The Science of Journalism

If I Had My Way
One Man's Opinion -- for what it's worth.


To: Glenn Greenwald - glenn.greenwald@theintercept.com

Cc: Dave Winer - dave.winer@gmail.com

From: Doug Skoglund - skoglund@pdmsb.com

Date: 15 Nov 2014 07:00 am CDT

Subject: 2014032 - Citizen Omidyar??

On 14 Nov 2014, Dave Winer wrote:

Citizen Omidyar

Today kicks off the Newsgeist unconference in Phoenix. It's been anticipated because First Look founders Glenn Greenwald and Pierre Omidyar will meet face to face for the first time. It really will be their first look (sorry). So you will see a lot of pictures, and they will be a topic of conversation, because the pair made huge headlines last year when they teamed up. 

I have to admit I was envious of the people who originally were tapped to be part of the Omidyar news venture. Why? Well he was putting in a huge amount of money, $250 million, signalling his seriousness at doing something new. Also because Omidyar, as founder of eBay, is one of the pioneers of the Internet as a social medium. I figured if anyone believed in the idea of a distributed source-based news system, it would be Omidyar. Just look at eBay for an idea how this might have worked.

Instead Omidyar went with the most elite of the elite in the news world. It was like the scene in Citizen Kane where the character played by Orson Welles hires the entire editorial staff of the leading NY newspaper and installs them in his news venture. The main difference is that in the fictional story it worked. Omidyar's venture is crumbling.

When the reporters went to First Look their output dried up. Maybe they were waiting for software, if so, it should have been great, given Omidyar's background and the resources he threw at it. But there's no visibility there. We have very little idea what happened. But we do know that despite their promises, the Snowden revelations slowed.

They had everything going for them, money, attention, lots of great content, great writers, yet nothing happened? Why? This could be a good story. I hope someone gets it. 

I apologize for reproducing the entire thing; however, It really is a good read you may have ignored. 

Glenn, if you could get your anti-science bias under control, we could discuss a publishing system that could put First Look out in front, once an for all. You have taken a simple first step by publishing your e-mail address; however, that doesn't make much difference without some two-way discussion.

I would be happy to provide more detail -- but, not without some kind of commitment on your part -- some indication of your interest.

To be continued (I really hope) 

Doug Skoglund skoglund@pdmsb.com

I don't provide for comments since that is a system designed to control the communication process -- I do provide an e-mail address!! (Please put a [MYWAY] in your title to get my attention).

BTW, I am working on a replacement system -- and I sure could use some help.

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