NY Times updates it’s commenting system but still hates commenters

It’s amazing how long folks can ignore reality. On Wednesday, Nov 30, The New York Times announced a new version of their commenting system that still sucks.

They say it is about “improving the community experience” but it is really about assuaging their own egos. Let’s be honest here and point out that thousands of websites have no problems and several have developed systems that often make them better than the content.

Yet, here is the preeminent newspaper in the country and they are just now putting their comments on the same page as the article, and they are introducing threaded comments. LOL. The New York Times website, nytimes.com, was created 17 years ago in 1994, and they are just now making these changes?

Of course, the blogosphere is not even upset about this, rather it is the new “trusted commenter” function:

  • Trusted Commenters enjoy the privilege of commenting on articles and blog posts without moderation.
  • You must receive an invitation to become a Trusted Commenter. To be invited, you must have a lengthy history of comments that are thoughtful, discuss the issues politely and address the topics covered in the article or blog post.

Privilege…are they for real?

The truth here is that they are the problem, not us, the commenters. They don’t want to deal with their community or they think they are above it. Ivory tower and all that.

Maybe in the next 17 years of their web presence will they get over their revulsion of us lowly commenters.

I’m terribly vexed.

Sex In The Cloud: An Interview with Sex Blogger & Professor, Stef Woods

With websites like exRATED (http://exrated.com) popping up, allowing people to review their exes and aiming to be the ultimate Yelp for those looking for insights on potential romantic partners, and Facebook algorithms that can determine your sexual orientation without you indicating what it is, and increasingly more of our personal and private information being posted online, leading to sometimes embarrassing, if not life-altering consequences, a historically behind-closed-doors activity is now evolving to a more “out there” experience and forever changing how we view and approach sex.

I caught up with my friend Stef Woods, attorney, sex and relationships blogger, and professor of ‘Activism and Social Media‘ at American University to discuss the topic.

When I asked her what trends she’s noticing online with regard to sex and sexuality, here’s what she had to say:

 Interesting question. The huge growth in social media has led to a new sexual revolution of sorts. People now obtain much of their sex education from the Internet. The majority of sexual health and entertainment purchases are done online. And, the more that women and men write about sexuality, sexual health and sex toys online, the more that sex is normalized. Women can learn about sex during menopause or how to achieve their first vaginal orgasm. A gay teen can see a video, encouraging him to stay strong because it does get better. A couple can shop for their first toy together. Planned Parenthood has even implemented pilot programs that allow people to text and IM staff for answers regarding STIs, pregnancy, contraception and AIDS.

However, the combination of social media and sex can also lead to public scandal and private crisis. Would Weiner have lost his position without Twitter? Would the world have known the extent of Tiger Woods‘ indiscretions without social media? Would Phoebe Prince and Tyler Clementi still be alive if they hadn’t been subjected to cyber-bullying? Has social media increased the opportunities for people to engage in emotional and sexual affairs?

I personally believe that “sex in the cloud” is forcing us to deal and address sex in a more open and transparent manner, and that this can only be a good thing. I don’t believe AIDS would have declined as sharply as it did in the United States without the education and awareness the internet and email provides.

On the flip side, change can be uncomfortable for a lot of people, especially around a topic as sensitive as sex. I can’t even tweet about tampons without eliciting vehement commentary from a handful of men.

Which is why people like Stef, who is trailblazing a path to a more accepting, compassionate and informed sexual society, are so necessary — and impressive. It’s tough enough to talk about and sometimes even have sex in the comfort of your own home.  But doing it for all the world to hear and see, and having it captured in the cloud indefinitely — it’s a whole new ballgame.

*Stef Woods is a professor at American University, attorney, sexuality educator, writer, and women’s health advocate. She writes about relationships, sexual health, breast cancer, and dating on her blog, City Girl’s Blog. Next semester she will be teaching ‘Sexuality and Social Media.’

Sex In The Cloud: An Interview with Sex Blogger & Professor, Stef Woods

With websites like exRATED (http://exrated.com) popping up, allowing people to review their exes and aiming to be the ultimate Yelp for those looking for insights on potential romantic partners, and Facebook algorithms that can determine your sexual orientation without you indicating what it is, and increasingly more of our personal and private information being posted online, leading to sometimes embarrassing, if not life-altering consequences, a historically behind-closed-doors activity is now evolving to a more “out there” experience and forever changing how we view and approach sex.

