That Were The Week That Were: March 6, 2011

Welcome to my weekly review of some of the things I’ve found interesting or entertaining while trawling around on the web during the past seven days.

This week’s highlights include a new way of looking at some literary classics and an examination of the effect of anonymity on internet discourse. A warning though before we proceed, there ain’t going to be too much in the way of additional comment from me this week, primarily because I’ve just finished a big lunch and there’s half a bottle of wine in the fridge with my name on it.

So, without any further ado, here…we…go…

Links of the week:

First up a piece from the excellent Puck Daddy blog looking at how Twitter hoaxers caused a stir at the NHL trade deadline. A day when everyone is scrabbling around for any bit of gossip they can get their hands on, it makes reporters all the more vulnerable to red herrings and outright lies. We journalists love Twitter, but we’ve sure as hell got to remember not to fall into the trap of believing anything that’s been retweeted by an apparently credible source is therefore fact. Tread carefully, and check, check and check again.

Another interesting piece about online identity, this time from the LA Times and looking at anonymity and the impact it has on the quality of online discourse. I’m a firm believer that people should be prepared to put their name to their actions online and the evidence suggests it leads to a much more civil conversation. Which has to be good for everyone.

This was definitely one of the best things I’ve come across in a while, especially since it has inspired me to mess around with the technique. Liverpool Echo journalist Jo Kelly, who I studied with in Newcastle as a trainee, has used Wordle to reinterpret six great works of fiction as word clouds. It’s fun thing to play around with, I even had a go at making a cloud of one week’s Express page leads, and now I’m always thinking of things that I can transform into these graphics. Thanks Jo!

Tweet of the week:

Sometimes Twitter is informative, sometimes it is first with the breaking news, hell, sometimes it even plays a part in the downfall of tyrants. Then again, sometimes it just makes you smile at the ridiculous things people say or do:

http://twitter.com/#!/Dan_Blood/status/42521243857072129

And finally:

There are some stories that just leave you with more questions than answers. I really haven’t got time to explain how baffled I was, on so many levels, by this scoop, not least because I’m off to pour myself some wine. See you next week for more randomness from around the web.

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