May 28, 2019

"Even the 'blogosphere' of the early 21st century, in which independently run blog sites posted items on news and responded both to Big Media stories and to each other..."

"... was more like traditional media in some respects than like Usenet or social media. To read content on blogs, readers had to go there. To interact, bloggers had to read each other’s sites and decide to post a response, generally with a link back to the post they were replying to. If you didn’t like a blog you could just ignore it. A story that spread like wildfire through the blogosphere still did so over the better part of a day, not over minutes, and it was typically pretty easy to find the original item and get context, something the culture of blogging encouraged.... In addition, a story’s spreading required at least a modicum of actual thought and consideration on the part of bloggers, who were also constrained, to a greater or lesser degree, by considerations of reputation. Some blogs served as trusted nodes on the blogosphere, and many other bloggers would be reluctant to run with a story that the trusted nodes didn’t believe. In engineering parlance, the early blogosphere was a 'loosely coupled' system, one where changes in one part were not immediately or directly transmitted to others. Loosely coupled systems tend to be resilient, and not very subject to systemic failures, because what happens in one part of the system affects other parts only weakly and slowly. Tightly coupled systems, on the other hand, where changes affecting one node swiftly affect others, are prone to cascading failures.... [On Twitter,] little to no thought is required, and in practice very few people even follow the link (if there is one) to 'read the whole thing.'"

I'm reading Glenn Reynolds's "The Social Media Upheaval," which just came out today. It's only 67 pages in Kindle, so I got halfway through it reading between sleeps in the middle of the night.

55 comments:

rhhardin said...

The big item in the company's local usenet in the early 90s was activist Jewish employees complaining about Christmas decorations. It was an annual fightfest.

I believe it resolved that you could put up christmas cards at your desk but the company would no longer put up a tree in the lobby. Early HR activism made nobody happy instead of today's making only the complainers happy.

rhhardin said...

Loosely coupled meant 1200 baud phone lines to me. Nothing downloaded. Text was king.

As a result /bin/ed is still my only editor, the only one that didn't rely on speed to tell what you're doing.

Michael K said...

The Blogosphere acted pretty quickly in the "Rathergate" episode.

The "kerning" discovery is what gave it "legs."

gilbar said...

as Scot Adams said; if it sounds interesting, it's almost certainly fake.

Here's at the bottom of today's Fox news:
Sponsored Stories
Thousands Are Switching To This New Cowboy Boot (Here’s Why)
Forget Gas Generators – This Device is Quiet and Clean
This genius Russian child is scaring experts with a chilling prediction about space
25 Most Iconic Sports Cars Ever
Here's What Really Happens When You Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

WHY do places like and Facebook have links to things that are obviously fake?
Hint: They're SPONSORED STORIES
Fox get's Money for people clicking on them.

The real question is: Why do people go to the Fox news site, then?
Hint: ALL major media site now have the same sponsored crap.

Here's CNN:
Paid Content
What Happened To Opie's Mother & Other Andy Griffith Show Facts
Cedar Rapids Top 10 Lawyers 2019 Cedar Rapids Top 10 Lawyers 2019 Attorneys
WOW The 2019 Cadillac Escalade Is Breathtaking WOW The 2019 Cadillac Escalade Is Breathtaking


IF main stream media WANT people to take them seriously, they need to become a high class of whores

wild chicken said...

I never visit Fox news' site. I can find equally inane stories at MSN.

JAORE said...

The key change, as I see it, is that "reputation" no longer exists. Get a story wrong, often horribly wrong? At best your fake news is defended by a substantial part of your viewership. At worst you issue a weak correction that gets little coverage.

Flip flopping, even with side by side videos of your hypocrisy? Feh, we already know who is on our team.

Even the Dan Rathers of the world can stage a come back of sorts and the errors of the past are rarely brought up.

So why strive for honesty, why NOT fall into the click bait mode?

Doesn't pay.

narciso said...

The daily caller has similar schlock but they break real news as well:

https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/27/sergei-millian-dossier-fusion-gps/

narciso said...

Yes but rather's fraud served an interest you could recycle it into mapes memoir which became the movie 'truth' lisa bloom's category error re Sanford was scheduled to get a big treatment with HBO till Weinstein had his comeuppance. Same with Wallace's lies to Halperin which became julianne benser.

iowantwo said...

