The Filter Bubble

In 2010, political organizer and web entrepreneur Eli Pariser introduced a new term with his book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You.

That an increasingly personalized web would create vastly different views of the world has felt more prescient over time. Though I’ve been familiar with Pariser and the book’s premise, I only now read this as a foundational text. It’s still worth the read, even to know where we were a decade ago.

Below I share my notes for future reference.

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5 things I told Google about innovative local reporting online

Before the full Online News Association conference kicked off in Atlanta, I was on a panel discussion about lessons from local reporting online during an event Google held for members of the media.

I was joined by Joaquin Alvarado from the Center for Investigative Reporting, Thomas Wheatley from Atlanta’s Creative Loafing and Bryan Leavoy from WSB-TV and the moderator Daniel Sieberg from Google.

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The word ‘peace’ was last published more than the word ‘war’ in 1743, shows Google Books

Google Books released an incredibly interesting time-waster research tool that can graph the use of any word in six language since 1500 from some 500 million digitized books, as I reported this morning for Technically Philly.

While, as showed there, lots of interesting Philadelphia-related graphs exist, I admit that even more broad conversation-worthy displays exist. (Find the tool here)

They show things like: We haven’t written more about ‘peace’ than ‘war’ since 1743.

Other interesting graphs:

What have you found?

Gigabit Philly for Google on 900 AM WURD Carole’s Technology Corner

With new host James Cartwright on Carole's Corner on Technology, on March 31, 2010.

After a few months since my first appearance on Carole’s Technology Corner, an hour-long Wednesday radio show on 900 AM WURD, I was asked back tonight, focusing largely on a collaboration of Philadelphians pursuing Google money for a super high-speed broadband network.

The fill-in host was James Cartwright, a former IT specialist for the City of Philadelphia.

Because of some difficulties, the audio wasn’t available to be sent my way.

Required reading to own your name in a Web search


I don’t want to repeat this anymore, so let me direct you elsewhere.

I got an e-mail from a young aspiring journalist, still in high school and already coming to the questions I just started coming upon late in college. Her question:

how do you buy spaces on a google seerch?

Hey, even she will tell you that I told her to work on her grammar and spelling. (Oh, word processors, what have you done to us?).

But more importantly, it made me realize I never wrote the obligatory “own your name in Google” post. I have surely touched on it in previous posts, but rather than repurpose that information or rewrite what has been written so many times, I say to young reporter or fresh-on-the-web journalist, find out why branding your name online matters, and then read the following – because they’ve already done the job.

Are WordPress, Blogger the next Angelfire and Geocities?

In the late 1990s, a host of Web sites democratized the Internet, giving the average Internet-user the chance to have his own online home.

In 2003, MySpace used the model and brought in a new age of social networking.

Last week I posted that MySpace is on the way out, and briefly mentioned that WordPress and Blogger are taking over the role of providing free, easy-to-manipulate Web presences.

Does that make them the next Angelfire or Geocities? Are they just another trend ready to be overcome?

My problems with Google applications: holes in these journalism tools

AP file photo from 05 June 2005
Getty Images file photo from 05 June 2005

Updated 6/27/10 @ 8:50 p.m.: Added additional Gmail improvement suggestions

Yeah, we’re all on Google’s bird. It may be a phenomenon, financially and socially, but I still have my complaints. I’m sure you do too (even if you just blame them for killing newspapers, like the French do.)

As Google applications have grown in popularity during the past few years, journalists have taken to see Google aps as a way to better unite newsrooms.

The advantages are clear, but having only used Google aps for a couple years, and a couple for half that, but I have already found a number of faults with these free Web-based services, particularly for journalists.

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Journalism Tool box: What every young journalist needs

As a young, aspiring journalist, I want to know what it is I need to have, what I need to know and what I need to learn. I’ve spoken to some friends, colleagues and with a few professional internships in my past, I think I am ready to fill the vaccum. What needs to be in every young journalist’s tool box?

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