February 01, 2018

from warbloggers to trumpeteers

This blog has been the frying pan for my thoughts for a long time now, going on 17 years. That's through GW Bush's administration, Obama's cool 8 years, and now this nightmare: Trump and the alt-right. I look back on how irate we were at "W," at 911, at the warbloggers who took "the war on terror" as their rallying cry to hate anything peace loving. The warbloggers were the genesis of today's Trump base. Ask-no-questions, flag-waving, globe-hating war enthusiasts that suddenly had a platform for hating anyone outside of our  boarders.

Today the warbloggers have come home to roost. They have their President. He has his nukes. And it feels like all the passion and resisting we did back then made not a bit of difference. Maybe we got complacent during Obama, a President that tried to be on the side of the people, or most people. Maybe there is no winning for the good guys in a country with a legacy such as this.

January 26, 2017

The Alt-Rogue vs the Alt-Right

We certainly live in interesting times. For social media, the use and misuse of a single communications channel may have just changed the course of the free world. Which makes for even more interesting times.

I don’t know about you, but I could use a little less excitement.

In the recent 2016 U.S. election of Donald Trump, a concerted and strategic social media arsenal was unleashed, one that the Democrats seem to have been wholly unprepared for.

How is that? While we (yes I’m one) were busy laughing at people who watch Fox News, a “network” whose news stories and celebrity-talking-heads have been debunked time and time again, the last laugh was on us.

“Fake News” became facts, and fears became fuel, and fools became leaders.

The new white house itself is proud of its reliance on “alternative facts,” which — although Twitter has had a ball with the notion — is scary as shit.

Many of us original bloggers (Y2K here) remember when Ev Williams started Blogger and began self-publishing around that time. When Ev started Twitter, I don’t think any one of us ever saw the future: A POTUS spreading fallacies and threats and rumors, and then drawing dangerous lines in the sand with enemies and allies alike, all in 140 characters or less.

How did a medium that once was, if anything, super honest and highly personal — with early bloggers and twitter users making themselves vulnerable and human in sharing from the gut — become a channel for hate, hyperbole and falsehoods?

The medium isn’t the message, folks. The messengers are.

In this case, the alt-right’s Bannon and company ran a brilliantly strategic social media campaign, complete with a literal paid island of young people manufacturing a digital arsenal of fake new stories that made them rich, along with paid trolls posted at every corner of every comment section that mattered.

Bannon thought of that. We didn’t.

Because at our core, liberals and progressives believe that no one would believe it, that people are intelligent enough to distinguish hyperbole and alternate facts from truth, and that in the end, we should believe the best about our fellow man, and that love should trump hate.

Boy were we wrong. DEAD wrong.

So, how should we take back social media? Can we? What would it take? Do we have to fight “fire with fire,” as Trump said last week about national security?

While I’m glad we are building an army of comedians like Alec Baldwin and the SNL cast, who is building our army of truth-tellers that can deprogram and sway a public that has already been captured by an army of trolls?

One sign of hope this week: the ALT-rogue twitter movement

When the National Parks twitter users were silenced by federal order, some brave rangers went rogue and launched their own “AltUSNatParkService” handle. Scientists (@ScienceMarchDC) who have been directed to run all findings through the new administration before publishing them have followed suit with a planned march on Washington and bevy of rogue twitter handles of their own.

Suddenly the Alt-ROGUE movement is rising up against the Alt-Right movement.

This week – I see it as our best hope.

But we’ll need more. A lot more.

June 19, 2014

Teens, Drama, Dollars

Had my first try at a long-form linkedin post today. we waited 13 years and blogging came right back around.

May 19, 2014

In Social Media, Size Suddenly Matters (OR: I guess it's not the motion of the ocean)

LinkedIn's opening up it's Long-Form publishing -- described as posts of "three or more paragraphs" -- while digital publishing boy genius Ev Williams goes after the "medium" market. This, after Ev got us into the babbling mode of 140-character communication in the first place, but only after he trained a dozen years ago to be wordy and prolific on his pioneering blogger.com platform.

It all leaves online publishers are wondering: what the heck do you want from us?

Short, medium, long? All of the above? And how are their best practices around length when performance is commonly measured through engagement? To engage, don't I have to connect? And if I'm all over the place spurting out 100-character tweets, medium-size mini book creations, 200-character status updates, and 5 paragraph missives, how can I actually have a conversation with you?

Answers will have to wait. Today, I have only questions. What do you think? Please respond with short, medium, and long-form tweets, posts, and updates if you feel so moved.

February 05, 2014

Georgia Goes High Tech with Email and Text Weather Alerts...

Apparently GEMA just realized such advanced technology was possible. Help. me.

Wow. they're going to send text alerts and emails now. what did they send previously - the stinkin pony express????? telegraphs???? "Don't worry yer purdy head; i'll fax the gubner in the morn."
"Effective immediately, a storm warning will trigger a message to cell phones in targeted areas, as in the Amber Alert system, and advise against road travel," said Deal. "We will go one step further with school superintendents by emailing them weather condition updates, so that they have the most up-to-date information when determining whether to close schools." 
It's time for solutions. If you could sit down with Kasim Reed and Gov.Nathan Deal and suggest one real way to put us in a better position for the next winter storm: What would it be? You can read about plans already in place: http://on.11alive.com/1j7F5qa

Facebook post-mortem, from Facebook comments

Hey Mark Zuckerberg, maybe you should make it easier for relatives to have access to their fallen family members' FB accounts so they don't have to hope that their vids go viral to get your attention. People do die, you know.
My appeal to Facebook
We want to see my sons 1 min movie on fB
Like ·  ·  · 3 hours ago · 
  • Mike Rodriquez and 8 others like this.
  • Jeneane Dimino Sessum they collect every other kind of information - ought to be a couple of check boxes for "other(s) who may access" - or emergency contact or something. I mean the dentist asks for that. can't bookface?
    44 minutes ago · Like · 1
  • Rob Lawrence Good idea. Some people might opt for "delete all my shit immediately upon (official) notice of my death". Others might specify " give access to this person and NOT that person."
  • Jeneane Dimino Sessum [ ] Deactivate my acct and donate my images, videos, and posts to a the Internet Memorial (business model forthcoming)
    [ ] pay $___ to immortalize my profile on facebook - keep my FB page alive foreva: __ allow __ disallow comments
    [ ] Turn my private profile public 
    [ ] Turn my public profile private
    [ ] Send login information to my emergency contact at ______
    20 minutes ago · Like · 1