Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I just visited my friend Tom Crampton, a reporter for the International Herald Tribute, who just moved to Paris. Today was his first day in the Paris office. He showed me the computer system that gave him access to all of the stories and pictures filed by reporters and photographers all over the world. The computer system also had all kinds of databases including the news wires. The stories had "slugs" which were the shorthand names of the stories named after the actual lead slugs they used to use. Some had notes that said, "DO NOT SPIKE" which comes from the spike that editors used to have on their desk that dumped stories were spiked onto. These slugs were printed up onto "skeds". They let me sit in on the editorial meeting where all of the editors got together and discussed what stories might lead and which stories ended up on the front and second pages. Many of the stories hadn't been written yet. What was interesting was that, at least during the this meeting, there was a lot of non-verbal communication. There was clearly a lot more thinking than talking going on. It was the sound of NPOV.

It is definitely unfair to compare this process to blogging, but there were similarities. I scan my news feeds in the morning. Then I look at what other blogs are posting. Then I think about various things that might come up during the day that I might blog about and decide what if anything I will blog. It's a lot about timing, context and a larger narrative.

Some of the issues about what to lead with and what to balance with remind me a bit of the Prix Ars Electronica jury process (which danah just blogged about) where we chose 1 Golden Nica, 2 Distinctions and 12 Honorary Mentions from 400+ nominations.

I snagged a copy of tomorrow's IHT Japan edition which is just now being printed. I will be able to read tomorrow's paper on my flight back to Japan, which seems pretty cool.

I talked to the editors about blogging and explained that I'm a big fan of the IHT and thought a lot about how bloggers can work together with MSM and what we could do to transform their business model and preserve their craft.


The IHT is a great newspaper because it somehow manages to pick up on or dig out stories that are local and concrete but somehow have global resonance. Recently, there was the story about European budget mobile operators, which I think caught a shade of what is beginning to happen in the telecoms world ( A few months ago there was this article ( about building a runway at Frankfurt which was a reminder of how interconnected the world had become and how far construction technology had advanced. It always drives these stories from facts and real-people quotes rather than from spin and opinion.

One thing that puts me off the website is the strange page layout and scrolling system on story pages. It looks like IHT is going by the unreliable and pretty-much disproven rule that narrower columns are somehow better than regular-width columns. (Though there is a printable version which is laid out more conventionally.)

Hey Joi!

I found this email kind of interesting, which announces the start of print for IHT Egypt Edition somewhere towards the end of this month. Do you know if other national editions are sending this kind of hrm... spam? I know I have definitely not subscribed to anything related.

Dear Sir / Madam,

We are delighted to inform you that the International Herald Tribune (“IHT”) / The Daily Star Egypt Edition will be printed in Egypt for same day distribution starting early May 2005.
We hope to draw your interest to our paper and for further information on subscription and pricing please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

"I talked to the editors about blogging and explained that I'm a big fan of the IHT and thought a lot about how bloggers can work together with MSM and what we could do to transform their business model and preserve their craft."

... and they said ... ??

I find this an interesting Discourse !! Joi, when you are in 'JST' mode, you are the first RSS feed that I read.

Preservation of the craft also needs to be in ophysically attributed. Yes, its about --"It's a lot about timing, context and a larger narrative"

..and you know why ?? Because while I am asleep , I know that you are in JST mode, you have already culled /parsed and blogged what is important.. and as I read your posting.. this saves me time for instant consumption.. there are times I am getting tomorrow's news today, by virture of this paradigm !! Yeah as silly as it sounds--its so true in my own echo chamber...

Thats my 2 cents dialogue from the Canada !! :)-


Since you are an expert on "blogs", please clarify for me why you use this word as a noun and a verb. Also why use the verb form when the word "write" already means what you are using "blog" for, and why use the noun form when the phrase "web page" has the same meaning?

Hi Joi. Off topic, here's a link to the blog of a group whose spirit of community I think you might appreciate.

/pd interesting point.

Boris: That's a whole new post. Basically, we talked about how we can work together and how I appreciated the high quality MSM, but that I thought they needed a new business model. I talked about Technorati and other things and they were interested I think.

Chris: I think there are many nouns that are also verbs. How about "surf"? There is "the surf" on which you "surf". I don't think it's odd that blog is both a noun and a verb.