Simon Owens

Simon Owens is a former newspaper journalist and an associate editor for MediaShift. He currently works as an online analyst for "New Media Strategies":http://nms.com/. You can read more of his writing at his "blog":http://bloggasm.com/ or contact him at simon[.]bloggasm [at] gmail.com.

by Simon Owens

From the very beginning, supporters of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) have touted its decentralized nature as one of its greatest strengths. The opponents of a political movement commonly attempt to discredit them by pointing to outside powerful interests secretly pulling strings, thereby jeopardizing its grassroots legitimacy. We saw this with the Tea Party, whose opponents [...] more »

by Simon Owens

This week on MediaShift, we are exploring the dramatically changing publishing industry in our Beyond the Book special series. Stay tuned for more pieces like this one in the coming days. Sign up for our new weekly newsletter on e-books and self-publishing here. Click here to read the whole series Tim Pratt was confident enough [...] more »

by Simon Owens

It seemed like the first-delivered iPad was hardly unsheathed from its box before News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, apparently unfazed by a rich past of misguided forays into Internet ventures, announced the launch of The Daily, which was immediately labeled the first tablet-only newspaper. And it was mere weeks — if not days — after [...] more »

by Simon Owens

As I spoke to Susan Orlean about the role the social web plays with her long feature articles and books, I couldn’t help but compare her to another famous writer for the New Yorker: E.B. White. Like Orlean, White had decided to leave the frantic mania of New York City life for a much quieter [...] more »

by Simon Owens

Vincent Racaniello, a professor of microbiology at Columbia University Medical Center, remembers the last flu pandemic, which occurred in 1968. “It’s a great contrast [with today], because back then you had to wait weeks for information, and the only way you got it was through newspapers and scientific journals, and now of course we have [...] more »

by Simon Owens

Over the years, many authors have tried versions of the online donation model, with mixed results. But one specific genre of writers, speculative fiction, seems to be experiencing a moderate level of success. Back in 2000, Stephen King became one of the first major authors to offer a book online using an “honor system” to [...] more »

by Simon Owens

Earlier this month, Randall Munroe, creator of the hugely popular web comic xkcd, announced on his blog that he would be publishing a book collection of the strip. Given the number of six-figure book deals that major book publishers have thrust upon popular bloggers, there’s little doubt that Munroe’s millions of monthly readers could have [...] more »

by Simon Owens

Paul Testa recently checked his voicemail and listened to a message from a hospice worker who lives in a conservative district of Ohio. He’d never met or spoken to this person before, but the worker reached out because Testa seemed like the right person to receive some important, inside information about the health care system. [...] more »

by Simon Owens

If only every blogger could link to stories the way Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit does. The libertarian blogger, with his hundreds of thousands of readers, offers up dozens of daily snippets that typically consist of a single sentence and a link. Sometimes it’s a headline or even a single word — “Heh.” As a result, [...] more »

by Simon Owens

If there’s any doubt that an online titan can be easily overthrown, look no further than the URL shortener Tinyurl.com. For years, it was the most popular of its kind and the dominant (and default) URL shortener for Twitter. Then a few months ago I began to notice that it had all but disappeared from [...] more »