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Empowering the Interviewee


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January 02, 2006

Empowering the Interviewee

Heather Green

Interesting story today in the NYTimes about how the Internet and blogs, in particular, allow the subject of news articles to answer back when they think they have been misquoted or given short shrift by publishing email exchanges (a la Mark Cuban) or putting up transcripts of interviews (Nightline and Discovery Institute). Blogspotting's Steve Baker is quoted, talking about how he publishes interviews and asks for input on stories. (Though they call Blogspotting a Web site and not a blog. Little odd).

One of the takeaway points that really struck me was a quote from Rebecca McKinnon, a blogger and research fellow at the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School: "Ms. MacKinnon predicted that traditional journalism and the art of distilling information would not vanish. "Most people don't have hours and hours every day to read the Web, and they want someone who can quickly and succinctly tell you what you need to know," she said. "But it's great the raw materials can be made available to those who have the time."

I believe that too. But I believe that as a percentage of the overall amount of information people read, those kinds of articles will shrink and not grow as they did during the past century.

10:24 AM

Citizen Media

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Tracked on January 2, 2006 01:28 PM

Dear Heather,

One of the challenges that faces bloggers is that the content of blogs should be written in a short, informative, compact form in order to keep the reading fast, interactive, interesting and bringing value and benefit for the readers.

There is a big chance for the blogosphere , to become something different than traditional press, and a source where we can get valid alternative information at the speed of light and at the reach of a mouse-click.

Wish You and All the BW blogspotting readers a great 2006.

Posted by: Henrique Pl?ger Abreu at January 3, 2006 05:25 AM

Hi Heather

A few points.

You said: Though they call Blogspotting a Web site and not a blog. Little odd)

I might be missing something but to me a blog is a type of website.

I think one of the biggest barriers to mainstreaming blogging (and it ain't there yet) is that we call some websites blogs. Why?

I believe that most people have been on blogs but would not know the difference between a blog or a website nor would they care. I believe this represents the norm.

Are blogs different type of content? Yes. But then we do not differentiate other differing content site types so why now?

Are blogs uniformly different to other content websites? Not uniformly no, they differ as much from each other as they do from mainstream media. The one defining difference is that they are not mainstream media, he ironically says on a mainstream media blog.

Is that enough to justify calling them something other than websites? No, not in my opinion.

What would you call this website/blog:

http://www.unionsquareventures.com/

It's a corporate site AND a blog. To me it just remains a website. And a very communicative website at that due to the platform it uses.

Ultimately therefore blogging is more of an approach, a technology, an architecture, than a front-end.

And not sure I agree with Henrique about the importance of the length of the blog. I run a blog of varying post length and a linkblog for those ultra short bursts. Is it successful? So far so good. Check back in a year ;)

Namaste and happy 2006 to you all

CH

Posted by: City Hippy at January 3, 2006 09:13 AM

Howdy City Hippy,

I see your point and thanks for taking the time to make it. But I am not sure I agree. because everything built on the Web is a site, absolutely. But there are features about different sites that, by describing, you allow someone to understand without visiting them.

Amazon is a Web site, but it's an online store. Rocketboom is an Web site, but it's a video blog. Blogspotting is a Web site, but it's a BusinessWeek blog, while BusinessWeek online is a Web site, but it's an online news site. Steve writes online articles for BWOL, but he also writes for the blog. If I told someone, go see what Steve wrote for the online site, you would be pecking around forever if you thought it could be the blog or the news site. If I said, go to the blog, you would be able to find it easily.

That being said, I think we are both right here, it's just a question of degree of description.

Posted by: Heather Green at January 3, 2006 10:57 AM

For what it's worth, I've been very impressed with what you and Steve have done here at Businessweek. I look forward to seeing where it takes you both, and Businessweek in general.

Godspeed!

Posted by: hugh macleod at January 3, 2006 06:45 PM

Hi Heather

Appreciate the reply...I think you are right that this is very subjective stuff.

You raise good points...and I might just be wrong. Have to think it all through.

Hmmmm....

Namaste

CH

Posted by: City Hippy at January 4, 2006 11:26 AM

Hey Hugh,

Thanks for the nice words!

Posted by: Heather Green at January 4, 2006 11:40 AM


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