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An interview with “Bill”?

Blogger Francis Heaney posted an interview that he claims to have had with “Bill” about his flash mobs. Bill’s interview answers seem to agree with what we read in Wasik’s And Then There’s This, but I still questioned the validity of the interview. After some Googling, I found Heaney to be the author of a few books. He blogs for Stay Free! Daily at http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/, a collection of blogs claiming to be an online magazine (“blog-azine”?) voicing media and consumer culture criticisms. Not a big-name publication, but the site’s content does seem to support some of the views we just read.

Heaney does appear to be from Brooklyn – local, as far as proximity to the original flash mob goes. Whether the interview is legitimate or not, it’s interesting to see a blogger that took interest in the origins of the flash mob.

I read through a few of the posts on Stay Free! Daily’s site http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/ and found a post by “carrie” on January 19, 2009 titled “YouTube, the Search Engine?” I had trouble linking to the individual post, but here’s an excerpt that seemed relevant to some of our recent discussions:

“This New York Times story about about the use of YouTube as a search engine caught my eye. Apparently, people — particularly kids — are using YouTube as their primary search engine for research projects, news, and other information. The Times paints this trend as the inevitable march of technology but I can’t help but see it as the devolution of our collective brain. What we don’t get in this story in the fact that defaulting to video-only search is, um, pretty stupid. While I can understand why a 9-year old would do it, you’ve got to wonder where his teachers are to give him a basic lesson in media literacy: video and text communicate differently and each has its strengths and weaknesses.”

This is the original New York Times article. Her last comment about the strengths and weaknesses of video and text to communicate information seems all too familiar.

What would she have to say about my reliance on a Google search for information about Francis Heaney?

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