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About Mathew Ingram

Mathew Ingram is a technology writer and blogger for the Globe and Mail, a national newspaper based in Toronto, and also writes about the Web and media at www.mathewingram.com/work and www.mathewingram.com/media.
Reznor’s Bad Internet Tax Idea

There’s a great interview with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails up at CNET, in which he talks about his experience with the Saul Williams album he recently released as a “pay what you want” download (which I wrote about here).

The Truth About CES

Brilliant. That’s all I can say about Adam Frucci’s post at Gizmodo on “Ten Reasons We’re Doomed: CES Edition.” Bloody brilliant. It describes every tech trade show I’ve ever been to. Some of my favourite highlights:

More and More People Turning to Online Video

We appear to have two data points related to online video that are worth paying attention to.

Number one: According to the BBC, Nielsen says that traffic to some online video sites has doubled since the Hollywood writers’ strike in October turned the TV into a wasteland of reruns and unfunny late-night talk shows (although it may be stretching things to call the Nielsen figure a data point, since I can’t find a report that has those numbers in it).

New Version of Yahoo Browser-Based Music Player

In keeping with the “open media” vision described by Yahoo Music exec Ian Rogers in his latest call to arms (which I wrote about yesterday), Yahoo launched a second iteration of its browser-based music player — this one allowing anyone to add a line of Javascript and have a Yahoo-branded player pop up wherever there’s an mp3 link.

Facebook Joins Data Portability Group

This is pretty big news, it seems to me, after all of the back-and-forth about data being trapped inside Facebook — the social-networking site has joined the Data Portability Group, along with Plaxo and Google, and will now be helping come up with a standard for moving personal data into and out of different networks.

Blogosphere Being Hard on Wikia Search

I’m generally in favour of bashing those who need to be bashed, and I definitely like taking the wind out of the Web 2.0 windbags (you know who you are), but I think the blogosphere is being a little hard on Wikia Search. Mike Arrington says that it’s a letdown, Allen Stern at Centernetworks

MixxMaker Facebook App like a Modern Mix Tape

Music has to be one of the most social forms of content — most of us, even if we listen to our favourite music alone, like to talk about it, tell others what we like and why. That’s why things like Last.fm and Pandora are so popular (although I can’t use Pandora because I’m Canadian and they recently blocked us Canucks for licensing reasons).

The Data Portability Issue Isn’t Going Away

So Robert Scoble has his account suspended by Facebook for using an automated script to harvest his contacts and their email addresses (see my previous post), and all hell breaks loose.

Scoble, whose account is later reinstated, is denounced for being a publicity-seeking limelight hog, and for using a script from Plaxo that is an egregious breach of Facebook’s terms of use (since it uses optical character recognition to grab email addresses, which the site keeps as image files).

Who Does This Facebook Data Belong To?

In his post about Facebook disabling his account, uber-blogger and Facebook tart Robert Scoble admits that he was doing something that breached the site’s terms of use — specifically, he was running a script that accessed the social network and “scraped” data from it.

Paying Writers Based on Traffic

It may be a new year, but we’re still talking (well, some of us are anyway) about an old issue: namely, the idea of paying writers based on the traffic they get.

The focus of the debate right now is Gawker, where Nick Denton has apparently started paying his bloggers based in part on how many views their posts get. This one has been around for awhile, but now it’s official thanks to a memo on (Gawker-owned) Valleywag.

Google Ruining Christmas? Get a Grip

Since I’m full of the milk of human kindness after a wonderful Christmas, I’ve been trying to remain calm in the face of all the Google Reader hysteria about shared items and so on — but wiping out on some ice yesterday and landing on my ass has made it hard to stay serene (combined with gashing my hand playing Wii baseball), so I can’t help pointing out that much of the moaning about “privacy” is just ridiculous.

More Blogs & Journalism Discussion

Scott Karp makes a good point in a post about Nick Denton taking the helm at Gawker again (something I also wrote about on earlier). It’s pretty much the same thing I’ve been saying over and over when I talk to companies — including media companies — about blogs and social media. Let me say it again: Blogs are just a publishing system.

Journalism Is Different Than Surgery

Via David “DigiDave” Cohn (who got it from Dan Gillmor), I came across a mind-boggling piece of commentary from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in which former NBC correspondent and journalism instructor David Hazinski argues that “citizen journalism” needs to

Denton Himself Takes Over Gawker

According to the one-man investigative team known as Brian Stelter — formerly known as the guy behind the blog TVNewser, who beat the pants off most of the media reporters at the major dailies while he was still in school — the new editor of Gawker is none other than the founder of Gawker Media, the secretive and unpredictable Nick Denton himself. Stelter says he has it confirmed through several sources.

The Battle Between Facebook & OpenSocial

Facebook appears to be trying to gain some ground against Google’s as-yet-unreleased OpenSocial effort by opening up its developer platform for other sites to use.

LinkedIn Changes Put it Ahead of Facebook?

LinkedIn, the business-networking site that many (including me) see as an also-ran in the social-networking game, has launched some new features, including a redesigned homepage and a rollout of its previously announced developer platform, which it hopes will make its network as extensible as Facebook has with the F8 platform.

Guess What: People Run Wikipedia

It’s been awhile since we had any Wikipedia controversy, so maybe it’s about time for a pile-on — you know, something about how Jimmy Wales doesn’t care about quality, or how he runs the “open source” encyclopedia as his own personal fiefdom, or how people run around using strange technical terms that no one outside the Wikipedia cabal can understand (okay, that last one is totally true).

This time it’s the revelation of a top-secret… wait for it… mailing list only for insiders! According to a breathless piece in The Register:

Keller of NYT on Citizen Journalism

Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, gave a long and passionate speech in London last week at a memorial event hosted by The Guardian — the full text of which is here — and in it he said many valuable and wise things about the practice of journalism (although he kind of glossed over stuff like Jayson Blair and Judith Miller, but whatever).

Where are the Web Ad Clicks Coming from?

Interesting post by danah boyd — a sociologist who has become known for focusing on social networks such as MySpace and how young people use (and abuse) them — about the billion-dollar question:

Who is clicking on all those Web ads, and what does that say about Web advertising and about the online economy in general?

Wikia’s ArmchairGM

I was watching the interview with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on Om Malik’s show on Revision3, because I’m always interested in what Jimmy is up to, and he mentioned a site called ArmchairGM, which I don’t recall hearing about before — or at least paying much attention to.

Om was talking about how he wanted a combination of his blog and a wiki, so that his community could contribute and get involved more, and Jimmy said he saw ArmchairGM as being close to that kind of thing.

BusinessWeek Misses the Point on UGC

BusinessWeek magazine has a piece about user-generated content and how it’s old and busted now — people really want professional content, apparently.

Quarterlife Goes from Web to TV

There were rumours even before the U.S. writers strike started that it might lead to one of the networks picking up Quarterlife, the new Web drama about twentysomethings created by Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, the team behind Thirtysomething and My So-Called Life, and now it appears that those rumours have come true.

NBC, which like other networks is looking down the barrel of an empty TV season, said that it has picked up the show and will run it starting in January.

Google’s Spectrum Play Hubris?

There have been rumours about Google getting involved in the wireless wars in the U.S. for some time now, and the company itself has admitted many times that it is interested in expanding the number of people who use the mobile Web and in increasing the amount of competition there is in the mobile business.

Bono Getting Jiggy with Facebook

Maybe it’s the future of music and maybe it’s not, but I think U2’s experiment with Facebook and the iLike widget is a pretty interesting move.