Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

"The New York Times is my blog" Markoff just IMed me with this funny comment from Slashdot about Dan Gillmor's We the Media. I would have gotten more defensive if it weren't so funny.
Anyway, keep laughing Markoff. Just you wait and see. ;-)

Yes... I did photoshop out the end of his AIM nickname.


I'd think you blog proselytizers would have been a little chastened by the flop of the convention bloggers.

"I'd think you blog proselytizers would have been a little chastened by the flop of the convention bloggers."

Funny, I would have thought you passive, false-objectivity lecture spewers would have been chastened by the utter failure of mass media to remain independent.

The paternalistic old-media seem to be following a father-knows-best formula by infantilizing bloggers. Those square's said the same stuff about rock-and-roll...

It was jive then and it's still jive.

Dvorak claims it was one of his minions who posted the Slashdot post...


imho, it just shows the need for editing. a purely egalitarian collaborative model lacks that role. i don't think that the editor's role can truly be played successfully by something like a search engine or aggregator.

Funny comment, but ultimately a cheap shot. There's a signal to noise ratio in both blogging and the media.

Yup. A cheap shot, but I like to let them have their fun, since we have our share of fun at their expense too. ;-p

The trouble is, after all the burst bubbles and hubristic claims, weblogging is now as fashionable as a mullet haircut. It's become a way of getting a cheap laugh in almost any social situation.

(Steve, it's a bit difficult to expect the media to remain "independent" when they're owned by the same corporations who own the government. Um, we all know this. What we're debating is whether a few affluent techno-utopians can make things better.)

I wrote about infantilizing bloggers in a piece called Blogging 'cruelty' allegations rock post-DNC calm.

To stop the sniggers, you simply have to be good. Claming to "be the media" is a very grand boast indeed, one that needs to be justified. Claiming to be special because you hold a special conch, a magic light sabre, or a "weblog" doesn't convince the public at large. This really is a watershed.

When it was first labeled as such, I really hated blogging and bloggers. (Present host excepted.) I thought it was characterized by self-preoccupation, unconscious deficits in self-esteem, and by an unfounded pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of the blogger's daily life. In fact, I even wanted to start a site called (I waited too long and somebody else eventually took the domain name.) There are many obvious criticisms that can be made of blogging. Commenting on comments, echo chambering, etc. The public has recognized and digested these critical ideas, so naturally, they're knee-jerking against blogging now because knee-jerking is what the public does best.

Echoes maddeningly resonate throughout the blogosphere and the media. However, I think it should be noted that the media parrots views that are often based on a single source, or that otherwise rely on unquestioning repetition of official sources. As viewers/listeners with no voice, we've no choice but to accept it or turn it off. God forbid that the public have a tool that can be used to question and debate the media on a global scale. :) Blogging has helped us to break down the half-duplex nature of our relationship with the media. And it will continue do so, whether paid writers and producers like it or not.

Why bother reading blogs when you can get all the news from Markoff and his three sources, Richard Doherty, Paul Saffo, and Steve Wozniak.

"The paternalistic old-media seem to be following a father-knows-best formula by infantilizing bloggers. Those square's said the same stuff about rock-and-roll...

It was jive then and it's still jive."

Uhhh... You wouldn't happen to be young, hip, and female would you "mel"... Regardless, that's a pretty infantile remark, especially considering the point you were attempting to make.

Uhhh... Joi Ito, if I'm not mistaken, the cheap shot is, rather, the speciality of bloggers a WHOLE LOT more than journalists. To folks like Winer, the journalists have a ways to go before they "catch up to bloggers", but that would be a step backwards to those with an eye for the reality of the situation.

It is as "Peter" and "Andrew" and others have said.

As for "Mike B." and some "group-think-posing-as-balanced-assertions"...

"knee-jerking against blogging now because knee-jerking is what the public does best."

