Twitter and its Impact on American Governance

I was happy that one of my articles was selected for Communication Currents, an amazing produced by the National Communication Association. Communication Currents is an online web magazine of the National Communication Association. This site is designed to translate current communication scholarship published in scholarly journals of the National Communication Association. Working from recently-published journal articles, Communication Currents makes scholarship available in a form understandable and usable for broad audiences, including communication experts working with lay audiences, instructors and students, the press, and other interested members of the public. Essays in Communication Currents highlight the relevance of communication scholarship; demonstrates the way in which communication impacts our world; and demonstrates the leadership of NCA in the study of communication.

My article dealt with how microblogging was being used by government official as a way of communicating with their constitnuents. The article can be found here.

The new technological policy direction of the United States.

As we say good-bye to the old administration and the old technological initiatives are set by the wayside (remember the Internet is/are a bunch of tubes, classic, classic), it is important to look at President Obama's technological policy point and see a possible road for the nation's technological infrastructure. According to the White House website, it seems that Obama's team is focusing on ensuring "the full and free exchange of ideas through an open internet and diverse media outlets." The centerpoint of this is protecting network neutrality and protecting the individual's right to privacy with regards to companies' ability to breech individual's rights.  The rest of the subpoints dealing with the free exchange of ideas deal with content management and distrubution, as opposed to a focus on the political structure of the Internet. Protect the openness of the Internet, encouraging diversity in media ownership and protecting children while preserving the first amendment all tend take the free exchange of ideas outside the realm of ivory tower of Washington D.C. and into the hands of those who do produce and control the media within the World Wide Web. If we are to look at Obama's choices of technological focus through the social filter, it would seem that Obama wants to remove more of the barriers to connection to the Internet. Hopefully, this will include a renew committment to municipal high speed Internet and wi-fi. The digital divide issues still affect people. There are still several area around my regions that only have dial-up, if any Internet access. These must be a prioity to insure that the nation can catch up with the rest of the connected world.

Phishing on Twitter

It is a rare occurrence that I would stumble across a timely topic. However, it seems that my academic hypothetical discussion has turned into a real world threat. I've been working all day and I finished eating dinner when I see the warning issued by Twitter. The questions that I asked from the last post really seem to hit home. So, I felt that a quick response would be appropriate. (Man, 3 posts in one week!!!) The question of "do identity thieves twitter?" seems to be yes after this threat hit the network. Even though it was using the oldest phishing trick in the book and I hope nobody fell for this trick. But, I believe this is a scary point in the microblogging phenomenon. I gotta believe this is the first step in more sophisticated attacks on identity in the Twitter network. Because it is really easy to post information in this format, we can accidentally expose information that could be a treasure trove for social engineers and identity thieves. This would expand the damage that can be caused by black-hat Twitterer from harmless to harmful. The purpose of this post is not to scare anybody. The purpose is to create awareness about this situation and I hope people will be more careful about what they say on a microblog.