I caught up with my friend Stef Woods, attorney, sex and relationships blogger, and professor of ‘Activism and Social Media‘ at American University to discuss the topic.

When I asked her what trends she’s noticing online with regard to sex and sexuality, here’s what she had to say:

 Interesting question. The huge growth in social media has led to a new sexual revolution of sorts. People now obtain much of their sex education from the Internet. The majority of sexual health and entertainment purchases are done online. And, the more that women and men write about sexuality, sexual health and sex toys online, the more that sex is normalized. Women can learn about sex during menopause or how to achieve their first vaginal orgasm. A gay teen can see a video, encouraging him to stay strong because it does get better. A couple can shop for their first toy together. Planned Parenthood has even implemented pilot programs that allow people to text and IM staff for answers regarding STIs, pregnancy, contraception and AIDS.

However, the combination of social media and sex can also lead to public scandal and private crisis. Would Weiner have lost his position without Twitter? Would the world have known the extent of Tiger Woods‘ indiscretions without social media? Would Phoebe Prince and Tyler Clementi still be alive if they hadn’t been subjected to cyber-bullying? Has social media increased the opportunities for people to engage in emotional and sexual affairs?

I personally believe that “sex in the cloud” is forcing us to deal and address sex in a more open and transparent manner, and that this can only be a good thing. I don’t believe AIDS would have declined as sharply as it did in the United States without the education and awareness the internet and email provides.

On the flip side, change can be uncomfortable for a lot of people, especially around a topic as sensitive as sex. I can’t even tweet about tampons without eliciting vehement commentary from a handful of men.

Which is why people like Stef, who is trailblazing a path to a more accepting, compassionate and informed sexual society, are so necessary — and impressive. It’s tough enough to talk about and sometimes even have sex in the comfort of your own home.  But doing it for all the world to hear and see, and having it captured in the cloud indefinitely — it’s a whole new ballgame.

*Stef Woods is a professor at American University, attorney, sexuality educator, writer, and women’s health advocate. She writes about relationships, sexual health, breast cancer, and dating on her blog, City Girl’s Blog. Next semester she will be teaching ‘Sexuality and Social Media.’

Web vs Internet: The Future of Going Online

Here is an interesting debate between Josh Topolsky and MG Siegler talking about Apple’s new iCloud strategy.

Josh is making the case that Apple is completely ditching the Internet, and MG is countering that Josh is missing the App revolution.

Josh: “When it comes to Apple, it feels to me like the company views the web as a technology which undermines rather than enriches its products. It wants you to talk to the cloud, but only through its portals and its gateways, in closed loops and private networks…(the iCloud comes) to fruition in terms of syncing, activation, and even file storage and management… but the company seems to have forgotten the one big piece…the web front-end for these services. Instead of pulling up the stakes here, Apple should be doubling down. The internet is not just going to go away.”

iCloud and Apple’s Truth


MG: “His entire argument is based on what I believe to be a fallacy: that Apple is going to completely turn their back on Web support for iCloud…Topolsky seems to do what many of us now do: interchange the meaning of the words “Web” and “Internet”…the Web (that is, the World Wide Web — HTML documents linked together).”

MG: “I woud argue that Apple is attempting to redefine at least a part of what the Internet is with iCloud…Further, I applaud Apple for not taking an approach to the Internet that is more or less creating another Google Docs clone. Or Flickr killer. Gmail replacement. Facebook eater. Etc…Apple is doing what they do best: re-imagining the way things are done.”

Thinking outside the browser box

After reading this all I can think of is my Bank of America app and all of its bill paying friends (Etrade, ATT, Fidelity, American Express). Would I rather sit in front of a desk with a computer to check balances and pay bills? Or, would I rather sit at a neighborhood cafe or be johnny-on-the-spot checking a balance right before I buy something?

The facts are obvious on this one. Apple is on to something with over 500,000 apps in its store and over 10 billion downloads, not to forget billions in revenue.

