Can Facebook updates can affect your credit report?

That’s what Erica Sandberg says for the San Francisco Chronicle on their personal finance blog.

Watch your settings, and watch what you share.

Update: Read Write Web: The Facebook Privacy Debate: What You Need to Know

New York Times going with the frequency-model?

I’m cautiously optimistic about this and am excited to see it play out. There is dire need for continued experimentation.

The strategy being discussed this go around is a Financial Times-like metered system (they call it the “frequency-model” – more at Portfolio). This would, theoretically, allow the New York Times to retain its reach and users driven to it via search, links, etc, while deriving revenue from heavy readers:

At an investor conference this fall, Nisenholtz alluded to this tension: “At the end of the day, if we don’t get this right, a lot of money falls out of the system.”

But with the painful declines in advertising brought on by last year’s financial crisis, the argument pushed by Keller and others — that online advertising might never grow big enough to sustain the paper’s high-cost, ambitious journalism — gained more weight. The view was that the Times needed to make the leap to some form of paid content and it needed to do it now. The trick would be to build a source of real revenue through online subscriptions while still being able to sell significant online advertising. The appeal of the metered model is that it charges high-volume readers while allowing casual browsers to sample articles for free, thus preserving some of the Times’ online reach.

Read all about it in New York Magazine’s “New York Times Ready to Charge Online Readers”.

Is it more difficult to achieve self-sufficiency and defeat personal homelessness in 2010 than 2000?

In Philadelphia we are doing better at helping the homeless move into permanent housing, but there are signs the past 10 years have decreased opportunity for economic mobility.

Economic mobility, according to Wikipedia, is “the ability of an individual or family to improve their economic status.” In short, the ease with which a person can climb from poverty to lower middle class. From lower middle class to middle class. From middle class to upper middle class. From upper middle class to wealthy.

A point I should have emphasized in my last post on homelessness is my journey to self-sufficiency took place in the 90s. We’re a long way from then.

The 90s were an interesting time. Good music, movies, TV in the early 90s devolved towards its end. I think art and entertainment get better during hard times. The end of the 90s there was a sense in America that we were on the upswing. Hence the bad art. We started with Nirvana and ended up with Limp Bizkit – that says it all.

American confidence was reflected in ways beyond art. Consider how unconcerned we were with the Presidential election. Many didn’t care about the election because the choice of Gore or Bush seemed too narrow. It seemed inconsequential who would be President. Generation-X lived up to our slacker stereotype in 2000. Things changed in 2004 and 2008. My generation woke up. But I’m talking about the 90s remember.

In many looks back the 90s gets defined by the dot-com bubble. The idea being that any growth during the 90s was due to and then eliminated in that bubble. I think you can make an argument that belief is incorrect. I believe the dot-com bubble was an artifact of the late 90s. Pushed on and encouraged by the irrational exuberance that had built up over that decade. Right along with bad music and unconcerned political participation. Fact of the matter was the 90s laid the technological foundation for what we have today at mass scale.

Income inequality continued to grow from the 80s to the 90s and at an accelerating rate. Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele published a book sourced from their Philadelphia Inquirer series that argued that the American Dream was already stolen. But the 90s featured such job and personal income growth that many were too distracted to notice. In fact, according to, the last eight years of Clinton’s presidency stand as the longest economic boon in American history to that date.

It was in this generally optimistic environment that me and millions of others were part of a “dramatic decline” in the decrease of concentrated poverty. Some attribute this to record keeping, that Welfare rolls were trimmed due to President Clinton’s mislabeled ‘Welfare Reform’ effort. But I believe that I am proof that the the decade’s optimism was reflected in greater opportunities for me and others. People were more willing to take a chance.

The ‘Aughts’ eliminated many gains made during the 90s. According to the Washington Post the “Aughts were a lost decade for U.S. economy and workers”. Add to this the fact that the safety net was shredded by efforts such as Welfare Reform and now you have a growing population of America living on nothing more than food stamps. Take a dip in a Metafilter thread discussion for more.

Those without jobs have very hard roads to walk. Those that do, well many are working 2 or 3 jobs just to make sure they don’t fall.

Eventually it will lead to an environment where chances are less likely to be offered to potential risks like what I was in the 90s. Less opportunity. Less upward mobility.

Ironically, I hear from a surprising number that those not doing well are ‘lazy’. That they don’t have ‘vision’. They aren’t ‘motivated’. That they need ‘to hustle’. To ‘get a job’. That we are on our own – freelancing agents and personal brands. Social contracts, like those that existed between employers and employees, between government and its citizens, between seller and buyer, aren’t to be expected or trusted anyway – right? Aren’t these some of the lessons of the ‘Aughts’?

Well no. I heard these things in the 90s. And why couldn’t counter lessons become conventional wisdom? That more empathy towards one another will help us get through challenging times?

That yes – the world isn’t fair – but that we should work hard to be fair to one another other?

It does look more difficult to repeat my story now. It saddens and frightens me. A complete lack of progress since the 90s. You have a dysfunctional safety net simultaneous with less work opportunity.

