The New Scientist reports on a study suggesting that direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical ads may be ineffective. The best part is that the study uses the natural divide between French- and English-speaking Canadians to create a perfect cross-sectional study (Canada forbids pharmaceutical ads, but US television does not).
I just received a call for papers for a conference entitled Politics and Information Systems: Technologies and Applications (PISTA ’03) which is hosted, not ironically with the International Conference on Computer, Communication and Control Technologies in Orlando Florida this fall. I think there is a fascinating paper on weblogs and the microcontent influence on politics.
Weblogs certainly have an influence on the political system in America, first through their effect on the mass media (which sucks off their ideas like a bottom feeder), and second through their democratizing effect on readers (see Joi Ito on Emergent Democracy). If I can come up with a good number of examples, I’ll try to throw together an extended abstract by June 15th. Let me know if you can think of anything pertinent.