Halloween Friday free for all links

No tricks, just some treats from my online reading pile, with no particular theme in mind and in no particular order of importance:

• Inc. magazine has profiled Kevin Rose, the founder of the highly popular Digg user-generated news site, calling him “The Most Famous Man on the Internet.” The new media elites who follow him intensely are much more celebratory than that:

“There’s the next Rupert Murdoch . . . “He’s the media mogul of the future.”

But Rose started out humbly, with $1,200 in his pocket and an idea of individuals finding news of interest to them, submitting it on a social media site to share with others, who collectively determine its popularity:

“Today, the website of nearly every large media outlet — including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Fox News — has a Digg button, a little advertisement that encourages readers to submit stories to Rose’s website. When Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation bought the Journal last year, one of its first moves was to cut a deal with Digg by which the paper’s online edition, for which the company normally charges $89 a year, would be made available to Digg users free of charge.

Now that’s influence — when the present-day Rupert Murdoch is eager to do business with his supposed mogul-in-waiting. It’s a testament to how dramatically Digg’s model has altered the dissemination of news and information. Read the rest of the story. Here’s more on Rose by a Silicon Valley site that seemingly follows his every move.

• With the economy a very hot topic, a Digg-like site has been launched. Tip’d labels itself as “a financial community for financial news, tips and ideas.” It’s also been dubbed “a timely Digg clone.”

• Another new media star, paidContent.org founder Rafat Ali, says now’s the time to become a journalist entrepreneur:

“This is probably the best time in history to be a journalist. I know there’s a lot of fear in the industry with all the layoffs and it’s hard to look beyond 2009, but the reality is that the craft of journalism and the need for it is the highest than any time in history…”

• Netscape founder Mark Andreesen, whose most recent venture is the creation of Ning.com, which allows individuals and groups to form their own social media sites, this week suggested that some newspaper companiess just ought to pull the plug on their print editions for good. Web maven and Salon.com co-founder Scott Rosenberg says that ain’t happenin’:

“Newspaper companies are clinging to their dwindling print profits because they can’t yet see a way to keep anything close to their current pay scale and benefits in an online-only world. And the hardest pill for the industry to swallow is that there may not be any way to do that.

• The gay-oriented magazine Out.com takes notice of the numbers of gay male political reporters on the campaign trail:

“ ‘I think that the theater of politics is of real interest to political reporters,’ says one of them. ‘And a lot of gay reporters are theater junkies as well. The candidates are divas, larger-than-life personalities, and I think there’s a definite appreciation for those characters.’ What was never-give-up Hillary, after all, if not an electoral Mama Rose?'”

What a hoot! “Our Boys on the Bus” beats the hell out of any other story I’ve read about the political media during this season. The rest of it is a bit more serious, but I just found it a really fun read.


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