Woman Linked to MySpace Suicide Denies Blogging "Megan Had It Coming" Post
CNN is reporting that police are investigating Internet postings of someone posing as Lori Drew, the woman linked to an online hoax played on Megan Meier. Megan Meier, only 13 at the time, committed suicide last October after receiving cruel messages on MySpace. See our earlier post.
According to CNN, a blog post, "Megan Had It Coming," lays out Drew's would-be motives for getting involved in MySpace hoax. Lori Drew's attorney said Friday that she is not the writer. [JH]
Blogs Cited as Reason for Attorney's Change-of-Venue Request
The National Law Journal's Peter Page is reporting that a "Tennessee defense attorney is arguing for a change of venue in a racially charged double murder by citing postings on Internet blogs along with newspaper and television reporting." We may see more arguments like this one but I doubt they will be any more persuasive than the usual arguments citing newspaper and television coverage.
Hat tip to Adjunct Law Prof Blog. [JH]
40 Excellent Resources for Online Publishers
Lar-Christian Simonsen is writing a mini series that highlights excellent resources for online publishers, In the first part, he looked at forums and social media sites. In the second part, he takes it one step further and recommends some of the most useful blogs and websites containing information which is relevant for publishers. See also 17 Specialty Search Engines Every Web Developer Should Bookmark. [JH]
Did Practitioners' Blog Lead to Judge's Downfall?
According to Julie Kay's Judges Feel Legal Blogs' Glare, the Justice Building Blog (JBB Blog) was started in August 2006 by a group of criminal defense lawyers fed up with the way things were being run in the Broward (FL) courthouse. She reports, "in May, Dale Ross, chief judge for the Florida circuit court in Broward County for 16 years, stepped down following a year of embarrassing scandals, gaffes and bad behavior by his judges. Although pressure was building for Ross to resign for years, many legal observers say it would not have happened if not for the new Broward courthouse blog, JAA Blog."
Hat tip to Mitchell Rubinstein, Adjunct Law Prof Blog. [JH]
How to be a New Media Douchebag
The age of instant conversation is upon us. See how we got here: Danah M. Boyd & Nicole B. Ellison, Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1) (2007); Alex Iskold's Read/WriteWeb post, Evolution of Communication: From Email to Twitter and Beyond; A Brief History of Traditional and Social Media; and Snippets from the Digital Age (post published today, below)
Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan challenged bloggers around the world to contribute 400 words on the topic of "conversation." The resulting book, The Age of Conversation [Print: $29.95 | eBook: $9.99] contains contributions from 103 bloggers who responded to the challenge. It's a very interesting read (proceeds from the book are donated to charity). Will the economy of ideas implode under its own weight? Not according to Heaton and McLellan:
Far from seeing an implosion, we are living in a time of proliferation — ideas build upon ideas, discussion grows from seeds of thought and single headlines give rise to a thousand medusa-like simulations echoing words whispered somewhere on the other side of the planet. All this — in an instant.
You can follow-up and extend your interest in the topics covered in the book at the Age of Conversation blog. There's also a Facebook group, a series of podcasts with the contributors, and a custom Google search that allows you to search the blogs of all contributors. If all this hasn't got your attention, I hope you take the time to read Tim Leberecht's The Conversation Economy: When words speak louder than actions, the human voice becomes the marketing message. [JH]
Snippets from the Digital Age
Snippets from the Digital Age is based on the photos and quotes selected by Lynette Webb. [JH]
The Internet Singularity, Delayed
In The Internet Singularity, Delayed: Why Limits in Internet Capacity Will Stifle Innovation on the Web, Nemertes performed an in-depth analysis of Internet and IP infrastructure (capacity) and current and projected traffic (demand) with the goal of understanding how each has changed over time, and determining if there will ever be a point at which demand exceeds capacity.
From the executive summary:
To assess infrastructure capacity, we reviewed details of carrier expenditures and vendor revenues, and compared these against market research studies. To compute demand, we took a unique approach: Instead of modeling user behavior based on measuring the application portfolios that users had currently deployed, and projecting deployment of those applications in future, we looked directly at how user consumption of available bandwidth has changed over time.
Our findings indicate that although core fiber and switching/routing resources will scale nicely to support virtually any conceivable user demand, Internet access infrastructure, specifically in North America, will likely cease to be adequate for supporting demand within the next three to five years. We estimate the financial investment required by access providers to bridge the gap between demand and capacity ranges from $42 billion to $55 billion, or roughly 60%-70% more than service providers currently plan to invest.
It’s important to stress that failing to make that investment will not cause the Internet to collapse. Instead, the primary impact of the lack of investment will be to throttle innovation” both the technical innovation that leads to increasingly newer and better applications, and the business innovation that relies on those technical innovations and applications to generate value. The next Google, YouTube, or Amazon might not arise, not because of a lack of demand, but due to an inability to fulfill that demand. Rather like osteoporosis, the underinvestment in infrastructure will painlessly and invisibly leach competitiveness out of the economy.
Hat tip to beSpacific. [JH]
MacManus Identifies 10 Semantic Apps to Watch
Including several that are still in private beta in the must-read blog, Read/WriteWeb. [JH]
University of Minnesota Report on Wikipedia Authorship and Vandalism
"An ongoing study by University of Minnesota researchers has revealed that only one-tenth of 1 percent of Wikipedia editors account for nearly half the content value of the free online encyclopedia, as measured by readership. In addition, the computer science and engineering faculty and students have discovered that few edits inflict damage on the content and damage is typically fixed quickly.
The results of their study are reported in the academic research paper titled Creating, Destroying and Restoring Value in Wikipedia."
Google Discloses 2008 Plans For Google Apps
USC law school students and others who attend colleges and universities that use Google Apps for Education will be happy to hear that next year they will be able to work offline with Google Docs, Gmail, and Calendar using the Google Gears plugin. TechCrunch's Michael Arrington also reports that Google Sites will launch in 2008. An evolution of Google Page Creator, this app will allow allow businesses to create intranets, project management tracking, extranets and other custom sites.
But still no word on the release date of the much anticipated Google Brain. [JH]