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

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 »

by Simon Owens

Many PR agencies are hesitant to issue any guarantees on whether a particular piece of content or advertisement will “go viral,” leading millions of users to toss it around through their various social media platforms. One way that they try to achieve this is by approaching the people often most responsible for the viral spread […] more »

by Simon Owens

When it was reported in 2006 that the FTC would begin forcing word-of-mouth companies — which paid people to hype products to their peers — to disclose their marketing campaigns, Brian Clark predicted at the time that these rules would apply to bloggers as well. Now it looks like his prediction is coming true — […] more »

by Simon Owens

Recently, those who visited the front page of the Miami Herald’s website began seeing a sidebar item labeled simply “Your Blogs.” If you clicked on the link it would take you to a page containing a series of headlines and little snippets of opening paragraphs in a news feed format. If you clicked on one […] more »

by Simon Owens

Since its launch in late 2004, Digg has tried its hand with several outside advertising networks, going from an off-the-shelf Google AdSense arrangement to working with Federated Media before finally signing a deal for Microsoft to deliver its display advertisements. But in April of this year, Digg announced it would end its deal with the […] more »

by Simon Owens

Early last month, the Wall Street Journal reported on a dying breed of newspaper baseball beat journalists. “As newspapers cut budgets and payrolls, the press boxes at major league ballparks are becoming increasingly lonely places, signaling a future when some games may be chronicled only by wire services, house organs and Web writers watching the […] more »

by Simon Owens

In November 2007, Time Magazine columnist Joe Klein wrote a piece for the magazine chastising House Democrats for wording in their version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Not long after the column hit the web, Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald wrote a piece arguing that “for the sake of its own credibility, Time Magazine needs […] more »