Friday, December 26, 2008

Loic Le Meur's Call For Twitter "Search By Authority" Is Misguided and Self-Serving

 I just read at TechCrunch , and then at his own blog, and with some dismay, Seesmic founder and entrepreneur Loic Le Meur's call for a "Search by Authority " feature on Twitter based on the number of followers a person has. I have to say that call is -- to be blunt -- 1) way off-base, and 2) very self-serving. I'll take the second assertion first.

Le Meur has as of this writing 15,196 followers on Twitter. Do you for a moment think that he would dare dream of such a provision if he had, say 800 followers or less? Of course not. Le Meur's also very wrong and really horribly arrogant to be direct in his statement that "we're not equal on the Web." Well. that's not the point at all, and I'm really surprised that he would even concern himself with what is essentially a teenage concern: who's better than whom?

I thought the whole deal about New Media was that it not only equalized us but was fluid: at one point a person was up, but given the winds of change, could give way to a new comer. Quickly. That's the fun of all this. As Farid Zakaria put it in the latest edition (as of this writing) of Newsweek on "The Global Elite , "Knoweldge is Power" and he was referring directly to the Internet's impact on culture.

He's right.

For Le Meur to even call for such a provision on Twitter is an insult to those of us who understand that considering the capabilities of anyone of us, we really are all equal. Moreover, it's an attempt to lock in place the favored position he thinks he deserves. 

Come on!  

Loic knows damn well that one way to add followers is to follow people on Twitter first. Thus, he has 15,928 folks he's following, which is just ahead of his number of followers and indicates he's been a user of that way to gain followers over time. Now, Twitter has taken on the act of restricting the number of people one can follow, making it impossible to use that system -- as LeMeur has done -- to gain followers.

So he has this advantage and now wants to lock it in. Ah, all for the love of power and the maintenance of authority. 

Forget it.

Now I'll take my first point, that Le Meur's off base. He is for the simple reason that I don't need or want some indicator to tell me what's important. I will do that for myself. If I want to pay attention to a new news brand on Twitter, Loic's idea could hamper their growth. An important call for action by someone small and liberal, could be blotted out by someone large and Republican and with "authority" as Loic see it.

No way.

Authority does not equal followers perfectly in this new society. It is an reward for being known for a moment, but also at times for gaming the system, again for a moment  and that's true in Twitterville -- let's be real honest here. 

Real authority, like it or not, is fluid and ever changing. It's a byproduct of power, which too is fleeting and today is tied to eyeballs that last for, again, a moment. I often laugh at those who believe they can capture it for themselves forever. Pure folly. Perhaps Loic can't deal with that kind of chaos of the fluidity of power, but I welcome it and will fight to make sure that it's maintained. As much respect as I have for Le Meur's accomplishments, this idea must be jettisoned.


UPDATE: fortunately, the blogsphere's rising up against this idea, not Loic, but the proposed plan.  Check out Sarah Lacy's blog on the matter.  

Football Reporters Online Teams up with Southwest NY Restaurant For Super Bowl Party and Live Broadcast from NYC’s World Financial Center

