Blogs and social networking software are enabling all content to be public. Journalism should embrace this, and the act of publishing pushes the "former audience" as Dan Gillmor says towards the realm of publishing. This decade 'journalism' is the online paradigm. Richard Koman::rkoman(at)gmail(dot)com
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Tom Paine as blogger
USATODAY has this op-ed piece today that says, "chill out, blogging's just another case of new technology providing new ways of communication. Point taken, but it's more interesting as a slap-down by the media than for its historical perspective, IMO.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Who wants yesterday's papers?
Dan Gillmor asks why newspapers lock up their archives. He makes the point that there may be more financial gain to contextual advertising on open archives than pay-per-view access. More important, as
Simon Waldman pointed out a few weeks back:
"Permanence is about ensuring you have a real presence on the Net. It is a critical part of having a distinctive identity in an increasingly homogenous landscape. It is about becoming an authority and a point of reference for debate. It is about everything we want and need to be. Without permanence you slip off the search engines. Without permanence, bold ideas like "news as conversation" fall away, because you're shutting down the conversation before it has barely started. Without permanence, you might be on the web, but you're certainly not part of it.
"Here's another example. Think of all the millions of words written by news organizations around the world about Abu Ghraib during 2004. Now go to Google and search (as suggested in the Wired article above) for Abu Ghraib, and you will find only a handful of traditional media outlets mentioned in the first few pages (fortunately, the Guardian is one). This isn't just a quirk in Google's search algorithm; this is about traditional media ceding responsibility for providing the definitive, permanent record of major events."
"One of these days, a newspaper currently charging a premium for access to its article archives will do something bold: It will open the archives to the public -- free of charge but with keyword-based advertising at the margins.
"I predict that the result will pleasantly surprise the bean-counters. There'll be a huge increase in traffic at first, once people realize they can read their local history without paying a fee. Eventually, though not instantly, the revenues will greatly exceed what the paper had been earning under the old system. Meanwhile, the expenses to run it will drop.
"And, perhaps most important, the newspaper will have boosted its long-term place in the community. It will be seen, more than ever, as the authoritative place to go for some kinds of news and information -- because it will have become an information bedrock in this too-transient culture."
Dan links to Jay Rosen's post about the Blogging and Journalism conference, wherein he says that open archives are THE key issue to watch:
"For those who wonder whether Big Journalism can change itself and get with the more open language of the Web, the key issue to watch--the signal for a big switch in philosophy--is the archive policy. My suggestion: Open archive, permanent url's, free public access, make your money off smart advertising keyed to search, plus added-value services that make sophisticated use of the data in the archive, which you know better than anyone else because you own it and create it. Weinberger: "Jay calls upon journalists to demand this."
"In fact I do. But not just to demand it-- get involved in trying to figure this thing out so that the open archive pays for itself, or even makes money."
Dave Winer explains that using RSS feeds to link to NYT articles will result in non-decaying permalinks -- for blogs only!
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
morph: Explode the Newsroom: Six Ways to Rebuild the System
morph: Explode the Newsroom: Six Ways to Rebuild the System Great post yesterday from Tim Porter, who says, among other things, make the newspaper the tip and the website the iceberg.
morph: Citizens journalism, Santa Fe style
morph: Citizens journalism, Santa Fe style Stefan Dill, web editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican, on their progress at town square website:
"One of our nicest pieces of participatory work has been “Mothers Uncensored."
"It developed as a result of a story in the print edition on a local store putting wrappers on an issue of "Mothering" magazine, the cover of which featured a photo of a mother breastfeeding her baby. The outpouring of protests via the commenting system that a store would cover up something so natural was huge, and may have had a part to play in the store reversing its decision. The VP of the company announced the reversal on the forum, in fact.
"To give the readers another medium of voice, I put out a call for all moms to send us photos, of whatever comfort level they wished. What was to be a simple photo gallery blossomed into some 25 or 30 submissions from around the country and around the world, many who shared very personal and detailed stories of breastfeeding difficulties and triumphs. Other moms who’ve run across the section feel it to be a great source of empathy and support.
"All in all, it’s been a slow, steady, intense building of community involvement - one we're proud of, and looking forward to doing more. It's only the beginning!"
This is really encouraging work.
Harvard student finds lawyer to defend Apple suit | CNET News.com
Harvard student finds lawyer to defend Apple suit | CNET News.com: So this is a promising sign that Nick dePlume has a lawyer. Apple's suit against a blogger/journalist is a clear attempt to stifle reporting and protect their trade secrets. ThinkSecret surely has a first amendment right to publish news, regardless of whether the source may be violating an employment agreement. I agree with commentators who think Apple would never have sued say the Mercury News, if they had run with the story. In any case, the rumors were true, and publishing the truth can never be an actionable sin, or can it?
Open Park - 2005 Inauguration Blog
Open Park - 2005 Inauguration Blog Happy to see this, a nonprofit in DC setting wifi hotspots on the Mall during tomorrow's inauguration. Bloggers may well provide the only true picture of the alternative anti-inauguration ceremonies. stay tuned to blogland, if not the networks.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
The New York Times > College > CBS News Draws Ire of Bloggers
The New York Times : CBS News Draws Ire of Bloggers NYT reports almost exclusively from the blogs that CBS turned on encryption on their PDF a few days after initially releasing an unencrypted version of the National Guard Debacle report.
posted from flickr
Next Generation Web Services: Flickr (by Jeremy Zawodny)
Next Generation Web Services: Flickr (by Jeremy Zawodny) Great thread here on Flickr as a next gen web service, including comments from Stewart. Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo notes that Flickr:
* does one thing and does it well
* provides a clean and simple UI
* has clear and helpful documentation
* exposes core functionality with a documented API
* account sign up is brain-dead simple
* makes extensive and intuitive use of RSS
* like del.icio.us, uses tags to help organize
* doens't spam me with graphical/animated/flash ads or try to unexpectedly pop up any sort of window
In the comments, Stewart says: As evidenced (hopefully) by the open APIs and RSS (which, when you think about it, is continuous partial export) we have no problems with providing ways for people to get their photos AND metadata out. We don't now, but will be providing downloadable versions as well as CD/DVD backups at some point, once we are out of beta (this is an actual beta, not a Friendster 'beta'). And Justin is right - Flickr basically sucked when it first came out. We made lots of mistakes, but we made them fast :)
On the business model, he says: "It's pretty simple: 1) ads to cover the costs of the free users (who are limited in the amount they can upload each month and in a few other ways) and 2) subscription fees (for (almost) unlimited uploads, storage, bandwidth and some extra features)."
CBS "restoring credibility"?
Reliable Sources: CBS VP of standards Linda Mason, along with many others, appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday (1/16), and said:
"KURTZ: Why have reporters not been allowed this week, since this report came out, to talk to either Dan Rather or Andrew Heyward? It kind of gives the impression CBS is still in damage control mode?
