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Does Mashable have credibility re Twitter?

Sunday, April 12, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named skittles.gifThis article by Pete Cashmore at Mashable is now the top item on TechMeme. Permalink to this paragraph

Cashmore is one of very small number of users who Twitter includes in their Suggested Users List, which has resulted in huge growth in their number of followers.  Permalink to this paragraph

Three months ago, he had 28,621 followers. Today he has 417,347. In the same timeframe my Twitter feed grew from 16,062 to 21,108, which represents something of a baseline for users not gifted by Twitter with placement on the SUL. (Source: twittercounter.com.) Permalink to this paragraph

Did Twitter favor him with this gift because they like what he says about them, or to encourage him to be more favorable in his writing? Or some other reason? Did he pay for this placement? (Note that would, imho, be the ethical thing to do, and the same deal should be offered to everyone.) Permalink to this paragraph

Would Cashmore withhold or temper criticism of Twitter because he fears they may cut him off? Permalink to this paragraph

Would a reader question his impartiality? (This reader does. I can't see how he can help but be influenced.) Permalink to this paragraph

Does this kind of favoritism hurt Twitter as a medium for journalism? Permalink to this paragraph

Another question will likely come up at some point -- Will Cashmore have to pay taxes on this gift? It could turn into a pretty big liability, even in a non-ethical sense. Permalink to this paragraph

I wrote about this previously on March 12. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

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"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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