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Making A Murderer update and what it says about how we digest info today

The 10-hour Netflix documentary, “Making A Murderer” has viewers flocking to the web to opine, petition, and mock. Here’s where things are today.



How we now digest entertainment and social simultaneously

Watching a movie at home with my family over the holidays reminds me of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). A minute won’t pass without a parent commenting on who the actor is onscreen, their previous roles, and sometimes even the actor’s relationship status. The irony is that as a film critic, I usually know the answer, but want to stay immersed in the story at hand. “Google it!” is the typical response, as everyone is usually also on their phone viewing Facebook status updates, cat memes, and videos.

This personal anecdote exemplifies how technology and social media have drastically changed not only where we seek out facts, but also how we digest and process entertainment nowadays. Technology has also changed social action immensely.

Whereas historically, a written petition or public rally might gather only hundreds of people in a concentrated area, the Internet provides a forum not only to mobilize supporters but to bring international attention to social events.

A prime example is of the Twitter Revolution in Egypt in 2011, when the hashtag #Jan25th was used to encourage Egyptians to join the demonstration at Tahir Square, and also allowed those of us far away to follow live via Twitter and uStream channels. Furthermore, social media was used to form and strengthen movements and volunteer organizations, with several of the most vocal and visible participants during the time were encouraged to take on leadership roles.

“Making A Murderer” viewers flock to the web

Concerned viewers of “Making a Murderer” have now moved beyond A petition that has garnered much attention was posted on December 20, 2015, on We The People, the White House online petition platform. With a total of 129,950 signatures, the petition to pardon the defendants of the associated convictions met the guidelines for a response from the Obama Administration. To qualify for a response, a petition that is posted on the site must receive at least 100,000 signatures within 30 days.

Unfortunately, the response will not please all signatories. According to the response, because they “are both state prisoners, the President cannot pardon them. A pardon in this case would need to be issued at the state level by the appropriate authorities.”

Of interest is that the response lists actions taken by the Obama Administration to “enhance the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system at all phases”, including his 2014 Executive Order creating a Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The intent of the Task Force and its final report was to “place new strategies to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve while enhancing public safety.” A

nyone who has watched episodes of “Making a Murderer” can recognize the relevance of this action to one of the central themes of the series.

Meanwhile a petition to both President Obama and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has over 365,000 supporters as of January 8, 2016. The petition calls for a pardon as well as accountability for the Manitowoc County officials allegedly involved in “two false imprisonments” for the series central subject. Governor Walker who took office in 2011 has stated that he will not grant any pardons during his term.

According to this January 2014 article by Bill Lueders: “Gov. Walker supports the court system and does not want to undermine the actions of a judge or jury,” spokeswoman Julie Lund said in an email. He has other priorities besides issuing pardons, which “is not a requirement of the job.”

Controversy continues to brew

Controversy continues to develop around “Making a Murderer”, with filmmakers revealing on the TODAY show that a juror stated to them that he or she believed their subject was framed for the crime by law enforcement.

“(The juror) told us that they believe Steven Avery was not proven guilty,” Ricciardi said. “They believe Steven was framed by law enforcement and that he deserves a new trial, and if he receives a new trial, in their opinion it should take place far away from Wisconsin.”

Demos further stated that “They told us really that they were afraid that if they held out for a mistrial that it would be easy to identify which juror had done that and that they were fearful for their own safety.”

However, the filmmakers have not corroborated the story as “they have not spoken with any of other jurors” according to TODAY. The filmmakers did state that the juror would be willing to serve as a source.

Just this week, the film’s producers confirmed that “of course” they left out evidence, calling it irrelevant and reiterating their goal of exploring the justice system.

Finally, according to various sources including IGN Entertainment Editor Terri Schwartz it was just announced by Investigation Discovery at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that the network is focusing on a new special about Avery.

“We feel compelled to address what we believe are some critical details missing from the Netflix production … in an attempt to provide critical, crucial evidence and testimonies that answer many of the questions surrounding Steven Avery,” said ID group president Henry Schleiff. Production began earlier this week on “Front Page: The Steven Avery Story,” which is hosted by Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison and will air later this month.

Armchair detectives and online supporters should be pleased with this increased television and media coverage on the controversial story behind “Making of a Murderer” in their desire for justice as well as entertainment.


Debbie Cerda is a seasoned writer and consultant, running Debra Cerda Consulting as well as handling business development at data-driven app development company, Blue Treble Solutions. She's a proud and active member of Austin Film Critics Association and the American Homebrewers Association, and Outreach Director for science fiction film festival, Other Worlds Austin. She has been very involved in the tech scene in Austin for over 15 years, so whether you meet her at Sundance Film Festival, SXSWi, Austin Women in Technology, or BASHH, she'll have a connection or idea to help you achieve business success. At the very least, she can recommend a film to watch and a great local craft beer to drink.

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Social Media

Why Trump’s lawsuit against social media still matters

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Former President Trump snagged headlines for suing every large social media platform, and it has gone quiet, but it still deeply matters.



trump sues social media

It was splashed across headlines everywhere in July: Former President Trump filed a lawsuit against social media platforms that he claims unrightfully banned him during and after the fallout of the January 6th capitol riots. The headlines ran for about a week or so and then fell off the radar as other, fresher, just-as-juicy news headlines captured the media’s eye.

Many of us were left wondering what that was all about and if anything ever became of it. For even more of us, it probably passed out of our minds completely. Lack of public awareness for these things is common after the initial media blitz fades.

Lawsuits like these in the US can take months, if not years between newsworthy milestones. The most recent news I could find as of this publishing is from August 24, 2021, on Yahoo! News from the Washington Examiner discussing the Trump camp’s request for a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit.

