The blog editing system in action

At last week’s Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference I was on a blogger panel where some members of the audience brought up ye olde “bloggers aren’t as good as ‘real journalists’ because bloggers don’t get it right” argument. The audience cheered when the host made the point that magazine journalists go slower to “get it right.” I played the part of the blogger and took the point on the chin, despite also now writing for a magazine and having to work with the old-school editing system of fact-checkers and pre-publication editing.

I tried to make the point that blogs self correct very quickly (usually within hours) because if I get it wrong the people who actually know the truth will jump on me fast and furiously and that blogs arrive at the truth faster BECAUSE of the participation of everyone involved.

This is something that RARELY happens in the paper press. Or, if it does, thanks to letters to the editors, it happens very slowly, so readers never really see that feedback until weeks or months later. And even when it does happen you only see a sample of the feedback, never the whole feedback. In every case gatekeepers are in charge of what the reader sees (try to get something published in a newspaper sometime, even if you have a legitimate case it’s pretty difficult).

Dave Winer told me often that he loves blogging because it lets him tell his story. His complete, unedited, unchanged, unfiltered story. He’d tell me example after example of getting interviewed by journalists who didn’t understand the technology he was building, so they’d misrepresent it due to either misunderstanding what he was saying, or, even worse, some sort of bias toward him or his technology. Many other people have told me the same thing.

Anyway, at the Fortune thing I tried to get across that I liked having my readers as fact checkers a lot more than the magazine style of working to get it right before publishing. Every column I publish in Fast Company magazine gets edited and fact checked by someone else. That’s cool and usually keeps me from looking like an idiot in print. But I much prefer the blog because I think the comments are actually part of the article.

No better way to demonstrate that as with yesterday’s post about Silicon Valley’s VC Disease.

David Hornik, the VC I was talking about, gave a very long reply to my post yesterday. He refuted some things, clarified other things, and had fun with other things. Among the points that Hornik made is that August Capital was one of the few original investors in Seagate. I should have looked that up before publishing. A fact-checker at the magazine probably would have caught it and kept me from looking stupid. But, this let David get a great point across: that he was positioned unfairly by me and let him clarify his remarks on Friday. In the old world a journalist would have been able to throw David under the bus and David wouldn’t have been able to do much about it except write a letter to the editor.

In the old world of publishing you never would have seen his reply and if, for some reason, it would have run, it would have been a month later separate from the article, not combined with the article within a few hours of its publishing, like Hornik’s comment was here.

Journalists who fight this system (and readers who don’t check out the comments) are missing the point. This is a participatory media, not a one-way one, and, while it has a different editing system (the editing is done post publishing, not pre publishing) it’s pretty clear to me that this system arrives at the truth a lot faster than anything on paper does.

But, you gotta read and participate in those comments! Lots of old-schoolers don’t like that dirty work.

Oh, and David also joined in over on the FriendFeed thread.

Thank you David for providing evidence that blogs can make everyone, including the author, smarter.

Comments

  1. Nice post Robert. You really nailed it again. A lot of news really are posted on blogs way earlier then print media. Plus it’s true that there is almost zero interaction between a ‘paper’ journalist and the reader that really. Basically, it’s fast AND interactive, unlike the paper versions.

  2. Nice post Robert. You really nailed it again. A lot of news really are posted on blogs way earlier then print media. Plus it’s true that there is almost zero interaction between a ‘paper’ journalist and the reader that really. Basically, it’s fast AND interactive, unlike the paper versions.

  3. I agree Robert. Another advantage is the fact that ‘corrections’ usually show up within the thread of the original article, especially if it comes in the form of a comment as you suggest. Periodicals often publish corrections days (even weeks) later and they usually show up in an out-of-the-way place. Bloggers can also replace or delete a post quickly if it contains truly damaging material. Try deleting hundreds or thousands of newspapers or magazines!

    Derogatory comments about bloggers usually come from people who lump everyone into one category. Just as in traditional journalism there are the trustworthy and non-trustworthy blogs. Savvy web readers pick up clues on the legitimacy of a site fairly quickly.

  4. So basically bloggers are no better than the “reporters” at the National Inquirer. They can write whatever the he’ll they want; facts be damned. Frankly I don’t see the “advantage” of the audience correcting a blogger with facts. More than anything, the more often that happens, the more clueless, ill-informed the blogger looks. And his credibility is reduced with each succeeding post that contains inaccuracies.

    I would also submit that the increased sources for legitimate news increases the competitiveness and thus leads to more frequent and timely correction, lest the news outlet quickly attains the credibility of a blogger

  5. I agree Robert. Another advantage is the fact that ‘corrections’ usually show up within the thread of the original article, especially if it comes in the form of a comment as you suggest. Periodicals often publish corrections days (even weeks) later and they usually show up in an out-of-the-way place. Bloggers can also replace or delete a post quickly if it contains truly damaging material. Try deleting hundreds or thousands of newspapers or magazines!

    Derogatory comments about bloggers usually come from people who lump everyone into one category. Just as in traditional journalism there are the trustworthy and non-trustworthy blogs. Savvy web readers pick up clues on the legitimacy of a site fairly quickly.

  6. So basically bloggers are no better than the “reporters” at the National Inquirer. They can write whatever the he’ll they want; facts be damned. Frankly I don’t see the “advantage” of the audience correcting a blogger with facts. More than anything, the more often that happens, the more clueless, ill-informed the blogger looks. And his credibility is reduced with each succeeding post that contains inaccuracies.

    I would also submit that the increased sources for legitimate news increases the competitiveness and thus leads to more frequent and timely correction, lest the news outlet quickly attains the credibility of a blogger

  7. Victor: that’s bull. I can’t write anything I want. First of all, if I did, I’d get told off by my readers. Second of all, I’d put my career in jeopardy if I went idiotic and didn’t care about my readers. Third of all, I didn’t get here by saying “facts be damned.”

    It’s funny, after the panel several PR people came up to me and told me how often the “pros” get it wrong, it’s just that with the pros you don’t often see the corrections. Especially since PR people aren’t very likely to tell off someone from, say, the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. That’s not smart if you are in the PR business. At Microsoft we were taught never to argue with journalists who use “ink by the gallon.”

  8. Victor: that’s bull. I can’t write anything I want. First of all, if I did, I’d get told off by my readers. Second of all, I’d put my career in jeopardy if I went idiotic and didn’t care about my readers. Third of all, I didn’t get here by saying “facts be damned.”

