"I am trying to figure out when it became so important to care what Ashton Kutcher or other celebrities burped out of their brains."
That's a good question, cjon. And it's something I've been considering. I guess this shift happened when high-profile people began connecting directly with an audience through these social channels. I think that comes with a responsibility. Also, everything these people think is now on display and capable of being scrutinized. It's not really that what they say is important -- rather, it's just likely to be amplified by millions of people across the Web.
Twitter and other social media forums are platforms for shaping opinions around the globe. Comments by celebrities, such as Ashton, are one thing. Let's hope we never see individuals or organizations gain the attention to the degree Hitler did by using Twitter and other sources to spread their messages and infect minds around the world.
Facebook's Graph Search may face some profound challenges and risks, first, because Facebook users haven't been thinking of their posts as product reviews; and second, because Facebook will now have to contend with the social-network equivalent of SEO "gaming" of results.
While the publishing industry reels from the pressure of digital books and freely available content on the Web, one branch of the industry, the publishers of academic books and journals, remains above the fray. How is this possible and how long will it last?
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