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Seeking Relevance, Networks Broadcast Live

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

David Bauder at the AP reports:

Networks are adjusting to the changed world of how people watch their programs: hours or weeks later on DVR, online or on-demand. But the industry’s financial structure hasn’t caught up yet, so viewers who watch when a program is first aired – once the only way to watch – are considered more valuable.

That’s why Fox is putting on a live production of “Grease” and NBC is remaking “The Music Man.” Fox is recreating an Evel Knievel motorcycle jump. ABC touts its Oscars telecast and other awards shows. NBC locked up Olympics rights through 2032, and CBS won a bidding war to show NFL football on Thursday night.

Sports usually gets little or no attention in network sales pitches to advertisers. Not this year. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox all gave sports a starring role. Why? Very few people DVR sports events.

ABC made the point explicit with a message on a wide video screen: “Your DVR can’t handle live.”

“We’re obsessed with trying to eventize everything we can – even episodes of our scripted shows,” said Robert Greenblatt, NBC’s entertainment chief.

“It’s about the urgency to view,” said Fox’s Kevin Reilly.

When Lucy and Desi went live to tape in the 1950s, the audience revolved around the celebrity’s schedule. Now, with the power of recording in the hands of the viewers, the networks are scrambling to get their celebrities ready for something TV actors haven’t needed to do in a long time: Go live.

Reality TV changed the way networks styled television in the early 2000s. Now, social media is changing the way networks market their product. Being a part of the “cultural conversation” is paramount; unfortunately, it also means a steady diet of imitation and near-naked chicks, as Bauder’s quick quiz illustrates:


Which of the following lines was NOT uttered at a network presentation last week:

A) “A lot of people called `Battlestar Galactica’ one of the best shows ever.”

B) “This series is `Game of Thrones’ meets `The Borgias’ meets `The Bible.’”

C) “We have two hours of bloody, sexy drama.”

D) “Some of our new shows will disappear before you even realize they’re on the air.”

If you answered anything other than D, then you have something to learn about the atmosphere of hype and hope that accompanies this week every year.

Can the Big Three really compete with streaming services like Netflix who are willing to invest in original programming and dish it out in an a la carte fashion? Or, will the thrill and nostalgia of live television force even the most radical of new service providers to push the Internet to its streaming capacity?

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How Can You Tell If You’re Addicted To Social Media?

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

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LinkedIn is Really, Really Creepy

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

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Is it just me or are there others out there who feel like LinkedIn is really, really creepy? This week, after weeks of ignoring me, the social networking site sent me four consecutive emails: One from someone who wanted to connect with me, one suggestion of someone LinkedIn thinks I might like to connect with, a reminder that someone in my network was celebrating the first anniversary of his job (is LinkedIn sending people I know weird emails like this about me?) and a list of jobs that might be of interest to me. I’m puzzled by the sudden attention and of course, as always, I took the bait and end up on the LinkedIn site.

Once there, my first question is alway: Who are these people? I’m connected to 110 people, half of whom I do not know. I’m immediately taken back to that shameful night when, after my Ambien had begun to take effect but before I fell asleep I discovered an email from LinkedIn in my inbox asking me if I wanted to invite someone to link to me. Before I realized what was happening I fell into their trap and with one little tap on my phone I allowed LinkedIn to send an email to every blessed person in my address book inviting them to connect to me (if you were a victim of my middle-of-the-night Ambien-fueled spam, I am profoundly sorry!). (Note to self:  Never, ever, ever reach for social media after you’ve taken an Ambien.)

Once I get past trying to figure out who all my connections are I’m immediately faced with this frightening pronouncement:

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I have a love/hate relationship with knowing who creeped on my profile. On the one hand, I’m insanely curious and can’t resist knowing (in this case, my profile was viewed by an anonymous creeper, “Someone at Ohio Northern University—Claude W. Pettit College of Law,” and a friend from my college days. I don’t know anyone at Ohio Northern University so I’m left to wonder (and worry!) about why a possible lawyer is checking out my profile. I’m also faced with the realization that I show up in the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section of other people. Look, I’m just going to say it… I prefer to spy on people anonymously. This is way too much transparency for my comfort and so I’m mortified at the thought of viewing anyone’s profile under these circumstances.

And then, of course, LinkedIn tempts me by telling me I have shown up in “search results” — and they’ll tell me all about it (for a small monthly fee). Someone’s searching for me? Fourteen people have searched for me? What on earth are they looking for? So far I’ve resisted the temptation, but it’s just sitting there — taunting me, week after week. Maddening.