MASON: CBS is looking to the future. And both Andrew and Dan were part of this report, so there was a decision made not to have them speak since they were participants.
KURTZ: I don't quite understand that. I mean, why won't they be allowed to defend themselves, to offer their views? Here is CBS saying it wants to learn the lessons here, and yet your own news division president, who's not shy about talking to reporters, nor is Dan Rather, are being kept under wraps? I guess I don't get it.
MASON: I don't think they're being kept under wraps. They have chosen not to talk at this point. The panel and the report kind of makes it all clear, what happened, and where we're going from here. "
It's has also come out in the last few days that CBS was worried about right-wing blogs changing the document of the investigative report, so they changed the version available on the website so that copying and editing are disabled. A small sign of an organization protecting its ass rather than joining the forces demanding transparency.
As Ernest Miller says in a comment on PressThink, not allowing bloggers to easily cut and paste pieces of the report speaks to a continued disdain for the medium of "guys in pajamas."
Monday, January 17, 2005
Sunday, January 16, 2005
David Akin :: Dean paid bloggers
David Akin :: Dean paid bloggersGreat pointers to various sources on the Dean-Kos brouhaha.
USATODAY.com - Closely watched media humbled
(via Dan Gillmor
USATODAY.com - Closely watched media humbled "When Internet commentators known as bloggers started pointing out the anachronism in the typeface of the documents purporting to show George W. Bush dodging his duties in the Texas Air National Guard, they weren't telling CBS anything it hadn't been told before. Emily Will, a document specialist in Raleigh, N.C., was one of the people hired to vet the documents. She sent CBS an e-mail three days before the broadcast, pointing out the problem. The producers ignored it.
"What gives bloggers their power is not their access to information but their ability to put it on the public agenda. After the broadcast, when CBS posted the documents on the Internet to back up its story, the hue and cry of the bloggers could not be ignored. ...
"The agonies of the old mainstream media are part of the process of adapting to this new reality. We still need strong national voices that earn our trust, and the mass media need not become obsolete. But they will have to understand that it is a different kind of game.
"When Edwin Lahey was Washington bureau chief for Knight Ridder, he liked to say, "The greatest virtue is humility, and the shortest route to humility is through humiliation." The old media aren't getting worse. They're just getting humble."
Saturday, January 15, 2005
The News Record
One of the more intriguing developments right now is the official
decision of North Carolina's News-Record to
remake their online presence according to principles of open source
journalism. In his plan for the change (called by the Blog Herald "the bloging manifesto for mainstream media in 2005),
project lead Lex Alexander outlines a sobering future for newspapers
that do not find a way to engage their audiences in a more
Given the newspaper industry's declining circulation and advertising
numbers, and the increasing ability of bloggers to force mainstream
media to pay attention to stories like Trent Lott's statement on Strom
Thurmond, the fradulent National Guard documents used by 60 Minutes,
and the risks of electronic voting, Alexander suggests that
revolutionary action is needed: "The very definition of news, or
journalism, is changing. Particularly with the growing popularity of
blogs, online audiences expect to have a say -- not total control, but
a say -- in what we cover, and how, and why."
Some of Alexander's more intriguing recommendations to create open
source journalism at the News-Record:
- recruit local bloggers to cover events that news staff won't, like
- recruit neighborhood bloggers to provide indepth coverage
- readers rewrite stories the way they think they should be written
- fulltime beat reporter to cover stories readers suggest
- build wikis to write neighborhood histories
- print best of blogs in the paper
- invite readers to blog budget meetings
- link to other media even competitors.
I think this is the biggest thing to come out of the newspaper world since USA Today.
Friday, January 14, 2005
Poynter Online - What Bloggers Can Learn From Journalists
Poynter Online - What Bloggers Can Learn From JournalistsSteve Outling offers some crucial Journalism 101 for bloggers.
This is the way the Net works: Information stored locally on your computer is useless. Information shared across the Net is quite possibly useless, but sometimes not, and more often than not it's damn hard to figure out what's useful and what's not. Take diaries. For centuries people kept hand-written journals and diaries, and some of these were published posthumously -- usually the journals of Famous Writers. Now, it's inconceivable that Anne Frank wouldn't have had a blog and that alone would probably have saved her life.
Take music. Ripping CDs for the convenience of listening to them on your hard drive? Wrong. The message of P2P -- expose all your goodies and many more will flow to you. And what's neat about music is that the metadata is really obvious: title, artist, album, label. The problem is with genre. Who's to say whether "Buena Vista Social Club" is Cuban or jazz? Or "Talkin' Timbuktu" is African or blues? In any case, "African" might be far too coarse a term for my collection. I might really want to categorize my collection by country.
That's where del.icio.us comes in for bookmarks, right? For years people emailed links to each other, especially for funny, political, and otherwise out-in-left-field sites. Delicious is a nominally a social bookmarking site, which lets you 1) save your bookmarks online so you have access to them from any computer; 2) lets you see what other people are linking to. It does this through tags. In delicious, you bookmark a site, edit its' title to suit yourself, include a description, and apply some tags, some categories. The thing is, these tags are completely arbitrary -- whatever comes to mind will do; enter as many terms as you like.
So far so good, now you have an online way to sort through your bookmarks, and you can view them chronologically, or filtered through whichever terms you used. But of course where it truly gets interesting is that all your tags and bookmarks are public. So, for instance, you can view my delicious bookmarks at http://del.icio.us/richardckoman, and my "folksonomies" bookmarks at http://del.icio.us/richardckoman/folksonomies, and all user's "folksonomies"
The term du jour for this is "folksonomies," coined by Thomas Vanderwal, and it refers to the notion that what we are building is a taxonomy written by end users. In the seminal paper to date, Adam Mathes? notes that folksonomies are a third wave of metadata -- in which not authors but users themselves apply metadata to describe data in useful ways.
Google Search: folksonomiesI'm working on a piece on folksonomies for O'Reilly. of course I'm going to write about delicious and flickr. (I'm also doing a separate piece on Flickr and web services, the topic of a talk by Stewart Butterfield at O'Reilly's ETech conf.) I remember that technorati just released tags, which I think are connected to delish and flickr, so I need to talk to Dave Sifry about that. I also remember that Lou Rosenfeld had written up a contrary piece and that Clay Shirky will be talking about folksonomies at ETech.
So first thing is to google for "folksonomies," which brings up a pretty solid hit list, actually. The first piece is a paper by Adam Mathes, a MLA student at Illinois. So I delicious it and the thought occurs to me to take a look at delicious users' folks tag. The immediate view is mostly links to Technorati's tags announcement but there are a few other really promising links.
Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata
to folksonomies by richardckoman ... and 417 other people ... on 2005-01-14 ... edit this item
to folksonomies metadata reference social_software by hno ... and 35 other people ... on 2005-01-14 ... copy this item
to tags folksonomies Flickr del.icio.us by FalsePositives ... on 2005-01-14 ... copy this item
False Positives: Technorati Does Tags
Is this better than a direct link to del.icio.us?
to tags folksonomies by k271828 ... and 1 other person ... on 2005-01-14 ... copy this item
Joho the Blog: The tagging revolution continues...
to tagging folksonomies technorati by pdax ... and 6 other people ... on 2005-01-14 ... copy this item
False Positives: Technorati Does Tags
to folksonomies tags Technorati by FalsePositives ... and 1 other person ... on 2005-01-14 ... copy this item
Many-to-Many: Technorati Takes Tags Global
to tagging folksonomies technorati by pdax ... and 30 other people ... on 2005-01-14 ... copy this item
Technorati's tracking tags in Flickr, del.icio.us, blogs, etc.
to folksonomies tags tools weblogs by hno ... and 67 other people ... on 2005-01-14 ... copy this item
Technorati adds support for folksonomies
Making use of tags from Flickr, Del.icio.us and blog posts.
to folksonomies tags technorati zeitgeist mike by echoditto ... and 52 other people ... on 2005-01-14 ... copy this item
Boing Boing: Technorati Tags: three great services on one page
to Technorati tags folksonomy folksonomies Flickr by FalsePositives ... and 8 other people ... on 2005-01-14 ... copy this item
MORE TO COME
In general people are talking about the technorati announcement - the piece that
SPJ on Wonkette Visit
SPJ on Wonkette Visit Long pre-election interview with Wonkette's Ana Marie Cox on her blog as political reporting. Well, it's something different than reporting, half wrapsheet, half gossip ...
How OSJ Could Have Prevented Rathergate
Back in 1999 my friend Andrew Leonard wrote this on Salon.com:
On Monday, Jane's Intelligence Review, the "international journal of threat analysis" (a must-read on your average CIA spook's list), solicited feedback on an article about "cyberterrorism" from the geeks who hang out at the Slashdot "news for nerds" Web site. On Thursday, after the Slashdot members sliced and diced Jane's story into tiny little pieces, an editor at the magazine announced that the story would not be published as planned. Instead, the editor, Johan J Ingles-le Nobel, declared that he would write a new article incorporating the Slashdot comments, and would compensate Slashdot participants whose words made it into the final copy.
"When you ask for feedback you get feedback," wrote Nobel, "and since roughly 99% of the posters slammed the article, even saying things like 'we'd expect better from Jane's', I've informed the author that we're not going to run with it. Instead I'm going to cull your comments together and make a better, sharper feature out of it -- I'll be getting in touch with several of you for more specific details or for more clarification."
This week, CBS released a report on the National Guard documents debacle, firing four producers, but not the head of CBS News or Dan Rather. The story was a scoop of the highest degree. Except that is was wrong. Opinions on how they got it wrong include "staff is all leftists who wanted to get Bush" in the words of PowerLine Blog to the systemic problems of a monolithic monopoly. As has been well reported, the story of the debunking of the documents is the story of blogs
-- as Time trumpeted a few weeks back.
Conservative bloggers -- with an axe to grind -- were suspicious. The night the story ran someone named buckethead wrote this on www.freerepublic.com:
"Every single one of these memos to file is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman. In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing, and typewriters used monospaced fonts. The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's. Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used monospaced fonts. I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old. This should be pursued aggressively."
Pursued it was. Picked up by PowerLine's Scott Johnson, the idea that the docs were fakes just gained more and more energy, evidence, conspiracy theories, investigation. Johnson's post, called the 61st Minute, was updated continuously the day after the 60 Minutes piece including a comments like this from Larry Nichols:
As a PSM I had to know every job in Personnel, including the proper filing of documents in individual military records. Memos were NOT used for orders, as the one ordering 1LT Bush to take a physical. This would have done as a letter, of which a copy should have been sent to the CBPO (Consolidated Base Personnel Office) to be filed in 1LT Bush's military record. Memos DID NOT get filed in personnel records.
Then, over at www.littlegreenfootballs.com, Charles Johnson simply retyped the suspect document in Word and came up with a document that looked identical, he claimed, to the 60 Minutes document. A blog called INDC Journal (www.indcjournal.com) ran a report of an analysis by a forensic scientist. Legitimate signatures of Col. Killian were dug up. Someone pointed out that the memos feature kerning, which typewriters are physically incapable of. Amar Sarwal found that the Gen. Straud that a 1973 memo refers to actually retired the previous year. Theresa McAteer pointed out that a legit memo written on Sept. 5, 1973, a month after the suspect memo is dated, is typed on a monospace 70s-style typewriter.
By the end of the day, PowerLine's John Hinderaker put it succintly: "60 Minutes is toast."
In a piece celebrating bloggers as People of the Year, Time described the process like this:
"The more comments Johnson posted, the more e-mail he got, which he then posted, generating even more e-mail, and so on. The process turbocharged itself. In all, he updated the post 15 or 20 times over the course of that day. ... By 10:30 a.m., Power Line had an arsenal of arguments attacking the memos-typographical, logical, procedural, historical. ... The Drudge Report, the Mondo Cane grandfather of all right-leaning news blogs, linked to their site about midafternoon, sending a torrent of traffic their way and promptly crashing their Web server. By the end of the day, about 500 sites had linked to Power Line. 'I think it's fair to say that that post that Scott began is probably the most famous post in the young history of the blogosphere,' [Power Line blogger John] Hinderaker says proudly. "
What's interesting about this story is not so much that there are "citizen journalists" out there, doing the job that "real" journalists are not doing. In fact, there was no reporting or investigation to the original post -- just a bit of reasoning and reasonable suspicion. It was the flood of posts from readers that created a virtuous circle of other people's ideas, documentary evidence, and widespread dissemination. It is this ecology of facts, opinions and linking that is best described by the term"blogosphere."
But of course real journalists -- producers, editors, reporters -- are supposesd to be doing this job. It's a massive failure of journalism for this big a story to be based on a hoax, and for CBS to have backed up the story for so long. But it's hardly the only fiasco facing Big Journalism these days. The bitter taste of Jason Blair must still be fresh in press executives' mouths.
Now think back to 1999 and that Jane's piece on cyberterrorism. Is it so crazy to imagine that rather than keeping these documents top secret, going public only in front of millions of viewers and every press outlet in the world, that 60 Minutes would have released a few online, to the blogopshere, and received the benefits of their suspicious, research, and nitpicking? Apparently, a few hundred conservative bloggers have to be tougher than any editor inside of CBS.
When you talk about this, you're talking about Open Source Journalism, which is the opposite of the Art of the Scoop. Open Source Journalism is about getting it right, rather than getting it first. But getting it all is still a job for news organizations; journalism is not dead but it is going to be changing rapidly from here on out.
