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Books & Articles I wrote.

Monday, August 01, 2005


An end to being closed

I'm a big sports fan and when i read Ross Mayfield's blog on Always On (also here) and in particular that a particular newspaper doesn't recognize open letters i got me thinking about how this relates to what happens here in Scotland and the UK in general (heck include most web sites in that.

Again back to sport. We pay for their newspaper. They write a bunch of made up stories and no-one really get any say in them. Not us who paid good money - why not make up our own stories? Nor those they made the story up about. This is an endless cycle here in Scotland, particularly as the focus is typically on one of two football teams (this year may be a little different).

The point is that no matter how hard I try or how strong my opinion is on yet another piece of bad journalism, it's up to the guy who wrote it or one of his friends to decide whether anyone else gets to hear about it. Sure "I disagree" may get some airtime, but "2 weeks ago you said the EXACT opposite of what you are saying today", typically doesn't. It's as though it never happened - and it wastes my time.

This is what excites me about the potential of collaborative journalism. Not just that you get your say, but you get to be the source as well. Of course what you arguably get is some quality assurance when you buy a newspaper - I'd argue that around 50% of the time you don't even get that. I'd rather hear about what my friend read, or wrote. Sure it may be made up, but at least I have a say about it. Maybe we can have a laugh about it. Maybe it is actually true and YOU can become the source of a new breaking piece of information. Whatever - the difference is that over time a set of reliable sources will be build up - new world journalists like me and you - whose reputation is out there. If you talk rubbish you better be funny or noone will listen. Bring it on!

BTW - interesting that Always On never got my ping as they don't support trackback and want me to write for them. I also wonder whether Ross copies his blog posts or has some way or write-once, run-anywhere so it gets reproduced!?

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