Every time I visit LinkedIn I’m unnerved and feel more than a little violated. Not enough, of course, to delete my profile and walk away, so I mostly just avoid thinking too much about it — usually I try to pretend it doesn’t exist. I only drop by when an email arrives in my inbox tempting me … teasing me about amazing secrets that could be revealed to me if I would only click on that magic blue link (and hand over my credit card number).

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How Parents Are Winning the Common Core Debate

Monday, January 20th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard


George Will gave a good accounting of many of the objections to the Common Core Standards Initiative in his Washington Post column on Wednesday, pointing out that the standards spring from a top-down, big government approach to education that threatens to live on in perpetuity because the Common Core is tied to generous federal bribes — and threats that the bribes will go away if states don’t fall in line with Common Core.

But ontological and ideological arguments aside, Will does a fine job of explaining the organic rise of opposition to Common Core — an emerging pattern we’ve seen in recent years as the conservative movement has matured and learned to bypass traditional methods of influence. Will gives examples of “three healthy aspects of today’s politics” which, if applied correctly and used consistently, can lead to the defeat of the Common Core standards. Below are three strategies Will says are making a difference:

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Republicans Are Still Clueless About Technology

Monday, January 13th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

2016 Presidential Survey

The RNC wants to know your favorite candidates for the 2016 presidential nomination and they’ve set up a handy straw poll on their website so you can make your views known. You can choose from a whopping thirty-two potential nominees including Rand Paul, Tea Party favorites Ted Cruz and Allen West, and a spate of undocumented Democrats establishment Republicans.

For the small price of your personal data (name, email address, zip code), you can vote for up to three candidates and then view the results…

Well, actually, no. For the small price of your data you are asked to make a donation and then you can view…

Still no.

Unlike the vast majority of polls of this sort where you’re asked for your opinion (and some of your data is mined), you don’t get to view the results. Apparently this is some top secret project of the RNC. Perhaps the outcome of the straw poll is known only to that stealthy RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus, who will at some future date enlighten the unwashed masses about who should really run for president.

One has to wonder how the decision-making process went with this straw poll. Did the RNC tech team not consider that site visitors would be annoyed at being tricked into handing over their data, only to discover that they wouldn’t be shown the results of the poll? Very poor form on the part of the RNC.

Of course, there could be a more cynical reason for this omission. The RNC may not want the public to view the results of the poll — it may burst the Christie bubble we’ve all been hearing so much about or may show that Republicans aren’t all that jazzed about the undocumented Democrats that the party would like to see win the nomination. After all, how awkward would it be if Jeb Bush went down to Ted Cruz or if Rob Portman lost badly to Allen West?

If you have any doubts that the RNC is after your data and your money and doesn’t give a hoot about your opinion, note that Ron Paul is included in the poll and that you can vote more than once.

While it won’t hurt anything to join the RNC’s mailing list, it will do little to help elect constitutional conservatives. A much better strategy is to identify good candidates and donate your time and talents directly to their campaigns.

And when Reince Priebus trots out the results of this straw poll in a few weeks, believe at your own risk.

2016 Presidential Survey

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Grieving Mother Uses Facebook To Scatter Her Son’s Ashes Around the World

Monday, December 23rd, 2013 - by Chris Queen

C J Twomey

On a picture perfect day in April 2010, 20-year-old Air Force veteran C.J. Twomey killed himself after an argument with his mom, Hallie.

Twomey regrets rolling her eyes at her son instead of hugging him as he stormed out of their home after an argument. A few minutes later, C.J. shot himself in his car in front of the home, she said.

C.J., who thrived on adventure like jumping out of airplanes, was upset about not making a special forces team with the Air Force, she said. After being honorably discharged, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life, she said. But she never thought he would do what he did that day.

For three years, C.J.’s ashes remained in an urn on a shelf in his parents’ home in Maine, until Hallie devised a unique and touching way to honor her son’s memory.

It started with a simple request on Facebook to help C.J. — who was only 20 when he died — “see the mountains that he never got to climb, see the vast oceans that he would have loved, see tropical beaches and lands far and away.”

The post was shared by nearly 100 of her friends, and soon even strangers started offering to scatter C.J.’s ashes in their hometowns, on family vacations or just somewhere beautiful. She started a separate Facebook page called “Scattering C.J.,” which now has more than 1,000 likes.

As of this writing, the page is up over 2,000 likes. C.J.’s ashes have now traveled across the United States, to Haiti, Jamaica, and India – and someone has offered to scatter some of his ashes on Mount Everest. The response to Hallie Twomey’s quest has caught her by surprise.

“Really, why would a complete stranger want to help us?” she said. “I really think people are doing whatever they can, even if it’s a small thing, to ease our burden or to embrace life.”


