I find it amusing when a debate kicks off about how mainstream media (MSM) is being killed off by blogging. Since I began this blog, I have a new found respect for journalists. I can go through phases where I can’t stop writing and create a pile of posts in a short space of time. And then I suddenly hit writer’s block and can barely string a sentence together. The ideas float around my head, but just don’t make it down to the keyboard. Since this is a blog, I can get away with a break from time to time. It’s not quite so easy when you committed to delivering the goods on a daily/weekly/whatever basis. Recently, I signed up for a journalism course at my local college, thinking it might help speed up my ability to convert thoughts into writing (I can spend a ridiculous amount of time dwelling over a post). Interestingly, so far the tips are not applying too well to blogging, although they are proving very useful for improving how I construct presentations. I still think Howard Rheingold summed up the relationship between MSM and blogging perfectly in his book Smart Mobs, writen back in 2002:

Broadcasting will place issues on the natoinal agenda and define core values, bloggers will reframe these issues for different publics and ensure everyone has a chance ot be heard

What we are increasingly seeing is reporting that begins from blogging, particularly news that isn’t considered ‘big enough’ to make news headlines but does hit a raw nerve with a vocal blogging community. And we are also seeing the merging of blogging in its various forms (if you include the use of mobile phones to record live events as they happen) mixed in with traditional news reporting. But however it evolves, we live through our conversations. I think there is plenty of room for both the more fomalised style of reporting combined with amateurs rule in blogosphere. The more successful news organisations are already adapting their business models to accomodate the changes enabled by the Internet and mobile devices… but more on that subject in one of the next posts, covering the recent Microsoft Digital Day event.

This was a very long-winded explanation of why I haven’t blogged as much as I had planned this month 🙂 I could argue that I have been busy (I have) but I’ve still had pockets of time when I could have been blogging but went and did something else instead…

Anyways, here are a couple links to finish:

The Information Factories

Wired article announcing the death of the desktop and the dawn of a new era – data centres connected in the Internet cloud (looking at what Google is up to). And they are right! This is an area I am becoming increasingly interested in… In a similar vein, looking at Microsoft: Operations: the new secret source by Tim O’Reilly

Long Tails and Short Queries

Blog post over at Boxes and Arrows, describing search behaviour and how to improve results

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