aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Microsoft + Facebook = Social Advertising
Microsoft invests $240 million in Facebook, beating out Google to buy a 1.6% stake:
The deal is rooted in an online-advertising boom that has turned Facebook into the newest Internet darling. In recent years, advertisers large and small that once focused their spending on television, newspapers and other traditional media have started shifting their spending to a host of Web sites. Google has built its fortunes on that shift and others including Microsoft are rushing in.
Facebook presents a big opportunity for online advertising, in part because it collects detailed information about its users—such as their hobbies, favorite music, location, age, and gender—that can be used to place highly targeted ads.
I think no one in the mainstream press has truly grokked what Facebook has a shot at doing - Adsense driven not by search queries, but by personal profile. It could be a major, major new platform, if we, as a culture, take to it. It’s not a given, but it’s a very compelling vision.
Young (Southern) Democrats
Veracifier has an interview with Natalie Davis, professor of political science at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama, about us blue dots in really red states. She was asked about Democratic Student Organizations:
Davis: I think if you drove through Birmingham today, you’d find very few “W” stickers and many “BLUE DOTS”. It’s pretty dramatic. I think there is a slight increase in the number of Democrats on campus. On the Birmingham-Southern College campus, The College Democrats seem to be alive and well. This group has been active for a number of years. Presidential campaigns always bring out students, so this will go on for another year at least. If I were guessing, I’d say that the campus is 60-40 Republicans to Democrats; a few years ago, I would have put the ratio at 70-30. The war in Iraq accounts for much of the change.
I’d guess that’s true here too.
The Gender Genie
Inspired by an article and a test in The New York Times Magazine, the Gender Genie uses a simplified version of an algorithm developed by Moshe Koppel, Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and Shlomo Argamon, Illinois Institute of Technology, to predict the gender of an author. Read more at BookBlog, The New York Times, and The Guardian.
Georgia loves its Republicans
According to a new survey by Strategic Vision, a Republican-oriented firm in Atlanta:
Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Sonny Perdue’s overall job performance?
Approve - 57%
Disapprove - 32%
Undecided - 11%
Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Saxby Chambliss’ overall job performance?
Approve - 52%
Disapprove - 36%
Undecided - 12%
Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Johnny Isakson’s overall job performance?
Approve - 57%
Disapprove - 33%
Undecided - 10%
This video explores the changes in the way we find, store, create, critique, and share information. This video was created as a conversation starter, and works especially well when brainstorming with people about the near future and the skills needed in order to harness, evaluate, and create information effectively.
Via Merlin Mann, “Still, for thinking, capture, and live collaboration, paper is one of the best friends you’ll ever have. And as long as we use it properly, it’s going to continue to enhance the creation of all downstream media. Even the shiny, embeddable, Web 2.0 kind.”
On phony sanctimony and faux outrage
Digby on The Art Of The Hissy Fit:
I first noticed the right’s successful use of phony sanctimony and faux outrage back in the 90’s when well-known conservative players like Gingrich and Livingston pretended to be offended at the president’s extramarital affair and were repeatedly and tiresomely “upset” about fund raising practices they all practiced themselves. The idea of these powerful and corrupt adulterers being personally upset by white house coffees and naughty sexual behavior was laughable. But they did it, oh how they did it, and it often succeeded in changing the dialog and tittilating the media into a frenzy of breathless tabloid coverage. [...]
The political cost to progressives and liberals for their inability to properly deal with this tactic is greater than they realize. Just as Newt Gingrich was not truly offended by Bill Clinton’s behavior (which mirrored his own) neither were conservative congressmen and Rush Limbaugh truly upset by the Move On ad --- and everyone knew it, which was the point. It is a potent demonstration of pure power to force others to insincerely condemn or apologize for something, particularly when the person who is forcing it is also insincerely outraged. For a political party that suffers from a reputation for weakness, it is extremely damaging to be so publicly cowed over and over again. It separates them from their most ardent supporters and makes them appear guilty and unprincipled to the public at large.
Ritual defamation and humiliation are designed to make the group feel contempt for the victim and over time it’s extremely hard to resist feeling it when the victims fail to stand up for themselves.
There is the possibility that the Republicans will overplay this particular gambit. Their exposure over the past few years for incompetence, immorality and corruption, both personal and institutional, makes them extremely imperfect messengers for sanctimony, faux or otherwise. But they are still effectively wielding the flag, (or at least the Democratic congress is allowing them to) and until liberals and progressives find a way to thwart this successful tactic, it will continue. At this point the conservatives have little else.
NOTE: I’ve noticed that in the past few months folks have started referring to Digby as a woman. Over the years I have quoted Digby innumerable times and have been careful not to assign gender. When did it become clear that she was a woman? A simple search turned up this speech at Take Back America 2007 conference in June.
Donors in diapers
Elrick Williams’s toddler niece Carlyn may be one of the youngest contributors to this year’s presidential campaign. The 2-year-old gave $2,300 to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
So did her sister and brother, Imara, 13, and Ishmael, 9, and her cousins Chan and Alexis, both 13. Altogether, according to newly released campaign finance reports, the extended family of Williams, a wealthy Chicago financier, handed over nearly a dozen checks in March for the maximum allowed under federal law to Obama. [...]
Asked about the Williams family giving, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said, “As a policy, we don’t take donations from anyone under the age of 15.” After being asked by The Post about the matter, he said the children’s donations will be returned.
When Congress tried to limit contributions, our money-as-speech Supreme Court struck it down as a violation of the constitutional rights of minors:
With that ruling in mind, the Federal Election Commission wrote new regulations two years ago that tried to balance what it considered a legitimate desire among some children to make political contributions against the possibility that parents would seek to pad their donations by funneling money through children.
The regulations established a three-step test to determine whether a contribution is acceptable: It must be made with the child’s money, the parent cannot reimburse the child for making the donation and the contribution has to be knowing and voluntary.
I figure Hillary’s mighty machine must be vulnerable on this point too. Still:
This is the second time in two months that the Obama campaign has returned contributions from young children. The first involved donations from Maryland developer Aris Mardirossian’s two children, Matthew, 8, and Karis, 7; each contributed $2,300 to Obama’s primary campaign and $2,300 more for a possible general-election contest.