Rebooting The News #28

In Podcast on October 12, 2009 by Dave Winer

Rebooting the News at ONA

Jay did the show alone–bootstrapping the audio recording–and here it is. The participants pitched in to help. You can hear 18 different voices describing elements of the rebooted system of news.

Ev Williams of Twitter on the List

Also at ONA, Ev Williams, CEO of Twitter, was asked about criticims of the Suggested Users List by people like Robert Scoble and Dave Winer. In the course of explaining the Suggested Users List Ev said, “we don’t think it’s our job to editorialize.” And he went on to explain that Twitter will soon introduce a new feature: the ability for users to create their own lists of suggested users, which other users could add in a single click.

Dave: “They’ve had better ways of doing the Suggested Users List since before they started doing it…They screwed up the only authority system they had.”

Jay: The longer I have studied open systems, the more I realize that the only way they come to work is if three things emerge along with the open invitation, meaning: anyone can sign up.

* Community standards: here’s what you can and cannot do in this space.

* A culture of participation and common ownership of that space.

* A reputation system for actors within it.

Without those three things open system degrade and bad actors take over.


Annotate the Web: Google Launches Sidewiki.

Dave: A “terrible idea being promoted by Google… It seems very un-Google-like to do this… What about when Google Chrome is 90 percent market share and now you can’t under any circumstances get away from this thing?… If this were an opt-in feature for the webmaster, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.” Like Disqus, a little company that may get crushed by this.

Jay: “It’s very hard for a company to maintain the discipline of being a common carrier.”

The AP undoing itself

The AP reports: “The Associated Press is considering whether to sell news stories to some online customers exclusively for a certain period, perhaps half an hour, the head of the news organization said Tuesday.”

Jay: It kind of undoes the whole idea of the wire service, doesn’t it?

Dave: When I was a math major I studied topology. The whole topology of news has changed. These companies have trouble dealing with that.

Jay: Jeff Jarvis really captured the change with: “Do what you do best and link to the rest.”

Real-time cross-country photos

Flying across the U.S. with a Wifi connection, Dave decided to take photos out the airplane window of where he was, and then got help from his community of followers in identifying where he was.

Dave: “It’s not exactly newsworthy but it’s a very gratifying and interesting activity.”

Jay: “It’s sort of like things that start as toys and games and later become really important inventions.”

The forward pointing arrow of the online news tribe

Jay: The American Society of Newspaper Editors–old media princes–cancelled their conference this year. No money, no motivation to meet amid the gloom their industry is in.

But: the Online News Association sold out, and the mood was significantly “up.” In fact the atmosphere was of… rebooting the news, embracing an experimental and entrepreneurial attitude. Check out the mood shift as described by an “old media” guy. And as Bay Newswer reported: “If there was an overarching theme at this year’s Online News Association conference, it was this: Embrace failure.”

Securing the archives

For a future show, we need to talk about how to prevent the Internet’s past from disappearing on us, how to give the archives some permanence. Dave: “Say I were to die, within a month of my death you wouldn’t be able to get to [this] site.”

Jay: “This is where the librarians and the journalists come together.”

Dave: “I love librarians.”

reboot09Oct12.mp3 (audio/mpeg, 10.3MB)
Monday, October 12, 2009.

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