“I want to find peace in this. I want to feel better, but my guilt is so intense so I haven’t yet. I don’t know if it will,” she said. “I hope. I just have hope that maybe this will help in some way, because for 3 1/2 years, nothing has.”

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Police Chief’s Epic Facebook Rant at Kanye Comparing Himself to Police and Military Heroes

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 - by Paula Bolyard

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Chief David Oliver put Brimfield, Ohio — population 3343 — on the map with his epic Facebook rants that have gained national attention. The Brimfield Police Department’s Facebook page currently has more than 93,000 “likes.” The police chief started the Facebook page three years ago, hoping to engage with his tiny community, but his blunt opinions mixed with offbeat humor have resulted in a much wider audience and even a book, No Mopes Allowed (“Mopes” is an old-fashioned cop term for criminal types).

Today, Kanye West became the target of  Oliver’s acerbic pronunciations when Chief Oliver reacted to an interview in which Kanye compared his career as a rapper to the perils faced by U.S. soldiers and police officers. Kanye told Saturday Night Online,

“I’m just giving of my body on the stage and putting my life at risk, literally,” West said to host Garrett, referring to his tour performances of songs during which he stands on top of a moving mountain.

“That mountain goes really, really high,” he continued. “And if I slipped … You never know. And I think about it. I think about my family and I’m like ‘Wow, this is like being a police officer or something, in war or something.’”

Chief Oliver put Kanye’s flippant statements in perspective with surgical precision:

Dear Kanye West,

I am honored to be writing such an important star. I am a mere Internet sensation. I’m not sure I am worthy to address you, although the Huffington Post did say I was “Humorous and Insanely Popular.” I don’t pay much attention to those things. Anyway, please excuse my interference in your life for a quick second.

I read your interview and also watched it on video. You said:
“I’m just giving of my body on the stage and putting my life at risk, literally.….and I think about it. I think about my family and I’m like, wow, this is like being a police officer or something, in war or something.”

I want to thank you for putting your life on the line for all of us every day. I know that being a rapper is tough work. I have tried to rap, and it is very difficult to keep up with the pulse of the rhyme flow…although when Ice Ice Baby comes on the radio, I can usually keep up with ol’ Vanilla. Anywho, your job is just some very dangerous work. Most people don’t consider… if you rap really fast, without a chance to inhale, you could pass out and hit your head.

That last paragraph was covered in sarcasm. I’m letting you know, just so you do not think I agree with your very ignorant assessment of your career (or any other performer)as it relates to a person in the military or a police officer’s service. You sir, are as misguided as they come. I do have a suggestion for you. Since you are accustomed to danger, from your life as an international rapper, I am strongly encouraging you immediately abandon you career as a super star and join the military. After joining, I would like you to volunteer to be deployed in Afghanistan or one of the numerous other forward locations where our men an women are currently serving. When the Taliban starts shooting at you, perhaps you could stand up and let the words flow. It could be something like “I’m Kanye West, wearing a flak vest.” I’m sure they would just drop weapons and surrender. You could quite possibly end all wars, just from the enemy being star-struck.

Your line of thinking is part of the problem in the world today….which include entertainers thinking they are something more than just entertainers. I know it is supply and demand and the demand for your services is high. I get economics. What I do not get is you EVER comparing what you do for a living to our heroic military members, who are always in harm’s way… and my brother and sister police officers who have to go to work carrying weapons and wearing a bullet-proof vest to protect themselves.

Check yourself, before you wreck yourself….Chief Oliver.

Well done, Chief Oliver. Keep up the good work.


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Facebook’s Ad Algorithm Is A Poopy Head

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Last week I wrote a piece about bullying. My take on bullying is about as politically incorrect as it is possible to be. I don’t agree with school “anti-bullying” programs, and do not believe that bullying is an issue worthy of the President of the United States’ time. Especially since the current president is the Bully in Chief. I believe that most cases of childhood bullying can be solved by allowing kids who are bullied to defend themselves. The community should back victims up if they do defend themselves.

The piece I wrote last week centered on a study that shows that school “anti-bullying” programs may really be bully training programs. The study found that those programs show bullies how to be more effective bullies, while they also show bullies that no one will be allowed to stand up to them. I posted the link to Facebook to share it with my legions and legions of friends and fans.

Today, Facebook is suggesting this.


The link goes here, to the unfortunately named “The New Bully” website. Was the old bully defeated, or allowed to roam free by a leftist system that empowered him? Promoting that article to me may be due to an algorithm kick from the article I posted, or it may be part of Facebook’s latest anti-bullying drive.

“We are in this together and we can create change,” Nicholas says. Sure, and change is needed, but what kind of change are you proposing? The way we handle bullying now empowers bullies and leaves their victims to be victims for life. If you’re not about changing that, I’m not interested.