For Immediate Release
Annrose Fumai-Chachkes
Director of Marketing Operations
Football Reporters Online
Football Reporters Online Teams up with Southwest NY Restaurant For Super Bowl Party and Live Broadcast from NYC’s World Financial Center
Listen at
Hicksville, NY-December 12th 2008: Today Football Reporters Online (FRO) Announces their Live Super Bowl XLIII (43) Broadcast. The Staff of FRO will be Live on the Air from SouthWest NY, Located at 225 Liberty Street in the “#2” World Financial Center building from 3pm to 6pm on Sunday February 1st. This is a first for FRO and our Radio Host Website Blogtalk radio, as no single broadcaster has ever attempted a 3 hour show in any format, much less an on-location show. “We continue to be a sports media company of firsts,” says FRO’s Managing Partner, Dr. Bill Chachkes. “In 2007 we worked with Sports Business Simulations to bring fans of the NFL Draft the “First Ever” streaming Audio and Video of the Draft (13 Hours across two days) SBS’s CEO and FRO’s blogging partner Zennie Abraham will be a contributor to the show via remote live from Tampa, which is the site of this years’ contest.
Also visiting with us live from Tampa will be FRO’s Scouting Director and Contributor to the Black Athlete Sports Network Michael Ingram, and Giants’s Ken Palmer (whether the NY Giants are playing or not).
Joining Dr. Chachkes from the “Front Window” of the restaurant as Co-Hosts will be: noted author Wil Mara, who is currently writing a series of Books for St. Martins Press set in the back offices and Locker rooms of the NFL, and John ”JK” Kelly, Jon “Wags” Wagner, and Ralph Garcia, who are all senior contributing writers. Mr. Kelly Covers the NY Dragons of The AFL and The Giants for WFUV Fordham University Radio, Mr. Wagner is also a contributor to CAA, and Mr. Garcia covers The ACC, SEC, and The NFL’s AFC and NFC south divisions for FRO, as well as High School football In Nashville Tn. for various local outlets. Producing the show as she does for each “Live on Location” effort will be the talented Slavica Milosevska, who also doubles as FRO’s Senior investigative writer/reporter.
“Those who take the opportunity to join us in person won’t just enjoy the best Southwestern cuisine on the east coast, they will be treated to the “best football radio show they ever heard” said Dr. Chachkes. There will be plenty of giveaways just for showing up, including 3 copies of the “Gridiron Guide to the NFL Draft.” our new Annual Draft Publication. There will also be a Trivia contest (NFL Style) and a live “Ask the Experts” segment for those joining us in person. For the latest updates between now and Super Sunday, check the front page of our website:

It’s all about the mindset for these Titans

     It’s all about the mindset for these Titans
By Ralph Garcia-Sr. Writer Southeast Region-Football Reporters Online 12/24/08

As the 2008 season began one would look at the Titans schedule and pencil them in for seven to nine wins. After three quarters of the season this team never heard a word of that. They have managed a 12-1 mark and their attitude is the main reason. No matter how well or bad they play it’s the next opponent that’s on their mind. Not one player in the locker room feels they have done a thing yet. They have taken the approach that no matter the hype from the media they will stay focused on next week’s opponent. The goal was to make the playoffs. With that done their next goal is to win the AFC and the right to play in the Super Bowl. As safety Michael Griffin put it "It's set in stone now. We are the 2008 AFC South champs. But as a team, we can't settle for that. We can still get knocked out of the playoffs and this wouldn't really mean anything. The only thing it has guaranteed is that they will play one more game after the season. Beyond that is up to them. The feeling of having accomplished nothing so far has fed the hunger to win each and every Sunday. They come out hungry on each down wanting to punish their opponent every time they have the ball. Now they cannot play as they did against the Browns. The passing game will have to be more consistent. Wide receivers will have to step it up. The penalties will have to be kept to a minimum. As for the running game and the defense all they have to do is keep up the intensity. Three more regular season games left and then the second season begins. With the attitude this team is keeping a long run into the playoffs looks good. Maybe, just maybe, they can be playing on that last Sunday for all the marbles.

Zennie Abraham's Travel Problem Focus of CNN Live Appearance Today

I had the pleasure of sharing my iReport story with CNN's anchor Richard Lui who's a fellow Cal Berkeley graduate like myself. The original video on CNN is below and I told my story live today at CNN Headquarters. Thanks to Henry Hanks of the CNN iReport team and to the producers at CNN. 

Original video:

Pakistan moves troops toward Indian border | Antiwar Newswire

More at Antiwar Newswire: “Pakistan began moving thousands of troops away from the Afghan border toward India on Friday amid tensions following the Mumbai attacks, intelligence officials said.

The move represents a sharp escalation in the standoff between the nuclear-armed neighbors and will hurt Pakistan's U.S.-backed campaign against al-Qaida and Taliban taking place near Afghanistan's border.

Two intelligence officials said the army's 14th Division was being redeployed to Kasur and Sialkot, close to the Indian border. They said some 20,000 troops were on the move. Earlier Friday, a security official said that all troop leave had been canceled.”

Obama Shirtless? My Chest Is Better Than Barack Obama's

The sight of our President-Elect Barack Obama shirtless in Hawaii has some in a tizzy. But look, many brothers have hairless, sculpted chests, like me! My chest is better than President Obamas!