Quizzically Musing

Watching the madness

Posts Tagged ‘Twitter

Digital media versus the broadsheet

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The Age carries a very interesting article today by Brigid Delaney on the digital media and what we get.  Brigid is right: most of the web versions of the papers don’t tend to offer the same depth (unless you look for it) as the paper version.

More worrying, as the article points out, is the “snippet” approach to reading the news by those of the digital age.  For my age group, I am probably not the norm.  I too read the news on the web most of the time.  Every now and then I will actually go and buy the real thing.

I remember being at a workshop on some professional development topic or other with a variety of people.  One of the other attendees was in charge of web site content and gave a short presentation about her work.  The way of writing for grabbing attention on the web is quite interesting (I would fail miserably) for there is a need to grab the attention in that first headline or sentence.  Writers know they have a very limited attention span to work with, so must get the message across in a matter of seconds.

Are we becoming a world that knows very little about a lot?  Is what we know even remotely accurate?  Are we, as the article suggests, concentrating only on the banalities around us?  Paris Hilton gets more attention than asylum seekers for example.  How much do people REALLY know about the whole asylum seeker debate, which let’s be fair, is far more important than Paris or LiLo.  Look at how much screen space was devoted to the St Kilda nude photo issue lately (which yes, I agree, I commented on myself), or how Fevola only has to sneeze to capture the digital front page – of even the broadsheets!  Yet are either of those local stories really front page news when compared with much else that is happening in the world?  Are the floods in Queensland less important that Fev?  I think not.

I often click on a headline or “breaking news” only to find the article is in fact five lines that tell me nothing.  OK, so I now know some guy was arrested somewhere, but I don’t know the details and will probably never find out.

Are Twitter and Facebook becoming almost our defacto news feeds?  After all, what do you have on Facebook? A page titled “News Feed” – but it isn’t.  How many people say they learned of something on Twitter?  How much can you learn from 140 characters?  Twitter is a great way to spread misinformation, though.  Retweet something often enough and it almost becomes accepted fact.  Look at the celebrities using Twitter to deny transgressions!

There is nothing truer than we get what we ask for.  As a population, it seems, we are asking for banality.  That is what we will keep getting, unless we ask for something else. 

Written by Robyn Dunphy

January 4, 2011 at 10:30 am

Facebook’s downtime

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This is a case of what was not really reported at all.  Although Twitter was afire with the Facebook problems yesterday, the mainstream press in Australia seemed to just ignore it.  A system outage affects 500 million users worldwide and this is not news?  Does that strike anyone other than me as strange?

Interestingly, the downtime was while the USA sleeps.  I have visual images of the guy or gal who was on call just not waking up  when the pager beeped (correction – server sent text message) alerting a server problem.  I know, not an exciting visual – but I’m an IT person, so forgive me!  Actually – it reminds me of a time years ago when I was at a party.  One of our friends was a Channel 7 cinematographer and carried a pager (it was in the days before text messages).  Having a wonderful time, he threw his pager in a glass of beer – to ensure he wouldn’t get called out!

I managed to find one report in the press.  I expected there may have been some coverage today, explaining the cause of the massive outage that lasted some 6 or more hours.  Nothing I could find.  Admittedly I didn’t search to the nth degree – I expected something obvious.  Not a peep.

Very interesting……………..

 

Written by Robyn Dunphy

December 31, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Posted in News

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