Living life outloud online

New York Magazine has a great story about how teens and young adults live their life online with no concerns for privacy or who sees what they post. Here’s a short excerpt that I think sets the tone for the article…

One night at Two Boots pizza, I meet some tourists visiting from Kansas City: Kent Gasaway, his daughter Hannah, and two of her friends. The girls are 15. They have identical shiny hair and Ugg boots, and they answer my questions in a tangle of upspeak. Everyone has a Facebook, they tell me. Everyone used to have a Xanga (“So seventh grade!”). They got computers in third grade. Yes, they post party pictures. Yes, they use “away messages.” When I ask them why they’d like to appear on a reality show, they explain, “It’s the fame and the—well, not the fame, just the whole, ‘Oh, my God, weren’t you on TV?’ ”

After a few minutes of this, I turn to Gasaway and ask if he has a Web page. He seems baffled by the question. “I don’t know why I would,” he says, speaking slowly. “I like my privacy.” He’s never seen Hannah’s Facebook profile. “I haven’t gone on it. I don’t know how to get into it!” I ask him if he takes pictures when he attends parties, and he looks at me like I have three heads. “There are a lot of weirdos out there,” he emphasizes. “There are a lot of strangers out there.”

As you read it, force yourself past the first racy anecdote. It gets better as you go.

Yahoo patent to take down customized portals

The US Patent office has just issued Yahoo a patent for customizable web page. In 1997 Yahoo filed a patent for a “dynamic page generator” that allowed a user to save a page and then have that page generate customized information. Just stop for a second and think about all the websites that offer this service that are now in violation of Yahoo’s patent. Just to name a few Google, Amazon, Bloglines and just about every major corporations intranet portal. The real question now is whether Yahoo will attempt to enforce it’s patent and request payments for everyone that uses there patented technology.

Gannett reports on business strategy

Mega newspaper corporation Gannett reviewed their business strategy back in December in a report to investment banking house Credit Suisse. The reports are only available as mostly boring hour long audio files, so you can go and see all the highlights posted on the Innovation in College Media blog. Here’s a couple of highlights that made me take notice.

  • Gannett has trained 380 new videographers.
  • Local and hyper-local content is the key in a news conversation future.
  • They will focus on developing thousands of microsites.

Local and state politics online

While a lot of my internet-politics post will focus on the 2008 presidential race, I found Arkansas Representative, Steve Harrelson’s blogger blog Under the Dome last night. He serves as the Arkansas House of Representatives Majority Leader and posts to his blog multiple times throughout the day from on the floor of the house. His posts primarily consist of summary of bills that the legislature is considering, his opinion on those bills with some quotes from some other members of the legislature thrown in for good measure and every once in a while some live-blogging from the house committees that he serves on.

I’m really proud that a member of Arkansas’ legislature is doing this. I wonder how many other state legislatures (or even Congressmen) have blogs they post to from the floor when their body is in session? I’m thinking that it can’t be too many. This blog is a great example of what open government should be.