Are we going to change the way leftists bully everyone from attentive parents to veterans to the entire South to anyone and everyone who disagrees with them? If you’re not about changing that, I’m not interested.

As for Facebook’s “anti-bullying” drive, look out because it’s being done alongside the habitually bullying government of the state of Maryland. Soon enough criticizing that government on Facebook will end up being labeled “bullying” and censored.


Cross-posted from the PJ Tatler

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Beating Present Shock: 5 Secrets To Survive 21st Century Technology Overdose (Part II)

Friday, October 4th, 2013 - by Chris Yogerst


Click here for the first two tips in Part I of this 2-part review.

3. Overwinding

This chapter in Rushkoff’s book is perfectly subtitled “the short forever.” In the previous section I gave my own personal example of trying to get everything accomplished in an unrealistically short amount of time. When we try to accomplish such impossible tasks we fall victim to another form of Present Shock.

This weight on every action – this highly leveraged sense of the moment – hints at another form of present shock that is operating in more ways and places than we may suspect. We’ll call this temporal compression overwinding – the effort to squish really big timescales into much smaller or nonexistent ones.

We’ve seen this regularly, and most of us suffer or have suffered from overwinding. A great example is how cleaning out your inbox can give you a “clean feeling.” However, how important is this really? Is it worth the time spent? And what are we actually cleaning? Most working professionals get enough legitimate email and junk messages to spend all day, every day dealing only with email. The problem is that email is a communication tool and most of us have jobs that require actions outside of the email loop. To fight overwinding, spend a minimal amount of time in your inbox. Reply to what needs attention, ignore the rest and get on with your day.

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Anonymous and Occupy React to Shutdown: #NoBudgetNoPants

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 - by Paula Bolyard


At least we dodged this bullet. For now.

The entire continuing resolution impasse has been mostly intense and gloomy, so we have to appreciate anything that provides a moment of levity. Two hours before the government shutdown at midnight on October 1st, this cryptic warning appeared on Twitter:



Josh Barro from Business Insider warned about possible unintended consequences.



We learned about the new disaster management plan:



At midnight, the group Anonymous made #NoBudgetNoPants official (and also made it trend on Twitter):




More unintended consequences:



This guy has a point.


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The Unproductive Obsession with Hipster Anne Frank

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg


I first came to the attention of Hipster Anne Frank thanks to the Forward. I don’t Tweet much and when I do, I’m not exactly looking to hook up with faux profiles. Like most pre-tech dinosaurs (currently known as “the work force”), I can barely keep up with the real friends I have through the ‘net. Most of us still catch up on each other’s news the old-fashioned way — through talking, preferably in person. I found this out this weekend when three folks I collided into at a friend’s wedding all asked me, “So, what are you doing lately?” I did not respond, “Don’t you read my Facebook?” Why not? Because that would’ve been, well, weird.

Unfortunately, most folks don’t have such a laissez-faire relationship with social media. In fact, in the world of 24 hour news and instant Internet, news agencies rely on technology to provide them with fresh material around the clock. Hence a Twitter profile for Hipster Anne Frank became big news in some big publications including Ha’aretz, The Atlantic, and Time. Jumping on the trend, Renee Ghert-Zand proffered her opinion at the Forward: “Nonetheless, I maintain that there are better ways to get young people to learn about Anne Frank’s legacy.”

There absolutely are, and by pointing out that fact, Renee Ghert-Zand has missed the point of Hipster Anne Frank. This Twitter account, as with most faux-Twitter profiles, doesn’t exist to educate or inform, but to feed off the postmodern millennial belief that everything is nothing and can therefore be manipulated at will for the ultimate currency: hits, followers, re-tweets.

“I fear that this kind of tasteless misappropriation of Anne Frank’s memory and legacy, and that of other historical personalities, will only increase now that people can hide behind Twitter handles,” Ghert-Zand remarked.

Exactly. That’s the point.

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Beating Present Shock: 5 Secrets To Survive 21st Century Technology Overdose (Part I)

Friday, September 27th, 2013 - by Chris Yogerst


Do you understand how media works? If not, it might control you. Media theorist Douglas Rushkoff’s last book, Program or Be Programmed, took on this question about media and our comprehension of it. Without a working knowledge of how information systems work, Rushkoff argues, we run the risk of being easily duped. This is a common problem and one that is easily battled with a drive towards media literacy, something I teach my students about in undergraduate mass communication courses. The battle does not end here, however, because even if we have a strong grasp of media systems we are not immune to yet another pitfall.

Present Shock.

