CNN's Big Mistake, Buzzfeed's Big Success and More

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Friday, July 06, 2012

Bob looks at why some news organizations find it more important to be first than to be right, the benefits and risks of storing information in the 'cloud,' and the secret to Buzzfeed's success. Also, the history of the TV pitchman. 

First and Worst

When CNN incorrectly reported the fate of the individual mandate they fell into a long tradition of being first but not being right. Journalists have always wanted to report something first, but the benefits of doing so aren't clear -- especially for news consumers. Bob reports on the phenomenon and folly of being first.

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On Cloud 1010110

Last Friday, a thunderstorm in Virginia temporarily crippled part of Amazon’s ‘cloud’ computing service. After a series of back-ups failed, popular sites like Netflix, Pinterest, and Instagram were unavailable for several hours. Bob speaks with Nicholas Carr about the benefits and risks of cloud computing.


Latin Playboys - Crayon Sun

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The Government Wants Your Twitter Information

According to a transparency report released by Twitter on July 2, US law enforcement has requested information from the company 679 times this year.  Malcolm Harris had been fighting to keep New York prosecutors from accessing his twitter information. Earlier this week, a judge compelled Twitter to turn over data from Harris' account. Aden Fine of the American Civil Liberties Union talks to Bob about how this ruling could be detrimental to future tweeters.


The Hundred in the Hands - Recognize


Is 'Borrowing' the Secret to Buzzfeed's Success?

The website Buzzfeed is a compendium of internet clickbait – a picture of an 800 pound shark, Mitt Romney looking goofy on a jet ski, 11 Ways To Get Inspired Right Now. But while the content may be trivial, but the website is quite lucrative, so much so that it's begun to hire actual journalists. Slate tech writer Farhad Manjoo decided to try to figure out how the site is able to produce such great content.

Buzzfeed, created by Jonah Peretti, one of HuffPo’s founders. The site is a compendium of internet clickbait – a picture of an 800 pound shark, Mitt Romney looking goofy on a jet ski, 11 Ways To Get Inspired Right Now. The content may be trivial, but the money is anything but -- the site raised its 3rd round of funding this year, 15.5 million dollars it’s used to hire actual journalists, like former Politico writer Ben Smith. Slate tech writer Farhad Manjoo is an avowed Buzzfeed fan, and he decided to try to sleuth out how, exactly, the site churns out such delicious offerings. Turns out, the stuff isn’t necessarily springing fully formed from his employees imaginations..

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Buzzfeed Founder: No, Borrowing is not the Secret to Buzzfeed's Success

Bob talks to Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti about how the site works and how it decides how to credit previously existing work.

Quantic & Alice Russell - Una Tarde en Mariquita

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Pitch Perfect

Barry Becher, co-creator of the Ginsu knife and the master of the hard sell TV pitch died recently. In memory, we are re-airing an exploration of the world of television pitchmen by erstwhile OTM producer Mike Vuolo.


Weird Al Yankovic - Mr. Popeil

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