League students.

But, like the ad says, life comes at you fast — and there is nothing more unforgiving than internet time. So, are the best years ahead for Facebook, or is the finicky mob of cool kids — and now their parents and grandparents — already peering down the road for another Next Great Thing?

The Black Hole: How the Web devours history

ericauchard1– Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Academics, family researchers and even baseball history nuts have noticed recently how some important archives of older newspapers from around the world have vanished off the Web.

The problems have surfaced since PaperofRecord.com, a collection of more than 20 million newspaper pages of papers ranging from the Toronto Star to Mexican village periodicals to newspapers as far as Perth, Australia, merged into Google News Archive.

Ad strategy at root of Facebook privacy row

ericauchard1– Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Social networking phenomenon Facebook has beaten out arch-rival and former market leader MySpace by most measures of popularity, except the one that pays the bills.

While Facebook has outpaced MySpace in bringing in members — it has 175 million active users at the latest count, compared with around 130 million for MySpace — it has struggled make money from them. While MySpace is closing in on $1 billion in revenues, Facebook generated less than $300 million in sales last year, reports say.

Facebook ruined my life

— Linsey Fryatt is editor of stuff.tv. The views expressed are her own. –

linseyfryatt-stufftvIt’s facebook’s fifth birthday this week. And while I love every status-updating, picture-tagging, friend-stalking pixel of it, I often wish it had never been invented.

Its obvious time-thievery and propensity to turn me into an obsessive page refresher, jonesing for my next next notification fix aside, I find Facey-B was the first step in a downward spiral (if spirals can have steps) to my entire life being played out online in some form or other. And I’m exhausted.

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