Is it really threatening to think that the person sitting next to you, raving about a new product, might be a paid employee of the product's company
? Perhaps, but only if you adopt a posture that views 'average' consumers as stupid and overly swayed by word-of-mouth. The criticism of this guerilla marketing technique relies on the idea that buzz is a privileged channel of recommendation, and that by generating fake buzz, some inviolable principle of society is being flouted. But really insidious marketing has been around forever (viz.-- cigarette manufacturers as early as the 1960s used to hire models and actors to sit in bars and smoke their brands, looking glamorous, and then leave their cigarettes behind at the bar). We ought not worry so much about advertising encroaching on sacred territory-- there hasn't been such a thing for a very long time.
Never accuse NPR of being unresponsive to critics-- they have apparently done a complete 180 degree turnaround
on their linking policy. Now they 'actively encourage' people to link to them on the Web...
This is really interesting because it speaks volumes about the locus of control of one's space/place/identity on the web-- what is
under a Web author's control is the content and design of his/her website. Everything else that attaches to that (parasitic links, commentary in other websites, news stories) is left to other people to produce. So saying that someone can't link to your website is as fundamental a misunderstanding of how the Web works as anything. Linking is what constitutes the 'webbiness' of the whole endeavour. As we've seen in the past year, when corporations (and now non-profits) try to control the activities of their Internet 'readers', they're decried as foolish, stupid, totalitarian, and impotent to do anything. No surprise that these 'deep linking policies' don't take; they're incompatible with the medium they're meant to control.
I am, apparently, also a cyclical blogger. While I did begin this weblog by diligently posting a few times a day, or at worst, several times a week, I now seem to have lapsed into a weekly posting schedule. Entirely unintentionally...
It's not as if there's nothing more to say, or even that there's less that's interesting on the web. It's just that I don't ever want to turn this weblog into a chore. As it stands now, there's usually something exciting that crops up about once a week or so, and so I'll catalogue it when I spot it.
Here's a good example: this week, I was lucky enough to witness the kick-off of TeachFirst
, a UK-based initiative based on the Teach For America model
. It was really wild and wonderful to be in a roomful of people with a real vision for the future of London, and even stranger to have people gather around me to hear me tell about my own Teach For America
That's definitely worth blogging, don't you think?
File this under 'Projects I Should Have Done'-- the academic study of the yard sale (aka car boot sale). I'm definitely a 'Hunter-Gatherer'.
After spending the past few months living and breathing broadband, imagine my surprise when I saw my thoughts made real on the street. That's right, I saw my first 'warchalking' yesterday in Oxford
. Although I don't have a wireless Internet card in my laptop, I'm tempted to buy one just so that I can camp out in front of the house and try to connect.