    It’s funny, after the panel several PR people came up to me and told me how often the “pros” get it wrong, it’s just that with the pros you don’t often see the corrections. Especially since PR people aren’t very likely to tell off someone from, say, the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. That’s not smart if you are in the PR business. At Microsoft we were taught never to argue with journalists who use “ink by the gallon.”

  9. I was thinking the same thing a couple of nights ago, blogs are edited by their audience and the more popular the blog the more scrunity its under

  10. I was thinking the same thing a couple of nights ago, blogs are edited by their audience and the more popular the blog the more scrunity its under

  11. I agree to a point. The interaction is the name of the game, the speed is also, to some extant, an advantage.
    It is very true that printed papers have tons of mistakes in them, every professional sees it in his field when reading pure wrong facts.
    I think that the question is harder once you look at online “old school” press compared to blogs. There are quite a few news websites that have their own journalists and act according to “ethical” codes of journalism and still have the speed and the comments. It is also true that these kind of websites don’t have the same kind of interaction (blogger/users – it’s more the system/users), we look at the comments with a certain degree of distrust, knowing that the conversation is very wide, has PR people commenting and a lot of noise (Israeli news site ynet.co.il gets hundreds of comments per article, sometimes thousands).
    On the other side you get blogs that look like “real press” and are blogs. That their content is sometimes even syndicated to online news (see techcrunch) and that readers that are less sophisticated don’t check the comments after a day, or a few hours and receive the news as is, as if it was check proofed etc.

    The point of ambiguity is where I find the interesting questions that don’t have such a clear answer.

  12. Victor: far from it. In both forms, the authors can write whatever “they” (whether that’s an individual posting from home or a collaborative effort in the NY Times HQ) want to – the difference is that bloggers can be publicly corrected almost instantly. Look at “Memogate”, where Dan Rather went public with a completely bogus story using “evidence” which any geek knew instantly was an obvious fake. Being a TV broadcast, the corrections had to come later by other means; had it been a blog post by Rather, it would have been torn to shreds *in situ*, avoiding misinforming all but the first few readers to hit the story.

    It’s exactly why Microsoft has added blog-style comments to much of the public documentation: however careful they are, errors and unclear statements will creep in, but this way it’s easy for people to point out issues for everyone else to see.

    Earlier today, I saw a classic example: the CEO of Comcast denying that they interfere with their users’ traffic, including a bizarre reference to “Web protocols”. Was this a mistake by the journalist, like the reference earlier to BitTorrent as a “site” rather than a protocol – or was the CEO being deliberately disingenuous, citing non-interference with *Web* protocols (HTTP/HTTPS) as a smokescreen to his known interference with the protocols actually being discussed? In a tech blog, that wouldn’t have gone unchallenged for more than a few minutes, but in the legacy press it’s left to stand, ambiguity and all.

  13. Victor: far from it. In both forms, the authors can write whatever “they” (whether that’s an individual posting from home or a collaborative effort in the NY Times HQ) want to – the difference is that bloggers can be publicly corrected almost instantly. Look at “Memogate”, where Dan Rather went public with a completely bogus story using “evidence” which any geek knew instantly was an obvious fake. Being a TV broadcast, the corrections had to come later by other means; had it been a blog post by Rather, it would have been torn to shreds *in situ*, avoiding misinforming all but the first few readers to hit the story.

    It’s exactly why Microsoft has added blog-style comments to much of the public documentation: however careful they are, errors and unclear statements will creep in, but this way it’s easy for people to point out issues for everyone else to see.

    Earlier today, I saw a classic example: the CEO of Comcast denying that they interfere with their users’ traffic, including a bizarre reference to “Web protocols”. Was this a mistake by the journalist, like the reference earlier to BitTorrent as a “site” rather than a protocol – or was the CEO being deliberately disingenuous, citing non-interference with *Web* protocols (HTTP/HTTPS) as a smokescreen to his known interference with the protocols actually being discussed? In a tech blog, that wouldn’t have gone unchallenged for more than a few minutes, but in the legacy press it’s left to stand, ambiguity and all.

  14. I agree to a point. The interaction is the name of the game, the speed is also, to some extant, an advantage.
    It is very true that printed papers have tons of mistakes in them, every professional sees it in his field when reading pure wrong facts.
    I think that the question is harder once you look at online “old school” press compared to blogs. There are quite a few news websites that have their own journalists and act according to “ethical” codes of journalism and still have the speed and the comments. It is also true that these kind of websites don’t have the same kind of interaction (blogger/users – it’s more the system/users), we look at the comments with a certain degree of distrust, knowing that the conversation is very wide, has PR people commenting and a lot of noise (Israeli news site ynet.co.il gets hundreds of comments per article, sometimes thousands).
    On the other side you get blogs that look like “real press” and are blogs. That their content is sometimes even syndicated to online news (see techcrunch) and that readers that are less sophisticated don’t check the comments after a day, or a few hours and receive the news as is, as if it was check proofed etc.

    The point of ambiguity is where I find the interesting questions that don’t have such a clear answer.

  15. First up, I’m surprised that people are still bringing up the whole journalism versus blogging thing, and especially that they are still raising the whole “journalists check facts” idea. Not all journalists check facts – but all of them check if what they’re writing can get them sued. If there’s any difference these days, that’s it.

    But secondly, there’s two problems with the whole notion of self-correction – and these apply both to journalists and bloggers. First, the correction is rarely propagated across the web in the same way as a controversial original. A post on a popular site will get hundreds of resposts, comments and other posts around the web, within hours. By the time you correct that, a day later, attention has moved on and the majority of related posts will never be corrected.

    Second, you note how you learned something from David Hornik’s comments. But suppose David had commented on FriendFeed. Or Jaiku. Or some other community site.

    With comment fragmentation increasing, unless someone spends all their time looking for comments about your posts, they may well miss the comment which demonstrates they’re wrong – and the post may never be corrected.

  16. First up, I’m surprised that people are still bringing up the whole journalism versus blogging thing, and especially that they are still raising the whole “journalists check facts” idea. Not all journalists check facts – but all of them check if what they’re writing can get them sued. If there’s any difference these days, that’s it.

    But secondly, there’s two problems with the whole notion of self-correction – and these apply both to journalists and bloggers. First, the correction is rarely propagated across the web in the same way as a controversial original. A post on a popular site will get hundreds of resposts, comments and other posts around the web, within hours. By the time you correct that, a day later, attention has moved on and the majority of related posts will never be corrected.

    Second, you note how you learned something from David Hornik’s comments. But suppose David had commented on FriendFeed. Or Jaiku. Or some other community site.

