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« Arrogance at Apple | Main | 'On the Media" to be Podcast »

January 05, 2005


Daniel Conover

In a sense, this discussion is an object lesson on the subject of new media: Interesting, sprawling, frustrating. All sorts of ideas, all levels of expertise. Totally different conversations on the same subject.

Organically, the idea arises that the moderator ought to do something to organize this more effectively. Someone makes the bang-on point that anything as wide-open distributed journalism is a piece of cake to disrupt (and disruption and disconnection are the game in media today).

it's the future of media, all in one thread.

Jodi Dean

I agree with Tim that some way of threading the discussion would be really helpful. In response to my point regarding the intrusion of politics, Tim asks for an empirical example. What about the issue with Dan Rather and the documents? That debate is currently going on again with powerline arguing with the columbia journalism review. To a certain extent, both are part of distributed journalism, trying to get to the heart of the matter. But, they radically disagree, so much that I would say that they employ different accounts of truth.

You are right about the need for solution topics. Perhaps some will emerge over time.

Tim Andonian

More thoughts under Sheldon's insights 5 comments up.

beside prodding to get this forum tweaked into better shape for discussion, is there anything we can do on our end to better organize our thoughts and comments. I am thinking largely in two veins here.
1. Immediatley in these threads, can we agree on using one word subject headers at the top of the comment, or at the beginning of a new thought, so as to have a quick way of understanding what we are commenting on. from previous comments. Things of this nature, any more ideas?
2. As I undertake the daunting task of organizing my ideas into a workflow all my own, I have found myself using a program called iBlog, mainly because it was free with my .Mac subscription, but it is like NetNewsWire or the likes, in that it is an aggregator and a blogging tool in one as Im sure most of you are familiar with. I have yet to throw the switches to publish my own blog, but I am writing a lot in this software and it is a great way for myself to organize my thoughts. But it seems disconnected in a way. This text you are reading right now was typed in iBlog, and then I cut and pasted it into the comment field. I feel like I need to keep record of all my writing so I can keep track of topics I've involved myself in. and as we have displayed here in this one thread that can mount up really fast. And yet, this is not really cutting it i find. I have fragments(my frags) in my organization, but there is no concise link to where it was published. yes, I can embed hyperlinks, but it should be more automatic and built in, no?
Does anyone know of a tool that would allow us to write and then publish to any level of forums, from comment fields like this one, on up. I guess it would be governed by permissions or something at the admin level or the moderator level. But this would tie right into the mentor's role of incubating new writers. Maybe the tools we all use should be the same, only the various ways we allow ourselves to use them are activated or not by rep systems and the democratic process. Why am I typing into a tool that both publishes writing and reads other's writings, but I can't use it all the time or seemlessly.
Sheldon, is this something that you might be brewing in your tool set you are developing. I have never used drupal before. Is there a way of using it as a client app, or is it a self contained community that is set up on a server first and clients interact with the tool set on the server? Are the users agile, ie able to jump between drupal sites or mesh into multiple ones?
If these ideas are as disorganized as I feel they are, I apologize.
Sunnyvale, Ca.

Marion Vermazen

Trackbacks aren't working on my blog right now. So here is the link to my
blog where I link to your blog and this entry.
I am really enjoying reading what you are writing.

marion vermazen

Argh!! Please excuse the wrong name in the previous comment. I know you are Dan!

Julia Rosen

interesting discussion Dan. right now this sort of work is in its infancy. hell according to the recent Pew poll only 5% of Internet users are using RSS as software like Drupal/CivicSpace develops to the point where anyone can use it, thats when we will really be able to make an impact on things. i am no tech person, i leave that to my brother, but i understand the potential and it is damn exciting. it is all about tapping the ability of people to contribute from disparate locations via the web.

people want to add their voice and brains. thats why sites like dailykos have become so large. they are begging to be asked to do something real. i am working on my own form of this with Zack at the site you blogged about back in April ppipes. the goal is activism not journalism, but the methods and tactics are very similar.

an interesting project to keep an eye on is what is going on with the Greensboro paper. a reporter who is a fan of Jay's Press Think is soliciting ideas to create blog style participatory journalism on the paper's website. it is a grand experiment that several smaller papers have taken on. we will see what becomes of it, i hope something revolutionary.

Tim Andonian

Infancy, but at what stage?

I believe these tools are squeaky voiced little high school freshmen on the cusp of becoming full blown mature adults, and our democracy follws in lock step. I see communities such as dailyKos, kuro5hin, drupal, the entire open source community, and now a flourishing creative commons community (and many others) as possibly already being in the realm of maturity and some moving on into true collective wisdom. However islolated they are now, it seems a last leg, a last piece of a puzzle, is hovering over us in fingers reach to allow these communities to mesh and work in a viable economy of the grassroots.
I do not speak of any quantifiable length of time. If we have a deep enough foresight into how many generations we will touch with a new system of organizing our civic interaction, the smaller the dream of better ways becomes, and the reality of how profound this really is becomes more the now.
Thanks to all for the work that has been done by people like Dan, kossacks, wikipedians, all the poeple julia referred to in her post above, greensboro, etc etc(the list is strong), I feel like I owe them the honor of reframing their status. What are some other ways of reframing our perception as to foster more and more inspiration to do good, together, more effectively?
I feel we are close.
Sunnyvale, Ca.


hi, I've been thinking about the potential downside of distribution of media sources (a slightly different issue to the one here)... there is a risk of isolating the discourse of "competing" groups from each other, where all their info sources are different which will make inter-group discussions different. I think the US election showed some of this.

I have a long post on these thoughts here: dose magazine.


Jodi Dean: some way of threading the discussion would be really helpful

It also helps to link to comments you are replying to, although typing out the HTML is a little bit unwieldy. Dan, providing visible comment permalinks would help in this (and maybe MT-Textile as well, if you don't migrate to Scoop).

Also, I think Tim's idea of subject headers would work well in conjunction with this.

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