Just about everyone has come across it, even if you don’t quite know what it is. That feeling you get when you sense there is never enough time and obligations are coming at you from every direction… that’s a piece of it. The good thing is we can fight back and Rushkoff has the tools we need to take control of our lives. In his latest book, Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now, Rushkoff addresses the problem with our “always-on” digital universe. Without a doubt, technology can lead to intellectual and psychological illness, usually in terms of addiction that can ultimately become destructive to every aspect of our life.

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5 Lessons Worth Learning at RightOnline

Sunday, August 25th, 2013 - by Walter Hudson


Iron sharpens iron, so the saying goes. When it comes to developing your skills as an online activist, the iron can be found at RightOnline, an annual conference put on by Americans for Prosperity where advocates of liberty gather to network and learn from the greats. This year’s conference kicks off in Orlando at the end of the week. From the website:

The RightOnline Conference brings top new media, technology, and messaging experts together with hundreds of committed citizen activists to provide important leadership and grassroots training, offering tools and inspiration to more effectively impact public policy in favor of limited government and free enterprise. The agenda provides a solid program of workshops and training seminars on new media strategies and tools that can be used to mobilize and advance free market policies.

Since its first conference, RightOnline has been expanded into a broader initiative that includes state-based and local grassroots training seminars aimed at promoting and increasing citizen participation in the public policy process through the use of online tools.

Among a handful of activists sponsored by AFP to represent Minnesota at the conference, I look forward to two days of intense training and encouragement from some of the most accomplished names in alternative media. Conferences like RightOnline offer a buffet of knowledge for those willing to lap it up.

The hardest part of attending such an event is choosing which tracks to follow in the breakout sessions. Previous experience has taught me that following the track of greatest interest may not lead to as much learning as sitting in on something less familiar. So assessing which sessions will yield the highest return requires an introspective analysis of strengths and weaknesses.

With that in mind, here are 5 lessons worth learning at RightOnline. Be sure to let us know which sessions you’ll be attending in the comments section below.

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The Facebook Enigma: When Social-Networking Sites Infiltrate Our Real Lives

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 - by Becky Graebner


As a Millennial, I’ve gotten used to relationships starting via Facebook. Dating wasn’t “official” until my Facebook status said “in a relationship.”  As far as friends went, after meeting one time, it was socially acceptable to find that guy from the bar and friend him on Facebook—then wait a few hours before messaging him…hoping he’d ask to hang out again.  In the beginning it was cool: friend everyone you know–and their grandma.

However, hundreds of Facebook friends and seven years later, I’m tired of my Facebook and its power over me.  I feel this odd sense of confusion if I don’t check it for a few hours and I was starting to feel burned out and annoyed by the constant, idiotic updates from some of my “friends.”

The BFF-obsessed girl who is in love with the Caps Lock Key:

Ohmigod. Tonight I had the BEST night EVER with my BESTIE, (insert annoying name). OMG I LOVE you GURLL. BEST FRIENDS FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR :) :) <3

Gag me.

The kid who is really hoping to sound cool:

I am SO HIGH right now.

Really? I hope the police see this.

The person who needs some serious attention, ice cream, and a Sex and the City marathon:

Thank goodness you are out of my life. I am SO much better without you. Now I know who my real friends are and I don’t need you. I will never let you back into my life.  I am so much stronger now.  I’m in a good place. 

Please grow up. Then, call a shrink.

See what I mean?

Some people “delete” their Facebook as a sign of mental strength—only to reappear a few weeks later with 100 status updates about their awesome willpower.  Forget you.  I wanted a long-term solution.  So, after years and years of accumulating friends, nourishing Facebook friendships, and pruning some of those annoying (above) stragglers from my friends list, I decided to do a Facebook purge.

Honestly, when I told some of my real-life (not just digital) friends that I was going to go through my page and systematically delete people, they were aghast.  HOW could you do that?  That’s sad! Why?

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Friendships with Fictional Characters

Thursday, June 20th, 2013 - by Richard Fernandez

Facebook told me two things today. The first is that I am a friend of a friend (FOAF) of Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister. The second and more important tiding is a link to the New York Daily News:

James Gandolfini, the New Jersey-bred actor who delighted audiences as mob boss Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos” has died following a massive heart attack in Italy, a source told the Daily News.

Tony Soprano has bought the farm.

Of course, Gandolfini only played Tony Soprano. He was never Soprano himself. And while I never had the opportunity to meet him even in passing, neither have I met Gillard, and possibly neither has my Internet friend who is her “friend.” The question that inevitably posed itself was, who was I closer to between these two people: Gillard or Gandolfini?

In 2007, Tim Berners-Lee proposed the notion of a Giant Global Graph to represent the relationship between human beings, especially over the Internet. The nodes are people and they are tied by properties such as “likes,” “comments,” and shares. “The Giant Global Graph concept seems to have been a significant input in Facebook’s concept and name for their ‘Open Graph’ project and protocol.”

