Authority vs. reliability

An interesting blog post and discussion about “brand loyalty” in journalism. At work we’re looking into how to make our blog posts more identified with individual editors.

Some academic research suggest that people are switching from an authority to a reliability model on the web. (See Lankes, R.D. (2008), Journal of Documentation.)

In essense what this means is that more and more people are trusting the person (or the several people) online whom they have come to know, trust, etc., rather than trusting the experts. . . . A particular journalist may engender more trust or loyalty than a station or news organization.

Step aside, brand loyalty; we’re loyal to information now » Nieman Journalism Lab.

Social media smack-down

I admit it, I am an early adopter. I love to learn new things and to tinker. So I’ve tried Plurk (abandoned it); Friend Feed (it just chugs along; I’m not sure I remember everything I set it up to do); Linked In (I link only to people I really know, keep some semblance of professionalism); Facebook (it’s growing on me, and I’ll “friend” all sorts of people; I ruthlessly refuse application invites from friends); MySpace (I have begun using it for what it has become: a place to keep track of musicians); Delicious (sigh; basically a gigantic assembly of “this would be great to look at some time” links); and Twitter (you can look me up under my online avatar name, Otenth; I also have Twitter feeds for my cats).

But here is a brilliant take-down of some of the things that are wrong with social media: Social Media “Experts” are the Cancer of Twitter (and Must Be Stopped). And to complement that, a good, sensible approach to using social media: 6 Steps for Creating a Social Media Marketing Roadmap & Plan.

(Hat tip to Lactose.)

2008 technology: Kindle

After eyeing them online, I finally handled a Kindle and talked to a couple of Kindle-owners last June. That rather undermined my defenses against buying one, and I finally broke down in August and bought one.

I love it!

Does it have room for improvement? Yes. The configuration of the buttons is a bit awkward. Putting the on/off and wireless switches on the back doesn’t work all that well with the cover (which depends on a little tab on the back to stay in place). Said cover comes off a little too easily.

Am I reading more? Yes, even if I haven’t been blogging the books. Neal Stephenson’s Anathem was really great. I’ve reread Swiss Family Robinson. I’m almost done with Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy.

Is it legible? Yes. You need external light. One of the reasons I bought it is that it doesn’t shine into my eyes like computer screens and nearly every other electronic device I own.

Is it easy to use? Yes, with some caveats. If you buy books from the Amazon Kindle store, it is a breeze. If you want books from somewhere else, you need to be careful about format, and then you need to use a cable to transfer the file to the Kindle. It is possible to convert formats either by emailing the file via your Kindle email address, or to use a piece of PC-only software (which actually works quite nicely).

2008 technology: Android G1 phone

I’ve had this phone for a while now, and I’m still learning things about it. The “market” of applications is undergoing constant change, both additions and updates. It is obvious that Android is in its infancy.

Things I like about my phone:

  • the camera is pretty good (my Blackberry didn’t have one at all)
  • integration of Google mail, contacts, calendar, and maps is excellent
  • good sound quality on calls

Things I’m not a fan of:

  • the flip-out screen to reveal the keyboard feels loose; I fear it’s insecure
  • no touch-screen keyboard available
  • lousy ringtones
  • fairly short battery life (apparently you need to completely cycle it about once a month)

Nifty software I haven’t used much yet:

  • barcode scanner
  • voice recorder
  • Shoutcast streams