    With comment fragmentation increasing, unless someone spends all their time looking for comments about your posts, they may well miss the comment which demonstrates they’re wrong – and the post may never be corrected.

  17. Honestly Robert – sometimes I can’t follow you.

    (1) Sure, bloggers who get it wrong get corrected faster. But don’t forget this – bloggers who post unverified facts are also wrong *more often* than those who take the time to “get it right”. You seem to have missed this point.

    (2) Did you really attribute “complete, unedited, unchanged, unfiltered” to Dave Winer? I respect the guy but please – he removes words and posts from his blog and moderates his comments. His blog is a “must read” – but it also is the antithesis of unedited, unchanged, and unfiltered. It also is the antithesis of being objective – and I’m sure Dave would agree with that last point too.

    (3) So you say having your readers fact check your words is a good thing? Okay. If I were in your shoes I’d think that it would be hard to defend anyone accusing me of simply being too lazy to fact check for myself. :-) But seriously – you can’t have it both ways Robert. You simply cannot call yourself a “journalist” yet not do the work inolved to fact check yourself.

  18. Honestly Robert – sometimes I can’t follow you.

    (1) Sure, bloggers who get it wrong get corrected faster. But don’t forget this – bloggers who post unverified facts are also wrong *more often* than those who take the time to “get it right”. You seem to have missed this point.

    (2) Did you really attribute “complete, unedited, unchanged, unfiltered” to Dave Winer? I respect the guy but please – he removes words and posts from his blog and moderates his comments. His blog is a “must read” – but it also is the antithesis of unedited, unchanged, and unfiltered. It also is the antithesis of being objective – and I’m sure Dave would agree with that last point too.

    (3) So you say having your readers fact check your words is a good thing? Okay. If I were in your shoes I’d think that it would be hard to defend anyone accusing me of simply being too lazy to fact check for myself. :-) But seriously – you can’t have it both ways Robert. You simply cannot call yourself a “journalist” yet not do the work inolved to fact check yourself.

  19. No doubt, the best post I’ve ever read in the blogosphere for a long time, it’s a perfect demonstration that the journalisme’s world is in complete mutation…

  20. No doubt, the best post I’ve ever read in the blogosphere for a long time, it’s a perfect demonstration that the journalisme’s world is in complete mutation…

  21. When an error is made in a newspaper article and it’s web counterpart, the hard copy article can never be corrected AND the electronic version NEVER is.

    That’s bad.

    People searching the archives and/or Google will always find the original uncorrected article.

    That procedure should change.

  22. When an error is made in a newspaper article and it’s web counterpart, the hard copy article can never be corrected AND the electronic version NEVER is.

    That’s bad.

    People searching the archives and/or Google will always find the original uncorrected article.

    That procedure should change.

  23. I am reading your blogs after months and I have to say I love your new detailed articles unlike short posts before. It appears Twitter and Friendfeed have cured you of short-postitis :)

    Journalists don’t like instant feedbacks. Lot of journalists spend their lifetime spreading rumor about celebrities and imagine what happens when the celebrities bite back? There was a long article in a popular bengali newspaper recently where journalists are lamenting the fact that they cannot anymore hide behind safewords like “allegedly” and “reportedly” and like whatever they wish about whichever celebrities, especially if they don’t happen to like them or need a spike in their readership. With celebrities in India moving to blogging, they fear that the days of celebrity gossip is coming to an end!

  24. I am reading your blogs after months and I have to say I love your new detailed articles unlike short posts before. It appears Twitter and Friendfeed have cured you of short-postitis :)

    Journalists don’t like instant feedbacks. Lot of journalists spend their lifetime spreading rumor about celebrities and imagine what happens when the celebrities bite back? There was a long article in a popular bengali newspaper recently where journalists are lamenting the fact that they cannot anymore hide behind safewords like “allegedly” and “reportedly” and like whatever they wish about whichever celebrities, especially if they don’t happen to like them or need a spike in their readership. With celebrities in India moving to blogging, they fear that the days of celebrity gossip is coming to an end!

  25. Robert, agree…also many bloggers are practitioners…they bring a perspective from their day job that few journalists can bring. Most bloggers tend to summarize and link to input from multiple sources )which in a way is a fact-check) – how often do you see a NY Times article cite a WSJ source or vice versa?

    Finally, in the enterprise space I blog about, there are fewer influential reporters. As I blogged last night, it sure would be nice for the NY Times (and other MSM) to consistently spread its coverage beyond Apple or Google which accounts for less than 5% of the tech and telecom industry…you would think sitting next to so many Fortune 500 CIOs in Manhattan they would write way more about enterprise vendors. Those guys are interested in reading about Jobs’ health, but their jobs depend on how SAP, SunGard Infosys and other “obscure” vendors fare

  26. Robert, agree…also many bloggers are practitioners…they bring a perspective from their day job that few journalists can bring. Most bloggers tend to summarize and link to input from multiple sources )which in a way is a fact-check) – how often do you see a NY Times article cite a WSJ source or vice versa?

    Finally, in the enterprise space I blog about, there are fewer influential reporters. As I blogged last night, it sure would be nice for the NY Times (and other MSM) to consistently spread its coverage beyond Apple or Google which accounts for less than 5% of the tech and telecom industry…you would think sitting next to so many Fortune 500 CIOs in Manhattan they would write way more about enterprise vendors. Those guys are interested in reading about Jobs’ health, but their jobs depend on how SAP, SunGard Infosys and other “obscure” vendors fare

  27. Steve Garfield: Although the idea is to leave blog entries intact, there are people who do make clear corrections and updates. This is often done carefully so that the change is evident (although I touch up typos without making a fuss about it). Also, because the update may not be seen in an RSS feed, if there is a significant update, a new article that points out the changed information and later news can be posted. We have the advantage of hyperlinking to knit this together, as well.

    Now, there are webzines, including those for print news, that also tie articles to comments and will also indicate if there is an update or has been an update. A prominent recent example was the Austin newspaper that moved a column from the front page and provided an editorial introduction to the reclassified commentary publication. So I think that the print media can be savvy about this in their electronic editions too, and some may see it as material to their integrity as a source.

  28. Steve Garfield: Although the idea is to leave blog entries intact, there are people who do make clear corrections and updates. This is often done carefully so that the change is evident (although I touch up typos without making a fuss about it). Also, because the update may not be seen in an RSS feed, if there is a significant update, a new article that points out the changed information and later news can be posted. We have the advantage of hyperlinking to knit this together, as well.

