Fake News

The fine folks from Science News have done an extensive study of how fake news vs. real news is shared and accelerated across the internet:

An analysis of more than 4.5 million tweets and retweets posted from 2006 to 2017 indicates that inaccurate news stories spread faster and further on the social media platform than true stories. The research also suggests that people play a bigger role in sharing falsehoods than bots.

Martha Temming, Science News

The fundamental dynamics of this result is not terribly surprising.  It is human nature to react with surprise to ‘far fetched’ stories.  However, in today’s modern world and with social media being the vehicle that people use to share and distribute information, it would appear that a typical social user’s reaction of ‘surprise’ is manifested through a Twitter Re-Tweet or a Facebook Share.

Header image source: FactCheck

Social Media Stats

A compilation of social media statistics and sound bytes from across the Internet.

  • Facebook currently has in excess of 350 million active users on global basis.Six months ago, this was 250m. This means over 40% growth in less than 6 months.
  • Flickr now hosts more than 4 billion images.
  • More than 35m Facebook users update their status each day.
  • Wikipedia currently has in excess of 14m articles, meaning that it’s 85,000 contributors have written nearly a million new posts in six months.
  • Photo uploads to Facebook have increased by more than 100%. Currently, there are around 2.5bn uploads to the site each month.
  • Back in 2009, the average user had 120 friends within Facebook. This is now around 130.
  • Mobile is even bigger than before for Facebook, with more than 65m users accessing the site through mobile-based devices. In six months, this is over 100% increase.
  • There are more than 3.5bn pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, etc.) shared each week on Facebook.

Stock and Flow

I just love this article/post Stock and Flow from Robin Sloan at Snarkmarket. I have been trying to put my finger on a way to articulate how modern media and content works today and struggled to find the best way to sum it up. I think this article does this very effectively.

Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people that you exist. Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the con­tent you pro­duce that’s as interest­ing in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what peo­ple discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, build­ing fans over time. I feel like flow is ascendant these days, for obvi­ous reasons, but we neglect stock at our own peril. I mean that both in terms of the health of an audi­ence and, like, the health of a soul. Flow is a treadmill, and you can’t spend all of your time run­ning on the treadmill. Well, you can. But then one day you’ll get off and look around and go: Oh man. I’ve got noth­ing here.

This really hit home for me. In the article, Robin takes the simple economics metaphor of stock, the amount of “money in the bank”, and flow “the rate of change” and applies it to modern online and social media. So services like Twitter and Facebook are the “flow” and things like blogs and publishing are the stock. Yes, sites such as Twitter are interesting and have changed the landscape, but this approach just reinforces to me that blogs and the development of sustainable articles, applications, and services are just as critical to the modern media landscape.

Via Kottke

Get A Cluetrain

Today I found myself on the website of The Cluetrain Manifesto (Buy at Amazon) which also has a list of 95 theses, in many ways guideposts for social media. This book is a now almost 10 years old, but its points are still relevant. In fact, I would argue the 95 theses are exponentially more relevant today than when the book was first published. I’d advise keeping a copy of the 95 theses at your desk and to refer to them regularly…daily if possible. Here are a few points that I particularly liked:

Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy

There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.

Companies can now communicate with their markets directly. If they blow it, it could be their last chance.

Companies must ask themselves where their corporate cultures end.

If their cultures end before the community begins, they will have no market.

I could go on. The pace of change in how business and society operates is moving at warp speed. To paraphrase Ferris Beuller (aka Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago): Business moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Tweets Of The Week

  • Updates to Gmail Mobile look cool…if you have an iPhone. No Blackberry love with this release. I need an iPhone. http://bit.ly/3Xys8D #
  • Lets hope Mr. Shearer can help Newcastle avoid getting relegated this year. http://bit.ly/4na3Yi #
  • Now everything on FB has comments, including Wall Posts. http://bit.ly/uYnV #
  • Something is up with Twitter. Tweets from past two weeks are gone. #
  • wow, UNC is romping. It may be over already. #
  • Looking forward to a good NCAA final game. Bummed no Big East teams made it. #

Flickr Album Maker

Found this out on delicious. Its an amazing Flickr Album Maker that generates either a photo album/gallery or a slideshow simply by putting in different paramaters from your Flickr account. The super cool thing is that you can select photos that have multiple tags (steve AND/OR ond05). This is something I’ve been looking for to manage the multitude of photos on my Kids’ site. I guess the only downfall is that it does not automatically update when I post photos to Flickr since the HTML is static. Need to look into this.