Will organizations like CBS change with it? Dan Gillmor isn't optimistic: "I don't think CBS is, today, institutionally capable of truly understanding the value of listening to its audience -- of grasping how much help the audience can be in the journalistic process. The network's offhanded dismissal of the grassroots continues even now. (I know there are individual people at CBS who do get it. But they are not running things.) That said, it would have been at least tactically smart for CBS to have acknowledged the grassroots component of this debacle. Common-sense PR should have made this obvious. Is this a cynical comment on my part? I guess so, but I hate to see the network compounding the damage so unnecessarily, in part because (unlike some in the blog world) I still value the good stuff CBS does."
Gillmor, the author of the influential book "We the Media," has long practiced his own brand of Open Source Journalism. Back in 2001, he talked to Online Journalism Review about his own blog at the San Jose Mercury News, a job he recently left to pursue a grassroots journalism project. "There have been occasions where I put up a note saying, 'I'm working on the following and here's what I think I know,' and the invitation is for the reader to either tell me I'm on the right track, I'm wrong, or at the very least help me find the missing pieces."
Despite the buzz about blogs as the new journalism, Jay Rosen, author of the PressThink blog, doesn't think that blogs by themselves represent the end of Big Journalism. "Blogging is only one part of a larger development--citizen's media," he writes, "that forces smart people in the press to confront the paradox of the self-informing public, previously thought to exist only at the level of the primordial village."
A self-informing public is in fact a movement, but it's not necessarily an antagonist to mainstream media -- if journalists will embrace the amazing power of the many, take advantage of their willlingness to inform themselves, and meet their expectations for accuracy. To be fair, it won't be easy because bloggers on both extremes of the political spectrum will be out for blood. But a little blood now could prevent major hemmoraghing in the future.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
PressThink: Top Ten Ideas of '04: Open Source Journalism, Or "My Readers Know More Than I Do."
PressThink: Top Ten Ideas of '04: Open Source Journalism, Or "My Readers Know More Than I Do." Been thinking a lot along these lines -- see tyranny of the scoop thread
Here is a rough cut of some thoughts for a book. Any help? rkoman(at)gmail(dot)com
Blogging: The Missing Manual
Blogs are clearly the Internet's Next Big Thing and while the sector has left the 'early adopter' phase , blogs remain a confusing welter of options for the masses.
History and importance of blogs
A series of essays, blog excerpts and interviews
so many others
choosing a tool
hosted vs your own server
editing blogger templates
guide to css
Site design tips
flavors of rss
rss off the pc
Exploiting RSS services
inside a file
How to write so you'll be noticed
Group blogs/large-blog communities
Blogging for business
selling stuff on your blog
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
GetLocalNews.com: Turning Bloggers Into Your Site's Citizen Journalists
GetLocalNews.com: Turning Bloggers Into Your Site's Citizen Journalists Press release:
For media companies ready to embrace weblogs and for bloggers trying to
distinguish themselves from the masses, GetLocalNews.com offers a solution:
45,000 citizen journalism community web sites.
Think of each site as a group blog for its city with articles, message
boards and free classifieds.
"Our network of citizen journalism sites creates a middle layer in the
information world between individual blogs and fully edited news sources,"
said GetLocalNews CEO Edgar Canon.
Citizen journalists can instantly post articles about their communities and
get immediate feedback in the message boards. If the article is of national
interest, GetLocalNews can syndicate it networkwide.
Micro Persuasion: MBA Launches Blogger Legal Defense Project
Micro Persuasion: MBA Launches Blogger Legal Defense ProjectSteve Rubel: "As bloggers increasingly face the ire of corporate lawsuits (witness Apple's recent maneuvers) and until the courts set a precedent, there is an opportunity for the legal community to rally to assist bloggers in defending themselves. The Media Bloggers Association (MBA), which I am a member, today took a giant step toward organizing such an effort by by appointing Ronald D. Coleman, of the Coleman Law Firm, PC as general counsel. Coleman will now build a team of attorneys from around the country who will provide MBA members with first-line counsel on matters relating to the use of intellectual property, defamation and other issues arising from their blogging."
morph: We Media: A look back--and forward
morph: We Media: A look back--and forward
It's been just a tad more than a year since the Media Center published We Media, written by Shayne Bowman and Chris Willis, and edited by JD Lasica. Widely acknowledged as a key articulation of citizen journalism and blogging, this paper reportedly led Dan Gillmor to rethink how he was writing his book, We the Media and influenced former CNN bureau chief Rebecca McKinnon to pursue citizen journalism as a full-time career.
Now, a year later, Karma Peiró, a digital journalist from Barcelona, Spain, has interviewed the We Media authors and they've shared the interview on their site. Points worth noting:
• Change is not coming from traditional competitors but from the audience they serve.
• The speed at which RSS has proliferated is phenomenal.
• ...The leadership and innovation of citizen journalism will continue to come from the edges of the new media ecosystem.
• ...We are more likely to see big media try to purchase and integrate innovation rather than develop it on their own.
The tyranny of the scoop
A message from "nickpicker":
Actually, I did not intend to accuse you of liberal bias. If my points seemed to indicate that I apologize sincerely. However, I do believe that there is a liberal narrative out there, namely that critical investigation were something liberals invented, and that they just happen to extend that methodology to blogs in the meaning of "picking it up where major players left the cause", i.e. liberal blogs write on stuff that liberal news papers can't write about or won't, hence I saw your fixture on the deLay case as a typical falling for that fallacy. In other words, it struck me as somewhat odd (if not suspicious) that you pondered on deLay whereas the Rathergate scandal was so much bigger and far-reaching.
But of course the whole meat of the piece (really just paraphrasing the Time piece) was about Rathergate and the deLay business was a scant paragraph. I see Rathergate as a royal fuckup on the part of CBS, bad journalism. The PowerLine folks see the root cause of this failure of journalism as "lack of conservatives." But that just can't be right. Huge media organizations can't possibly make reporting mistakes based on individuals' desires to believe a thing to be true. Every organization of this level has an obligation to check things out seriously. Why didn't this happen? I haven't read CBS' report yet but my guess is that this is the tyranny of the scoop. Imagine a world without scoops, where when a reporter got some documents like this, he scanned and put them onliine and the blogosphere pushed back. Some of those comments would have been rants but there would have been the very specific criticism about the font widths and that (maybe) would have been taken into account.
If they had panned out, they could be considered blog-proof, which is to say spin-proof. So I'm imagining an open source journalism, in which reporters (think programmers) put source materials (code) out on the net for other people to bang on and that feedback (tweaks) is incorporated into the final story (release). Oops, back to OS metaphors, sorry.
As for Bucketheads initial comment - I hope we agree that Dan Rather and his team had an obligation to determine whether the memos were accurate (as in accurate), or fakes, prior to airing the hit-piece on Bush.