    Now, there are webzines, including those for print news, that also tie articles to comments and will also indicate if there is an update or has been an update. A prominent recent example was the Austin newspaper that moved a column from the front page and provided an editorial introduction to the reclassified commentary publication. So I think that the print media can be savvy about this in their electronic editions too, and some may see it as material to their integrity as a source.

  29. Bloggers will never have the credibility that real journalists have. Anyone can start a blog, but a real journalist must earn his/her career.

  30. Bloggers will never have the credibility that real journalists have. Anyone can start a blog, but a real journalist must earn his/her career.

  31. Blogs is more like ‘wisdom of the crowds’ while the traditional media is more like ‘wisdom of the elite’

    They both have their place in society’s need to be always informed and to constantly debate the right vrs wrong

    An analogy can be made between blogs and Wikipedia versus the top print media and The Encyclopedia Britanica.

  32. Blogs is more like ‘wisdom of the crowds’ while the traditional media is more like ‘wisdom of the elite’

    They both have their place in society’s need to be always informed and to constantly debate the right vrs wrong

    An analogy can be made between blogs and Wikipedia versus the top print media and The Encyclopedia Britanica.

  33. David, sorry to disagree but to a business executive, a practitioner will always have more credibility than a journalist. They pay us consulting, software other fees many many times higher than their annual subscription to a magazine or a newspaper…

    But the reality is no single source any more – journalists, bloggers, analysts – individually influences a whole bunch. There is an expression which goes

    In the 70s when the CIO wanted input on tech they turned to IBM
    In the 80s they turned to Accenture (Andersen)
    In the 90s they turned to Gartner
    Now they talk to each other

    So, rather than media sniping at bloggers and bloggers at analysts the more we all listen to what our customers and readers want to read about the better…

  34. David, sorry to disagree but to a business executive, a practitioner will always have more credibility than a journalist. They pay us consulting, software other fees many many times higher than their annual subscription to a magazine or a newspaper…

    But the reality is no single source any more – journalists, bloggers, analysts – individually influences a whole bunch. There is an expression which goes

    In the 70s when the CIO wanted input on tech they turned to IBM
    In the 80s they turned to Accenture (Andersen)
    In the 90s they turned to Gartner
    Now they talk to each other

    So, rather than media sniping at bloggers and bloggers at analysts the more we all listen to what our customers and readers want to read about the better…

  35. {Quote Scoble in comments}:
    “…it’s just that with the pros you don’t often see the corrections.”

    And there is the truth.

    Bloggers, often small and independent, must stick their necks out
    to be fresh with news and commentary, yet likely without
    resources such as industry leads, a staff and an in house legal team.

  36. {Quote Scoble in comments}:
    “…it’s just that with the pros you don’t often see the corrections.”

    And there is the truth.

    Bloggers, often small and independent, must stick their necks out
    to be fresh with news and commentary, yet likely without
    resources such as industry leads, a staff and an in house legal team.

  37. That’s what I like about blogs. When mistakes are found they can be corrected and there is interaction. That can’t be done on hard copies.

  38. That’s what I like about blogs. When mistakes are found they can be corrected and there is interaction. That can’t be done on hard copies.

  39. robert, you come down hard on victor. ok, so maybe you’d like to offer perspective on techcrunch’s continual recycling of the google-to-by-digg rumor, which predictably grabs all the attention on techmeme for a cycle or two…before getting debunked a few days later.

  40. robert, you come down hard on victor. ok, so maybe you’d like to offer perspective on techcrunch’s continual recycling of the google-to-by-digg rumor, which predictably grabs all the attention on techmeme for a cycle or two…before getting debunked a few days later.

  41. I think the self-correcting thing can work – but it needs a reasonable blog following, plus followers who will comment. If, for example, I post something about say PowerShell, there are a few people who will correct me (and do!), and many more who won’t. BUT – my posts end up in Google (et al). When folks use use Google to search they presumably act on what they find which might not be great!

    For A-list bloggers like you, getting folks to post updates/corrections/clarifications is both part of the deal, but also almost to be expected. And when I Google for something, and see the comments, I can take the whole stream into consideration. However, For many, many others, their blogs are obscure, but Google can give them importance that maybe they don’t deserve.

    My .02€ worth!

  42. Scoble, I don’t believe I once mentioned you by name when I said “bloggers”, so your taking this personally comes off as being defensive. But, like they say, “if the shoe fits…”. You yourself mentioned MSM have editors and fact checkers to ensure what is written has at least been vetted. Many bloggers don’t take the the time to do that. Primarily for fear of not being first, then linked to. How often does a correction make it it’s way through the link love network? I’d about as often as corrections in the MSM get noticed. Moreover, when the MSM print corrections, it’s typicall in the form of correcting names or dates. Anything that rises above that is very well publicized. Does John Edwards have a mistress and a love child? Speculation abounds. No one has yet to state is as fact, but at somepoint someone is going to have a press conference to clear it all up. If this we purely “reported” by bloggers there would have been less specilation and attempts to contact Edwards. They simply would have said he was seen visiting his mistriss and love child. Even coments would have been unreliable, even if they came from Edwards himself. As for one newspaper quoting another, it happens all the time. It is very common for the Times or the Post to say “…the WSJ is reporting….”. Then you can bet your ass the NYT editor is

  43. I think the self-correcting thing can work – but it needs a reasonable blog following, plus followers who will comment. If, for example, I post something about say PowerShell, there are a few people who will correct me (and do!), and many more who won’t. BUT – my posts end up in Google (et al). When folks use use Google to search they presumably act on what they find which might not be great!

    For A-list bloggers like you, getting folks to post updates/corrections/clarifications is both part of the deal, but also almost to be expected. And when I Google for something, and see the comments, I can take the whole stream into consideration. However, For many, many others, their blogs are obscure, but Google can give them importance that maybe they don’t deserve.

    My .02€ worth!

