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It's in the way that you use it

As if in answer to the question in my previous entry about how many people are actually participating in the online trends that seem so popular, Steve Rubel shares some of a new report on how people participate in online activities. Steve's perspective is from the marketing world, but I found Ross Mayfield's sharing of the data broken down by age more compelling.
The paper itself costs like 300 bucks, but there's also some information in the researcher's blog.

Speaking of making adjustments according to how much your audience likes to participate, the new Newsvine lets you do a lot of editing and rearranging to the (your) homepage.

Speaking of rearranging the front page, Digg.com reveals news stories fade after 1 hour - Most of the long tail/power law stuff isn't new, but this part is novel: "They found that digging decays in a "stretched exponential" way and the popularity of a story fades after just 69 minutes. In other words, the rate at which an article attracts votes slows down – the number of diggs continues to grow but at a slower and slower rate." So if MSNBC.com's users are like Digg users, we should be switching out our links at least every 69 minutes.  We generally change the cover more often than that I think, but I wonder if we have internal statistics that show anything similar.

I'm having a really hard time believing a print magazine called Blogger & Podcaster isn't a joke, but it looks like a real thing.

The Library of Congress has a new blog.

"An Enhancement to Existing Alarm Systems, FogSHIELD Rapidly Ejects Safe and Intense Fog in Under 3 Seconds" - Ironically, the company that makes it describes itself as "an industry leader in glass protection."  It seems to me, if you're trying to protect glass, the last thing you want is a burglar flailing about in the fog.  Regardless, I wonder if they make a portable one for dramatic exits and entrances.  Here's the actual site with some video. The last clip, "Protect your home" looks a little like the black smoke in Lost.

Ebert the movie guy says we spend too much time hiding illness.  He's in pretty rough shape because of some recent surgery but he's going out in public anyway (to a film festival) and screw anyone who doesn't like it. Interesting points.

The first ever Carnival of Space is up.

Get free audiobooks from Simply Audiobooks

Speaking of listening to stories, I was just reading about a group called Coyote Rep that's begun doing theater podcasts for some reason (because I guess there aren't enough new words to learn) they're calling them "soundplays."

"HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded DVD to MPEG-4 converter, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows."  It converts your DVDs so you can watch them on your iPod.

Six degrees of computer science. I was expecting a joke here but instead it's a list of brief helpful explanations of different fields of study.

Today's feelgood link of the day is a clip submitted by a reader named Jeff of a guy proposing to his girlfriend on the Price is Right and winning a lot.

Powerful anorexia public service ad.

Y'know what I think is more offensive than Imus's H-word?  MILF. (See also.) No decent person would use the phrase represented by the acronym in mixed company, but we toss around MILF like nothing.  (As I've acknowledged in the past, I'm not a woman, so my opinion doesn't amount to much in light of the fact that women seem to be embracing the term.)

There is not enough public access television sex advice in the world.  (No nudity or outright obscenity but she does say "penis power" and "vagina power" and talk about sex in weird spiritual metaphors for ten minutes.)  NOTE TO HIGH SCHOOL CHORAL GROUPS: Skip this one.

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps - The idea here is that the Bush administration is doing the things that someone who wanted America to be a fascist state would do.  Obviously this kind of article only appeals to a certain element of the online community, but it's been quite popular with that element so I share it here.

"How the CIA used a fake science fiction film to sneak six Americans out of revolutionary Iran." You might want to make this a Commuter Click because it's a little long.  I was expecting something like War of the Worlds that scared Iranians into doing something that allowed an escape, but really it's about setting up a fake movie production as an elaborate cover to sneak a CIA agent into Iran. Good story though.

Postcards from 1900 show the year 2000 - Boy does this blog come up with some good stuff.  It's amazing how many of these basically came true.

Renting Makes More Financial Sense Than Homeownership - Part of his reasoning involves spending money on stocks instead of a house, so it's not only renting vs. buying.

I happened to be poking through Watching Heroes and it reminded me to tell you that I was at some meetings at NBC HQ yesterday and found myself on the same floor as the SciFi channel.  I don't know what I was expecting, and maybe they keep the cool stuff in a place I didn't see (I was lost, not on a tour.  The place is a labyrinth.) but there was a disappointing lack of spaciness, creepiness, magicality or general supernaturalness.  It was like arriving at the North Pole and not finding Santa.

Speaking of Santa, Why we should stop having Earth Day.  If Christians has come to this conclusion about Christmas, where would we be today?

Linguists doubt exception to universal grammar - What's going on is that researchers had been looking at commonalities among languages and trying to paint a picture of what that means in terms of what we can say about literally every human - indeed, what it means to be human and think like a human.  But then someone claimed to have found an exception, a natural language that doesn't use the commonalities, which pretty much blows the whole theory out of the water.  But now it may be that the exception isn't so exceptional after all.  P.S. What else we learn from this article is that there's something called LingBuzz that lets us see what's hot in linguist paper downloads.

The New Harry Potter trailer is out.  The Leaky Cauldron has a different version than what's on the official site. I was very cynical about how this series of movies would hold up over time, but this looks really good.

Remove a dent with a hair dryer and a can of air. It's about making the metal expand and contract.