Speakers: Dennis Hong

  • Dennis Hong : The Dark Side of Democratization

    Dennis Hong : The Dark Side of Democratization

    WordCamp Orange County 2017Speaker: Dennis Hong

    July 22, 2017 — No one can dispute the power that democratized publishing affords us. After all, anyone today can start a website and be heard by the world. And of course, WordPress has played a central role in all this. But let’s face it, we have a problem on our hands. Over the past year now, misinformation on the internet seems to have reached a tipping point, not just in the United States, but all over the world. From the persistence of content designed to manipulate our emotions to the polarization of politics and the spread of radicalism, all of these issues can be attributed in some way to the ease with which anyone can find a voice on the internet today. My talk will therefore 1) describe the problems democratization can create, and 2) discuss potential solutions. To paraphrase a well-known saying, “The price of democratization is eternal vigilance.”

  • Dennis Hong: The Dark Side of Democratization

    Dennis Hong: The Dark Side of Democratization

    WordCamp US 2016Speaker: Dennis Hong

    December 11, 2016 — No one can dispute the power that democratized publishing affords us. After all, anyone today can start a website and be heard by the world. And of course, WordPress has played a central role in all this. At the same time, the power granted by democratization has led to unforeseen consequences. From the persistence of misinformation to the proliferation of content designed to manipulate our emotions, from the polarization of politics to the spread of radicalism, all of these can be attributed in some way to the ease with which anyone can find a voice on the internet today. My talk will therefore 1) describe the problems democratization can create, and 2) discuss potential solutions. As the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

  • Dennis Hong: What I Learned When My Blog Post Went Viral

    Dennis Hong: What I Learned When My Blog Post Went Viral

    WordCamp US 2015Speaker: Dennis Hong

    December 13, 2015 — In 2012 and again in 2013, I hit the blogger’s dream — one of my posts went viral. As of today, it has over a million views and has been shared on Facebook 450,000 times:

    During the two separate instances when it went viral, I learned a bunch of lessons on both blogging and hosting a website. The goal of the talk is to share these lessons and help bloggers be prepared should they go viral, too:

    My hosting plan left my site woefully unprepared for spikes in traffic. What were some things I could have done to prepare?
    My ad network shut down my account for alleged fraud, and I lost potentially thousands of dollars worth of ad revenue. Was there anything I could have done differently?
    Tons of sites started republishing the post without permission. I even had to deal with a blatant case of plagiarism, when someone not only republished my post in its entirety, but changed the title and author. What was the best way to handle this?
    I was also contacted by a few reputable sites (USA Today, HuffPost) to republish the post in its entirety. Was it worth it to grant permission?
    Of course, the virility of the post drew the requisite trolls. What were some of the productive — and unproductive — ways to deal with them?