  44. Scoble, I don’t believe I once mentioned you by name when I said “bloggers”, so your taking this personally comes off as being defensive. But, like they say, “if the shoe fits…”. You yourself mentioned MSM have editors and fact checkers to ensure what is written has at least been vetted. Many bloggers don’t take the the time to do that. Primarily for fear of not being first, then linked to. How often does a correction make it it’s way through the link love network? I’d about as often as corrections in the MSM get noticed. Moreover, when the MSM print corrections, it’s typicall in the form of correcting names or dates. Anything that rises above that is very well publicized. Does John Edwards have a mistress and a love child? Speculation abounds. No one has yet to state is as fact, but at somepoint someone is going to have a press conference to clear it all up. If this we purely “reported” by bloggers there would have been less specilation and attempts to contact Edwards. They simply would have said he was seen visiting his mistriss and love child. Even coments would have been unreliable, even if they came from Edwards himself. As for one newspaper quoting another, it happens all the time. It is very common for the Times or the Post to say “…the WSJ is reporting….”. Then you can bet your ass the NYT editor is

  45. Scoble, I gave a talk at Mark Anderson’s Future in Review conference a couple of years ago. It’s a conference of CEOs and CTOs mostly in the tech world. The question was much the same as the one the people at the Fortune conference were raising, but I wasn’t outnumbered, and the audience wasn’t full of journos. So I asked for a show of hands of anyone whose point of view had ever been accurately reflected in an article they were quoted in. I got a lot of applause (probably like the applause the Fortune guy got) and not one hand went up and no one spoke in defense of reporters. In other words, here are people who are often quoted by the press, and none of them felt they had EVER been represented accurately.

    I said — That’s why I blog, and rested my case.

    I think those reporters are smug and have their heads buried in the sand, if they don’t see blogging as a rebellion of the people they used to quote, they’re completely missing the point. (And they mostly are.)

    And thank you for representing us Scoble. Most professional journalists have a contradictory point of view. They think they have taken over blogging, and at the same time look down condescendingly at bloggers. Funny, since everyone on stage at your event were professional reporters who use blogging tools. As if somehow what software you use changes who you are in some fundamental way.

    Dave

  46. Scoble, I gave a talk at Mark Anderson’s Future in Review conference a couple of years ago. It’s a conference of CEOs and CTOs mostly in the tech world. The question was much the same as the one the people at the Fortune conference were raising, but I wasn’t outnumbered, and the audience wasn’t full of journos. So I asked for a show of hands of anyone whose point of view had ever been accurately reflected in an article they were quoted in. I got a lot of applause (probably like the applause the Fortune guy got) and not one hand went up and no one spoke in defense of reporters. In other words, here are people who are often quoted by the press, and none of them felt they had EVER been represented accurately.

    I said — That’s why I blog, and rested my case.

    I think those reporters are smug and have their heads buried in the sand, if they don’t see blogging as a rebellion of the people they used to quote, they’re completely missing the point. (And they mostly are.)

    And thank you for representing us Scoble. Most professional journalists have a contradictory point of view. They think they have taken over blogging, and at the same time look down condescendingly at bloggers. Funny, since everyone on stage at your event were professional reporters who use blogging tools. As if somehow what software you use changes who you are in some fundamental way.

    Dave

  47. …telling his reporters to verify. How many bloggers take the action to do that?
    James, the Rather example is well taken. Who knows how long other outlets would have investigated the veracity of the story? (I’m sure many of them wanted it to be true). But this goes to my point of credibility. Rather was well respected in his field. Much like Scoble is, for reasons I can’t logically explain. So, once shown to be a trumped up story, his credibility went in the shitter. Even though the community corrected him, he was done. Yet some like Arrington can post any rumor he wants and no one dares question him, let alone correct him, lest they suffer his wrath.

    As for the Comcast example, shame on the news outlet for sending a reporter not informed on the topic. Much like sending Perez Hilton to cover a shuttle space launch. Mission Control could tell him anything and he’d take it as fact.

    Which seems to be another issue with bloggers. They rarely grill any of their interview subjects and challenge them when necessary. Wouldn’t want to get the reputation of not being a sychophant.

  48. …telling his reporters to verify. How many bloggers take the action to do that?
    James, the Rather example is well taken. Who knows how long other outlets would have investigated the veracity of the story? (I’m sure many of them wanted it to be true). But this goes to my point of credibility. Rather was well respected in his field. Much like Scoble is, for reasons I can’t logically explain. So, once shown to be a trumped up story, his credibility went in the shitter. Even though the community corrected him, he was done. Yet some like Arrington can post any rumor he wants and no one dares question him, let alone correct him, lest they suffer his wrath.

    As for the Comcast example, shame on the news outlet for sending a reporter not informed on the topic. Much like sending Perez Hilton to cover a shuttle space launch. Mission Control could tell him anything and he’d take it as fact.

    Which seems to be another issue with bloggers. They rarely grill any of their interview subjects and challenge them when necessary. Wouldn’t want to get the reputation of not being a sychophant.

  49. The danger with the weblogger isn’t so much the accuracy and reliability as it is the emotional context and intent of the writing. Sure many professional journalists write opinionated pieces with the intent of influencing people, but most publications feature writing that is more objective, to inform, not necessarily influence. Or not aggressively influence.

    Too many webloggers, especially the elite, use their position and influence to deliberately generate mobs and then turn them loose on one person or another. The consequences can be devastating and permanent, regardless of post-writing fact checking and error correcting.

    Because of such self-interested actions, and the ramifications, we should always beware the writing of a weblogger more than a professional journalist, because it’s too simple for the weblogger to grind whatever is the axe du jour. And there are too few to take the weblogger to account (because, after all, we’re not “professionals”).

  50. The danger with the weblogger isn’t so much the accuracy and reliability as it is the emotional context and intent of the writing. Sure many professional journalists write opinionated pieces with the intent of influencing people, but most publications feature writing that is more objective, to inform, not necessarily influence. Or not aggressively influence.

    Too many webloggers, especially the elite, use their position and influence to deliberately generate mobs and then turn them loose on one person or another. The consequences can be devastating and permanent, regardless of post-writing fact checking and error correcting.

    Because of such self-interested actions, and the ramifications, we should always beware the writing of a weblogger more than a professional journalist, because it’s too simple for the weblogger to grind whatever is the axe du jour. And there are too few to take the weblogger to account (because, after all, we’re not “professionals”).

  51. Robert, I like your outlook on this… While I do not always agree with your antics, I respect your position in this industry. More so I respect your opinions – not that I always agree with them.

    You are dead on. I am a little nervous that those commenting on my blog would be responsible for my fact checking, and this perspective leaves a bit to be desired, in my humble opinion. However, I have to hand it to you for this observation.

    The comments are indeed part of the post, and that is the point of blogging.

  52. Robert, I like your outlook on this… While I do not always agree with your antics, I respect your position in this industry. More so I respect your opinions – not that I always agree with them.

    You are dead on. I am a little nervous that those commenting on my blog would be responsible for my fact checking, and this perspective leaves a bit to be desired, in my humble opinion. However, I have to hand it to you for this observation.

    The comments are indeed part of the post, and that is the point of blogging.

