If I Had My Way
To: Glenn Greenwald - GGreenwald@salon.com
Cc: Paul Krugman - (Address unknown, please forward)
Cc: Doc Searls - firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: Dave Winer - email@example.com
Cc: Jeff Jarvis - firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Doug Skoglund - email@example.com
Date: Monday, May 23, 2011
Subject: My Way XIV - Comments
I must admit -- that I have had many misgivings about Jeff Jarvis and his contribution to the betterment of journalism and it's place in the broader society; however, I want to complement him on his latest post, "News is a subset of the conversation." He begins:
Here's a tale that reveals how journalists tend to think of their role in the conversation that makes up news and society.
You really should read the whole thing to get his entire story -- I, of course have my own purpose in mind with this post of mine -- so I quote another paragraph:
The problem with comments, I've argued lately, is that the form and timing of them is essentially insulting to the public: It says we journalists don't want to hear from you, the public, until after we are done with our work making content for you to consume. Then the public speaks and journalists don't listen (because they think their stories are done) and the commenters are insulted and so they insult the journalists and the journalists say that's the proof that the comments and the commenters aren't worth the attention. A very vicious cycle. The conversation catches cooties.
Exactly!! -- Jarvis links to a March 23rd post, "The problem with comments isn't them." And, I quote:
We must stop looking at the internet as a medium. I spent a long time this weekend talking with a reporter who's writing about nasty comments -- I'll link to her piece when she publishes it -- and I tried to convince her that the media-view we from media impose on the internet is much of the problem: When we see the internet as a medium, we expect it to be packaged and pretty, clean and controlled like newspapers and magazines and shows, and so when someone dumps a turd on that -- a nasty comment -- we think the whole thing is ruined, as if bad editing allowed "shit" to get into a letter printed in The New York Times.
Doc Searls is right -- The Internet is NOT a medium -- and Doc Searls is wrong -- The Internet is NOT a place. The Internet is a tool -- a communication tool, if you will -- meant to be programmed by various interests to suit their specific needs and wants.
But, first -- each specific interest must determine what needs and wants drive their activity -- what is their purpose, goals and strategy (see My Way XII).
Thanks for your time,
Doug Skoglund - firstname.lastname@example.org