Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.


Dear All,

As happened in previous posting, I am happy to revisit the issue of my guest blogging on Joi's site.

Why blog with Joi?

As Joi mentioned, I am trying to fast-forward into new media. Whether covering war, disease outbreaks or eathquakes, I always head for the frontlines.

The frontlines in blogging include the readers of Joi's blog. Great ideas have emerged in discussions here on how to combine blogging with more traditional media.

If you want to shape traditional media's interaction with bloggers, please join the discussion. If not, excuse us and rest assured that I will not be here forever (see next question).

How long will I blog here?

I blog here at Joi's invitation and would never impose on his kindness. I will be launching the first-ever blog-based column of the IHT in the coming months and will migrate the bulk of my postings over to that blog over time.

Is someone here paid by the International Herald Tribune?

Absolutely yes! I am a full-time employee of the IHT/NYT and have been for more than a decade. (Details at Other than my salary, no money changes hands.

Back to topic: Blogs and Traditional media

Funny self-observation: Just realized that in my postings I have dropped the Posted by Thomas Crampton in favor of By Thomas Crampton. That makes my online byline similar to my print byline.

Also, my blogging style has changed over time. Specific quesitions get more useful responses than general ones broad ones. You need to know what you are looking for.

What other tips to encourage discussion?


My 2 cents...

It's really been interesting for me to watch your style develop over time. At the beginning it was:


Obligatory question

Please talk amongst yourselves

This evolved and your posts started sounding more and more like the comments you were making in the comments section. The voice has become more and more authentic.

I personally love the people who comment on this blog because there is a range of opinions, there are regulars who know each other and the debate is usually interesting and thoughtful. I think that among the contributors here, you're developing a relationship (or better or for worse) with them and many of them will follow you to where you go next.

I do think having you in the body of the blog rather than in some sidebar has tossed you into the wacky world of Joi Ito's Web in a way that would have been difficult otherwise. Like nukamiso, getting a culture going takes some time and I think that intereacting with the crew here was a good thing.

Just by looking at the comments you continue to get on your posts, I think many people are interested and the others will get used to identifying what is yours and what is mine. It might be interesting to get the IHT one going and see what sort of community develops there. You could experiment. You might find that the voice you develop there is slightly different than the one you have here and the material you would want to share with this group different from what you would share to your IHT blog crowd. I'd be curious if there is a difference...

Thomas, initally (as Joi mentions) - your voice seemed a little distance and its seemed like reporting. Over time, you have developed your own "voice" and participate in the conversations. That is good. I think that you are on the cluetrain :)-

Having said that, I will really be interested
1) how many readers you will get, when you luanch your own blog.
2) Will your style change ?
3) What is the next level of blogsphere that you envision (i.e being an MSM player)
4) Are you competiting with anyone/media or just using this piggyback ride (via joi's blog) to go thru a learning curve /discovery purpose
5) What are your plans to advocate blogsphere in MSM ?

Note to Joi: Yeah -if there was a person who could not "identifying what is yours and what is mine." then there was a serious error between the keyboard and the chair !!

I would say that Tom's professional writing experience could maybe be considered an acceptable precursor to beginning his blogging journey. Granted, it's not the 20 years at the National Enquirer that we would have hoped for, but only a decade or so at the less prestigious International Herald Tribune. Still, I don't want to take anything away from him here. I just want to say this: Tom, you had the courage to take that first step - well done. Good on you, mate. Keep up the good work, sport. And when you fall off the bicycle, don't be afraid to get back on it. Just remember, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Takes a while maybe and lots of small pieces of hamburger, but it *can* be done.

As I look into the future, I can see a time, Tom, when you're long in the tooth and looking back fondly on this period in your life. You'll come to understand that this was just the first step in the great blogging adventures that lay ahead for you. And when your grandchildren sit on your knee and you bandy about archaic and cryptic terms such as blogging, IHT, National Enquirer, moonbats and comments section, they'll wish they were there with you as you began your intrepid journey into this frontier territory; like a bearded mountain man in Montana, 1706, trapping his first ferret and trading its fur for a half-pint pitcher of moonshine and an ounce or two of good spit tobacky.

Hello, Tom.

I'm a new commentor to Joi's blog, although I have been reading the feed for quite some time. Thunderbird allows me to either read the feed, or load the actual webpage into the tbird view pane. I've only been reading the feed, until now. I have seen the light, and look forward to continually seeing posts, and the comments they generate.

Although I haven't paid much attention to who is posting what (and have never read any of your writings off of Joi's blog), I have to agree with people in that you sound quite genuine, as opposed to "reporterish". In the coming years, I think we'll notice a new trend in reporting, genuine reporters. While I watch traditional news broadcasts (and read traditional sources), I admit that I find myself enjoying the news more when I feel as if I can actually relate to the reporter in some form or fashion.

Perhaps blogging, web 2.0, and the New News (citizen journalism, perhaps?) is all a precurser of simply drawing us closer together as a people. The Internet reaches - for the most part (a few hard-headed censorist governments, aside) - across international boundaries. It, in a sense, makes us a One World People. Over time, I'd wager we'll see a much greater sense of that in even traditional media. At least, I hope we do.

Hi Thomas and Joi,
This is my first comment here but I've been silently reading both your posts for a while.

Thomas, unlike some of the comments here- I think that what you're doing is really great.
When a new media evolves the tendency is to replicate the distribution patterns of the old media into the new one. It takes a while for the new media to create new patterns that are unique.

What you are doing is to learn the new media rather than bring in old patterns. This is obviously a process that requires time, before you define your unique tools to distribute your messages in this area.

I'm all for it and waiting to read you're thoughts in your blog.


Haven't been here in a while, very surprising developments. After examining the way the New York Times has handled the rise of blogs (denial, mild interest, grudging acceptance), it's great to see that the IHT is doing the blog dance. I'm really interested to see the differences that emerge in the respective media outlets blog strategies (given that they are owned by the same company).