Simon Owens

Simon Owens is a tech and media journalist living in Washington, DC. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Email him at simonowens@gmail.com

by Simon Owens

In mid-November, an entrepreneur named Pat Flynn, who runs a popular website called Smart Passive Income, published a monthly update that has been a regular feature on his blog for several years: a report on the previous month’s income (or in this case, income for September. He apologized for being behind schedule). In it, he […] more »

by Simon Owens

Two years ago, journalist Clive Thompson was duped by an erroneous Wikipedia edit. On the day Yahoo had announced that former Googler Marissa Mayer would ascend the throne as CEO of the struggling company, Thompson visited her Wikipedia article and discovered, much to his shock, that Mayer had five biological children. This fact, he later […] more »

by Simon Owens

After his firing from CNN, Chez Pazienza spent several years adrift, unable to find steady work. In 2008, Pazienza, then a producer for CNN’s “American Morning,” was called into the office of his boss and, as he recounted later, informed that his name had been “attached to some, uh, ‘opinionated’ blog posts.” Unbeknownst to his superiors until […] more »

by Simon Owens

In late August, a moderator for the Landscape Photography Google Plus community posted an event page to the platform. As with Facebook events, Google Plus allows users to RSVP to events and also post photos and messages within them. This particular event announced a themed photography contest; participants had until September 1 to upload their entries […] more »

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 »