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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Visionary vs Visionless 
(en francais)

H/T to Small Dead Animals for the link to this piece on Newspapers in the age of blogs, by Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian.

Well worth reading and listening to. I don't think you'll find a more honest opinion from an editorial perspective.

The snips below are from Buzz Machine by Jeff Jarvis.
And, of course, he asks the question everyone asks:”Where’s the revenue? This is my favorite quote from the book about Google: ‘They had no revenue model until 2001′…. And it’s now worth, depending on the day of the week, between $40 and $80 billion.”


He tells his audience about a wide range of Web 2.0 companies and talks about having dinner with the Digg guys, who he says will “either be multibillionnaires in a few years time or just go on being geeks.” He does take some hope that the aggregators find newspaper content interesting; that’s what they’re aggregating. This is why he says it’s “mad to be sacking journalists,” because we need the content they produce, though he then adds, “we may need to sack some.”

Later, he is asked about aggregators and whether he objects to what they do and whether he can stop them. He replies that, yes, you can tell crawlers to “push off.” And he confesses to sitting with the Digg guys, seeing them make money while The Guardian loses money, and wondering about building a wall. “But actually, they are driving traffic back to the Guardian site. The more of a wall that you put around, whether it’s a wall of payment or a wall of registration, the more you’re repelling people rather than building an audience for the day when we hope that advertising will come in like the cavalry and rescue us. So I think at the moment, the smarter thing to do is to make your content available everywhere and to have it aggregated and linked to like mad by everybody in the world, because that way you will reach a gigantic audience. And that matters journalistically. If you’re in the business of journalism for influence, and because of the Guardian worldview that you believe in, it’s terrific to have an audience of 14 million instead of 400,000. That’s wonderful. So why would you want to turn them away?”

The mp3 file of the speech and question and answer session can be downloaded.

On the other hand, we have the opinion from the Canadian scribblers:

Demeaning Discourse: how bloggers lower the tone
Russel Smith

Okay, so what? We read blogs just as we read non-journalistic opinion columns such as this one: for a personal opinion and a personal voice. We read them to be part of a discussion. All good. But what about the tone of so many of these discussions -- the almost ubiquitous snarkiness, the ad hominem jabs, the sheer hatred they reveal? It takes about five entries in any on-line forum before a troll starts throwing insults at his opponents, and then it's a group hate.

I'd like to see a study comparing the Sun group and The Toronto Star versus others such as the Globe and Mail and Canwest. Open and linkable versus those who still maintain subscription and or registration walls. `

Paul Synnott at 1:01 a.m.    | en francais | Go to Top|

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