Archive for 'Internet'

I am sure most of you guys take the freedom on the Internet for given. If you live in a western country, this is a consequence of being able to access any website and to publish anything you feel compelled to.

That is not the situation on all parts of the world, however. On some countries people can’t access basic websites like Hotmail or Wikipedia. On others, they can’t have blogs or create websites. On others yet, they can’t even own a computer with Internet access!

Over at DailyBits we did a compilation with the Top 10 Countries Censoring the Web.

Here is a quote from the 10th position, Pakistan:

The rundown

Pakistan started censoring the web in 2000, when the main target was anti-Islamic content. Over the time, it seems, they liked the possibility to control the Internet traffic, and have been increasing the scope of their censorship system ever since.

How does the censorship work?

There are only three international gateways on the country, and all of them are controlled by the Pakistan Telecommunication Company. The government, therefore, is able to monitor and block most unwanted traffic using filtering software (although their technical apparatus is not sophisticated).

Internet service providers are also required by law to monitor the activity of their clients to make sure that they are not accessing prohibited websites.

What kind of content is blocked?

In the first years of the web censorship in Pakistan, the main target was anti-Islamic content and websites that were related to political autonomy movements (e.g., the Balochi one). In 2003, however, the Pakistan Telecommunication Company declared that they would also officially block all pornographic websites.

In 2006 mainstream western websites, including Wikipedia and several newspapers, got blocked as well. The intensification of the censorship was propelled by the episode of the Danish cartoons that contained images of the Prophet Muhammad.

Check the link above to read the full article and see the other 9 countries.


Copyright by Daily Blog Tips.

Web Censorship: The 10 Worst Countries To Blog From

3 Newsletters You Should Definitely Subscribe To

When I first started using the Internet, I was a bit afraid of subscribing to email newsletters. Why? Because I thought that people would just spam the heck out of me with offers and sales pitches.

Lately, however, I started subscribing to a few of them, and I must confess that some provide a real value for the subscribers. The trick is to identify people that genuinely want to build a community and help their readers (as opposed to helping their own pockets…).

There are 3 particularly that I think you guys would benefit from.

The first one is the WordPress Newsletter from my friend Joost de Valk. Joost is a Jedi Master when it comes to WordPress, and he shares all his tips on the newsletter and on his blog. He is also always looking for the coolest plugins, making it a must read if you use WordPress.

The second one is the email list from Jason Calacanis. Sure, the guy is a bit controversial, but he sure knows the online publishing and startup environment. His emails are always packed with information and opinions. If you consider yourself a web entrepreneur, go check it out.

Finally, Darren Rowse also launched his Problogger Newsletter a while back. It is basically a complement to the blog, but it brings some insider information, and access to some of his stuff before it goes live on the blog.

Now what about you, what newsletters are you subscribed to that you would recommend to other people? Let me know and I will check them out.


Copyright by Daily Blog Tips.

3 Newsletters You Should Definitely Subscribe To

Social Media Charity(This story has been updated with a newer idea here: A Plan for Social Media Sites (and users) to Give Back)

Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Slashdot, Newsvine, NowPublic, Yahoo! Buzz.  Between these seven sites, traffic to a particular website can easily exceed 100,000, potentially much higher.

With so much power to drive people to various websites across the Internet, why are none of them greatly involved with charity?  I’m not talking about donating – I’m sure that the companies or their executives donate.  I’m talking about making a difference.  I’m talking about using their power to drive traffic and applying it to charity websites.


The reason that they don’t is that they (other than Slashdot) are strictly driven by the actions, likes, and intentions of the users.  You could argue that there is a human hand or two manipulating the system from time to time, but that’s an entirely different post. (more…)

The decline of newspaper popularity has been attributed to the rise of the internet and the proliferation of web-based content. With an extremely low barrier of entry and variable cost, the web allows anyone with a computer to become an independent publisher: As a result, the amount and variety of content online far exceeds print publications in most fields.

So how can newspapers survive and do well as a business in the future? Perhaps by cutting back and going more niche to provide content that features deeper analysis and investigative reporting. In an article entitled ‘The Elite Newspaper of the Future’, Philip Meyer suggests that the money and audience comes from specialized, not general media.

This particular quote explains in greater detail:

I still believe that a newspaper’s most important product, the product least vulnerable to substitution, is community influence. It gains this influence by being the trusted source for locally produced news, analysis and investigative reporting about public affairs. This influence makes it more attractive to advertisers.

By news, I don’t mean stenographic coverage of public meetings, channeling press releases or listing unanalyzed collections of facts. The old hunter-gatherer model of journalism is no longer sufficient. Now that information is so plentiful, we don’t need new information so much as help in processing what’s already available.

Just as the development of modern agriculture led to a demand for varieties of processed food, the information age has created a demand for processed information. We need someone to put it into context, give it theoretical framing and suggest ways to act on it.

Scaling back on the all-you-can-eat content buffet in favor of more exclusive material does not just appeal to a hardcore audience.  People get their information from one another, not just through the direct consumption of media. Catering to the leadership audience, the well-educated news junkies and opinion leaders, will help spread your content in the long run.

Will this topical specialization make newspapers profitable? Maybe. If newspapers can’t compete with blogs and online news sites in terms of speed and variety, perhaps they can trump them in terms of depth or trust. After all, feature-length content with solid, investigative reporting is not something you’ll often find on most blogs or personal sites on the web.

Daily newspapers will always be around, although they will be read less as more people come to have persistent access to the internet. A newspaper gives you the opinion of the journalist, but a blog throws in the comments of other readers. The web also gives you instant social interactivity, which is appealing for people who want to connect over what they’ve read.

To be able to share an opinion on what you’ve just read is enormously satisfying. Good content can be one-way but I think its increasingly important to socialize information and make it a facilitator for communal interaction. Print publications of the future would do well to consider developing some form of an online component to complement their offline product.

On the other hand, the problem of information overload is very real. Just think about it. More and more online/print publications are created everyday: to track and read many of them is very time consuming. People will be forced to pick and choose what to read. Some blogs will get dropped from a feed reader, others will remain. It’s easy to predict who survives.

Blogs that just repeat information already published elsewhere are providing value that can be substituted. To put it another way, these sites are completely dispensable. They lose out when a choice has to be made due to time/attention scarcity. These sites are usually the ones that just regurgitate content released on mainstream media or other larger blogs. Their identity is virtually unrecognizable. A great logo and design won’t save them.

Sites that serve as a comprehensive and reliable filter of information on a topic will be read, but they’ll always have to compete with other fast-paced news publishers. To aggregate information is incredibly easy. To process, analyze and situate it within a big picture context while offering an intriguing/unique perspective is considerably more difficult.

Those who can do so will be trusted: they are a valuable knowledge asset for any reader.

Detailed, unique content immediately stands out on its own, even without extensive  marketing efforts. People don’t just want to be informed, they want to better grasp a topic in all its nuances. The joy of consumption lies not only in the skimming of a news story but the processing of new perspectives to enrich a personal worldview or professional need.

Publications that provide such content will always have an audience. In the end, it’s just a natural consequence that results from the consumer’s problem of information overload.

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The Future of Content in the Age of Information Overload

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Local is As Local Does

It looks like search engines have officially trumped the Yellow Pages when it comes to customers looking for local businesses. Data from comScore and TMP Directional Marketing shows that this year more people are turning to search engines after last year’s showed that Yellow Pages were on top.

What the Data Shows

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