links for 2009-06-22

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 22 June 2009
  • "In a groundbreaking 'crowd-sourcing' exercise, the Guardian appealed for help in sifting through the huge amount of data on MPs' expenses that was unleashed at the end of last week. Almost 20,000 people have taken part in gathering facts for the online project and about 160,000 pages have been examined".
  • "Finally she is invited through by a tired looking man. It’s a small room with one table and two chairs. This is not what she expected. 'Um, where are the other people for the focus group?' Joan asks timidly. The man gives her a quizzical look and explains it's a one-to-one depth interview. She notices that one of the walls has a big mirror on it. A bit like in those police dramas. In fact, just like in those police dramas."
  • The NLA response says: "This is not about individuals sharing links – we think that's great for newspapers and promotes their websites and their readership. What we are doing is making sure that newspapers are rewarded for use of their content. If your company systematically forwards links to newspaper content online, you need to be licensed and should contact the NLA for advice. It is exactly the same as for printed newspaper cuttings, simply extended to the content on their websites".
  • "I’m not mad. I’m not saying you should stop your presenters being on Twitter personally. But that all station-related Twittering goes on under their official, station, Twitter account – not their own. Don’t let them promote it on the air."
  • "The UK-based Mail Online was forced to shut down one of its online polls yesterday after a concerted campaign by Twitter users and, Journalism.co.uk can reveal, UK-based psychologists, nearly brought their servers to a halt with an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote. The poll, which asked the somewhat leading question 'Should the NHS allow gipsies to jump the queue', attracted ridicule from many within the Twitter community leading to, at one point a 96% vote in favour of the proposition."
  • "[W]hy did this become viral whereas, for example, a poll on 'Should immigrants be forced to respect British culture?' has failed to attract a similar level of interest, despite covering a similar topic which is liable to inflame liberals? Do successful viral campaigns need to attract the attention of ‘hubs’ to use a concept from Gladwell’s Tipping Point, which Martin Weller mentions in a post, also published on Friday, on 'Connections-versus outputs'. And what of the ethical aspects from those of us who are engaged in observing, commenting on and analysing the way in which the Social Web is shaping our society? You should note that my initial tweet did not suggest how people should vote".
  • Always good to see something you take for granted as absolutely normal be described as insane!
  • "Another problem is reliability, at least as far as newspapers are concerned. Case in point being the recent gaffs by the three major newspapers who printed stories this week about the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyi Erdogan's vist to Athens. The Vima newspaper even went as far as to describe the 'icy atmosphere' of the meeting with Greek prime minister, Kostas Karamanlis. The Ethnos newspaper was also there to provide us with a photograph of Erdogan with Greek foreign minister, Dora Bakoyianni. The Eleutherotypia newspaper even put the story on their website proving that the adaptation of new technologies can be used to reproduce bad habits. Just one small snag. None of this ever happened. Erdogan decided to postpone his meeting over the weekend so he never arrived in Athens".
  • "American researchers say they have uncovered a mathematical mistake made by the dinosaur boffinry community, meaning that the weight of live dinos has long been massively overestimated". Look, I'm all for scientific progress and whatnot, but can we please stop tinkering with the image of dinosaurs I had when I was a child. So far in my lifetime I've had to change their colour from all being grey, add feathers, re-engineer the way they held their necks, and now you are telling me that they weren't heavy?
    (tags: dinosaurs)

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