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April 20, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Alarmed that political groups are secretly funding bloggers to promote or attack candidates, the state's ethics czar proposed Thursday that Web-based pundits disclose such payments. Voters are increasingly relying on bloggers and websites for information on political issues and have a right to know if an interested party is paying to plant messages, said Ann Ravel, who heads California's political watchdog agency. "In order for people to really know whether they can have faith and trust in the independence of recommendations they are receiving, they have to be aware" of any payments, she said.
September 23, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
This summer Molly Ringwald said that she read "Fifty Shades of Grey" because "when a book becomes that big, I feel like it's culturally relevant. " No book in recent memory has sold as fast as the lead title of E.L. James' erotic trilogy. It enjoyed an avalanche of popularity: The more people were reading it, the more other people wanted to read it. But "Fifty Shades" is the exception: Today it's easier than ever to find something to read. But the right thing? That's another matter altogether.
May 29, 2011 | By Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Before its launch a few weeks ago, frenzied reports of the coming of had the same gossipy, mythic quality that accompanied James Franco's academic career or, say, the birth of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt: confusion, rumor and a little cattiness. It isn't surprising that the website's launch was greeted with such mixed feelings, because it's the new online women's magazine from Jane Pratt aimed at the audience that she helped raise, first as founder of the teen magazine Sassy in 1988 and then of Jane magazine, aimed at the 18-34 market, in 1997.
May 23, 2011 | By Regina Nuzzo, Special to the Los Angeles Times
For singles who brave the jungles of online dating, there's nothing like an experienced friend or two to offer advice. "Should I Photoshop out my Marilyn Monroe mole?" "What does it mean that her favorite movie is 'The Exorcist'?" "Do my smoldering eyes in this profile photo say, 'I'm yours' or 'I'm in pain?'" Now imagine you had a few million friends who could guide you through the thicket with their epic tales of success and failure. That's the idea behind OkTrends (
November 15, 2009 | P.J. Huffstutter and Jerry Hirsch
On most days, Andrea Deckard can be found in her home office, digging through stacks of coupons and grocery receipts for money saving tips and recipes that she can share with readers of her Mommy Snacks blog. That is, when the stay-at-home mom isn't being wined and dined by giant food companies. Earlier this year, Frito-Lay flew her to Los Angeles to meet celebrities such as model Brooke Burke and the Spice Girls' Mel B, while pitching her on its latest snack ad campaign. More recently, Nestle paid to put her and 16 other so-called "mommy bloggers" -- and one daddy blogger -- up at the posh Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena, treated them to a private show at the Magic Castle in Hollywood and sent packages of frozen Omaha Steaks to their families to tide them over while the women were away learning all about the company's latest product lines.
April 18, 2010 | Kathy M. Kristof, Personal Finance
After spending the bulk of my career writing solely for newspapers, I stepped into the blogosphere a year ago and discovered a whole new world of financial advice. The World Wide Web is host to hundreds of financial bloggers, who provide everything from solid counsel to something of a support group for the budget-challenged. The advice you get in the blogosphere is different from what you see in the newspaper for a variety of reasons. It's sometimes profane and often directed toward a single topic -- including such things as student debt or frugal living.
September 19, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Under new rules approved Thursday, the state hopes to help Californians determine whether political material they read online is a writer's own opinion or propaganda paid for by a campaign. Campaigns will now have to report when they pay people to post praise or criticism of candidates and ballot measures on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other websites. "The public is entitled to know who is paying for campaigns and campaign opinions," so voters can better evaluate what they see on blogs and elsewhere online, said Ann Ravel, who chairs the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
January 6, 2012 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy, Los Angeles Times
Sinéad O'Connor and 50 Cent couldn't be more different, but when it comes to over-sharing on Twitter, the 1980s icon and gruff rapper have quite a bit in common. While we've become accustomed to Kanye West's rants and boasts on the social media site (such as crowning himself the new Steve Jobs this week), or Laurieann Gibson's smackdowns with Lady Gaga fans, O'Connor and 50 are the latest in a recent rash of celebrities — namely musicians — whose meltdowns and bouts of TMI (Too Much Information)
March 18, 2006
Re "You've got (paid) mail," editorial, March 15 You are dead wrong about AOL charging fees for mass e-mails. Serious activist organizations such as environmental groups, political bloggers and social reform groups, which do not have bottomless budgets as do corporations, porn sites and newspapers, will be affected. This will curtail what little freedom of speech and information is left. It will turn the Net into just another advertisement supplement, such as Sunday newspapers. FRANK STANTON Campbell
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