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Archive for March 14th, 2007

‘I’m not, not paying you to do nothing’

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

This comic landed in my inbox today and made me laugh. I figured at least some of you would laugh as well:

not, not paying you to do nothing

Heh. Some of the others I glanced at from What the Duck are pretty funny, too.

QOTD: Newspaper stories are fleeting things

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

“Newspaper stories are fleeting things. The thing that makes this business so remarkable, that every day we get a new canvas to paint on, is also what makes it so unsatisfying. The story, almost always, dies with the day, the pages of the day-old paper turning yellow in the sun.”
— Rick Bragg

Sadly, the Internet makes them even more so. In mere hours, or even before the ink dries on the newsprint, the story is outdated or dead, new developments already known and broadcast. But, as he says about it being remarkable, it’s also exciting. There’s always a deadline to work against, and it’s always ASAP.

(P.S. This quote is from the introduction to Bragg’s book Somebody Told Me, which I came across at a used bookstore this weekend. So far I’ve only read a few of his collected stories, but they’re really good.)

Will MySpace be the next digg, the downfall of news?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

To answer the question in my title, I don’t think so. But, to read this item, you might think so. (Well, maybe it’s more optimistic than that, but you get the idea.)

Apparently, MySpace is looking to jump into the news aggregator business in digg-like fashion. Seems natural to me. They have a huge userbase built it. Why not harness it to let people see “these are the stories most popular with your friends” or “these are the top stories voted on by other MySpace users.”

The Poynter column says:

Now I’m wondering how that audience would use the service — especially with the option for posting articles to personal pages.

What kind of news would the largely young audience post? Would the service, as Heaton predicts, help us understand what kind of news they’re interested in? Would it help engage young people in the news?

options to share from the Washington Post

What bothers me about this is I don’t remember similar questions being raised when Facebook quietly added this ability months and months ago. Yeah, Facebook already allows you to share stories and videos or pretty much anything with your friends. You can post them to your wall. You can pass them along to friends. You can comment on their shared items, and so forth. Although not a rate-the-item community like digg, I do see a number of my own friends posting items or sending me videos or stories they come across.

options to share items on nytimes.com

Both the Washington Post and the New York Times have a Facebook icon in their share selection. That in itself is significant. The NYTimes has only three icons, digg, facebook and newsvine. Of all the sites available to post stories, it views facebook as one of the top three. For the Washington Post, it’s in the top six. Think about that and what it already says about the value of word-of-mouth (or click) to reach young people in an online world.

Do I think this will be bad for the news business? Not at all. It will get the stories in front of more eyes, eyes that typically shy away from traditional media companies. As the column states:

It seems we could learn a lot from users’ interactions with the news service — not just for getting a better picture of news consumption habits, but for generating story ideas as well.