Saturday, April 16, 2005

Charlotte Observer - Resist the urge to start blogging

Charlotte Observer 04/04/2005

...and whatever you do, don't get on the Internets. It might put you ahead of us, and that would be unacceptable. We are the smart ones. Not you. Shut up and read. DO NOT WRITE. DO NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO WRITE. WE ARE THE DESIGNATED WRITERS. NOT YOU.

It is laughable really, being a visionary and all, and seeing slower heads leading even slower the wrong direction.

I'm beginning to think certain institutions are being a wee bit pussilanimous. Either that, or getting marching orders from on high. It doesn't reflect a love for knowledge and information, thank you very much.

Well guess what. Information is going to reach the people anyway. And you could have helped bring it to them.

Listen to what is written in the official press:

This Internet stuff has gotten out of hand, and just because widely available, simple-to-use technology makes it possible to share your goofy opinions with billions of people doesn't mean you should.

Blogs -- Web logs -- are sources of rumor, innuendo and downright lies, and there's no control over what goes into one. Doofs too naive to discern ravings from reportage cite them as if they were factual. There are enough misinformed people already, thank you.

Blogs are also a lot of work. Oh sure, it sounds fun, ragging on Ryan Seacrest one day and posting your plan for Mideast peace the next. But then you realize that if you don't keep updating the blog, the pack of dimwits hanging on your every word will dwindle.

I'm offended by this dreck. What is the point? Is it that the Observer lives is an either-or universe, when they could be living in an and-and universe? Look. Some day everyone will be communicating with telepathy, and someone will try to figure a way to get into the supply chain and make a profit from every thought transmitted. But I'm always reminded of the words of Epictetus, who counsels us to "never pass up an opportunity to be generous."

We know that some news organs are essentially controlled by the Pentagon and the White House and big-spending advertisers and such, and for the sake of transparency, it would be nice if those that are, would disclose that connection.

I do not understand obscurantism, and consider it a disservice to humanity. And granted...there has been a brain drain from traditional media, as the internet siphoned off the quick, the deep and the free. And now the quick, the deep and the free are blogging, among other things...but that doesn't mean that the quality of the traditional media has to fall so precipitously. Or does it? And are they pushed down by those who should really mind their own business?

People are so quick to assume the competitive posture. Even though we know that cooperation is a more successful model when done properly. And I can imagine a day when the latest and best killer app is not the blog, but some other potententially competitive activity. Many bloggers will become defensive and start hurling insults at the new toy in town. But blogging really is the new killer app. Like email was at one time. Or the WWW.


Sounds pretty silly doesn't it? Like some schoolkid in love with crayons.

I really do wish the Observer would at least try to keep up. Create a Future section, and pretend blogging is still in the future. There are bloggers at the Observer. Let them show the rest of of the folks how and why it is done. Or ask the folks at the Greensboro News and Record. Now that is an advanced news source!

When Charlotte plays host to the Blogger Conference in a few short months, will the Observer send representatives, like they did in Greensboro? There are some bright folks up in those hallowed glassed in boxes. When will they carpe the diem? A simple perusal of this very blog should be proof enough that blogging is an important and essential untapped resource...for business as well as many other sectors of society, religion included.

WFAE radio is soon to be podcasting, and probably blogging. Glad there is some leadership in our media midst.

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Blogger Rich Barrett said...

Are they kidding with that crap? I've never read that column before but is that guy meant to be a computer expert and he's discouraging people from experimenting with the web?

I'm sure that guy will regret writing that in a couple months time when he has a better understanding of what blogs are.

1:06 PM  
Blogger anonyMoses said...

It is simply amazing how bassackward some of these traditional media types can be. It's like they are trying to out-backward each other. Maybe they are from the Outback?

In other news...I can't wait to see Sin City. Nice review!

Dave Beckwith

2:54 PM  
Blogger Rich Barrett said...

Thanks, Dave.

The funny how thing about the news media, is everytime I read an article about something that I happen to know a lot about or maybe have some sort of inside information on I am apalled at some of the incorrect assumptions that are written as fact. And then those stories are picked up on the AP or by other outlets and before you know it wrong information is considered truth.

And they say blogs are unreliable.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Pearl said...

I suppose to be alarmist and blame the tool not the workman is always the easiest course, for anyone not only for the writer who wanted to decry blogging.

4:46 PM  

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