Reading the post, I was wondering what/who you were linking to. Sounded way too reasoned, knowledgeable, and narrative free to be MSM.
I was trying to prove the description flawed by inserting the blogs I peak in on. But the description was close to reality. Not surprised you were excerpting Insty's new book.

I do check out various blogs concerning the some leading story that sounds all narrative with few facts, and ambiguous statements. Blogs are slow to react, and the ones I check, are intent on staying only fact based. Pointing out what is unverified hear say, and confirmed facts.

narciso said...

Similarly the late Michael hastings lies were used to dispatch general McChrystal which allowed Obama to sabotage the counterinsurgency program and that became war machine with Brad Pitt and a bank shot at general Flynn with the dexter guy.

wildswan said...

When the CIA director (John Brennan) had important information for the President (Obama) he drove to the White House and delivered the message in an envelope. No one can ever disprove this story. Meaning: the rise of electronic communications leads to the rise of electronic snooping which leads to the rise of hand-delivered hand-written communications in envelopes among the elite. Pallets of cash. Tarmac visits. Excuse me, I'm going out to buy some Hallmark cards (with envelopes) using cash. And I'll buy an elite fountain pen. And ink. Leave them about carelessly, showing that I communicate on the highest level in the elitest way. I, after all, can fill and use a fountain pen; and the ensuing blots and strikeouts that caused so much criticism from a unenlightened fourth-grade teacher, I will now call redactions.

Phil 314 said...

I might check it out.

Does he speak of the echo chamber? (As in the symbiotic relationship between Instapundit and Althouse)

Tommy Duncan said...

@ Michael K

What is the "kerning" discovery?

gilbar said...

I thought that our dogs might have gotten Some ticks...
But You'll be SHOCKED to see what we found!"

narciso said...

So he says, he also said he didnt have the Senate computers hacked, they were compiling another dossier.

gilbar said...

Tommy D,
Kerning is the spacing between letters. Some fonts put the same space, others put different spaces between different letters.
The Rather letter had The EXACT Spacing between letters that MS WORD used (as well as the same font, the same typesize, the same margins, etc). But it's pretty hard for a typewriter to know what letter is going to follow.

narciso said...

Wikileaks recounts hundreds of incidents of coalition exposure to chemical weapons so how is that other narrative true.

Michael K said...

5/28/19, 8:08 AM
Blogger Tommy Duncan said...
@ Michael K

What is the "kerning" discovery?


The supposed memos written in the 1970s when Bush was a Texas ANG pilot were found to have "kerning , which is a word processing function that changes the spacing between letters.

Inconsistent spacing between letters arises from the shape of the letters. The W is slanting toward the A, which slants away from the W. The process of typing generally creates each letter in its own little block. The W and A blocks force a minimum separation, unless kerning is applied. See the image below.

What this meant was that the memos were forgeries typed in Microsoft Word that did not exist in 1972.

The Wikipedia version of the story,.

The authenticity of the documents was challenged within hours on Internet forums and blogs, with questions initially focused on alleged anachronisms in the documents' typography. Content soon spread to the mass media.[11] Although CBS and Rather defended the authenticity and usage of the documents for a two-week period, continued scrutiny from other news organizations and independent analysis of the documents obtained by USA Today and CBS raised questions about their validity and led to a public repudiation on September 20, 2004.

There was also a matter of superscripts that were not done by typewriters at the time.

narciso said...

Read what the prestige press wrote about Hillary, and what the communications with her staff told them to leave out of the copy.

narciso said...

Compare how they trumpeted the claims of a villainous fraud like avenatti and his (ahem) client.

gilbar said...

Here's an image of two letters, one from the pentagon, one from CBS
https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/daily/graphics/guard_091404.html

narciso said...

I just give a few examples of what was thought to be news and really wasnt, and I think we still haven't heard the last about that yellowcake from niger.

Fernandistein said...

It's a trope that the concept of what constitutes a blogosphere is a meme.

mgarbowski said...

I very much miss the blogosphere. Most of the original bloggers who did not drop away from commentary moved to Twitter, and it is far less satisfying, both for the reasons stated in the book quote, and others. You used to be able, as a reader, to interact intelligently with both blog authors and other readers in the comments. Much like it is still possible to do here. On Twitter, the big names almost never respond to anyone but other big names no matter how cogent or reasoned the reply. And the replies rarely add interest. It's a downward negative spiral that reinforces itself on both sides and long ago stopped giving hope it could recover.

