Alex Blaze

The Bloggerist, #2: If you offer a free widget, I will take said free widget

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 20, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics, Politics, Transgender & Intersex, Weekly Reader
Tags: Associated Press, Barack Obama, Drudge Retort, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John McCain, online ads, online spending, public financing, Republican National Committee, town hall meetings, transgender, Zoe Brain

The RNC wants you to use their town hall meeting count-down widget:

I can't argue with that. I mean, a widget told me, so it's gotta be important.

What Hunter said about the RNC's count-down clocks:

Of course, all the "clocks" they've come up with have been, and forgive me for finding this both intriguing and hysterical, demands that Obama pay attention to them. [...]

By all appearances, they're obsessed with trying to get Obama to grace them with his presence. McCain's constant invitations to appear with Obama have been a wee bit pathetic; I've never seen a campaign so insistent on making themselves the opening act for the other party's candidate.

More fun blogging odd n' ends after the jump.

  • TBP has an admirer:

    I don't like the connotations that the trans activists spew. They have lost their minds. That's what happens when one can't come to grips with what they were supposed to have already sorted out.[...]

    The queers over at that place [Bilerico] can't even differentiate between male and female.

    I moderated one of her comments because it was pretty insulting, so she's restarted her anti-trans hate site. Because I believe in freedom of speech as a stable, monolithic, Enlightenment value, I'll link so you all can stop by and say hi.

    She also complains about "After the jump" and promises to post everything on the front page, ironically, after the jump on her first blog post. I guess it's OK, since her site says "Read more."


  • Project regular Zoe Brain's blog is going to be archived by the Australian government for its "national significance" and "lasting cultural value." Congrats!

  • Sometimes, I see this and I just don't know...
    That's from xkcd.

  • Obama's not accepting public financing:


    iPhone users: Click to watch

    Harsh....

    It's fun watching Republican heads spin on this one, as if John McCain's record on public financing is anything close to honest:

    McCain opted into the public financing system for the primary, then when it didn't suit his purposes he opted out. When FCC chairman David Mason said McCain couldn't just do that without the permission of the FCC, Bush had Mason removed. Like every other arm of the federal government Bush lays his hands on, the FCC is now politicized for the benefit of the GOP. This is the organization Obama is supposed to trust to oversee a fair election?

    What this is a testament to is the power of the internet as a fund raising tool and how it's changing the way campaigns are run. Obama's created the biggest internet fund-raising machine America's ever seen, and now he doesn't have to either go corporate or go public.

    And check out this related item....


  • Obama spent about $3 million on online ads, Clinton $508,400.

    While she spent less money overall on advertising, the portion of her advertising budget put towards online ads was smaller:

    Obama allocated about 4 percent of the $75 million he spent on TV to digital ad related purchases in 2008, but during her entire campaign, Clinton put just over 1 percent of the amount she spent on television towards the Web.

    And there's reason to believe that online ads pay back in spades:

    Some online ad proponents believe online advertising -- particularly ads that get users to provide their contact information to sign up for e-mail updates, volunteer or donate -- have helped reap cash for political candidates. [...]

    Eric Frenchman, chief Internet strategist at political consulting agency Connell Donatelli, agrees with the notion that savvy search efforts contributed to the success of both Barack Obama's and John McCain's primary season wins by helping them build lists of potential donors. Frenchman handles much of the McCain camp's online advertising. Commenting on his Pardon My French blog last week, he wrote, "We get $3 - $4 in donations for every $1 we spend online."

    Of course, I'm not unbiased when it comes to a discussion of the efficacy of online ad spending, but now I have evidence!


  • The AP has asked a left-wing blogger to take down short blockquotes from their articles:

    The owner of the left-wing site Drudge Retort said Monday he is considering going to court to challenge a claim by The Associated Press that posting short excerpts of wire service stories violates its copyright.[...]

    Anthony Falzone, executive director of that project, said the material that had been posted to Drudge Retort did not appear to infringe the wire service's copyright. "The AP's position is rather startling," he said. "They (Drudge Retort) use very small snippets of Associated Press stories to generate discussion on the Web site about the issues. That would seem to be a rather clear fair use."

    David Ardia, director of Harvard's Citizen Media Project, agreed. "The Associated Press has picked a bad fight here," he said.[...]

    Michael Kwun, a lawyer with the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, added that facts are not copyrightable. "When you have a factual report in a news story, the copyright in that is often said to be thin because it's factual," Kwun said.

    The blogosphere, especially politically-oriented blogs like TBP, exists because of the Fair Use Doctrine. It basically says that small pieces of copyrighted work can be used as long as it doesn't take away from the value of the original.

    The AP claimed that it didn't fall within Fair Use because it's "hot news," which has pretty high standards:

    As a result, in National Basketball Ass'n v. Motorola, 105 F.3d 841, 844 (1997), one of the few cases to address a "hot news" claim, the Second Circuit set an exceptionally high standard for such claims to be viable, requiring, among other things, that the information be time-sensitive; the defendant be in direct competition with the plaintiff; and the continued publishing of the "hot news" would so reduce the plaintiff's incentive to produce the product or service that its existence or quality would be substantially threatened.

    What the blogs do by taking small snippets and linking back helps the market value of the AP by driving traffic and building credibility. The AP isn't going to stop writing articles because people are posting a few paragraphs.

    While I'm not surprised that the AP is trying to cut down on this, considering that there are sites out there that blatantly violate Fair Use, the Drudge Retort seems like a strange place to start.


  • Just like it saddens me to see this anywhere on anything that calls itself a blog:

    NB: VitaVagabonda is copyright protected. Do not quote without permission.

    Blogging is all about interactivity. That's pretty much the entire point of it - linking, quoting, commenting, blogrolling. Blogs that don't allow comments, have statements like the one above, don't publish comments that they don't like just because they're critical - sorry, those aren't what the blogosphere's about.

    Besides, Fair Use doesn't support that claim.


Recent Entries Filed under Weekly Reader:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


I find it interesting that the GOP website has lots of pictures and info on Obama and not one pic of McCain can be found.

I wonder if they are working on the "porn theorem" - where the more you are denied porn, the more you want it?

Alex, I visited your admirer's blog, and s/he knows *way* too much lingo and schools of thought about trans stuff to be a right-wing hater. I suspect that this person is an HBS adherent, and/or a self-hating transsexual. S/he has invested a lot of time and energy on trans issues to be a disintereted party.

That AP thing really pisses me off. I'm considering making it blog policy that we not quote the AP. If they don't want us, we don't want them.