Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

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Funny clash of perspectives in the International Herald Tribune newsroom!

In planning for my blog-based column, I chased down the actual number of letters to the editor we receive each day.

We receive at the IHT roughly 30 letters per day, of which 10-15 are usable, the letters editor said. We end up publishing roughly six.

Historical footnote: We formerly only accepted letters via post, then we accepted fax letters (by early 1990s) and now we almost exclusively receive letters via email.

For a daily newspaper printed in 31 print sites around the world and distributed in more than 150 countries, 30 letters per day struck me as very low, but several colleagues thought it was "a lot".

I sometimes get more than 20 responses - many publishable - for a single posting on this blog.

Once the blog-column is up and running I will be interested to see how many letters to the editor we can inspire. (For the newspaper as a whole, not just for the column.)

If you feel strongly about an article or issue, the email is letters@iht.com and please mention this blog so we can get a sense of the level of blogger input.

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Pitch to the editors of the International Herald Tribune about launching the paper's first blog-based column went well!! (Incorporating many of the ideas from this blog.)

Sounds like I might be the first-ever official blogger of the IHT.

Still wrestling with a variety of details - technical and editorial - for version 1.0. It will be rudimentary to begin with (and quite labor intensive for me).

Thanks for further ideas and I will be counting on readers here participating through this blog (or directly on the IHT site.)

How would you prefer to give submissions:

a- I edit them from a blog-like discussion?

b- People have a limited space (100 or 50 words) to give their take on something?

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Wrote a story about Burda, a German media company that has embraced blogging.

The CEO (grandson of founder) says he never plans to ever open a new printing plant!

Stock analysts fear they may be ahead of the curve in terms of going digital too soon.

This may be old news, but I just saw FlightAware for the first time. It tracks flights in the US that the FAA manages including general aviation. You find a private plane and then drill down to past flights that the plane has made. Quite amazing. I wish they could do this internationally.

via Rodney

One opinion expressed by a member with samurai ancestry was that the Emperor should have committed seppuku (Japanese ritual suicide) immediately after the end of the war. Several people agreed. Others suggested that this would have caused a mass seppuku. They cited that under the Japanese bushido code, this would probably have been appropriate. I wonder what would have happened if Emperor Showa had committed seppuku after the war and whether he ever considered this. I assume that although he was technically bound by bushido, he was probably not educated in a strict bushido way...

There were other opinions that included someone pointing out that the Emperor did not choose to be the Emperor whereas Tojo and other military leaders chose their positions and should be more responsible for their actions.