August 31, 2004
Another Thoughtful Review
Christopher Byrne doesn't agree with everything in the book (I hope nobody does), but he offers some thoughtful comments in this review.
The Great Firewall Word Filter
Xiao Qiang (China Digital News): The words you never see in Chinese cyberspace. It is an open secret that all Chinese Internet hosting services, including wireless and instant messenger services, filter user communication through key word blocking mechanisms. But overly vague and broad Chinese internet laws and the internet police force never made the forbidden words explicit -- Not until some Chinese hackers located a document within the installation package of QQ instant messaging software. The file contains over one thousand words, most of them in Chinese, which will be blocked by the service.
Wikipedia, Reputation and Accuracy
There's been a fascinating uproar in cyberspace about the estimable Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia I discussed in my column early this year and in the book. One of the topics was whether a site written entirely by its readers -- and where every page can be edited by anyone -- could meet any kind of "standards" of accuracy and reliablity.
The latest tempest was stirred by this column in a Syracuse, NY, newspaper, in which a librarian is quoted dumping on Wikipedia for various reasons. It gets complicated from there.
Thankfuly, Ross Mayfield has deconstructed the debate with lots of links and good quotes. Read the whole thing.
August 30, 2004
New York Visit, Talks at End of September
I'll be in New York City on September 27 to give a talk about the book. It's being sponsored by the Markle Foundation, and will include a reception and book signing. If you are interested, please send a note to the foundation's Stefaan Verhulst at SVerhulst (at) markle (dot) org to be added to the invitation list. Or shoot me an email and I'll pass it along.
August 28, 2004
Politics Part of Keeping Us Scared
Bruce Schneier: How Long Can the Country Stay Scared? Want to learn how to create and sustain psychosis on a national scale? Look carefully at the public statements made by the Department of Homeland Security.
Beat Reporters, a Great Resource
Dan Froomkin (OJR): Why Beat Reporters Could Be News Sites' Greatest Secret Weapon. The primer, the FAQ and the timeline are terrific resources for online news consumers. They offer depth and context in a way that daily reporting can't. And who better to produce them than the reporters who cover a beat day in and day out?
August 25, 2004
Amid Hurricane, News Organizations Get Readers' Help
TBO.com, the website of several Tampa Bay area news organizations, asked its readers for help during Hurricane Charley. The readers came through, says Jim Riley, senior editor for content at the organization, who says:
The links can be viewed from http://www.tbo.com/hurricanecharley/ ...look under the blue Special Reports stripe under "Your Voice" and you'llDirect links:
see five user photo galleries followed by "Damage Reports" and "Riding Out The Storm."
Updated to repair broken links.
A Very Flattering Review
August 22, 2004
Hyperlocal Online Journalism Can Work
Students at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism have been conducting a terrific experiment in what some are calling "hyperlocal citizens; media." As I reported in my book, they set up a site called "goskokie" ("news for the people, by the people") to cover the Chicago suburb of Skokie. Working with local people, they've created something valuable.
Now they've written a paper with recommendations (1.5MB PDF) on how it can be done. There's lots of solid advice here.
One gripe. I can't find the paper on the Web in HTML. It's really unfortunate to make people download a clumsy PDF to read something that would have worked better -- with links, etc. -- in HTML.
(Via Steve Rubel)
August 21, 2004
This is about greed, nothing more and nothing less. It is about the historically corrupt International Olympic Committee's desire to please the giant media organizations to which it has sold "rights" to tell and show the world what is happening.
AP: Olympians largely barred from blogging. Athletes may be the center of attention at the Olympic Games, but don't expect to hear directly from them online -- or see snapshots or video they've taken.
The irony here is that the olympic officials are inadvertently telling us something about the future of journalism, though I'm certain they don't understand it themselves, in the context of their heavy-handed (and probably illegal) action. Because the more that regular folks -- OK, that's a stretch for the athletes -- put their own work on the Web or send it to each other by other means, the more they are becoming some of tomorrow's journalists.
But the move is ridiculous. If an athlete phones a friend and reports what's happened, and the friend posts it online, is that somehow breaking the rules?
Go further. Look past today's technology. What's coming will utterly wreck the Big Media monopoly over Olympic images, and all Big Event images. When all spectators have a high-quality video camera in their phones, will the powers-that-be ban phones? Unlikely. But even if they could ban phones that are obvious, what will they do when we're carrying video cameras in the buttons on our shirts, and when our eyeglasses contain phones or other transmitting devices?
I hope athletes break this rule right and left. I also hope that they declare independence someday from the cynical and corrupt organizations that have run international sports for so long. The games are about the athletes, or should be.
August 20, 2004
Asahi on 'We the Media'
Asahi, the giant Japanese media company, recently interviewed me about the book. Results are here, for those of you who can read the language.
August 19, 2004
Librarians and 'We the Media'
I certainly agree with both of them.
Guardian Online Chat on 'We the Media'
August 17, 2004
One More Reason Why People Disrespect Media
The Daily Kos notes a Republican astroturf campaign in which many newspapers printed a letter, written by Bush operatives but signed by people in local communities, offering political support to the president's campaign.
I don't expect much shame from the people who would sign their names to someone else's work in this way. I do expect better of newspaper editorial pages, which should be checking for this kind of stuff.
New media, but sleazy old tricks.
They the Media: Florida Hurricane Bloggers
Buzz Bruggeman, who plays a role in the book, is a Floridian who was caught in Hurricane Charley. He's been blogging what he's seen, and it's excellent stuff.
