Exploring the political blogosphere: a tool for memeorandum


memeorandum with color annotation

One of my favorite sites for seeing what’s hot in the political blogosphere is memeorandum. Fortunately, it’s a favorite haunt of Andy Baio, too. Baio is a writer and tech entrepreneur in Portland, OR. He’s fashioned a cool toolthat illustrates the political leanings of the blogs featured in discussion on memeorandum.

Research (Glance and Adamic) in the early days of blogging suggested very little cross-linking. In other words, liberal blogs rarely linked to conservative ones (and vice versa). This current visualization reflects linking behavior in the context of featured stories on memeorandum. In other words, what stories are the bloggers talking about?
Continue reading


Dear Marketing Folks: Leaving A Blog Comment Does Not Mean I Want Your Email

I was added to a Breitbart Report mailing list today (without opting in). The announcement mail assured me that I would be the beneficiary of Breitbart’s “timely news and other information, independent of media bias” and that I was receiving the mail based on my “past interest” which was reflected by my having commented on one of his sites.

Breitbard told the marketing company that I had opted in (screenshot below the fold); that was a lie. I was added to the list, without permission, and had to opt-out to remove myself.

What egocentrism, to think that anyone who commented on one of his sites would want email spam! Comment does not equal agreement. Nor does comment equal “it’s OK to spam me now.”

Continue reading

Tumblr Removes RSS Import Feature, Becomes Far Less Useful

Update July 6, 2011: Without notice, Tumblr is once again importing my feeds. The company says that it is grandfathering in those of us who had feeds but not allowing this feature for new accounts and not allowing new or modified feeds.

I’ve been using Tumblr as a place to aggregate some of my disparate content. When I checked the site tonight, I discovered it had not imported any content for two weeks a week. Without warning, Tumblr turned off the RSS import:

Tumblr has quietly removed the ability to automatically import RSS feeds to your tumblelog. They removed the feature during their recent redesign without give their users any warning.

So, if you were importing your Twitter feed, Last.fm Weekly Top Artists, or other blog into Tumblr and noticed that it stopped working — that’s why.

Continue reading

BBC: Links As Footnotes and Curation Tool

Sometime last month, the BBC circulated a Powerpoint presentation (Scribd document) to staff that cements links as an “essential” (emphasis per original document) element for BBC reporting.

Moreover, the BBC wants to “double outbound links from 10m to 20m a month by 2013.” Links are, according to this BBC document, a “well suit[ed] unique selling point for BBC News.”

The guidance document includes important tips for anyone who is writing online:

Continue reading

When Is It OK To Lift An Image?

A friend’s link on Facebook took me to Jezebel.com; the October 5th entry featured images of Mariah Carey:

Censorship is prevalent in Saudi Arabia, and someone has collected photos illustrating all the ways Mariah Carey has been covered up.

The link in the lede — which is repeated at the bottom of the article — is to a page with an Arabic title; it was posted at ibrii.com, a Posterous-like site (“with ibrii you can snip everything you see from a webpage and share it instantly with your friends”). Based on this graph, you’d be excused if you thought the Arabic writer was the first to post the pictures; they were posted two days ago. Continue reading