And it may turn out that in terms of that metric, I am probably closer to Tony Soprano than to either James Gandolfini or Julia Gillard. As someone once observed, “celebrities are who we have in common.” And we know more about the characters they play than the celebrities themselves.

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The Facebook Jihad of the Canadian Train Terrorist

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 - by PJ Lifestyle Crime

via Shoebat Exclusive: Shocking Facebook of the Canada Train Terrorist | Walid Shoebat:

Not much is available regarding Chiheb Esseghaier, the man charged with conspiring to derail a VIA passenger train in Canada. That is, until we began researching the Arabic and discovered a Tunisian Al-Qaeda operative’s facebook page in Arabic, all with the chilling details.

From western sources, the man’s Internet activities are summarized thusly, via National Post:

“[His] professional networking site LinkedIn that is illustrated with the black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group of Iraqi insurgent groups affiliated with al Qaeda.”

That’s hardly a dossier.

Yet, his facebook page which was deleted minutes after our discovery (and after we saved it) is a different story. At the top is a detailed flowchart on Al-Qaeda’s plans, command and control, and methodology – from leadership to cell creation.

His favorites include several links to some of the most notorious terror groups including a facebook dedicated for the famed Abu Mus’ab Zarkawi. On that facebook page, it gives a glimpse of the Al-Qaeda recruitment in the Levant (Syria).

Read the rest at

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VIDEO: John Phillips and I Talk About the Social Media Generation

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle

I had such a wonderful time yesterday talking to John Phillips, the Los Angeles correspondent for Next Generation TV, the newest wing of the PJ Media family. Click here or on the screen shot above to watch our 11 minute conversation at PJTV on the future of Twitter, the challenges of juggling ideological friends on Facebook, and social media’s role in the political culture today.


Related at PJ Lifestyle:

The Plan So I Don’t Waste the Last Year of My 20s

10 Secret Reasons Why The Avengers Is the Best Superhero Film

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‘Grow A Pair’: Piers Morgan’s Bully Taunt of Choice For Ben Shapiro

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle

“Grow a pair.”

We really have returned to junior high. Welcome to Barack Obama’s America in 2013.

Somebody ought to write a book about progressive bullying…

Updated: Morgan’s producers attempt to trick Ben Shapiro by setting an ambush:

But when it came time to book the show, Morgan’s team refused to tell Shapiro what the format of the show would be. When Shapiro said that he expected balance — a second one-on-one interview with Morgan — Morgan’s producers balked. They did insist strongly, however, that Shapiro appear on the show, where he would be “in for the entire show” and “have a huge part.” When Shapiro again reiterated that balance would be a one-on-one, and asked for more details on what his role would be, Morgan’s producers went silent.

“This is how the left manipulates media situations to ambush conservatives,” Shapiro said. “Piers and I had a good conversation last week about gun control; if he wants a rematch, I’m always game.”


Related at PJ Lifestyle on the childish mentality of mainstream culture today:

Dissecting Baby Boomer Liberalism Like a Frog in Science Class

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5 Positive Personality Traits Baby Boomer Women Developed While Waiting By The Phone

Saturday, December 29th, 2012 - by Myra Adams
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“It must be him, it must be him, oh dear God, it must be him or I shall die.”

Aging female baby boomers can relate to these lyrics from a 1967 hit song by Vikki Carr entitled, It Must Be Him.

Before the advent of answering machines, and decades before mobile communications and social media, waiting by the phone for your man to call was an ancient mating tradition that single women of all ages thankfully will never again have to endure.

I was reminded of this dating ritual since we are on the cusp of celebrating what is traditionally known as the greatest date night of all, New Year’s Eve.

While wracking my brain thinking of a suitable baby boomer topic applicable to this holiday, it hit me… New Year’s Eve, 1971, when I was a high school sophomore and my boyfriend was a senior.

All that stands out about that evening was my having to wait by the phone for my boyfriend to call to tell me the time he was coming by to take me to a house party (where someone’s parents were out of town).

As 5 pm turned into 6 pm, turned into 7 pm, turned into 8 pm, I became extremely anxious, especially when my mother said, “Would it be so bad if you stayed home?” (Yea mom, how about the end of the world as I know it.)

When Mr. Considerate finally called at 8 pm the trauma ceased. But thinking back upon that 1971 New Year’s Eve, it was how waiting by the phone helped form five positive personality traits that women like me did not even realize we were developing.  Eventually these five traits served baby boomer women extremely well as we made our way through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s taking advantage of all the new career opportunities that the women’s movement afforded.