MadisonMan said...

That looks like a good book. I think I'll get it through the local bookstore on Monroe (apologies to our hostess and her amazon link)

MadisonMan said...

Twitter is where bloggers go to stop thinking. Just re-tweet! Simple and easy! No thinking required.

John henry said...

So is the story about how Kim would make a better president than Biden "Fake but accurate"?

Not the part about PDJT saying it. I mean the part about whether Kim really would be a better president of the USA than Biden.

Color me undecided.

John Henry

John henry said...

Blogger narciso said...

That reminds me: Thanks for nothin' fella.

I was living a happy life having forgotten what a Hell of a writer Frederick Forsyth is. Then you posted a comment about a character named "Mifsud" in one of his books.

(BTW: Did you know that Forsyth worked for MI6 for 20 years? According to Wikipedia)

So I started reading "The Afghan" last night and didn't get to sleep till about 3AM.

It's your fault my ass is dragging this morning, mi pana.

Now I'll probably wind up on a Forsyth binge for the next month or two.

John Henry

narciso said...

Largely, of course Biden deserves every gram of contempt you can heap on him.

narciso said...

You're welcome, I often wondered how granular his understanding was of western intelligence was now I have a better clue that being a mere stringer for Reuters like ian Fleming was at the beginning wasnt enough

narciso said...

His last reflects mi 6s view about north Korea's sincerity,

John henry said...

Maybe we'll get back to it.

I was listening to Tim Poole's podcast last night. From Friday, I think. He talks about the end of Facebook, how evil it is, how he worries it is going to rig the 2020 election and how glad he will be of it's demise. Ditto Instagram.

Several of us mentioned Crossfit leaving Facebook the other day.

Poole had a list of other companies, some pretty major, that have also left. I don't remember all but they included:

Tesla
Pep Boys
Playboy
Mozilla

Celebrities included:

Cher
Will Ferrell
Jim Carrey

So are we starting to see a movement?

narciso said...

Everyone assumes this story is legit
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/27/austrian-far-right-party-likely-to-back-motion-to-oust-chancellor-eu-election

Bit I have some elemental questions

John henry said...

Narciso,

Speaking of Ian Fleming, have you ever read his brother, Peter Fleming?

I think that of the 2 Peter was the far more interesting.

And I say that knowing that Ian Fleming was a very interesting person himself. And as a James Bond fan in the 60's. The novels, the movies seemed somewhat contrived though as a teenager I liked them too.

John Henry

John henry said...

But, as Ian Fleming said:

"My James Bond is no Sidney Reilley"


John Henry

narciso said...

Well sidney Reilly was a more interesting character, I remember the Sam Neil series about his adventures in pre revolutionary Russia, his bouts with zaharoff who was a real life blofeld.

narciso said...

This guy:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-mysterious-mr-zedzed-the-wickedest-man-in-the-world-97435790/

narciso said...

One of the stories on Yahoo, is about muellers office denying a draft indictment someone told Michael wolff, of course

Howard said...

Get your Amazon Prime right here.

John henry said...

Blogger narciso said...

Well sidney Reilly was a more interesting character, I remember the Sam Neil

All 10 episodes are available on YouTube https://youtu.be/dTrvj0h8iJY (Episode 1)

Robin Bruce Lockhart also wrote a couple of interesting books about Reilly. Lockhart was MI6 and with Reilly in Russia.

And, since this thread is about the good old days of blogs, let's go back a bit further and talk about the good old days of TV.

I was hooked on Masterpiece Theater, such as "Reilly Ace of Spies" and the logistics of watching it sometimes annoyed my wife. I had to be home on Sunday night at 9 so as not to miss an episode. Because in those days, if you missed a show or an episode, you might see it in summer reruns but you could not count on it.

Didn't even have VHS tapes them.

Now we think this old timey idea of having to watch a TV show when they want you to watch it and where they want you to watch it as being incredibly quaint.

And ridiculous.

Just started rewatching Bleak House last night. The version with my teen crush Ms Peel. Started on my computer in my office, watched a bit more in the living room having dinner, finished on my tablet in bed. And that's just episode 1!

John Henry

Ann Althouse said...

