Jack writes an article about blog hype. Nice. Jeff, Jay, Dave are all there. Gawker too, mentioning Jeff again. Whether bloggers are competing with oldskool journalism, even a topic in Germany. Let’s focus on some issues raised in the Slate piece. Where’s Mickey on this? Btw, nice job on getting discussion about Slate going in blogegology and pissing off a few bloggers.
Jack sets the tone from the get go. I wasn’t in college at the time when videos were to change broadcasting, but there is a point made. What did happen to the media apocalypse of amateur video producers assembling their own truth, eventually squashing broadcasters and subsequent blossoming of alternative news outlets?
Albeit, the web is different this time around. It’s much easier to disseminate news that matters to you. To put it bluntly, all you need is net connectivity. Back in 1981 when Jack used his two-ton-suitcase to record moving images, where was he going to disseminate the recording? A major hurdle.
Even if the new Guerrilla TV Channel was to cast it, how credible would the moving images be? And how many would even care to watch or find out about it? That said, finding a channel to cast the material, let alone find the audience – difficult.
Now think about producing moving images today. Ok, the video recording devices got lighter too. All you need to do is upload onto your pc/mac/linux machine, ftp it, write your blurb, press post in your blog software, voila! More importantly, receivers on the web will discover your video mainly via Google and worldwide referrals traveling at “click here” speed.
Talent and Economics
Once your “click here” speed is reached, your content will filter through personal bias, competition, non-linking, networks of benefits, and some ignorance before anyone takes notice of your moving images; even talent takes time to reach an intended audience.
No more than two-ton-talented video producers in the 1980s had difficulty reaching their intented audience, some bloggers today have yet to share their talent or become discovered. And as Jack posted in the letter, “The ultimate limit isn’t economic, but talent.”
Even though quality standards and credibility are usually determined less by sheer numbers, as most know, think of the Bild or Sun in Europe; colorful hacked trees speaking to the babble of the masses. Higher paid advertising actually goes to the NYTs of this world, who get more bang for their bucks, knowing their readers focused time commitment.
Just as the net was to advance our home sweet home immersion, one danger of blogging-to-blog might well be more noises instead of voices, which relates to sheer talent of course. And this is Jack’s key point I think,
The danger of fetishizing a new technology (the Porta-Pak) or a new media wrinkle (the blog) is obvious: In the rush to define the new new thing and celebrate its wonders, the human tendency to oversell kicks in.
Self-Gratification & Big Media
Even if Ed Cone thinks boring, Jack. And worse, inaccurate or The Liberal Conservative attests Jack Shafer doesn’t get it.
And belittling that movement by directing his barbs at the particular representatives of blogging at a particular conference only serves to demonstrate how deeply Shafer’s ignorance lies.
Enough said, it seems as if the Editor-at-Large in Seattle touched a sensitive spot that caused some heated reaction, because if it’s all that inaccurate, why even take it serious? But taking it into the recent conference at Harvard was a bit tactless.
Slate might even know that some bloggers are already a larger force, link authority or influential source than Slate itself. I think it’s an existential issue at stake here. And those who are willing to adapt to the changing media scape will determine their survival. Dan probably has real inside understanding, especially because he worked as a blogger and journalist for years under the hood of Knight Ridder. Always wondered how that was possible. Now that he left the Mercury News, it’ll be interesting to see what’s next.
In any case, the changes are happening as you read, bloggers, writers, posters, audio casters, journalists, architects, and academics are still figuring out how a “java script” is causing so much noise in the web publishing industry.
Another barrier has fallen and those who disregard the transformative power of net communication via blog-like software are missing the point. It’s only beginning and you can shape what’s left. One point did ring positive in Jack’s piece and rumble at the conference: slow blogging. I like the idea, just because you have a connection doesn’t mean you should always post.
Tell me, Gerd, if you were the author of this, and the foil for the author of this, what would you do? My term for what Jack Shafer did is “intellectual dishonesty.” What’s yours?
Jay, I think Big Media feels the heat and Slate is one of them, ignoring adaptation and disregarding honest people who discussed how to build trust, instead barking for attention, although he does have some valid points too.
Your “Bloggers vs. Journalists is Over” piece where you quote Geneva Overholser, objectivity has outlived its usefulness as an ethical touchstone for journalism, has yet to sink in among many in Big Media. And those who are venturing off with new open source projects are pioneering a new kind of “objectivity.”