  53. ‘Back in the day’, web logs were all pretty well accepted as Op/Ed, not particularly as trusted news source. Through proliferation and a lot of self-congratulatory ego-driven noise level raising, the sheer volume of material made it seem like there must be something to it, and mainstream media (not necessarily print, newspaper) couldn’t help but be attracted to the buzz and started polling the blogs for their own stories. That changed to trolling the blogs for stories, and when you excerpt things out of context and put them on TV, it’s better than Wikipedia as far as its authoritarian power over the viewers. The majority of folks watching are just not willing to investigate on their own, so they just take it on spec. Horrifying, but largely true.

    Scoble’s right in that the comments, the interaction, the feedback, the contact between the author and the viewer/reader/subscriber/follwer is what makes blogging useful, if it is going to be useful at all. Otherwise, we’re all just posting to the wind. Which, I guess, is what this all is anyway. Except that engaging posts do just that, they engage. Once someone connects with your work (like or not), they’ve been engaged by something that they hadn’t before.

  54. ‘Back in the day’, web logs were all pretty well accepted as Op/Ed, not particularly as trusted news source. Through proliferation and a lot of self-congratulatory ego-driven noise level raising, the sheer volume of material made it seem like there must be something to it, and mainstream media (not necessarily print, newspaper) couldn’t help but be attracted to the buzz and started polling the blogs for their own stories. That changed to trolling the blogs for stories, and when you excerpt things out of context and put them on TV, it’s better than Wikipedia as far as its authoritarian power over the viewers. The majority of folks watching are just not willing to investigate on their own, so they just take it on spec. Horrifying, but largely true.

    Scoble’s right in that the comments, the interaction, the feedback, the contact between the author and the viewer/reader/subscriber/follwer is what makes blogging useful, if it is going to be useful at all. Otherwise, we’re all just posting to the wind. Which, I guess, is what this all is anyway. Except that engaging posts do just that, they engage. Once someone connects with your work (like or not), they’ve been engaged by something that they hadn’t before.

  55. Robert, you are — on purpose — confusing two groups of bloggers:

    – The “amateurs”, who write about their field of expertise (or their clearly-marked opinions and feelings), but don’t want to make money directly from their blog. Winer, Hornik, Obasanjo, … are in this category — as is Channel 9 (*). They may be marketing their products or expertise, but they have first-hand knowledge and can be held accountable as professionals in their fields.

    – The blog “professionals” and “semi-professionals” who (like MSM) position themselves between news source and news reader want to make money from that. CNet writers, Arrington and you (*) are in this category. These writers talk about many topics and typically understand none. What they do understand, however, is making a blog a tabloid to get the pageviews that they need since their blogs are free to read. See Arrington’s tickling of the mob on slow news days, or Robin Harris, Dana Blankenhorn or Matt Asay (just to name a few) on ZDNet and CNet, or MG Siegler on Venturebeat.

    The problems with posting something that was not fact-checked:
    – You put the burden of fact-checking (or at least reading the corrections) on your readers. (But you are the one that is paid.)
    – There are no search engines, yet :-), that can separate truth and lies. The Internet is full of misinformation and outright lies — in a percentage several orders of magnitude higher than MSM in the USA or EU or JPN in the last 40 years. This is largely due to blogs.

    The promise of blogging was to get right to the information source and to get rid of the middleman — which is you.

    (*) Trying to be fair: in your videos you are mostly a technical resource to an original source: I have no problem with that. But in your blog you are as idiotic as Arrington, Gillmor or Blankenhorn — though with a nice human touch that they lack.

    PS Funny thing is that blog writers famous for never ever fact checking, such as Duncan Riley, complain that other blogs wash his dirty laundry in public without getting in touch with them. (Even funnier is that the name of his new blog refers to the witch hunts of the middle ages — exactly what he is doing today.)

  56. Robert, you are — on purpose — confusing two groups of bloggers:

    – The “amateurs”, who write about their field of expertise (or their clearly-marked opinions and feelings), but don’t want to make money directly from their blog. Winer, Hornik, Obasanjo, … are in this category — as is Channel 9 (*). They may be marketing their products or expertise, but they have first-hand knowledge and can be held accountable as professionals in their fields.

    – The blog “professionals” and “semi-professionals” who (like MSM) position themselves between news source and news reader want to make money from that. CNet writers, Arrington and you (*) are in this category. These writers talk about many topics and typically understand none. What they do understand, however, is making a blog a tabloid to get the pageviews that they need since their blogs are free to read. See Arrington’s tickling of the mob on slow news days, or Robin Harris, Dana Blankenhorn or Matt Asay (just to name a few) on ZDNet and CNet, or MG Siegler on Venturebeat.

    The problems with posting something that was not fact-checked:
    – You put the burden of fact-checking (or at least reading the corrections) on your readers. (But you are the one that is paid.)
    – There are no search engines, yet :-), that can separate truth and lies. The Internet is full of misinformation and outright lies — in a percentage several orders of magnitude higher than MSM in the USA or EU or JPN in the last 40 years. This is largely due to blogs.

    The promise of blogging was to get right to the information source and to get rid of the middleman — which is you.

    (*) Trying to be fair: in your videos you are mostly a technical resource to an original source: I have no problem with that. But in your blog you are as idiotic as Arrington, Gillmor or Blankenhorn — though with a nice human touch that they lack.

    PS Funny thing is that blog writers famous for never ever fact checking, such as Duncan Riley, complain that other blogs wash his dirty laundry in public without getting in touch with them. (Even funnier is that the name of his new blog refers to the witch hunts of the middle ages — exactly what he is doing today.)

  57. It works for you because you have a) a lot of readers and b) a lot of people who like to catch you in “errors.” Does it work that well for bloggers with smaller audiences? Sometimes yes (Lord knows people seem to jump out of the woodwork to correct me) but is that typical?

    On the other hand, people with an axe to grind and a willingness to kill disagreeing comments are clearly no better then MSW who do not print/broadcast corrections and desenting views. At least with a blog one can always reply on their own blog.

    Humm, I may have talked myself out of disagreeing with you. :-)

  58. It works for you because you have a) a lot of readers and b) a lot of people who like to catch you in “errors.” Does it work that well for bloggers with smaller audiences? Sometimes yes (Lord knows people seem to jump out of the woodwork to correct me) but is that typical?

    On the other hand, people with an axe to grind and a willingness to kill disagreeing comments are clearly no better then MSW who do not print/broadcast corrections and desenting views. At least with a blog one can always reply on their own blog.