But the problem is that knee-jerking is THE ONLY THING that bloggers do, and highlight that as an advantage. How many times have you and I read "it's the immediacy of blogging that is so great!!" and such babble.

"the media parrots views that are often based on a single source,"

First of all, not if they have any training and follow that training. You would have no idea what you are talking about, blogger. Again, the fantasy of a "blogsphere" is just ANOTHER ONE of the single-voiced "memes" that have polluted bloggers' thinking-apparatus.. their brain. There are so MANY sources for these ill-conceived single-minded views, that there may be an APPEARANCE of multiple sources, (due to snow-blindness, I guess,) but it is still a falsehood-meme that the mono-culture of the Blogdom is anything like the presumed-mono-culture of the Press.

There is some in both, but the Press at least has some ethics and few bloggers do, at least journalistically, if at all. (Will this post be deleted as some in the past have, Joi...?!? We'll see.

So, "Mike B." I assume you are not cognizant of how your very repy is itself just more "unquestioning repetition of official sources", the official sources being the Kings and Queens of the Blogdom -- "unofficial" official sources, if ya know what I mean...

And yes, "it will continue do so, whether paid writers and producers like it or not." And those not in the blog biz and those not so self-inflated will know this as "blog-babble", or "blogging" for short.

Anybody that would read only Markoff and Doherty and Saffo and Wozniak..

..well that'd be as dumb as reading blogs for your news sources, and confusing blogging with journalism, but some still will.

Nice attempt at starting a new meme for the blogsphere, Dave, but pigs still don't fly.

Look, I'm not an unconditional supporter of blogging. When a blogger acheives a certain level of notoriety, I have my own views about how that notoriety can best be used. Other bloggers don't necessarily agree. My views aren't cut-and-dry or black-and-white. Based on how you've lumped me in with the whole blogging crowd, however, it seems you'd see fit to map my relatively complex ideas to single-dimensional concepts. In which case, you might as well be writing in Sanskrit, cause we won't ever see eye to eye.

I don't think blogging should be used as a news source. And I don't completely trust the ethics of either bloggers or media sources. I'm an ultimate pessimist. I like checks and balances. My hope is that media-oriented bloggers with an audience would serve much as auditors in a financial institution might. Furthermore, it is important for the public to have a vast medium it can use to discuss it's ideas about the media. We need a way to cry foul when the media is full of shit. And through my experience in life, I have found that the media is often full of shit.

In the early and mid nineties, I put myself through college by selling stringer videos to local TV stations.
It was a great way for a kid with a video camera and a police scanner to make some decent money. The footage I sold was aired on the local news, but the sound bites attached to my footage often had little or nothing to do with what actually transpired. For example, a homeless man putting out a cigarette fire in a trash can became, "A Rodney King protester seen starting bonfires up and down Shattuck street." There are so many other outrageous (and sometimes funny) examples I could give.

Ask how weblogging can improve things, and you get the answer "But Media is Bad!" Ask how such humiliations like the DNC breakfast can be prevented from happening again, and you get the answer "But the Media is Bad!". Ask for proof positive how bloggers and cameraphone owners are now the media (as the title of a recent book claims) and you get the answer "But the Media is Bad!"

Well, who would have guessed?

Maybe there's a future for public stream-of-consciousness writing as a kind of vernacular folk art. But when it comes to overthrowing existing power structures, simply describing the status quo over and over again doesn't explain how weblogging is working. As Seth Finkelstein pointed out, it's a stuck needle, a rhetorical closed loop.

The media can be bad. It doesn't like sharing it's viewership. And in the US, they simply act as agents for one political contigent, or the other. Besides, blogging isn't a natural opponent of the media; it serves many other purposes. You are oversimplifying things Andrew. Seems that you think one should be either pro-blog or anti-blog.

Some of the people who brought notoriety to blogging suffer from a lack of clear purpose and of a secret desire for notoriety. That doesn't ruin the whole thing. Man, so many people have so many axes to grind, it seems.

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