Archive

Archive for August, 2012
28 Aug

CU-Boulder Hearst Professional-in-Residence

I usually don’t write about things like this, but, I have to admit, this one is pretty cool.

I’m proud to announce that I have been selected to be University of Colorado‘s Hearst Professional-in-Residence.

From their invitation letter:
“The Hearst program is made possible by an endowment from the Hearst Foundation, and its purpose is to introduce nationally known, accomplished journalists to our students to enrich their journalism studies. With your work both as a teacher and as a practitioner in digital news and social media, we can think of few people better qualified to play this role.”

As many in the academic community know, the Journalism school has gone through some serious challenges. They still have a journalism program and, like most programs, are re-building.

I’m honored that they’ve asked me to join them in the conversation.

I’ll be there September 27 and 28.

22 Aug

My new serenity prayer

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Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to p0wn the things I can. And the wisdom to get certain people out of the way, partner with others and to know the difference.

This is my new serenity prayer for me and other Web journos that need courage to go respectfully rogue.

It’s frustrating –perhaps more often than not — but because we believe in what we do, we have to struggle and fight through it.

I wish it were different. But it’s not. Not even in 2012. But we are all we got.

No one said that “be the change you want to see” would be easy.

Categories: Personal, Rant Tags:
18 Aug

Comparing presidential candidates’ fake Twitter follower accounts

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There have been a couple stories recently about using fake Twitter followers as a way to show influence in politics.

Thanks to the Status People, there is a way to check to see how many alleged fake followers you or other Twitter users have: http://fakers.statuspeople.com

It’s not perfect, but it’s something.

It takes a “sample of your follower data. Up to 500 records depending on how ‘popular’ you are and assess them against a number of simple spam criteria.”

They also say that this tool is accurate for 10,000 followers or less. “If you’re very ‘popular’ the tool will still provide good insight but may better reflect your current follower activity rather than your whole follower base.”

You can read more about the Faker Followers tool here: http://fakers.statuspeople.com/Fakers/FindOutMore/

With those caveats in mind, here are screenshots of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates:

Presidential candidates:

Out of Obama‘s 18,653,463 followers, 7,088,316 are identified as fake accounts following. Out of the 868,277 that follow Romney, 173,655 are considered fake, by the site.

On the flip side, that’s 4,849,900 “good” accounts following Obama and 425,456 following Romney. We’ve leave out the inactive ones.

 

Vice-presidential candidates:

That’s 22,491 fake accounts among the 112,455 following Biden and 52,916 fake ones among the 203,523 accounts following Ryan.

The “good” accounts are 42,733 for Biden and 77,339 for Ryan.

Truthfully, there are no real conclusions to make here… just some numbers/stats to look over.

NOTE: I took the “test” and am proud to say that only 3 percent of my followers are fake.

17 Aug

My response to The Hartford Courant’s “Spanish-language strategy” with Google Translate


Como una cortesía para The Courant, por demostrando ignorancia y falta de respeto a su propia comunidad, déjeme decir: lo cagaron.


If you were to translate this using Google Translate, guess what… it would be wrong. Anyone who is bilingual wouldn’t be surprised. But they would be surprised in hearing that a news organization would solely depend on using this primitive service as their “Spanish-language strategy.”

Sadly, this isn’t a joke: Hartford Courant’s Spanish site is Google Translate by Poynter

But, instead of just being disgusted or insulted by The Courant’s “strategy,” let me offer some tips for an actual strategy:

1. Hire a diverse staff, and in this case, a Spanish speaker. Listen to them. Anyone in their right mind would have told you this was a bad idea.

2. I know resources are tight, as an affordable alternative to hiring more staff, partner up with the local Spanish-language news organizations. Believe me, they are there. And they’d love to help you inform the community. (Hey Courant, have to tried working with Connecticut’s Latino News Source: ctlatinonews.com?)

3. No Spanish-language news organization in your town? Look again. Think radio, newsletters or neighboring towns. Any of these will be better than an automated site.

4. Still confused? Reach out to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists to find local members in your area, including Spanish-language news organizations.

5. But, let’s say there are no Spanish-language news outlets. Partner up with the largest, Spanish-language local business. They know their community and are fully aware of the information network that is functioning now.

Lastly, apologize to the fastest growing demographic in your community for treating them with such little respect. It’s not a smart business move to belittle them, especially if you want to tap into their growing influence.

I preach experimentation, risk taking and embracing failure. You experimented and took a risk… and you failed. Oh, did you fail.

Learn from your big mistake and start genuinely engaging with your own diverse community.

Do you have any tips for The Courant or any other news organization trying to serve its Latino community? Please share them in the comments.

 

Oh, and if you are wondering, here’s how I’d translate my statement:

As a courtesy to The Courant, for displaying its ignorance and lack of respect to its own community, let me say: you fucked up.

16 Aug

What does Google’s autocomplete say about the 2012 U.S. presidential election?

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As we know, Google’s mission “is to organize the world’s information” and one of the most influencial ways they help their users is through their suggestions via their autocomplete feature.

Autocomplete suggestions occur when you begin typing out a search. According to Google, it’s “algorithm predicts and displays search queries based on other users’ search activities and the contents of web pages indexed by Google.”

So, I was curious. What are Google users routinely searching for when it comes to the candidates for president and vice president?

Here are screen grabs displaying the current suggestions:

Google autocomplete results for Barack Obama

 

Google autocomplete results for  Mitt Romney

 

Google autocomplete results for Joe Biden

 

Google autocomplete results for Paul Ryan

Search details: These searches were done on August 16, 2012 at around 2:30PM PT. I used a “reset” Safari browser. I reset the browser before each search. I was not logged into Google. I did these searches from my office USC campus, in Los Angeles.

Guessing from the results, these suggestions change over time, reflecting the larger news of the moment.

π