So what did they do in actual fact? Rather asked his producer, Mapes, who vouched for their authenticity via some unnamed sources who told her they are real. One might imagine that, for instance, they'd try to get some background information on the terms used in the memos, or the typesetting, and other paraphernalia. But they did not.
Now let's imagine for a moment 60 Minutes were to run a story on a memo the Bushites around Karl Rove produced shortly before the elections, and that this memo were to be ... the formerly undisclosed Navy files of John F Kerry, making the case that Mr Kerry used some contacts at home to get out of Nam quicker. Let's further imagine Dan Rather waived the fake memos in the air, and that he were citing numerous typographical experts (which Mrs Mapes invited to the show after screening and coaching) who without doubt confirmed that those memos were fake. The show further revealed how several stakeholders in Bush's reelection were party to the forgery, giving names and positions, and facts and figures about their past. Let's imagine they filled 60 minutes of 60 Minutes with ... what? - reporting and investigation on how enemies of John F Kerry tried to damage his reputation by putting out fake memos.
This is exactly what the right-leaning blogsphere accomplished during Rathergate, while the leftists around DailyKos' Markos "Screw Them" Zúniga and the very source you cited, TalkingPointsMemo, disputed the investigation, claiming they had enough evidence that the memos were real. So blogs around PowerLine and LGF found out names, they determinded it was a former Army officer from Texas who photocopied the stuff, they revealed the web of connections in a manner reminiscent of the Gray Lady.
In the end it does not matter to what extent Buckethead did "reporting" or "investigation" himself, because this was distributed intelligence at work (look, I can do open source metaphors, too). If the termite worker isn't an intelligent beast does that mean they can't build hives?
I think that's my point? That the blogosphere did the real reporting, did it in a massive, distributed way. I said it was the new journalism. But interestingly the new journalism is based on partisan fervor, not scoops. Easy now ... To acknowledge this takes nothing away from the fact finding and the sleuthing. But it comes from a quite different place than traditional journalism. One wouldn't expect the rightish blogs to apply the same fervor to exposing some anti-Kerry docs as fakes. Indeed they would do what you accuse Josh Marshall et al of doing below: they would be extremely suspicious of these claims of fakery, they would apply partisan fervor to their beliefs, and only in the face of overwhelming evidence would they change their minds. This is a big part of the shift -- from the presumption of objectivity to balls-out advocacy.
My point about TPM was that enemies of the blogosphere find their fuel exactly in those places where blogs like TPM hapen to mimick the Gray Lady and other news outlets. While TPM at times might be helpful for Mr Rather he still despises them because they eat away his cake. TPM's coverage closely resembles the drift and gist on any story CBS and NYTimes covered the other day. (Incidentally, CBS initially invited the NYTimes to participate in the witch hunt.) It's neither originaly nor witty. But if you're Joshua Micah Marshall and talked yourself into a paranoid parallel universe where a vast right-wing conspiracy mind-controls Jesuslanders by way of Fox News then you'd just ignore the NYTimes' reporting, and believe that you were an underground militia in the literary sense who just must write about those sinister things happening around deLay and friends. Geez.
A bit lost here. Except that to my mind, there's a difference between spreading the word about a political action in the case of TPM and actively investigating a media claim on the other. Different but both very valuable.
As for the Fairness Doctrine - you must be joking.
Hardly. Fox exists purely because the Fairness Doctrine does not. They are mutually exclusive. Look at the networks' coverage of Clinton and tell me that they are liberal bias and Fox is just starting to tip the balance towards neutral. It's nonsense.
As for the question where the real political action is happening - I'm just infering from the last elections. The point is that leftist blogs don't seem to have any impact on public opinion in a sense that they're simply reinforcing held opinions in a block that's already safe for the Democrats.
I'm not really interested in this right-left discussion. To me its a power-grassroots discussion. Disenfranchisement comes in many forms. To me blogs represent a nonpartisan method of the grassroots being able to hold those in power to speak the truth and to be deeply transparent. That is a fundamental shift.
The blogsphere is evenly split between party lines in terms of daily visitors. However, when it comes to moving the electorate I don't see that DailyKos, TPM, Wonkette, Atrios and friends did any service to the Democrats, whereas LGF, Instapundit, HughHewitt, PowerLine and NRO's The Corner did contribute their share on converting undecideds, and even more so registered Democrats for the Republican camp. Therefore I happily infer that the left blogs' "angry base who longs for critical arles on Republican criminals" is just as fictitious as the so-called "youth vote", whereas with every election year passing by the right-leaning blogs will reveal where the real mainstream (as in main-stream) is.
The latter blogs are not here because they want to MoveOn people. People are already moving, as you had already mentioned, by way of talk radio and cable news, and blogs do the reporting.
It's not that I want to turn this into a good-blogosphere vs. bad-blogosphere thing. But I do notice that liberals and Democrats are losing bigtime in this country, and conservatives and Republicans are gaining ground. I have a hard time believing that the blogosphere is not following this trend.
As a liberal I worry very much that Democrats don't get it, and that conservatives will be able to use blogs like talk radio to achieve a level of messaging and mind-share (to use marketing speak) that will move Republican support from 52 to 75 percent. I think you are right about that (so far) and its a huge problem (IMO, not yours I'm sure).
Well thanks for a fascinating conversation. Thinking is evolving ...
Greer quits Big Brother (January 12, 2005)
Our modern world A lovely random snip of our modern existence: "The writer and academic [Germaine Greer] left after five days locked in the house with an underwear model, a teenage musician, a drug-loving dancer and the ex-wife of Sylvester Stallone."
Monday, January 10, 2005
Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.
Gate: the war on your computer
SF Chron: Soldiers download war onto Web sites / Postings range from family communication to graphic battle images more information wants to be free
Is blogging a political act?
So here are the thoughts of someone who I think is accusing me of liberal bias (me?!). But what is interesting is that he offers much more detailed history of the 61st Minute than the Time piece. So I'll check that out and revise and isn't that blogosphere in action. So regarding reporting vs. journalism, we can use an open source metaphor I think. I put something out there, collect both praise and criticism, revise accordingly (applying my editorial agenda). I actually don't think the journalism piece is quite here but as Dan laid it out in the bottom of my piece, it's quite simple to envision.
Anyway, here's the rebuttal posted on the O'Reilly thread.
(1) Koman suggests that Powerline did not engage or fuel "reporting or investigation" on CBS' fraudulent memos. Not true. The initial reporting started with a comment by one guy named "Buckethead" at freerepublic.com who opined that the type used in 60 Minutes' alleged memos could not exist in 197x. littlegreenfootballs.com picked up the story, and that blog's Charles Johnson provided evidence (as in evidence) that the memos were indeed created using Microsoft Word. Powerline Blog gave the story momentum by spreading word, and citing typography experts (as in experts) who without doubt proved (as in prove) that CBS' documents were forgery (as in forgery). If this is not "reporting or investigation" then I wonder what "reporting or investigation" means to Koman.
