On cable TV sometime this month, on YouTube now(ish), I was Michael Abadi's guest for the 29th episode of VT Blogosphere TV:
Uploading is taking a while on our semi-reliable quasi-broadband, but eventually there will be 5 segments amounting to about 30 minutes. Our conversation ranged from violence in the Middle East and the American Southwest to my first run for public office and healthcare reform. And blogging.
You don't often hear a three-star general using the word "friend" as a verb.
But for Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley and other Army brass, a new era has brought a new language — and new tools like online social networks Twitter and Facebook — for seeking out young recruits and spreading the military's message.
Freakley, who heads the Army command that oversees recruiting, says social networking sites offer another way to reach tomorrow's soldiers.
"They live in the virtual world," Freakley said. He cited Facebook as a key component in targeting 18-to 24-year-olds. "You could friend your recruiter, and then he could talk to your friends."
And then they can take that Army of One game and make it into a Facebook app and all sorts of other fun things!
Adam Wilson posted two messages on Twitter on April 15. The first one, "GO BADGERS," might have been sent by any University of Wisconsin-Madison student cheering for the school team. The brain-computer interface allows people to compose a tweet by focusing on the desired letter.
His second post, 20 minutes later, was a little more unusual: "SPELLING WITH MY BRAIN."
Wilson, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering, was confirming an announcement he had made two weeks earlier -- his lab had developed a way to post messages on Twitter using electrical impulses generated by thought. ... The development could be a lifeline for people with "locked-in syndrome" -- whose brains function normally but who cannot speak or move because of injury or disease.
And thus, another application for Twitter. Been my point to a lot of the skeptics: you don't know exactly what you can do with new technologies until you start frittering around with them. The phone wasn't obvious; the radio was scoffed at. And now look...
Facebook users have lower overall grades than non-users, according to a survey of college students who also ironically said the social networking site does not interfere with studying.
That disconnect between perception and reality does not necessarily mean that Facebook leads to less studying and worse grades -- the grades association could be caused by something else. However, it does raise more questions about how students spend their time outside class on activities such as Facebook, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities.
"I'm just saying that there's some kind of relationship there, and there's many third variables that need to be studied," said Aryn Karpinski, an education researcher at Ohio State University.
Her study found that Facebook user GPAs were in the 3.0 to 3.5 range on average, compared to 3.5 to 4.0 for non-users. Facebook users also studied anywhere from one to five hours per week, compared to non-users who studied 11 to 15 or more hours per week.
However, Karpinski emphasized that correlation does not equal causation, meaning Facebook use might not be the culprit behind lower GPAs or less study time.
For instance, students who spend more time enjoying themselves rather than studying might tend to latch onto the nearest distraction, such as Facebook. Or students who use the social networking site might also spend more time on other non-studying activities such as sports or music.
The study did show that students who work more hours at jobs spend less time on Facebook, while students involved in more extracurricular activities were also more likely to use Facebook.
I really hate these "trend" things when there's a new social phenomenon. It's always at the beginning of the lifecycle of whatever the latest thing is, involves smaller populations, the assumptions of older people about what is right and good, are never really instructive or indicative of anything important, and pop up every generation (or more frequently). So...whatever.
Rep. Pete Hoeksra (R-MI), the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, revealed classified intelligence information on Twitter when he reported on his “congressional trip to Iraq this weekend that was supposed to be a secret.” “Just landed in Baghdad,” messaged Hoekstra, who was part of a delegation led by John Boehner (R-OH). CQ reports, “Before the delegation left Washington, they were advised to keep the trip to themselves for security reasons. A few media outlets, including Congressional Quarterly, learned about it, but agreed not to disclose anything until the delegation had left Iraq.” Hoekstra not only revealed the existence of the trip, but included details about their itinerary. In a May 2006 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Hoekstra wrote:
But every time classified national security information is leaked, our ability to gather information on those who would do us harm is eroded. … I regret that I see little sign of intolerance for unauthorized disclosures of intelligence to the media from some of my Democratic colleagues today. … We are a nation at war. Unauthorized disclosures of classified information only help terrorists and our enemies – and put American lives at risk.
Amazing what you can do with only 140 characters...
You've been "superpoked" — and served. A court in Australia has approved the use of Facebook, a popular social networking Web site, to notify a couple that they lost their home after defaulting on a loan.
The Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court last Friday approved lawyer Mark McCormack's application to use Facebook to serve the legally binding documents after several failed attempts to contact the couple at the house and by e-mail.
Australian courts have given permission in the past for people to be served via e-mail and text messages when it was not possible to serve them in person.
Hey, why not? It's just another communication channel, and the delivery medium doesn't change the inherent nature of the message.
You may not have noticed this, but the most-followed user account on Twitter has not been updated in more than a month. ... So what’s the deal here? Is everybody just too busy with Change.gov? Will YouTube be Obama’s sole method of communicating with Internet users? That certainly looks to be the case. Once elected, it was inevitable that Obama’s communications strategy would become more conventional, but abandoning this direct line to supporters is somewhat perplexing. Why leave 140,000 followers on the table, especially now that Twitter is finally going mainstream? My guess is that they will use it again, after Obama assumes the presidency and wants to mobilize his supporters toward a particular goal, say, health care reform.
That said, it would behoove someone in Obama’s Internet shop to keep the account current, even by recording announcements of cabinet appointments. Events of the past week have underscored Twitter’s usefulness as a news source. Obama’s team would be wise to recognize this.
I agree that #44 should continue to use Twitter, and will. It's a great engine for mobilization as well as simple information distribution.
Imagine that he wants to pressure Congress to pass a particular measure on health care or withdrawing from Iraq or a stimulus package: send a tweet and hundreds of thousands of motivated people who worked to secure victory in 2008 can do so again. It's BullyPulpit2.0 and EngagedCitizens2.0.