Here are the five personality traits aging baby boomer women learned while waiting by the phone.

1. Patience

When you were forced to accept someone else’s timetable you learned it was not just all about you. Waiting by the phone developed patience and was superb training for almost any career and life in general.

2. Rejection

This feeling was experienced when you finally realized that he was not going to call after he said (or you assumed) he would. Learning to cope with rejection without feeling like a complete loser was an important life lesson. The key was to think about all your positive attributes that this man was obviously missing. Then move ahead and don’t look back. This concept was easily applied to the professional world, especially if you were a business owner or involved in sales of any kind. Women of a certain age who experienced sitting by the phone waiting for him to call learned how to be resilient in the face of rejection.

3. Self worth/Self esteem

You waited by the phone and he did call. High five! You were on top of your game. All your flirting skills worked and you were the master of the feminine universe. (But sometimes you discovered that he was not worth waiting for!)

Later in life this same initial exhilaration was experienced when you landed a new job or a new client/contract/project was won. But you never let it go to your head. One learned early on that you must never be cocky because rejection in love or life could be lurking right around the corner.

4. Diplomacy 

He called, (maybe even weeks after he said he would) and you refrained from telling him that he was an insensitive jerk. But since you were really glad to hear from him you said no such thing. Later in the business world this skill came in handy when “the customer was always right” even if he/she was not.

5. Playing the Game

Once while chatting with some guy friends in my high school classes they admitted to me that often they did not call a girl after they said they would because they did not want to appear “pussy whipped.” (Yes, that was the operative term at the time.) So from this conversation I learned that there was a lot of game playing going on when it came to the timing of “the call.”

As a result, my friends and I would discuss when it was time to stop waiting and time to start living. (However, flirting with his friends was always an appropriate response.) The lesson “stop waiting and start living” developed into positive personality traits that were applicable to many future life situations.

But alas, girls/women today don’t have to deal with any of this waiting by the phone. In fact, waiting is a thing of the past since now there is no stigma attached to calling a boy before he calls you. Girls today will call, text, tweet, Facebook, or email and if that does not get his attention they will have their friends call, text, email, Facebook or tweet. From what I have heard about today’s dating habits, “whatever it takes” to catch the attention of the man of the moment seems to be acceptable behavior.

This behavior is a result of both the instant communications revolution and the women’s movement which generally has made the girls/women of today much more aggressive than my friends or I ever were in high school and college.

Perhaps this more aggressive behavior is cultural “payback” for all the countless hours their baby boomer mothers and grandmothers spent waiting by the phone especially in the weeks leading up to important date nights like New Year’s Eve. For around that time whenever the phone rang, teenage girls and young women were conditioned into thinking, “It must be him, it must be him, please be him or I will die.”

Happy New Year’s everyone!


More on generations at PJ Lifestyle:

Dissecting Baby Boomer Liberalism Like a Frog in Science Class

Baby Boomers: The Most Depressed Generation

Young America! Stop Letting Boomers Feed Off You

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Monday, October 29th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Tech

via Twitterature « Acculturated.

Prescient philosopher of the media Marshall McLuhan once famously remarked that “the future of the book is the blurb.” Had he lived long enough to witness the ubiquity of the personal computer and social media, he might have said that “the future of the book is the tweet.”

As both a longtime James Bond fan and a contributor to Acculturated’s symposium on “Language in the Digital Age,” I was amused to read about how author and comedian Charlie Higson recently reduced twelve of Ian Fleming’s Bond novels into 140-character tweets, just in time for the release of the new 007 movie Skyfall.

Here is Higson’s take on Dr. No, for example, the first Bond book to be made into a film, the one in which original Bond girl Ursula “Honey Rider” Andress made her iconic appearance in a white bikini: “Jamaica? Yes. Dead agent? Yes. Honeychile Rider like a naked Venus from the sea? Yes. Steel hands? Yes. Radioactive pool? No. Death by guano”

This is not the first time compressing novels into a single tweet has been undertaken on Twitter. Writers like Tim Collins have boiled down the classics at least as far back as 2009. Here is his summary of The Catcher in the Rye: “jdsalinger: Rich kid thinks everyone is fake except for his little sister. Has breakdown. @markchapman is now following @johnlennon”


Related at PJ Lifestyle on social networking and the internet:

The ‘Me’ in Social Media: The ONLY Online Etiquette Rule You’ll Ever Need

Gravity Doesn’t ‘Card’: Cyber Bullys and the Laws of the Universe

Actress Stacey Dash Hammered With Racist Hate After Endorsing Mitt Romney on Twitter

3 Turning Points in the History of Blogging

3 Rules for Handling the Online Trolls, Bullies, and Crackpots

What Will a Post-Facebook Internet Look Like?