So what I said was: "there was no reporting or investigation to the original post -- just a bit of reasoning and reasonable suspicion. It was the flood of posts from readers that created a virtuous circle of other people's ideas, documentary evidence, and widespread dissemination. It is this ecology of facts, opinions and linking that is best described by the term"blogosphere."
Here is Buckethead's original post (source): "Every single one of these memos to file is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman. In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing, and typewriters used monospaced fonts. The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's. Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used monospaced fonts. I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old. This should be pursued aggressively."
Obviously, that's good thinking, but it's not reporting nor investigation. "This should be pursued aggressively" is something an editor says to a reporter. And here's the thing. It was. By the conservative blogosphere. That's why it's the new journalism -- because bloggers are not journalists, don't live within the Beltway, don't have friendships with the media, don't fear retribution, aren't impressed with Hill receptions. "Let's investigate" and there's hundreds of people looking for leads (maybe only a few good reporters among the stamping dittoheads, but a few is all you need.)
To recap, my point is not that there is not good reporting here, just that the initial post was not an expose but rather a suspicion.
(2) TalkingPointsMemo is mentioned two times in the post, each time with a proper link. However, Koman fails to mention that more often than not TPM is simply sticking to (a) the Democrats party line, and (b) the drift of each days New York Times articles. I agree that if you were to believe that FCN mind-controls a majority of Americans you'd believe TPM were an outpost of resistance, however, given circulation numbers and market share, TPM is simply a shill for the very same ideas which are put forth by news outlets such as CBS and NYT each and every day.
Don't know what FCN is. But I am arguing that TPM is not merely parroting NYT but is a agitating force in pushing their coverage and of the sense in Washington that popular sentiment was moving against Lott and DeLay.
(3) Koman further suggests that it's mainly Republicans who have to fear the power of blogs. Not true. All real-world surveys (as in surveys) put out in 2004 show that it was Democrats, major papers like NYT and WaPo, and liberal network anchors who lost credibility due to relentless scrutiny as was on display by your hated "right-leaning blogs". You may wish to ride that deLay horse dead, but time will show again and again that it's the liberals who are getting nervous about the rise of blogs, not Republican politicians and partygoers. But then, it's almost a given fact that Koman and friends will spin that very same fact as "evidence" that right-wingers control US media, and that it were for that reason that we hear so little about Republican scandals exposed on hard-left blogs.
In the case of the DeLay rule, yes, the party in power that is trying to make rules in secret to protect their leader has something to fear. OTOH, Dan Rather certainly has something to fear, and in many other cases the Dems too. Blogs are not about partisanship but about citizen (or perhaps community)-based factfinding and exposure. I would suspect that the right will understand and exploit this paradigm faster and beter than the left. After all, they understood talk radio, cable tv, the removal of the Fairness Doctrine better. (And btw, check out podcasting: churches are all over podcasting.) Sigh. (but you say "right-leaning" as if it were a dirty word ;-))
(4) If you need further proof for the latter fact take a look at the Howard Dean bubble. From broadband to dial-up. Dean and his followers in the blogosphere did nothing to help the Democrats cause via blogs because it's not a winning turf for the left. I've still to encounter a fresh story in leftist blogs that's not been covered on A1 in NYT, WaPo, LAT, and assorted papers. However, you may want to visit Instapundit any time of the day, and you'll most certainly find a fresh angle that you did not see reported in any mainstream media. That's the very reason why the Deaniacs failed. They've been told in the beginning that they're alone in America, sole voices of resistance, but found out that the whole editorial staff at NYT and friends agreed with them (not to speak of seriously deranged Paul Krugman or Mrs. Dowd), and that it's pretty uncool to keep company with "corporate media". Soon the Deaniacs' movement collapsed, giving less than single-digit gains to John Kerry from that base. However, there is a resisting base, the real base, and these people find their anchor not at TPM, not in Dean's movement, not in the Gray Lady, but in the large corner of the 'sphere Mr Koman so greenly ignored. And, no, these are not die-hard Republicans as suggested by Mr Koman, but swing-voters, democrats (as in democrat), libertarians (as in libertarian), people who seek information, not repetition of propaganda. The former they won't find at TPM, just as a majority of voters did not find confidence in Mr Kerry.
I think the point is that the real action in political blogs is happening on "right-leaning" blogs? Only they're not right-leaning, they're mainstream? (interesting battle over language, but any commentator who is rabidly pro-Bush I'll call right-leaning). I'll have to leave the rebuttal on that to someone else. I do wonder how the blogosphere stacks politically to the election tally, which was something like 52-48, right?
Marnie Webb: Not sure about "new journalism" claim
extension 337: "Are Blogs the New Journalism" -- I'm not so sure
Are Blogs the New Journalism, a nice roundup of the evidence in favor of blogs being the new journalism. On Richard's blog, I posted a comment disagreeing with this idea.
Don't get me wrong. I'm completely on the citizen reporting train. It's just that I think there is a difference between reporting and journalism. And that difference is an editorial one. I think there are ways to provide for a community editorial stance -- both DailyKos and Slashdot do this. However, blogs alone do not. In many ways, I think of blogs as the raw source material but it needs shaping.
The problem, from my admittedly consumer perspective (I have very little journalism training -- a few college classes and a stint on various newspapers, college, high school, and free), is that journalists aren't doing any shaping of the raw materials. They are simply reporting it in a very "this happened and then this" perspective. Joan Didion provided what I thought of as a compelling argument in Political Fictions. Basically, it told about journalisms merely reporting what people were saying and not questioning it or comparing it to past statements. It's this juxtaposition of various bits of information that is a part of the editorial function, it seems to me.
Josh Marshall is doing it on Talking Points Memo. But TPM isn't, by anyone standards, an average blog.
Certainly, blogs can and should be integrated into a communities online presence, whether that's spearheaded by a newspaper or by some other community entity. But blogs reportage, no matter how good, can't serve as journalism all by itself.
Rather than citizen journalism, I like the idea of "community journalism." That's what both DailyKos and Slashdot exploit to great effect. The new Digital Divide Network certainly has this possibility. This gets at the community editorial stance I mentioned above. It's a way for people to elevate stories, writers, writing, news bits, images, videos, or audio to a prominent place within a community of information. It's easy enough, on my weblog -- one writer -- to say something is worthy of the front page. I can (and do) use services like technorati, pub sub, and feedster to determine votes via links. On a community site, though, only maybe one or two of my entries would have been worth front page status.
That filter is good for the users. It's helps them to sort through what is, hopefully, a positive plethora of reportage and get to the journalism. It also helps to solidify comments and provide the community with a common language of issues -- one of the functions of a newspaper, it seems to me.