New Review of 'We the Media'
August 16, 2004
Web Chat Thursday
I'll be doing a live Web-chat on Thursday with the Guardian in London. (I'll be in California...)
OJR Gets New Top Editor
More info here.
August 14, 2004
Creative Commons 'We the Media' Interview
August 13, 2004
Openness and Trust on the Web
JD Lasica (Online Journalism Review): Transparency Begets Trust in the Ever-Expanding Blogosphere. The openness of Weblogs could help explain why many readers find them more credible than traditional media. Can mainstream journalists learn from their cutting-edge cousins?
August 11, 2004
Internet, Journalism and Ethics
Mark Glaser (Online Journalism Review): On the Wild, Woolly Internet, Old Ethics Rules Do Apply.
'We the Media' Q&A in Wired news
Wired News' Xeni Jardin had a bunch of questions for me about the book, and I did my best to respond. You can find the Q&A here.
Open Media Project Launched
JD Lasica and Marc Canter have launched a promising new organization called Open-Media.org, and it deserves wide attention.
August 09, 2004
More 'We the Media' Remixes
The remixing of the book is taking interesting new forms, all permitted because it's published under a kind of Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial use, so long as the work is credited and is made available under the same license. Examples of the remixes:
Have I missed anything important? Let me know.
Uniqa college bloggers: This is
Uniqa college bloggers: This is a small QuickTime movie of some of the journalists at the "Uniqa College for Journalists" program where I'm giving a couple of lectures this week. (Click on the image to see the video.)
August 06, 2004
National Cruelty to Bloggers Week
The Register's Andrew Orlowski, tongue firmly in cheek, reports: Blogging 'cruelty' allegations rock post-DNC calm. He also makes some excellent cautionary points about the blogosphere's self-absorption, and zany notion that blogs will somehow supplant Big Media.
Andrew is among several folks who've pointed to by far the funniest comment posted under the Slashdot review of my book. It goes:
Blogs are going to change the world. Example:(Cross-posted to eJournal.)
OLD, TIRED MEDIA: "The Associated Press reported that Saddam Hussein was captured yesterday by American forces."
NEW, EXCITING MEDIA: "omg like kos reported that he saw on chris's blog that john trackbacked to mike's journal where he read about bob's girlfriend's brother's cousin who was like watching Fox News (fair and balanced my ass! lol) and they said something about saddam i dunno current music: brittney cleary - im me current mood: corpulent"
Notice the synergy of information and the ease by which information propagates throughout the blogosphere.
August 05, 2004
Bloggers and Big Media
Mark Glaser reports at Online Journalism Review that big media companies are "starting to work with -- instead of against -- the blogosphere." About time.
August 04, 2004
Reviews of 'We the Media'
This is a list of longer reviews.
In Print Publications
On the Web
Note: If you see reviews we've missed, please let us know. Thanks.
Slashdot Reviews 'We the Media'
LA Times Nemesis on We the Media
In the book I briefly tell the story of how Patrick Frey, a.k.a. Patterico, has used his blog and the phone to call the Los Angeles Times to account. He has what he calls a minor quibble with how I describe his activities, but ultimately is complimentary.
August 03, 2004
Copyright Cartel's Latest Legal Victim
The cartel has killed off 321 Studios, which sold software letting people back up their DVDs. Another scalp for an industry that will sue businesses into the ground when they dare to offer people a way to use the digital music and other "content" they've purchased in the ways they choose for their own personal use.
The cartel says anything that can be used for infringement is not allowed to exist. Corporations rule. Customers are supposed to submit. They don't always have to.
Grassroots Journalism Gets Local Boost
The Northwest Voice, covering northwest Bakersfield, Calif., is one of the most interesting new experiments in journalism today. When the editors say, "Share your voice," they're not kidding. Kudos.
Grassroots Journalism Website a Money Maker
Glenn Fleishman, creator of the excellent Wi-Fi Networking News, writes to correct something in the book. I said, based on an old conversation, that his blog wasn't a money-maker. Au contraire, Glenn informs me:
It's actually a considerable moneymaker. I have a partnership (editorial, marketing, and advertising) with Jiwire that brings in an amount I can't disclose each month. In exchange, I refer substantial traffic, display their hotspot finder and branding, and allow them to sell ads on my site.So, the business model of niche journalism gets another boost. And I stand corrected.
In addition, the Google AdSense ads also bring in significant income.
How much I can't disclose due to contractual relationships with both parties. I can say that it's become an increasingly large minority portion of my personal revenue, and that it's significant enough that I have been able to pay a contract writer, another professional journalist, to contribute regularly to the site to keep it fresher.
Book PDFs Posted on Web
Mapping the News
This is a beta of "News Maps" from NewsIsFree. The image, created by a Java applet, shows a "technology news map" of current event in the tech sphere. Here's how NewsIsFree describes the site:
NewsKnowledge and The Hive Group have joined forces to bring you News Maps, visual maps of the NewsIsFree headline database. News Maps allow you to quickly scan dozens of news articles and instantly understand what's being reported all over the world. Each square in the News Map is an article. You can obtain additional detail on each article by moving your mouse over it. You can read an article by clicking on it.This kind of mapping isn't an entirely new idea. And the potential, for now, seems greater than the achievement.
The Hive Group's Honeycomb algorithm organizes news headlines by source. Size and Color information indicate article age and popularity. You can easily filter and rearrange you results to view articles that meet certain criteria, or that contain certain text.
But this is an intriguing approach to making the daily information flood a little less intimidating and a little more manageable. I'll be watching with interest.
(Cross-posted to eJournal.)