Saturday, 25 April 2009

Our hamlets of thought in an evermore globalising world

Repackaging, regurgitating, rewriting press releases ... ghostwriting thought in reality. So why report anything? Whenever you get to it, it's already been reported a thousandfold. This, on the link economy, leads me to wonder further whether those on the progressive side of politics shouldn't also be more ruthless about who they link to. (But then to do so might lead to us losing the broad and encompassing field of view that characterises creative thought and which should form the essence of the progressive mindset.) This, as follows:
Every minute of a journalist’s time will need to go to adding unique value to the news ecosystem: reporting, curating, organizing. This efficiency is necessitated by the reduction of resources. But it is also a product of the link and search economy: The only way to stand out is to add unique value and quality. My advice in the past has been: If you can’t imagine why someone would link to what you’re doing, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. And: Do what you do best and link to the rest. The link economy is ruthless in judging value.
More here.

It's a sombre thought. But it is predicated from the point of view that mass audience is the only interesting goal. Surely, on the progressive side of politics, we need our mass-market leaders; but in order to remain healthy and productive, renewable and renewing, we also need our hamlets of thought.

From those hamlets, interesting people will arise and grow into the mass-market leaders not all of us can become.

Which is why we probably do need community bells and whistles when we set up our blog aggregators and multi-author sites.

Meanwhile, another interesting, though perhaps not directly relevant, website - from an organisation called paidContent.org - can be found here. Curiously, and intriguingly, while based in the US, it would appear to belong to the British Guardian media group. More from the post I've already linked to above on what paidContent.org tries to do differently:
Look at a service such as PaidContent. They have a small (though growing) staff and they choose carefully what they do, whether it’s worth it to send someone to a conference, whether they can add reporting to a story that’s already known, how they can curate links to the best of coverage that already exists. They fire their bullets carefully, economically, to contribute maximum unique value. PaidContent doesn’t - and can’t afford to - record stand-ups or rewrite others’ reporting for the sake of rewriting it or waste money on production and design niceties.

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