Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Blind Men and the Elephant

Chris Anderson, the author of the Long Tail, is argues that the future of the media lies in a concept called Radical Transparency. Many of the features he describes are similar to ones I've ascribed to the blogosphere. Here are Anderson's six tactics of transparent media edited for brevity.


  • Show who we are.
  • Show what we're working on.
  • "Process as Content"*. Why not share the reporting as it happens, uploading the text of each interview as soon as you can get it processed by your flat-world transcription service in India?
  • Privilege the crowd. Why not give comments equal status to the story they're commenting on?
  • Let readers decide what's best. We own Reddit, which (among other things) is a terrific way of measuring popularity. ... Why not just measure what people really think and let statistics determine the hierarchy of the front page?
  • Wikifiy everything.

This is conceptually close to the idea, articulated in Blogosphere at War that " in the long run the global public will come to rely on fellow Internet users to learn about the world more than it will from professional journalists." A reader remarked on that post that it the concept had many similarities to some of Malcolm Gladwell's ideas in the Tipping Point. The similarities between the models are natural because they all describe how information is processed through large groups of people. But if the conceptual model is largely correct, what is the information architecture that best supports this? I had thoughts about that here and here.

9 Comments:

Blogger Arthur Dent said...

I cannot quite place the why but this seems like a really bad idea. The best I can do is to imagine wiki-something-ing the UN or similar.

:-(

12/30/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

The six principles describe blogs.

1. who are we? all bloggers self-identify.
2. share reporting as it happens, with each blogger contributing part of the story or analysis as it is available.
3. Comments are almost equal to the main stories.
4. Readers choose the best and it is ranked according to nzbear or any other measure of link volume and quality.
5. Wikify everything... actually how about technoratifying everything?

What is left when the media all become bloggers?

12/30/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

sloggers

12/30/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

MSM is failing because it will not permit itself to be questioned...let alone actually answer the questions put to it.

The blogosphere is nothing if not questioning and answering with the penalty for failure to answer being, as MSM is learning, irrelevance.

12/30/2006 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Good Six-Point Plan:

One qualification: although a comment or several comments MAY, in fact, BE interesting, cogent, enlightening...

...yet in controversial reports (ordinary reports on controversial conflicts) IT IS THE AGGREGATE COMMENTARY that brings so much REALITY to the subject: cf. Dan Rather & The Smoking Document!

No ONE commenter debunked Rather's pathetic TANG fiasco, but that DOZENS of ordinary people brought AUTHENTIC technical, pertinent data to bear, and bit by bit DESTROYED any possibility of that "document" being real!

See further: Zombietime, re "Magic Ambulance"; Flopping Aces re "Green Helmet"...

It is the swarm of posters, each bringing a legitimate piece of the picture, striving to find truth at every turn, that paints an accurate picture of what COULD and COULD NOT have happened!

"...I have given POWER to THE PEOPLE," to quote Baha'u'llah

1/02/2007 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Whitehall said...

Great, but...

How do we pay people to dig out the facts? I'm not willing to reply on the kindness of strangers.

I'm no fan of journalism as currently practiced but at least they have a working business model even if it is failing due to poor execution.

1/02/2007 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger the mad fiddler said...

"Bloggers?"

Never mind...

I thought you were discussing "Cloggers."

1/06/2007 03:26:00 PM  
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5/15/2007 04:58:00 AM  
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