Monday, February 12, 2007

Regrettably, the quality of congressional Web sites was generally disappointing. As we outlined previously in our January 2006 e-newsletter The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly an overwhelming amount of content and links were outdated on Member Web sites. In some instances, it was clear that sites hadn’t been updated since 2003 when we released our last report. They Are Back …

Blogosphere Now The power of the blogerati
As a blogger myself (but one who does it for my own writing release and Heaven forbid, fun, and not money), I am sometimes taken aback by some comments I get from readers, especially the anonymous ones. Apparently I am 'supposed' to take my blogging far more seriously than I do. I've discovered many believe a blog's power and/or influence is just as strong in some ways than some mainstream media (as utterly ridiculous as that sounds). Therefore, when I express my views (as stupid or as grand as I feel that day), I'm 'supposed' to hold myself to the same impartial standards as a professional in the media. So much for freedom of speech, creativity, opinion and/or a participatory dialogue.

A brawl has broken out over an opinion piece in London's Telegraph by British literary critic John Sutherland, who deplores the damage done by sloppy online book reviewers. Sutherland wrote on November 12 about a damaging series of reader reviews on the Amazon website of Victoria Glendinning's new biography of Leonard Woolf.

John Sutherland ; [A New Zealand teenager who was sent on a computer training course as part of a police rehabilitation program has admitted to hacking into internet banking accounts and stealing nearly $NZ50,000 Teen hacker 'a very clever boy' ; Voters are all equal in NSW. But the good cash money son helps you jump the queue. Money Talks: Election Time ; Andre Elder on how young NSW legislature seems to be NSW politics in 2007 and beyond ]
• · It is the reaction, not the event, that determines leadership. Blogging politics In the first significant step towards free wireless broadband throughout NSW's most popular cities, the state government today announced a tender inviting Internet providers to bid for the large-scale development. NSW Minister for Commerce, John Della Bosca, announced Internet providers were being invited to take part in the Iemma government's initiative to provide free wireless broadband to the state's major CBD areas. NSW free wireless plan gets underway ;
• · Are these people in the corner office tone-deaf? The public is clamoring for clean corporate governance, and here they are cutting themselves cute little side deals with shareholders' money Crony art of Capitalism ; The internet bouncers
• · · Telstra and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation will announce shortly that they have established, separately, a presence in the cult virtual world of Second Life. They will join a growing throng of international companies - including Dell, Toyota, Adidas, IBM, and Intel - who have built a base within the virtual world, seeking to test its worthiness as a promotional and commercial tool. Australians in virtual world stampede ; Political journalists need to recall that fair and accurate reporting and informed debate are essential for a functioning society. A tired and emotional Glenn Milne’s rampage at the Walkley awards recently reminds us once again just how dodgy our political journalists are. We rely on people like Milne, Michelle Grattan, Paul Kelly, Laurie Oakes and the rest to inform us about our nation’s politics. They wield real power since they not only tell us the news, they tell us what it means as well.

The failure of Australia’s political media
• · · · Alexander Litvinenko died fighting a dangerous game against a Russia dominated by genuinely dark institutions.
The media is inevitably full of predictions about the Rudd/Gillard Labour leadership. John Hewson, Alexander Downer, Mark Latham, Rudd. The media reaction in each of these cases has been the same: “a fresh face”, “the dream team”, “a new generation”, positive coverage, polls shoot up. I was alerted to this funny story on Late Night Live. When the London Review of Books began taking personal ads, the content was quirkily British - as for instance in the ad from which I took the heading. “”Bastard. Complete and utter. Whatever you do, don’t reply - you’ll only regret it. Man, 38.” Apparently that ad was a huge success generating lots of inquiries. Now there’s a book based on the column full of all sorts of nonsense. Reality is darker than James Bond ; FRANK WARREN HAS been called many things. The most trusted stranger in America. A unique global guru. Today's Media "It" Boy. Father confessor of the world wide web Strangers' secrets have become a telling chronicle of the modern age.
• · · · · THE road to riches once swung through law, banking and business. But these days the young mega-rich are just as likely to be in fashion, film, or music. One in three of Australia's young multimillionaires aged 40 or under made their fortunes in the "creative industries", research shows. Among the older millionaires, only one in 10 were involved in creative pursuits. Young creative types the new mega-rich ; How's the book biz these days? I asked one of the real pros, Carole Baron, former topper at Penguin, G.P. Putnam's, Dutton, Pocket Books et al in her 25-year career, and today publishing director of a partnership between media heavyweights Time Warner and Bertelsmann A.G. that they call Bookspan. Hanging With Bookies and Bloggers
• · · · · · Free Excel Spreadsheets ; John Quiggin’s Wordpress dashboard recorded its 50 000-th comment. ; Ozblogistan and Club Troppo Missing Link makes a comeback!