Yesterday’s piece got the most positive and enthusiastic response of any technology I’ve proposed in the 10-plus years I’ve been blogging. I love it when an idea takes root like that. Perhaps it’s a measure of how fed up we are with what passes for news on television.
We live in a complex world, and many of us have minds and are educated, and want to understand what’s going on. TV is not a bad way to do it, but the medium needs an overhaul in the age of the Internet. Our attention has mostly been focused on print, probably because we haven’t felt we can do much about TV. But as yesterday’s mockup shows, we’re really not very far from turning TV news upside down much the same way RSS revolutionized written news.
To implement this style of news, two things are needed:
- The news has to be unbundled, each segment, each story, has to be available as a separate unit.
- Each item needs to be categorized, needs metadata, to fit into a folksonomy.
Both #1 and #2 are easily within reach given the current economics of TV news. They have the technical means to do the unbundling, some are already doing it (examples: 60 Minutes, NewsHour). And I’d guess that some news organizations are already generating the metadata for each story, and if not, many have the editorial staff to do it.
Once #1 and #2 are in place, just turn your news flow into a frequently updated podcast feed, and we can do the rest, building a variety of clients from Apple TV to the Windows Media Player, running on iPods and cell phones, laptops, desktops — who knows where. All of it powered by the enormously simple idea of checkboxes.
PS: A J-school prof at Cal told me that most reporters have absolutely no idea which of their stories people read or don’t read. They’re flying blind. I bet TV news people are too.
Scott Rosenberg: “Not only do most reporters have no idea which stories are read, many if not most don’t want to know.”
Jason Calacanis was contacted by the same reporter who contacted me. I’m mentioned in Jason’s post, but somewhere along the line there was a transcription error. I did not offer to do the interview via email, I made a different offer.
Here’s what I said: “Not generally doing interviews these days. If you have a few questions, send them along, and if I have something to say, I’ll write a blog post, which of course you’re free to quote. Sorry that’s about the best I can do.”
Like Jason, I have a lot of experience being misquoted, or having comments linked with others, as if there was some back and forth that didn’t happen. Or I get used to make a point that the reporter wants to make, and my story gets lost. Often, the reporter’s point is that I’m a putz. Why should I work hard to help people do that? Also like Jason, I don’t have any trouble getting my ideas out on my own.
So if you want to work together, let’s find a new way to do it. I’m fed up with the old system. The way we start the reboot is to do all our work out in the open, real-time. Not via email, but in full view of everyone.
I will respect the reporter’s wish not to be identified, and if they want, I won’t even say my comments are in response to an inquiry from a reporter.
Another super-rude comeback from a Wired reporter. And they wonder why we decline to do interviews with them. Look in the mirror guys. Imagine someone talked about you that way, and ask if you’d go out of your way to help them.
Dan Gillmor: “Every journalist should have the experience of being covered by journalists. Nothing would improve the craft more.”
Joe Beda: “Talking to the media has absolutely no upside for me.”
Kevin Tofel: “How about an interview Wiki?”
Postscript: A Wired reporter takes issue with Jason’s post, calling him “cowardly.” As if to prove my point, perhaps. Can’t wait to hear what epiphet they have for me. The weird thing about it is that I know and respect Dylan Tweney, which makes me wonder if he’s trying to make some kind of really bad joke. If you’re trying to be funny, self-deprecating humor works better. Seriously.
I was curious to find out who is going to Mix 07 next week in Las Vegas so I started a wiki page.
NY Times: “Federal securities regulators said yesterday that they would bring no civil charges against Apple over the backdating of executive stock options. But they stopped short of removing the cloud that for nearly a year has hung over the company’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs.”
Dan Farber: Apple’s former CFO blames Jobs over options.
Rober Ebert: “Being sick is no fun. But you can have fun while you’re sick.”