Four years ago today UserLand announced we had made a deal with the New York Times that would allow users of our Radio aggregator to receive Times headlines, along with all the other blogs and pubs that were already supporting RSS. Here’s a screen shot showing Times headlines from 2002 in my aggregator. Imho this was the tipping moment for RSS, after this point its growth was a sure thing as the publishing industry followed the leadership of the Times. I wrote that day, “When we started syndicating Web content in 1997, I set a goal to get the Times headlines flowing though our space. Today, amazingly, that goal is accomplished. To me it’s a reminder that it’s worth setting lofty goals.”
Scott Rosenberg on last night’s CyberSalon.
Dan Gillmor suggests that Yahoo might be the white knight to save the San Jose Mercury News.
I would support community involvement in saving the Mercury News, if the Mercury News would become a pioneer in community journalism. There are hundreds of thousands of potential journalists in the South Bay who could cover every school board, zoning commission, shareholder meeting. They could report on housing prices and gas prices, traffic patterns and other quality of life issues. How about helping us understand why mass transit doesn’t better serve the area. Integrate the South Bay universities, which include some of the best in the world, with the communities.
A newly configured Mercury News would include daily reports from sister publications in Bangalore and Shanghai.
This is how news will work in the 21st Century. The South Bay would become one of the best-served metro areas in the US, after being one of the worst. I don’t know very many people who feel fondness for the Mercury News. I lived in the their geography for 24 years, I never subscribed. I read the paper occasionally when I went out for breakfast, but I was raised on New York’s newspapers, and in comparison the Merc is strictly second tier, if that.
To get people excited enough to rally behind it, they’re going to have to do something exciting.
How to make money on the Internet v2.0: “If journalists won’t write from a users’ perspective, what’s to stop the users from becoming journalists?”