Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, likes his buzzwords and loves hyping blogging, so the breathless claims from some commentators that the ‘blogosphere’ brought down the New York Times editor has not surprisingly sent him and others OTT.
Buzzword of the day – horizontal knowledge. Now that might sound like the title of a porn film to you and me but to Reynolds it means the profound, ground-breaking awareness that: “As the world grows more interconnected, more and more people have access to knowledge and coordination. Yet we continue to underestimate the revolutionary potential of this simple fact.”
In other words, we have more information about things and bloggers (hoorah!) have realised this while ‘old media’ or ‘big media’ (boo!) have yet to wake up to this radical, nay, revolutionary, change in our societies.
In particular the lefty slackers at the New York Times (boo! boo!) have paid the price of failing to realise that people know stuff now. But fear not, for whoever takes over the helm of the NYT can count on some free advise from the Pundit.
“As I’ve suggested in more detail here, it would be child’s play to take RSS feeds from a number of weblogs, filter them to extract the references to stories in the Times, and then have an ombudsman look at those references to see if correction, amplification, or investigation is called for. A newspaper that did that (and it could just as easily be done by any major paper, not just the Times) would be enlisting a huge (and unpaid!) army of fact-checkers, and could fix mistakes within hours of their appearing, thus turning inside its competition and enhancing its reputation, all at very low cost.”
In other words the New York Times and other papers should employ someone to read those very important and revolutionary weblogs (including perhaps Instapundit? You betchya) and then they would hopefully, finally, realise that lots of people now know about lots of things.
What a great job! Sitting around all day reading blogs and getting paid for it by someone else! I wonder where Mr Pundit got that idea from?
But wait a minute. Don’t newspapers and other media organistions already get hundreds of emails a day from their readers? In fact I bet some even get letters and phone calls as well. When they make mistakes don’t they nearly always find out and find out quickly from their readers?
Hasn’t this already been happening for, well, several years now?
In fact here is a revolutionary question – why does someone complaining about a newspaper on a weblog have any more validity or importance than the ordinary reader who phones/writes/emails his complaint to the editorial department?
Whisper it in case he hears but perhaps weblogs that complain about the media all the time are really no more significant than good old Disgruntled of Western-Super-Mare?