Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dvorak and Malik take on "Blogging vs. Journalism"

The most intelligent conversation yet on the blogger/journalist dichotomy took place between John C.Dvorak and Om Malik at Wordcamp on 7/21.

some points
  • Dvorak starts with a point about newspapers co-opting blogs that are then "overseen by the man" (written by reporters under the auspices of the paper.) And points out that many newspaper blogs do not get comments--that there's a lack of sincerity on the part of the bloggers (and mentions a significant comment made by someone at the New York Times...)(note: sometimes a lack of comments has to do with the 10% rule: only 10% of people reading anything online will comment. 90% are lurkers.)

    Malik mentions blogger's passion--and that blogs are a different kind of media with a different dynamic than newspapers. New media doesn't necessarily replace old media.

  • Dvorak mentions how Forbes would not let him link out to sources. This is still a problem on the part of many newspapers that just don't get the importance of links--which Dvorak explains.

  • On moderating comments: a young man from the NYTimes speaks up about the difficulties of mmoderating comments--that it's time cosuming and that filters don't work well. Maintains that a filter could keep Dick Cheney from posting a comment. Dvorak thinks this is bull: "If your filtersare worth a shit, you wil not filter Dick Cheney." True. The argument that filtering is time-consuming is irrelevant if comments are important to a newspaper, and the money must be spent in either moderating or in good filtering software.

    Malik maintains (as many experienced bloggers do) that "you [the writer] set the tone." It's up to you to create civility--and he uses my favorite bar analogy: each blog is like a bar. You, the blogger, are the bartender. It's up to you to keep the discourse polite and to the point. You set the attitude for the comments.

  • Finally, Malik makes the important point that newspapers shouldn't absorb blogs (which goes along with the point about newspaper reporters creating blogs for sites) Malik advocates newspapers aggregate local blogs

  • (with much thanks to John Pozadzies of One Man's Blog for shooting and sharing this great vid-- John's post also gives pointers on the equip he used to shoot this.)

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