"I very much miss the blogosphere. Most of the original bloggers who did not drop away from commentary moved to Twitter, and it is far less satisfying, both for the reasons stated in the book quote, and others. You used to be able, as a reader, to interact intelligently with both blog authors and other readers in the comments. Much like it is still possible to do here. On Twitter, the big names almost never respond to anyone but other big names no matter how cogent or reasoned the reply. And the replies rarely add interest. It's a downward negative spiral that reinforces itself on both sides and long ago stopped giving hope it could recover."

I started on Twitter right at the beginning and almost immediately saw that it didn't suit me. I tweet once in a while but probably only once or twice a month. I read Twitter to get ideas of things to blog, but I don't like the feeling. I have my place here. Over there, I'm not the place. I'm in everybody's place, bobbing along in a moving river, perhaps to be seen, perhaps not at all. It just doesn't seem to matter. Here, I feel totally connected and alive.

Unknown said...

I remember when liberal and conservative blogs would link to each other. They didn't agree, but they linked.

Unknown said...

(Not the same Unknown as above, not that it matters).

67 pages? That's an awkward length for a book. Apparently he had enough for an old-style "Atlantic" article but not much more. Of course that's what Kindle's are good for.

Unknown said...

/bin/ed ?

I love to use ed in scripts, and used to use it when on a slow telnet connection, after setting it in half-duplex/local echo. Otherwise I'm a vi guy. All the power of ed with ":"!

narciso said...

there was a whole host of blogs that went away when the owners took the boeing, (because affiliated with a publication) like mcardle with the atlantic, now Bloomberg, drezner now with foreign policy, those are just two examples, others just gave up, or changed like balloon juice or little green footballs,

Marty said...

Althouse said of her Twitter experience, "bobbing along in a moving river, perhaps to be seen, perhaps not at all. It just doesn't seem to matter . . ."

More like an ever expanding tsunami of cast-away garbage and other detritus.

narciso said...

I don't know what channel hes' tuned to


https://twitchy.com/sarahd-313035/2019/05/28/gop-rep-justin-amash-accuses-ag-bill-barr-of-using-his-position-to-sell-the-presidents-false-narrative-to-the-american-people/

robother said...

"...got halfway through it reading between sleeps in the middle of the night."

Back among her native people, the Delaware, she is known as Annie Two Sleeps.

Michael K said...

there was a whole host of blogs that went away when the owners took the boeing,

One was Kevin Drum, who I read when he was blogging as "Calpundit," then he moved to "Washington Monthly" and finally to "Mother Jones." He is a lefty but honest. In 2004 he heard about the Bush TANG story and went to Texas to research it. He concluded it was a hoax and said so.

The commenters at Washington Monthly got very nasty in 2004 around the election and I was finally banned, as is so common in leftist blogs. Most of the commenters sounded like Ritmo.

narciso said...

And I was banned by the Atlantic, which I consider that a badge of honor.

Michael K said...

And I was banned by the Atlantic, which I consider that a badge of honor.

I was banned (I Guess) by Patterico who a week or two announced that 85% of his readers had left and those remaining hated him.

He along with a few others around, went nuts in 2016 and has not recovered. Some like Kristol were in it for the money but Patrick seems to have just gone nutso. Too bad. He used to have a good blog, fisking the LA Times, which is almost a full time job,

Jim at said...

The Blogosphere acted pretty quickly in the "Rathergate" episode.

I remember it well. September 8, 2004.
One knew at the time things wouldn't ever be the same again.

John henry said...

Last week we talked about how 4Chan had made the OK sign into a faux symbol of racism. The hs that had to redo the yearbook.

4 chan's new campaign is "Bash the hash"

Bet you didn't realize that when you slice the hashtag you get HH you can also get 88 which is another national socialist symbol out of it.

The idea is to wreak havoc on Twitter by making the hashtag a national socialist symbol and unusable.

I think the idea is hilarious and almost drove off the road when I heard Tim poole discussing it. I literally could not stop laughing.

Here's an article https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/4chan-troll-campaign-bash-the-hash/

Join the fun, next time you see someone using the #, call them a fascist NAZI.

John Henry

John henry said...

In another Twitter related story I read that PDJT is considering moving to a new social media site called parler www.parler.com

Something like Twitter but conservative friendly. I immediately signed up for it. Haven't tried it yet.

I've got $5 sez that if he does move some judge will say he is required to maintain a Twitter account.

John Henry

narciso said...

that's all the pound symbol on your phone 'consider the inherent violence in the system,'