    Humm, I may have talked myself out of disagreeing with you. :-)

  59. Max, boy you must be reading some fantasy blogs if your percentage of “outright lies” is what you say it is. Most of the blogs I subscribe to – I may not agree with – but I have never feel they “lie” to me.

    And as former Gartner analyst I can tell you you are sadly mistaken if you think analysts or even respected reporters know more about a topic than a leading blogger in that space does…they happen to work for a more established brand name company. That’s the only difference…

  60. Max, boy you must be reading some fantasy blogs if your percentage of “outright lies” is what you say it is. Most of the blogs I subscribe to – I may not agree with – but I have never feel they “lie” to me.

    And as former Gartner analyst I can tell you you are sadly mistaken if you think analysts or even respected reporters know more about a topic than a leading blogger in that space does…they happen to work for a more established brand name company. That’s the only difference…

  61. Thomas Lee,

    You’re suggesting that a derogatory page could rank high in Google, yet a company wouldn’t take the trouble to post a comment challenging it?

    That happens, of course, as many companies are still sadly Web-unsavvy. (One company I write about frequently on DBMS2 and that also is a client has a policy of no blog comments EVER, yet gets angry at what it perceives as errors in posts.)

    Still, it’s basically a self-correcting problem. A page with content that you don’t like, but which you can challenge on-page, is inherently a much smaller problem than a page, article, or other media story that you cannot challenge in situ.

    CAM

  62. Thomas Lee,

    You’re suggesting that a derogatory page could rank high in Google, yet a company wouldn’t take the trouble to post a comment challenging it?

    That happens, of course, as many companies are still sadly Web-unsavvy. (One company I write about frequently on DBMS2 and that also is a client has a policy of no blog comments EVER, yet gets angry at what it perceives as errors in posts.)

    Still, it’s basically a self-correcting problem. A page with content that you don’t like, but which you can challenge on-page, is inherently a much smaller problem than a page, article, or other media story that you cannot challenge in situ.

    CAM

  63. IMHO, the primary benefit of blogging is that it takes out ‘the middle man’. I appreciate journalists and, in a democracy, we benefit from the best journalists – who look under rocks and expose some great stories of corruption, humanity and information.

    That said, journalists tend to ‘interpret’ the story after doing their work. Bloggers are typically first-person experts on the matter. No longer do I need to read about VC, I can go to a few dozen VC blogs and learn directly from the expert.

    There’s a huge benefit to this that journalists underestimate. It could be their demise. I hope not – I still appreciate the hard work they do. I just think it’s different.

  64. IMHO, the primary benefit of blogging is that it takes out ‘the middle man’. I appreciate journalists and, in a democracy, we benefit from the best journalists – who look under rocks and expose some great stories of corruption, humanity and information.

    That said, journalists tend to ‘interpret’ the story after doing their work. Bloggers are typically first-person experts on the matter. No longer do I need to read about VC, I can go to a few dozen VC blogs and learn directly from the expert.

    There’s a huge benefit to this that journalists underestimate. It could be their demise. I hope not – I still appreciate the hard work they do. I just think it’s different.

  65. Blogs “self correct” :) – Nice choice of words! Couldn’t have said it better myself

  66. Blogs “self correct” :) – Nice choice of words! Couldn’t have said it better myself

  67. I am fascinated by this (and many other threads like this) topic, going back and forth on bloggers vs journalists.

    What of those people who are both, e.g. 90% of the links off the Drudge Report? The Huffington Post and Wonkette are blogs, but when people can and do write comments at the NY Times, CNN, and ESPN.com, what does that say about the gap between blogger and journalist? Perhaps both terms need to be universally defined.

    I thought it humorous last week when I attended a public affairs meeting, stood up near the end to raise a technology/social media question and mentioned I write a blog. Before answering my question, the woman at the microphone thanked me for saying I was a blogger because the subject matter was “off the record.” Maybe she thought I was a journalist.

  68. I am fascinated by this (and many other threads like this) topic, going back and forth on bloggers vs journalists.

    What of those people who are both, e.g. 90% of the links off the Drudge Report? The Huffington Post and Wonkette are blogs, but when people can and do write comments at the NY Times, CNN, and ESPN.com, what does that say about the gap between blogger and journalist? Perhaps both terms need to be universally defined.

    I thought it humorous last week when I attended a public affairs meeting, stood up near the end to raise a technology/social media question and mentioned I write a blog. Before answering my question, the woman at the microphone thanked me for saying I was a blogger because the subject matter was “off the record.” Maybe she thought I was a journalist.

  69. [...] The blog editing system in action | Scobleizer if I get it wrong the people who actually know the truth will jump on me fast and furiously and that blogs arrive at the truth faster BECAUSE of the participation of everyone involved. (tags: scoble blogs editing journalism) [...]

  70. [...] of conversation over the last week about blogging and bloggers in general. Much of it culminated in a very good post by Robert Scoble which was excellently covered by Mashable’s own Paul Glazowski yesterday but that is really [...]

  71. @vinnie mirchandani

    You wrote
    >> And as former Gartner analyst I can tell you you are sadly mistaken if you think analysts or even respected reporters know more about a topic than a leading blogger does…<> … These writers talk about many topics and typically understand none.<<

    Gartner (and your friends at ZDNet, of which I only see Dennis Howlett as “read-worthy”) are all “middlemen”. Like sales people, you sit between producer and consumer and want to get “your” share. Since I unsubscribed from your blog a year ago, I had another look today. Wouldn’t you say that the first page in the category “enterprise software” is all trivial
    gobbledygook for your audience of IT managers? So, it’s not worse than those free advertising journals like CIO Mag (that I was bombarded with in the 90s and early 00s), but also not a bit better.

    In terms of outright lies: read Robin Harris or Dana Blankenhorn — theirs are easiest to detect.

  72. @vinnie mirchandani

    You wrote
    >> And as former Gartner analyst I can tell you you are sadly mistaken if you think analysts or even respected reporters know more about a topic than a leading blogger does…<> … These writers talk about many topics and typically understand none.<<

    Gartner (and your friends at ZDNet, of which I only see Dennis Howlett as “read-worthy”) are all “middlemen”. Like sales people, you sit between producer and consumer and want to get “your” share. Since I unsubscribed from your blog a year ago, I had another look today. Wouldn’t you say that the first page in the category “enterprise software” is all trivial
    gobbledygook for your audience of IT managers? So, it’s not worse than those free advertising journals like CIO Mag (that I was bombarded with in the 90s and early 00s), but also not a bit better.

    In terms of outright lies: read Robin Harris or Dana Blankenhorn — theirs are easiest to detect.