This means that Apple is at it once again “re-imagining the way things are done” as MG Siegler says. Imagine where this App fiasco will take us…causing a drastic reduction in web browsing, with the new norm being 75% of internet data use via apps and only 25% via browsers?

It appears to be heading that way since every major player has an App or an App Store. Heck, Apple is even switching over their operating system to Apps (see OSX Lion). We might even be witnessing the birth of the new operating system, the ultra-powerful but super-simple App OS.

Are we saying bye-bye to folders and windows and hello to bright shiny picture buttons?

Apple's new Launchpad (turning laptops into mobile App devices)

 

 

Why "The Social Network" Should and Will Win Best Picture

It’s no secret I liked the Facebook movie, The Social Network. Not because Aaron Sorkin grossly sensualized or flat out changed details and aspects to make the story more compelling. Nor because Trent Reznor added a wicked awesome soundtrack that moved me to bop along to the melodic beats of base in my seat. And not because Justin Timberlake made Sean Parker appear significantly more attractive and cooler than I assume he ever was, is or will be. In all honesty, the film more closely resembles Clerks than The Hurt Locker.

I liked it because I identify and empathize with the nerds, geeks and dorks of the world and I was tired of seeing this stereotype beat up and bullied (or as I stated in this TV Blogo interview, “shoved into lockers”) time and time again in film and television. It was nice to see intellect triumph over brawn or prominence of family pedigree – literally the little guy prevail.

The world has changed. The Social Network demarcates a seminal point in the history of humankind – where more and more our lives are being lived in a virtual world and as I’ve noted previously, the people who are skilled in this environment wield tremendous power and influence. Senators and heads of states are literally flocking to Silicon Valley to understand – to comprehend – the power of technology. You control the medium, you control the process, you control the message and the outcome. This is Darwinism, this is survival of the fittest.

So while The Social Network is lacking in many factually correct details, whether folks like it or not, Mark Zuckerberg is our modern day Braveheart – the Gladiator of geeks. And he’s alive. Not simply a relic of the past. He is the future. The fact that his story was made into a major Hollwood film, an industry dominated by sports stars, war heroes and action figures, is significant.

Tinseltown makes no secret it loves a good “rags to riches” underdog story, which is why (although I have no doubt Colin Firth’s portrayal of King George VI will rightfully win him Best Actor), The Social Network should and will take home Best Picture. It is the true sequel to War Games. It is our zeitgeist.

Why “The Social Network” Should and Will Win Best Picture

It’s no secret I liked the Facebook movie, The Social Network. Not because Aaron Sorkin grossly sensualized or flat out changed details and aspects to make the story more compelling. Nor because Trent Reznor added a wicked awesome soundtrack that moved me to bop along to the melodic beats of base in my seat. And not because Justin Timberlake made Sean Parker appear significantly more attractive and cooler than I assume he ever was, is or will be. In all honesty, the film more closely resembles Clerks than The Hurt Locker.

I liked it because I identify and empathize with the nerds, geeks and dorks of the world and I was tired of seeing this stereotype beat up and bullied (or as I stated in this TV Blogo interview, “shoved into lockers”) time and time again in film and television. It was nice to see intellect triumph over brawn or prominence of family pedigree – literally the little guy prevail.

The world has changed. The Social Network demarcates a seminal point in the history of humankind – where more and more our lives are being lived in a virtual world and as I’ve noted previously, the people who are skilled in this environment wield tremendous power and influence. Senators and heads of states are literally flocking to Silicon Valley to understand – to comprehend – the power of technology. You control the medium, you control the process, you control the message and the outcome. This is Darwinism, this is survival of the fittest.

So while The Social Network is lacking in many factually correct details, whether folks like it or not, Mark Zuckerberg is our modern day Braveheart – the Gladiator of geeks. And he’s alive. Not simply a relic of the past. He is the future. The fact that his story was made into a major Hollwood film, an industry dominated by sports stars, war heroes and action figures, is significant.

Tinseltown makes no secret it loves a good “rags to riches” underdog story, which is why (although I have no doubt Colin Firth’s portrayal of King George VI will rightfully win him Best Actor), The Social Network should and will take home Best Picture. It is the true sequel to War Games. It is our zeitgeist.