So, what does all this have to do with nonprofits? I think that by exploiting weblogs, RSS and other community tools, nonprofits can start providing a greater amount of reportage. And this, providing the source materials, can help to advance their causes in ways that I can only guess at right now.
Bonus link: Blogs of War: this San Francisco Chronicle article talks about the information that soldiers are sending out about the war in Iraq.
New Journalism or just New Reporting?
Pulling this out of comments on the original essay ..
I think that blogging may have something to do with new reporting but I tend to think that journalism is more than that. Journalism is also about editing and editorial policies. That is something that seems, by and large, missing in the blogosphere.
It seems that aggregating blogs in a way that provides some sort of editorial oversight -- maybe in a slashdot kind of way where things get karma points to go to the front page -- is real future. DailyKos is also a great example of this.
My off the cuff response:
In the 61st Minute case, it seems like PowerLine provided that oversight by being the aggregator of a great variety of activity on the topic. I agree that the future looks like pulling together of opinion, research and analysis, rather than 6 million people opining on their own spaces. so its journalism but it looks more like an ant colony than a newspaper.
But I think the thought bears more thinking than I can do right at the moment. More later.
PressThink: Guest Writer Simon Waldman: The Importance of Being Permanent
The real reason newspapers are endangered
SiliconBeat: Competing with Craigslist Craigs has taken $50-60 million away from newspapers in classified ad revenues. Once again, the net makes money disappear.
Jon Stewart wins, CNN cancels Crossfire
Jon Stewart wins, CNN cancels Crossfire "Mr. Klein specifically cited the criticism that the comedian Jon Stewart leveled at "Crossfire" when he was a guest on the program during the presidential campaign. Mr. Stewart said that ranting partisan political shows on cable were "hurting America." Mr. Klein said last night, "I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart's overall premise." He said he believed that especially after the terror attacks on 9/11, viewers are interested in information, not opinion."
PunditGuy: Tsunami Videos
The Washington Monthly: The end of blogs
Kevin Drum hears that NYT and other papers are wishing to stop giving away content on the web and start charging for access to their sites. He thinks this is the end of political blogging, that the dearth of sources to point to would dry up the fuel of blogs. I have to say I think that's incorrect. Like so many things, online news is out of the bottle. It's too important for people to be able to share, comment, fact-check, disagree and refute.
I don't blame the Times for wanting to monetize their content more, but its not the same as the WSJ, which after all never published for free. The Times doesn't provide data or advanced business knowledge. Bloggers can subscribe to the for-pay version too, but they may not be content to link to a door with a lock on it.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Taking back the country
Craig Cline also pointed to that essay with the note "This is how we take back the country." I hadn't quite thought about it that way, but yes. The problem with the mainstream media is not that its liberal -- it's that it requires a proprietary attitude towards newsgathering. The thing about group blogs like PowerLine is that they have no huge pride of ownership. The result is a fast-moving, massive news collection and analysis engine. Thus the entire construct is turned upside down. It is a universal. motivated fact-checking machine. I'm thinking about the story in Dan's book where some corporate exec is on the stage at a conference lying abouth his company and everyone's online and a Yahoo news story about the company comes out, which everyone starts blogging. In the course of the talk the audience turns hostile. Later in the book, Dan tells about Howard Rheingold being asked if this has a chilling effect on such presentations. His response, "No, it has a chilling effect on bullshit." Ditto for Dan Rather, Tom deLay, George Bush.
Manas Garg: Ecosystem of Ideas: Posted the "New Journalism" essay (below) on O'Reilly. Manas Garg pointed me to a post of his that gets at the idea of ecosystem. "It provides an extraordinary platform for ideas ecosystem. Blogosphere is not about expression. It is not even about publishing. It is a giant leap in the direction of getting ideas together so that they evolve and reach adulthood much faster."
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Are Blogs the New Journalism?
The way TIME magazine saw it in December, 2004 was the start of a "golden age" of blogging -- the rapid-fire web publishing scheme where anyone can publish their rants, photos or detailed reporting on the web in a matter of seconds. While blogging has been around for four or five years, the combination of the hotly contested election and the growth in popularity of blogging tools meant that blogging had hit critical mass.
Before this year, says writer Lev Grossman, "blogs kept a relatively modest profile, and the mainstream media could comfortably treat them like amateur productions that could never compete with real news organizations." But their power has been growing. In 2002 a liberal blog called Talking Points Memo pushed for Trent Lott's resignation as Senate majority leader. In 2004, Russ Kick obtained photos of US soldiers' coffins coming back from Iraq. "The next day they were on the front pages of newspapers around the world," says Grossman.
But the event that pushed blogs into the bigtime, if not the mainstream, was the 60 Minutes debacle, in which a blog called PowerLineBlog suggested that documents presented on "60 Minutes," which seemed to show that President Bush reniged on his National Guard service, were in fact frauds. The post was famously called the "61st Minute."
Half an hour after posting, "there were 50 e-mails in [PowerLine contributor Scott Johnson's] In box from readers offering further arguments and evidence disputing the CBS documents' authenticity. Johnson sifted through the comments and added some of them to his original post. This created a feedback loop. The more comments he posted, the more e-mail he got, which he then posted, generating even more e-mail, and so on. The process turbocharged itself. In all, he updated the post 15 or 20 times over the course of that day. ...
"By 10:30 a.m., Power Line had an arsenal of arguments attacking the memos-typographical, logical, procedural, historical. The three bloggers put up genuine National Guard documents from 1973 so that readers could compare them with the 60 Minutes memos. The Drudge Report, the Mondo Cane grandfather of all right-leaning news blogs, linked to their site about midafternoon, sending a torrent of traffic their way and promptly crashing their Web server. By the end of the day, about 500 sites had linked to Power Line. 'I think it's fair to say that that post that Scott began is probably the most famous post in the young history of the blogosphere,' Hinderaker says proudly. "
What's interesting about this story is not so much that there are "citizen journalists" out there, doing the job that "real" journalists are not doing. In fact, there was no reporting or investigation to the original post -- just a bit of reasoning and reasonable suspicion. It was the flood of posts from readers that created a virtuous circle of other people's ideas, documentary evidence, and widespread dissemination. It is this ecology of facts, opinions and linking that is best described by the term"blogosphere."
Dan Gillmor, who recently left his beat as technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, notes in his book "We the Media": "If my readers know more than I do (which I know they do), I can include them in the process of making my journalism better." Journalism, Gillmor suggests, is moving from a broadcast to a conversation. "The first article may be only the beginning of the conversation in which we can all enlighten each other."