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A Jacket That Hugs You When Someone Likes Your Status on Facebook

Monday, October 8th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Tech

via Why like someone on Facebook when you can hug them – Telegraph.

Designers have come up with a jacket that actively gives you a cuddle when someone says they like you on the social network site.

The “Like-A-Hug” jacket inflates when someone clicks on the “Like” button putting a little more reality into virtual reality.

Designed by MIT student Melissa Chow, who said it “allows us to feel the warmth, encouragement, support, or love that we feel when we receive hugs”.

Hugs can also be sent back to the original sender by squeezing the vest and deflating it.

Hat tip: Jon Bishop


More visions of the future at PJ Lifestyle:

The Sex Bots Have Arrived

Almost Here: Downloading Gun Design and Manufacturing At Home With 3D Printer

VIDEO: Helicopter Controlled by Brain Waves

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The Ensuckification of Facebook Continues

Friday, July 27th, 2012 - by Stephen Green

It’s official: Facebook is forcing us all to switch our profiles to the new “Timeline” format, whether we want it or not. I can assure you that, empirically, it sucks.

Back when I was studying journalism, rather than making fun of journalists, they taught us that a newspaper or magazine layout should follow a Z pattern. A reader’s eyes quite naturally start at the top left corner, scan right, zip down and to the left, then right again — so your layout should work with human nature to make the sale.

They taught us to put the newest and most important information — the item that would get readers to spend a quarter — on the top left corner. (A quarter? Yeah, I was learning this a long time ago. But it’s a timeless lesson.) If the big item was big enough, give it the whole top line of the Z. The second biggest story follows on the next part of the Z, followed by the third, and then the fourth — if there’s room for four. Three, they told us, was more or less ideal. Too much information, and the reader loses focus before he ponies up the 25¢.

Here’s the layout for Timeline.

What dominates the top third of the screen? Static information. Your name, your banner (I don’t have a banner yet, so just a headshot), and some personal data like job and where you went to school. You know, stuff that doesn’t change very much, or at all. In other words, the first thing a visitor to your profile sees is a bunch of crap they already know. And lots of people are putting up big, busy banners which dominate your eyeballs. Timeline isn’t as bad as MySpace, but only because Facebook doesn’t let you use a zillion different fonts or animated GIFs. But let’s keep that quiet, before Zuckerberg gets any more bright ideas.

The next place your eyeballs travel is to the status update box. That’s fine for you, lousy for visitors. After that, something called “Activity.” Well, I know who I just friended, and you’re probably not all that interested. So… why the prominence?

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Can Japanese Scientists Analyze Social Networks to Cut A High Suicide Rate?

Thursday, July 5th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Tech

via Spotting Suicidal Tendencies on Social Networks – Technology Review.

Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Indeed, for men aged 20-44 and women between 15 and 34, it is the leading cause of death. The rate equates to about 26 deaths per 100,00 people. By contrast, the rate in the US is just 11 per 100,000.

Which is why the Japanese government has invested heavily in programs to understand the causes of suicide and reduce the number of resulting deaths. Its plan is to cut the rate by 20 per cent by 2017.

Psychologists have studied suicide for many years. One focus of research is identifying and studying people who have regular thoughts about suicide, so-called suicide ideation. The evidence gathered to date suggests that people with suicidal thoughts tend to be socially isolated, meaning they have not just fewer friends but are also less likely to be members of  friendship triangles in which three people are mutual friends.

However, these types of studies have been difficult to do accurately. For young people, the data comes largely from questionnaires filled out by students at a particular school or university. The problem here is that when students have friends outside this environment, the outsiders’ role in the social network cannot be properly accounted for.

This doesn’t influence the data for the total number of friends for each person but it may well influence the calculation of the number friendship triangles.

Today, Naoki Masuda at the University of Tokyo in Japan and a couple of pals address this problem. Instead of studying suicide ideation at a school or university, these guys  looked at in an online social network called Mixi, a major Japanese network with over 25 million members.

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Facebook Goes Full Backdoor Creeper AGAIN

Monday, June 25th, 2012 - by Stephen Kruiser

Just when you think it’s safe to log on to the most overrated social media platform in history…

Facebook Just Changed Your Email Without Asking—Here’s How to Fix It

Hey, here’s something really stupid and annoying: Facebook abruptly switched everyone’s default email address to the account you’ve never used. Here’s how to switch back Facebook’s obnoxious overreach right now. So people can actually, you know, contact you.

Of course, Facebook’s standard operating procedure is to constantly make changes that either compromise security or provide users with something they never wanted. It’s most stunning achievement is that every “improvement” seems to make the site worse yet people keep flocking to it.

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