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weblogs, hype and extremism


Ray Ozzie writes:

"PUBLISHING IS DEAD. Gone, a relic of the past, dead as a doornail, breathless, buried. According to police reports, one-way publishing was killed off by a technology - Weblogs - that has reshaped journalism forever. According to observers, there was formerly but a single effective way to get messages out to an audience - through major mass-market publications that possessed exclusive control of the final form of those messages. "Add Weblogs to that mix", one highly-respected and influential journalist recently wrote, and an entire industry's "world view was shaken". Indeed.

Say what?

Publishing is dead? Just because half a million people have weblogs?

What about the maybe four billion people on the planet that have never touched a computer? What about places where there is no electricity, much less Internet access, and newspapers are the only thing you have? What about TV? Do you think Americans will swarm to read weblogs and leave behind the New York Times and 60 Minutes all of a sudden?

Please. This kind of hype is what hurts new developments. For one, we should try to be measured in what we expect, and what we tell others to expect, from a medium.

In all fairness though, Jon Udell says that this is a response to Dan Gillmor's article "Notes is dead". But althought the title is an indication, Ozzie doesn't provide a backlink. So we don't really know. It certainly doesn't sound like he is being cynical and saying the opposite. In any case, Jon has it right: blogs have made discussions in the internet more civilized (something I commented on a few weeks ago), and extremism is dead. And if it isn't, it should be.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 29 2002 at 7:58 AM

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