Since he wrote those words almost a year ago, Gillmor's thinking has evolved -- so much that he has left his job at the Mercury to start a nascent company to take citizen journalism in new directions. Currently, Gillmor is thinking a lot about what he calls distributed journalism. On his Grassroots Journalism blog, Gillmor credits two sites -- Talking Points Memo and Daily Delay -- with putting the pressure on the Republicans to drop the rule change that would have allowed House Majority Leader Tom deLay to keep his position even if he were to be indicted.
"Something especially important occurred with these two blogs. They asked readers to call their Republican members of Congress and ask how they voted on the original secret vote to give DeLay a break. Readers responded in droves." They reported the responses back to the bloggers. The results were posted. Did you learn how Republicans voted from NPR or Fox or the New York Times? No. But the blogosphere has ways of finding out.
This is just the start of the new journalism, Gillmor thinks. "Suppose, for example, that we assemble a nationwide group of volunteers -- lawyers who are familiar with statutes -- and ask each of them to take a small section of one of those immense congressional bills that the members of Congress don't even read themselves. Suppose, further, that we could get this analysis posted before the House and Senate did their final votes. We might catch a lot of sleazy stuff before it became law. Today we're lucky if we know about any of it before it actually passes."
This blogging thing is starting to look interesting.
TIME: Blogs Have Their Day
Blogs Have Their Day [time] A copy of Time magazine's piece on bloggers as People of the Year.
Friday, January 07, 2005
Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism: Distributed Journalism's Future
Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism: Distributed Journalism's Future Here's Gillmor talking about distributed journalism. He talks about the NYT calling all their stringers and asking them to all send in some local item which is then put together into a single national piece. The thing is, the Net lets distributed journalism actually make a difference -- like gathering experts to analyze a complicated bill and publish their findings BEFORE it comes up for vote. "We might catch a lot of sleazy stuff before it became law. Today we're lucky if we know about any of it before it actually passes."
Poynter Online - Taking Tsunami Coverage into Their Own Hands
Poynter Online - Taking Tsunami Coverage into Their Own HandsIs this the tipping point for blogging? Steve Outing thinks the tsunami has resulted in a tidal wave (sorry) of citizens using communication technology to get the word out not only about conditions in the affected areas but about their individual stories. Digital videos, pictures, blog entries, SMS messages, are some of the ways that people are not waiting for the mass media to tell the story. An alternative, real-time, very decentralized story (or rather cloud of stories) is being told. But of course finding all these stories is extremely difficult. You can't turn on the news. You need to find the aggregators and become your own aggregator. Here are some quotes from Gillmor.
Dan Gillmor: "I'm pretty sure this is one of those before and after moments," he says. "There will be before the tsunami and after the tsunami." ... "I'm pretty sure this is one of those before and after moments," he says. "There will be before the tsunami and after the tsunami."
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Mena's Corner: Current Mood: Optimistic
Six Apart, makers of Movable Type, aquire Live Journal ""Many of our weaknesses are LiveJournal's strengths and many of LiveJournal's weaknesses are our strengths."
There's the infrastructure that LiveJournal knows how to build, the talent of Brad and his crew, and the community that we can learn a lot from. Yes, LiveJournal also has a large user base and joining companies make us stronger.
And of course we're doing this deal because we believe it will increase the value of Six Apart. We're a company and don't make apologies for that.
But, in order to increase our value, we need to keep our assets valuable and for LiveJournal, that means not messing with things that aren't broken. To do so means keeping LiveJournal as good or better than it is the day we closed the deal. "
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
BBC NEWS | Technology | Blog reading explodes in America
Monday, January 03, 2005
EPIC 2014 2014. The NY Times has gone offline. The Fourth Estate's fortunes have waned. What happened to the news? Are we going to be happy with the world that are blogs and computer generated news aggregation and automated recommendations are building? Beautifully done.
Video blogs break out with tsunami scenes
Video blogs break out with tsunami scenes More info about video blogs of tsunami videos including waveofdestruction.org.
Waveofdestruction.org - Photos and Videos from the aftermath of the Asia Tsunami.
PressThink: Top Ten Ideas of '04: "Content Will be More Important than its Container"
PressThink: Top Ten Ideas of '04: "Content Will be More Important than its Container" Very interesting ideas about content, websites, users, brands.
Weblog strategies for nonprofits @ Radio Free Blogistan
Weblog strategies for nonprofits Last year Radio Free Blogistan posted an interesting essay on this topic using Compumentor and TechSoup as a model. " realized that unless someone kickstarts this and demonstrates the power of a nonhierarchical cellular communications network for publishing, syndication, sharing, commenting, there's no way to demonstrate the network effects.
Empower as many people affiliated in whatever way with nonprofits to start blogs if they want to. Syndicate and reprint news, analysis, announcements, and alerts.
I did some searching on Google using simple terms such as "nonprofit weblog" and "nonprofit blog." I didn't find anyone directly working on the intersection of these two concepts. I did find a number of blogs mentioning nonprofits and possibly a few published by nonprofits. I also found lots of pages from techie nonprofits that mentioned weblogs in passing or published articles about them.
"It occurred to me that any subculture or microcosm or market or realm of ideas needs its own pioneers with this medium. I think I'm going to try to convince CompuMentor to launch a pilot program that will plant that stake in the sand so that other nonprofits and ngo's and progressive organizations can weave their own connections around it."
Sunday, January 02, 2005
CBS News | Defining Google | January 2, 2005�20:01:07
CBS News | Defining Google. Watching 60 Minutes' profile of Google right now. So far they've shown a demo of Keyhole, which is "totally awesome" according to my son Nate. It offers a flythrough interface to get at satellite imagery. Not free though. Also like the point that Google rolls stuff out fast in beta form.
They use the Google Lab Aptitude Test. They hire carefully. 14 interviews for one candidate to get a PR job. Free excellent cafetaria lunch. Company makes money by offering free food.
They're working on machine translation. They think they can translate between any two languages in the future. Also working on making tv shows searchable online. John Batelle says "search will no longer live only on your pc." For instance Google sms lets you search from a cell phone. Leslie demos it on her phone in NYC.
Batelle forsees being able to wand a barcode in a store and search google to find competing prices at nearby stores. "Now that's power."
MS social computing research
Microsoft's Social Computing Group, part of MS Research, offers an interesting view of future computing. Seems that Wallop -- share photos, blog and interact with a social group through a website interface -- is in a realworld trial, so it may be ready to graduate from Research.
Saturday, January 01, 2005
Gillmor on social journalism
OhmyNews International interviewed Dan Gillmor about his departure from the San Jose Mercury News to start a new enterprise about blogs and social journalism. Fascinating reading.
Lawrence Lessig is starting a process to update his book "Code" via wiki. An interesting thing to watch unfold.
InfoWorld: An upcoming conference about RSS Content Syndication
InfoWorld: An upcoming conference about RSS Content Syndication May 17-18. NYC. B2B con billed as executive level and created for content producers, media execs, corporate marketers, advertisers, and PR pros.