  73. Scoble’s comments eat angle brackets — I should have known that.

    In the first paragraph above the 1st sentence is quoting you,
    but the 2nd sentence is quoting me from my original comment.

  74. Scoble’s comments eat angle brackets — I should have known that.

    In the first paragraph above the 1st sentence is quoting you,
    but the 2nd sentence is quoting me from my original comment.

  75. Thinking about it, Rather’s fiasco raises another relevant point: we *assume* MSM outlets have fact checkers, but as we later discovered in that case, the only checking they did was to ask a handwriting expert about the document – then took his reply of “well, the signature’s real, but it’s been copied on there and I can’t comment either way on the typed text, it’s not my field” as being good enough. When a huge outlet like CBS lets a big story like that run with such cursory checking, I find myself wondering how much effort they really put into checking less significant matters? Do they bother checking that the Dave Smith they found a photo of is actually the Dave Smith who just got convicted of some heinous crime?

    Then there’s war reporting: early in the Iraq war, apparently some troops were affected by a desperate supply shortage, down to just one 24 hour ration pack per day! Of course, the reporter omitted the all-important “24 hour” bit…

    A few days ago, I found an article in the British press, bemoaning how far behind the UK is on broadband since the average connection speed in France is 51 Mbps. Ever so slightly implausible, when even the fastest connection offered is fiber at 50 Mbps in limited areas, and the average speedtest.net user there gets 4.8 Mbps, more than an order of magnitude slower? (Not to mention that 50 Mbps cable is available in some areas of the UK as well, matching France in that respect!)

    In reality, then, these “fact checkers” – if they even exist – seem to screw up every bit as badly as any blogger. They make mistakes which are blatantly obvious to anyone with even the most basic knowledge of the subject, but don’t bother checking it, because unlike bloggers, they can just suppress any criticism which doesn’t actually go all the way to court or to a rival’s front page! Bloggers 1, ‘journalists’ 0 there.

  76. Thinking about it, Rather’s fiasco raises another relevant point: we *assume* MSM outlets have fact checkers, but as we later discovered in that case, the only checking they did was to ask a handwriting expert about the document – then took his reply of “well, the signature’s real, but it’s been copied on there and I can’t comment either way on the typed text, it’s not my field” as being good enough. When a huge outlet like CBS lets a big story like that run with such cursory checking, I find myself wondering how much effort they really put into checking less significant matters? Do they bother checking that the Dave Smith they found a photo of is actually the Dave Smith who just got convicted of some heinous crime?

    Then there’s war reporting: early in the Iraq war, apparently some troops were affected by a desperate supply shortage, down to just one 24 hour ration pack per day! Of course, the reporter omitted the all-important “24 hour” bit…

    A few days ago, I found an article in the British press, bemoaning how far behind the UK is on broadband since the average connection speed in France is 51 Mbps. Ever so slightly implausible, when even the fastest connection offered is fiber at 50 Mbps in limited areas, and the average speedtest.net user there gets 4.8 Mbps, more than an order of magnitude slower? (Not to mention that 50 Mbps cable is available in some areas of the UK as well, matching France in that respect!)

    In reality, then, these “fact checkers” – if they even exist – seem to screw up every bit as badly as any blogger. They make mistakes which are blatantly obvious to anyone with even the most basic knowledge of the subject, but don’t bother checking it, because unlike bloggers, they can just suppress any criticism which doesn’t actually go all the way to court or to a rival’s front page! Bloggers 1, ‘journalists’ 0 there.

  77. @Max – I give Robert a lot of credit for listening to a world that is very different from that from which Robert comes. But then I’m glad I have an ‘old’ fashioned publisher as well (lol.)

  78. @Max – I give Robert a lot of credit for listening to a world that is very different from that from which Robert comes. But then I’m glad I have an ‘old’ fashioned publisher as well (lol.)

  79. Max, I try to distill what I learn in my day job from various negotiation, innovation and other projects for a number of CIOs. I have in last 3 years posted over 4,000 items both on the Deal Architect and New Florence blogs. If you want to judge me by the first page or a handful of posts, be my guest.

    But rather than calling Dana or others liars, I would love to see you start a prolific blog of your own – see what you can post and can defend on a consistent basis…is that not the beauty of blogging? You and I can at very low cost express our opinions…

  80. Max, I try to distill what I learn in my day job from various negotiation, innovation and other projects for a number of CIOs. I have in last 3 years posted over 4,000 items both on the Deal Architect and New Florence blogs. If you want to judge me by the first page or a handful of posts, be my guest.

    But rather than calling Dana or others liars, I would love to see you start a prolific blog of your own – see what you can post and can defend on a consistent basis…is that not the beauty of blogging? You and I can at very low cost express our opinions…

  81. also Max, re – “middlemen”. The day the tech industry reverses the 1:4 R&D to SGA spend the day middlemen will disappear. You praise marketing blogs from MS and toehr vendors as “professional” – to buyers they just add to the SG&A

    Also as I pointed out in an earlier comment buyers have become smart about balancing input from middlemen – they take Gartner, media, Accenture, blog input as individual data points. Input from another CIO outweighs that of all middlemen put together…

  82. also Max, re – “middlemen”. The day the tech industry reverses the 1:4 R&D to SGA spend the day middlemen will disappear. You praise marketing blogs from MS and toehr vendors as “professional” – to buyers they just add to the SG&A

    Also as I pointed out in an earlier comment buyers have become smart about balancing input from middlemen – they take Gartner, media, Accenture, blog input as individual data points. Input from another CIO outweighs that of all middlemen put together…

  83. Thank you, Robert for continuing the evolutionary conversation. I have learned bucket loads since I began blogging 2 1/2 years ago, and feel that I am on a steep curve. Anyone who claims to own the space, for news, media or information, even facts, needs to pause and guess again. It is all changing rather quickly at present. Shel gets it well when he calls for old and new media to create a “braid”. http://redcouch.typepad.com/ – That needs to happen.

  84. Thank you, Robert for continuing the evolutionary conversation. I have learned bucket loads since I began blogging 2 1/2 years ago, and feel that I am on a steep curve. Anyone who claims to own the space, for news, media or information, even facts, needs to pause and guess again. It is all changing rather quickly at present. Shel gets it well when he calls for old and new media to create a “braid”. http://redcouch.typepad.com/ – That needs to happen.

  85. A fact-checker at the magazine probably would have caught it and kept me from looking stupid. But, this let David get a great point across: that he was positioned unfairly by me and let him clarify his remarks on Friday.