We all want so many of the same things. Health. Friends. Understanding. Acceptance. Self-sufficiency. Dignity.

People will do amazing things when given the tools to succeed and given the opportunity to succeed (and fail a few times on the way). It is in such environments that you find real innovation. Real forward thinking. Because you are not simply fighting to survive.

Related reads:

NYTimes series from 2005: Class in America

Barbara Ehrenreich: “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America”

News and content based business models online links for thought

Both sides of the fence represented in the following links:

Tech Crunch: The End of Hand Crafted Content

Daily Patricia Daily Patricia – Dumb Things Media 2.0 Loves To Say

Doc Searls: The Revolution Will Not Be Intermediated

Jeff Jarvis: Content farms v. curating farmers

Paul Kedrosky: Dishwashers, and How Google Eats Its Own Tail

Links related to the changing economy for November 24th, 2009

Douglas Ruskoff: Video Radical Abundance: How We Get Past “Free” and Learn to Exchange Value Again.: We are at a crossroads. Right now we have the ability to optimize our systems, our technologies, and our currency to humans, rather than optimizing humans to them.

Metafilter discussion of previous: “The Plague of Free.”

Awful Marketing: St. Louis Newspaper Has Web Commenter Fired: In this new information age, newspapers are having a hard time hanging on to their old business models, and are struggling to hold on to readership and monetize their on-line content. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has obviously not run into this issue, or they wouldn’t be shooting themselves in the foot by getting people fired when they post to the paper’s online comment boards. The Digital Economy’s Coming Subprime Crisis: Uh oh: it’s the economic equivalent of the subprime crisis. The parallels, to me, are too striking to ignore.

Anil Dash: The Web in Danger: We cannot say we were not warned. We will not be able to say “nobody saw this coming”.

Susan Ohanian: It’s the Poverty, Stupid, Not Pre-K Skills: If our corporate-politicos would look at the November 2009 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, they would see that half of American children receive food stamps, which means they live in food insecure homes, and studies show that Adults who grew up in poverty are more likely to have impaired physical and mental growth, lower academic achievement, and to remain impoverished.

Joe Bageant: Shoot the fat guys, hang the smokers: At heart, it’s a predatory society. So damned mean we no longer even notice its inherent cruelty. A strongman’s democracy in which bodily appearance has become political, and the only allowable vice is self-righteousness. USDA: Hunger rises in U.S.: Referring to the increasing numbers of children who suffered the most from hunger, Philadelphia hunger expert Mariana Chilton, a Drexel University public-health professor, said: “This is a catastrophe. This is not a blip. This recession will be in the bodies of our children.”

Time: The ’00s: Goodbye (at Last) to the Decade From Hell

Newsweek: Partying Like It’s 1999: Think the U.S. economy has come a long way? Think again.

Let’s hear it for Philly

Ronnie Palnesczky: Philadelphia high-school kids best MIT in $10M car contest

Alex Hillman: We’re Not Done Yet

NYTimes: Philadelphia Gives Homeowners a Way to Stay Put

Economic Crisis related links for October 31st, 2009

LA Independent: A one-man street team: Once one of Hollywood’s homeless, Mark Horvath turns his knack for storytelling into a personalized video chronicle of a national tragedy.: Through his experiences, he has come to realize that the only way to truly stop homelessness is by getting people off streets, and into homes and jobs.

NYTimes: Foreclosures Force Ex-Homeowners to Turn to Shelters: “So, as lean times endure and paychecks disappear, homeless shelters are absorbing those who have run out of alternatives.”

Homeless Resource Center: Fonfield-Ayinla, Gladys : My Experience Parenting While Homeless: It was never a goal of mine to be homeless, but it happened.

NYTimes: Recession Drives Surge in Youth Runaways : oreclosures, layoffs, rising food and fuel prices and inadequate supplies of low-cost housing have stretched families to the extreme, and those pressures have trickled down to teenagers and preteens.

NYTimes: For Runaways, Sex Buys Survival: Nearly a third of the children who flee or are kicked out of their homes each year engage in sex for food, drugs or a place to stay, according to a variety of studies published in academic and public health journals.

Dave Winer’s experience with InBerkeley recall those of Dan Gillmor with Bayosphere

Dave Winer: What I’ve learned about Hyperlocal

OJR: Tom Grubisich: What are the lessons from Dan Gillmor’s Bayosphere?

Mark Glasser: Dan Gillmor Finds His Center

Different situations, but lessons to learn from each are there. And in both cases, the founders shared those lessons with the wider Internet audience. Hopefully more do the same.

Living on Ten Dollars an Hour

A short (15min) online documentary:

Ten Dollars an Hour from Ben Guest on Vimeo.

via Susie Madrak

Healthcare, wealthcare, death due to lack of care

Think Progress: Uninsured 22-Year-Old Boehner Constituent Dies From Swine Flu

Update: Report: Miami U. Grad Did Not Have H1N1 – Kimi Young Died Of Viral Pneumonia

The New Republic: WealthCare

The Atlantic: How American Healthcare Killed My Father