One does not need to be the world's greatest detective, or even follow routine commodities stories online, to deduce what's happening to oil prices at a given time.
In my case, all I need to see is the swarm of red text in the airline stock tracker I have in My Yahoo!
And yeah, you guessed it -- oil shot back up above $112 a barrel at the time of the adjacent screen grab and this writing.
Juan Antonio Giner calls this "commodity non-journalism": newspaper front page after front page, all carrying the same photo and strikingly similar, unfulfilling headlines trying to cover the scary crises in high finance.
I agree. Few in American journalism take on the challenge of explaining a story this severe and complex in terms that would be truly useful to everyday people that don't happen to be economists.
Tell me, friends: which of the following home pages, each representing a major news site on the Texas coast, has a more appropriate sense of urgency about the impending landfall of Hurricane Ike?
Before you cite any bias on my part because the second example, caller.com, is a Scripps site: The first example, khou.com, is a Belo site that I used to help oversee when I was regional director there. I have friends in both places, and great respect for both organizations.
I just found it interesting that khou.com, right in the path of the storm, seems a lot calmer (too much so, methinks) than caller.com, which was in the path until about 36 hours ago.
Night before last, I had nearly finished writing an item for this blog into the Web entry form offered by Drupal, the open-source site management framework that powers SI.
In wrapping up the post, I went fishing for a link, forgot to do so in a new browser tab, found the article, grabbed the link ... but when I went back to look for my post in the entry form, it was gone -- lost in browser history.
Please understand, I really like Drupal. But losing 45 minutes of work reminded me that WordPress, which I used to use, has Drupal version 6, which I use now, beat in two key areas:
Analysts, naturally, offer a range of estimates for worldwide use of social nets via mobile devices. At the conservative end, ABI Research says 140 million users by 2013. On the wild side, Pyramid Research says 950 million users -- about one seventh of the world population -- by 2012.
If that holds true, by then it will be so very 20th Century to use a mobile device just to make a lowly phone call.
EMarketer gives us two interesting tidbits regarding adoption of online social networks:
- Per research from Synovate, 58 percent of adults worldwide do not know what social networks are at all.
- In the same study, 36 percent of current social network users worldwide (45 percent in the United States) said they are losing interest in online social networking.
That last point matters most to Internet innovators. This year alone, we witnessed sprouting of several new branded social networks, some on the backs of existing networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn.