Bloggers vs. Journalists, it’s Over says Jay Rosen

NYU’s Jay Rosen declares the “war” between New and Old Media over in a long keynote at the recent Blogging, Journalism & Credibility conference at Harvard. Pulling together quotes from key posts over the past few years he says that we really need to stop staring each other in the eyes waiting for the other to blink and realize that the opinionated bloggers and objective journalists need each other. One is not better than the other, they are both different sides of the story and both necessary to paint a complete picture. To a certain extent, the popularity of blogs is a result of the audience (and the working journalist) wanting to pull back some of the powers they’ve ceded to mainstream media.

The price of professionalizing journalism was the de-voicing of the
journalist. The price for having mass media was the atomization of the
audience, who in the broadcasting model were connected “up” to the
center but not “across” to each other. Well, blogging is a re-voicing
tool in journalism, and the Net’s strengths in horizontal communication
mean that audience atomization is being overcome.

Higher Relevance = Lower Ad Sales

Kind of obvious when you think about it but if the industry were to continue down the path of developing the perfect search engine that could find you exactly what you were looking for, would you even bother clicking on a context sensitive advertisement?

Ukrainian man hasn’t slept in 20 years

I tend to be a bit of a night owl but I can’t see how this is humanly possible.

I used to read boring scientific periodicals in the hope they would send me to sleep. But as soon as I felt my eyes getting droopy and put the magazine down, I would find myself wide awake again. I thought it would just be a phase but its gone on for over 20 years now and I’ve simply had to get used to it.

If you figure he’s had 8 hours more a day than the rest of us mortals than over 20 years that works out to 2,433 days or six and a half years! One wonders why he isn’t a whole heck of a lot more productive than the rest of us, he should have a few Nobel prizes under his belt by now – what gives?

Thanks to Kottke for the pointer.

Blog University, Napa

I’ll be up in Napa tomorrow for the New Communications Forum Blog University. If any of you kind readers are going to be there, look me up.


Google Video Search

Google Labs just announced that they are now providing a video search engine. Details in a BBC article here. This is slightly different than the video search announced by Yahoo earlier in that is indexes the closed caption content provided with television shows and returns results that show where in television segment the search terms were spoken and then shows a screen capture from that segment.

For an example, here’s a persistent search showing mentions of the word blogs.

It’s still in the labs so the actual video footage is not available but if they do point to when the show aired and when you might be able to catch the segment again. If Google delivers on what they are writing about, this could be a version of Google acting as a gigantic, internet-enabled TiVo for the rest of us.

More detail with screenshots here on the about page.

UPDATE: According to CNet, Yahoo has been working on a similar index of closed caption video text of Bloomberg and BBC programs in their partnership with TVeyes. The article also mentions Blinkx but I couldn’t get it to pull up any meaningful results.

Bring Down the Wall says Gilmor

Dan Gillmor argues for the newspapers to unlock their archives from behind the pay wall and provide them to the reading (and blogging) public as a community resource, collective history, and public record. With advances in contextual advertising such as Google’s Adsense (now available as an API by the way), there must be a way for newspapers to make more money off their archives than they currently do from the occasional $2.95 they get from individual readers and the collective royalties they get from the commercial databases such as Lexis-Nexis and Factiva.

If I was a publisher with a pay-per-view archive, here’s what I’d do:

1) Re-publish every article in the archives with a unique URL,
outside the pay-wall. It would be helpful if the articles published
since the newspaper went online could have the same URLs, but don’t
worry if that’s too expensive; if the stories are important enough,
they’ll be found and pointed to. It’ll just take a little longer.

2) Leave every new article on the Web at the URL it had upon publication. That’s easier.

3) Encourage the readers to use the archives, with house
advertisements, website notices e-mail to local librarians and other
ways to get out the word.

4) Let local bloggers know that you welcome their links, and that you’ve made the change in part because they need it, too.

5) If a local blogger points to your article, use Trackback or other such technology to point back.

I think most of the pay-per-view media sites are all looking at each other to see who will make the first move. Large sites such as the New York Times have the most to gain from such a move because of the attraction of their brand will generate the most traffic. But if a mid-tier player makes the first move (especially someone in a wired part of the world such as the San Jose Mercury News), they could gain first mover advantage and keep momentum up from the subsequent blogger pile-on effect that would use this source as their default research and linking resource.

If no one jumps, the pending citizen journalism efforts will take their place so someone will make the move sooner or later.


“to the 40, to the 50, to the 60, he’s going all the way on this one!”

One of the nice things about walking Tyler to school each morning is that during those 15 minutes we have together, we can chat about any number of things that are on our minds and clear the plate for the day. This morning Tyler announced that he’s decided what he wants to be when he grows up which is big news as we’ve asked him this before and his responses have always been a wise guy, snappy answer, “Big”

Today he said in all seriousness that he wants to be a. . . Sports Announcer. Bonus points to the kid for originality – I don’t think any of the kids books I’ve read have ever covered this one. Fireman? Policeman? Astronaut? Sure, we’ve all seen these but Sports Announcer? I don’t think they ever covered this one because so little is known about the glamorous life of the sportscasters out there. Travel to exotic cities and sports venues around the world, meet famous athletes, watch all your favorite games, long vacations in the off season – seems like it’d be pretty fun.

The more I think about it, the better it sounds. Let’s see, Tyler loves to talk so there’s a good fit there, the worst thing that can happen to a sportscaster is “dead air” and Tyler talks like a shark swims – for his life. There’s also the need to know detailed stats for instant recall and there again, Tyler has shown a talent for storing arcane knowledge with his detailed knowledge of the Thomas Tank Engines. The other day Tyler asked me to pause a new Thomas DVD which he had been studying (he really studies these things like a cycling fan studies old 1972 Giro D’Italia films) because he caught a glimpse of a new engine that he’d never seen before. There, in a split second frame was a indeed a new engine (I’ve become a bit of an expert myself).

Tyler put a little of his talent to practice the other day – two kids were playing catch in our yard and instead of joining them, Tyler narrated the play-by-play.


Speed Lumps


I’ve heard of Speed Bumps and Speed Humps but here in Alameda we have Speed Lumps. What exactly is the difference and imagine the bewilderment to the road construction crew when they go into the back of their truck to pick up the the appropriate sign,

“I don’t know Larry, they kind of look like humps to me, what to you think Moe?”

“Nah, it looks more like a bump, check out the curvature on the approach.”

“Yeah, but if you look at the peak, yeah, there, from the driver’s perspective, it’s less of an angle, almost flat, this is more like a lump to me,”

Our taxdollars hard at work. . .

Current Events

TV while-u-wait


While filling up on gas on the way to Tahoe the other weekend, I noticed that they had managed to pipe in CNBC business news into the little LCD monitor on the gas pump. Caught up on the latest market news while I topped up the tank.

Ubiquitous sound bite TV and cell phone browsing fills up every spare moment of down time in the quest for the fully productive lifestyle.


Morning Walk


We took the kids out for a longish walk this morning. It was a bit nippy (but nothing like what they’re seeing back East) so we bundled everyone up to shield them from the morning fog. It was a real treat to be out in the early morning, before the town woke up. We crossed the bridge over to a neighboring Island and walked along the bay for a while before turning back and heading into town to pick up some breakfast at a local bagel shop.

I think we may make this a weekend routine.