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.