IDEA: “No News Today”

Instead of filling up news broadcasts, magazines and blogs with meaningless, repetative, irrelevant “news” items that really aren’t “news” – I think it would be nice if said publications and platforms instead announced: “No News Today! Everything’s pretty much the same…concern yourself with something else!”

People would have less time to spend worried about events that a) don’t affect them, and b) aren’t being accurately reported in the first place.

There wouldn’t be this constant need to “consume” news. Either there is news, or there isn’t. I don’t consider anything related to celebrities news. That’s entertainment. I also don’t know if the Style Section is really “news”. Political scandals should have their own platform dedicated to that form of entertainment, with just a reference in main broadcasts. Deaths of celebrities? It’s not news once its been reported! I don’t need to hear about memorials for someone unless its the current President or Vice President! Otherwise – mention it once, and move on!

Living in Israel changed the way I view the news. For one thing, I didn’t watch it on TV. I relied on Facebook to let me know what was buzzing, from statements made by government officials to rockets firing into Israel’s borders. If I wanted more information on a particular story, I could expand the link or look into it further on other sites. But it wouldn’t be jammed into my face 24 hours straight, making all else seem insignificant.

The question I get asked most when telling people I lived in Israel was “Is it dangerous?” I always tried to answer as truthfully as I could, based on what I know to be true.

I’d explain how Tel Aviv is a sort of bubble. How we know what’s going on but don’t let it color our daily lives and interactions. That no one would get anything done if all they did was sit home all day watching commentary or live footage of the latest border attack or anti-Israel rhetoric spewing from extremists (or the opposite, coming from settlement disputes.)

I think we’d all be a lot happier, if more naive, with a more stringent definition of “news”.

IDEA: An Infographic of Typical Social Network Users

Last week I posted a comment on Google+ (after remembering that it exists for the 1st time in a few weeks), about how there are too many social media networks to be consistently active in all.

I then wondered: there must be an infographic to illustrate the typical user profile, for each social media site. For instance, typical Flickr users might be completely different from Instagram users in terms of age or profession. I think it would be extremely interesting to see such data, and tried to find some fun, graphically composed poster with bright, bold colors and shapes pointing out just what that data is from a macro and even entertaining perspective.

I came across a few interesting infographics: Social Media Demographics, on Flowtown.com; and Twitter Users Profile, on InfographicsShowcase.com to name a couple.

I’d love to pool these and other related concepts and presentations together, and see what pops out. Or, would getting real actual user data constitute for privacy violation?

“Become a light bulb instead of a laser beam…You can either brighten a single point with laser precision, or else use the same light to illuminate everything around you.”

– Nicholas Negroponte

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