The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Oh boy! Josh and Chuck have another list of the best articles they read this week, just for you and your spongy brain.

First, let me say they made me write this. They being the marketing department, the people who make others write about themselves in blog posts about contests that the writer figures into as a prize. Would it be too unsettling to write about myself in third person instead? Let me try that.

There's a pretty interesting debate going on over the possible valuelessness and perhaps even harm that's generated by clicktivism. Changing your Facebook profile picture to combat violence against children doesn't actually stop a kid from getting beaten up by her father.

A group of four kids coming home from the bars near my neighborhood last weekend were held up by some other kids, one of whom had a gun. While three (including two girls) were pistol whipped, one was shot in the knee or kneecapped in other parlance. I was running a search for news of the shooting, which soon turned into an investigation of the custom and effects of kneecapping.

So Chuck and I just returned from spending the last few days in New York for Internet Week and we had what one might call an incredibly wondrously great time. If you want to find out more, there's talk and other pics from people who were there on our Facebook page. And hopefully we'll have some kind of travel log up in the blogs next week.

TechCrunch ran an op-ed piece a couple weeks ago (thanks for the link, LOML) prognosticating that the relentless push of social media will soon be accountable for erasure of the line between business reputation and real life reputation. The bottom line, says the article's author, Michael Arrington, is that reputation is dead. In the near future, there will be nothing but reality. And is that such a bad thing? How horrible is reality? The guy who is ever chipper when you see him in the break room weekday mornings has been drunk at a wedding before. You know this because you've seen photos of him in suspenders, cigar dangling inexpertly between clenched teeth and all.

The Internet is a great thing, probably the single most important advancement for the human race of the last 50 years. We all love it and heck, I wouldn't have this job without it. But with every great innovation comes great problems and Internet predators top the list in that category. Most of us use the net to research information, do a little shopping, generally make life a little easier and connect with others on email and social networking sites. Then there are the creepy perverts of the world. In this case, the Internet moved stalking and preying on our youth from the parks and school yards to the privacy of their own homes.

Ratings gurus The Nielson Company recently revealed that "member communities," which means social networks and blogs, are now visited by 67 percent of the online community. This makes member communities the fourth most popular places to go on the Web, moving AHEAD of personal e-mail. Not only that, but it's growing twice as fast as any of the other top four -- search, portals, PC software and email.