This particular suit shouldn’t be left to fade from memory in the shadows though, and here’s why:

In the past few years, world powers have been reigning in regulations on social media and internet commerce. The US is actually a little behind the curve. Trump may have unwittingly given us a source of momentum to get with the times.

In the European Union, they have the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), widely acknowledged to be one of the toughest and most thorough privacy laws in the world, a bold title. China just passed its own pair of laws in the past four months: The Data Security Law, which took effect on Sept. 1, and The Personal Information Law, set to take effect November 1st. The pair is poised to give the GDPR a run for its money for that title.

Meanwhile, in the US, Congress has been occupied with other things and, while there are five bills that took aim at tech monopoly currently on the table and a few CEOs had to answer some questions, little actual movement or progress has been made on making similar privacy protections a thing in the United States.

Trump’s lawsuit, while labeled by many as a toothless public relations move, may actually create momentum needed to push regulation of tech and social media forward in the US. The merits of the case are weak and ultimately the legislation that would give it teeth doesn’t exist yet.

You can’t hold tech companies accountable to a standard that doesn’t properly exist in law.

However, high profile attention and someone willing to continue to make noise and bring attention back to the subject, one of Trump’s strongest talents, could be “just what the doctor ordered” to inspire Congress to make internet user rights and data privacy a priority in the US, finally.

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Social Media

Even solopreneurs are doing live commerce online – it’s not just QVC’s game anymore

(SOCIAL MEDIA) When you think of watching a show and buying things in real time, it invokes thoughts of QVC, but social media video has changed all that.



live commerce

After the year everyone has had, one wouldn’t be remiss in thinking that humanity wants a break from live streaming. They would, however, be wrong: Live online commerce – a method of conversion first normalized in China – is the next evolution of the ubiquitous e-commerce experience, which means it’s something you’ll want on your radar.

Chinese company, Alibaba first live streamed on an e-commerce site in 2016, allowing buyers to watch, interact with, and buy from sellers from the comfort of their homes. In 2020, that same strategy netted Alibaba $7.5 billion in presale revenue – and it only took 30 minutes, according to McKinsey Digital.

But, though western audiences have proven a desire to be just as involved with sellers during the buying process, live commerce hasn’t taken off here the way it has elsewhere. If e-commerce merchants want to maximize their returns in the next few years, that needs to change.

McKinsey Digital points out a couple of different benefits for organizations using live commerce, the main one being an influx in traffic. Live streaming events break the buying experience mold, and consumers love being surprised. You can expect that prospective buyers who wouldn’t necessarily visit your store under normal circumstances would find value in attending a live event.

Live events also keep people on your site for longer, resulting in richer conversion opportunities.

The sense of urgency inherent in in-person shopping doesn’t always translate to online markets, but having a stream showing decreasing inventory or limited-availability items being sold inspires people to act expeditiously rather than sitting on a loaded cart–something that can kill an e-commerce conversion as quickly as it starts one.

There are a ton of different ways to incorporate live events into your e-commerce campaigns. Virtual auctions are popular, as are markets in which individual sellers take buyers through inventory. However, the live event could be tangentially related–or even just something impressive running in parallel with the sale–and still bring in a swell of revenue.

Screen fatigue is real, and there isn’t a true substitute for a brick-and-mortar experience when done correctly. But if you have an e-commerce shop that isn’t utilizing some form of live entertainment–even just to bring in new buyers–you’re going to want to try this strategy soon.

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Social Media

LinkedIn is nixing Stories this month (LinkedIn had Stories!?)

(SOCIAL MEDIA) LinkedIn tried to be like the cool kids and launched “Stories,” but the video feature is being shelved and “reimagined.” Ok.



linkedin stories

Creating the next big thing is essential for social networks to stay relevant, continue growing, and avoid shutting down. Sometimes, this leads to businesses trying to ride along with the success of another app’s latest feature and creating their cloned version. While the logic of recreating something already working makes sense, the results aren’t universal.

This time around, LinkedIn is saying goodbye to its short-lived Snapchat-like video product, Stories. In a company post, LinkedIn says it’s removing its Stories experience by the end of September.

Why is LinkedIn retiring Stories?

According to a post by Senior Director of Product at LinkedIn Liz Li, “[LinkedIn] introduced Stories last year as a fun and casual way to share quick video updates.”

After some testing and feedback, they learned this is not what users wanted. Seems like they could have beta tested with users and heard the same thing, but I digress.

“In developing Stories, we assumed people wouldn’t want informal videos attached to their profile, and that ephemerality would reduce barriers that people feel about posting. Turns out, you want to create lasting videos that tell your professional story in a more personal way and that showcase both your personality and expertise,” said Li.

What does this mean for users?

Starting on September 30, 2021, users will no longer be able to create Stories for Pages. If you’ve already planned to have an image or video ads run in-between Stories, they will now appear on the LinkedIn feed instead. For those who used Campaign Manager to promote or sponsor a Story directly from your Page, the company says “these paid Stories will not appear in the LinkedIn feed”, and the user will need to recreate the ad in Campaign Manager.

What’s next for LinkedIn?

According to Li, LinkedIn is taking what it learned from its finding to “evolve the Stories format into a reimagined video experience across LinkedIn that’s even richer and more conversational.” It plans on doing so by using mixed media and the creative tools of Stories.

“As we reimagine what is next, we’re focusing on how we can provide you with a short-form, rich interactive video format that is unique to our platform and that better helps you reach and engage your audiences on LinkedIn. We’re always excited to try out new things and learn as we go, and will continue to share updates along the way,” the company said.

Although Stories didn’t work well for LinkedIn as they hoped, one thing is for sure. LinkedIn isn’t giving up on some form of interactive video, and we can only hope they “reimagine” something unique that keeps users coming back for more.

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