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links for 2009-05-19

  • Big changes are in the works for Twitter and their realtime search features, says new Twitter VP of Operations Santosh Jayaram, changes that may spell the end of the status quo both for the microblogging platform in particular and the entire concept of organic searching in general.

    Jayaram, who previously worked on Google's search quality team, spoke two weeks ago at a TIEcon 2009 preview conference about the changes Twitter is planning to implement to their search features, providing attendees with a compelling look at how the microblogging platform may rise up to challenge even Google in terms of indexing Web 2.0 content.

    (tags: search twitter)
  • "Computers have changed how Americans do almost everything. Soon they may alter national security. There is much more on the information superhighway these days than information. There is a traffic jam of conversation facilitated by e-mail, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networking tools (often collectively called Web 2.0) that facilitate discussion, debate, and the exchange of ideas on a global scale.[1] This unprecedented capacity to listen and respond is inexorably restructuring the ways in which information is created and used.

    Social networking has already profoundly redefined business practices–think eBay and Craigslist. During the 2008 presidential election, the Obama campaign mobilized social networking in revolutionary ways to garner popular support and raise money. The impact of social networking will not end with business and politics. National security is next." Not sure the author's bias here.

  • It’s a tough day for the credit card industry. In spite of all the lobbying spending ($9,170,573 in 2009) and all those campaign contributions ($7,367,066 in 2008), they couldn’t prevent a landslide loss in Washington. Today, the Senate approved a bill to place regulations on the credit card industry for the first time in decades by a vote of 90-5. The House approved the bill last week by a lopsided 357-70 margin.

    There are very few measures in influence when looking at such a lopsided victory, particularly on what would once have been an uphill battle against the credit lobby. All three lawmakers representing Delaware, that little slice of bank heaven, voted for final passage of the bill. The only ones staying true to their contributors and constituents were the three South Dakotans in Congress.

  • Turning itself into a kind of electronic vanity publisher, Scribd, an Internet start-up here, will introduce on Monday a way for anyone to upload a document to the Web and charge for it. The Scribd Web site is the most popular of several document-sharing sites that take a YouTube-like approach to text, letting people upload sample chapters of books, research reports, homework, recipes and the like. Users can read documents on the site, embed them in other sites and share links over social networks and e-mail.
    (tags: books internet)
  • Sometimes our perspective on language isn't exactly rational: we love some words and absolutely despise other ones. What inspires such deep feelings, and why does word hate often seem to run hotter than word love? In the case of words like impactful, discussed in yesterday's Red Pen Diaries, the bad vibes may arise because of an association with vacuous management-speak or other institutional jargon. But other times a word is disliked because it just sounds, well, icky. A look at some of the favorite and least favorite words selected by Visual Thesaurus subscribers offers some insight on verbal attractions and aversions.
    (tags: language)
  • John Seddon explains why targets make organisations worse and controlling costs makes costs higher.
    This elegant dissection of the organisational madness that pervades our culture was given at the 2009 conference of the Human Givens Institute.

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