We now live in a world where we have public lives and private lives — and for over a century now, since roughly the point at which the above article appeared, the portion of our lives considered “public” has been expanding, while the portion of our lives we can consider “private” has been contracting.
Felix Salmon, How Technology Redefines Norms, Reuters.
What’s more, Jarvis himself is a prominent proponent of the idea that we should maximize the speed at which we move our lives into the public realm; he also equates a desire for privacy with being “scared of the public” .
Never before have we faced so many opportunities to turn the formerly-private into the newly-public. As those opportunities arise, many people adopt them, and turn “public” into the new norm for such activities. Eventually, the norms become societally entrenched, to the point at which it is now utterly unobjectionable for those who once would have been labeled “kodak fiends” to take photographs outside a Newport tennis tournament.
My point here is that technology has a tendency to create its own norms.
Which means, according to Salmon, that if wearable computing (like Google Glass) is successful, norms about what is public and private will continue to change, so if you are attached to what’s normal now, it’s better not to be, or you have every reason to worry.
Most newspapers are stuck in the late 20th century formulas, scarcely varied across the country, for section concepts (even names) and types of coverage. These conventions, moreover, carry over into digital forms, and only in the past couple of years have we begun to see new forms made only for digital channels. Amid legitimate struggle in newsrooms to make this outdated formula work with vastly reduced staffs and greatly increased production demands, there’s not enough attention on creative breakthroughs — the kind of conceptual innovation needed today. What should a print edition do in a 24/7 news world? How is it differentiated from other platforms in content, format and organization?
Melanie Sill, Take it from Former Editors: Newspapers Need Bolder Change.
H/T: Kevin Anderson.
Earlier this week we looked at the remarkable growth of Tumblr, a blogging and curation service that now gets over 12 billion page views per month. Tumblr is mostly used as a consumer curation tool - it’s an easy way for people to re-post articles, images and videos. But Tumblr can also be used to power a news website. That’s exactly what ShortFormBlog does.
Launched in January 2009 by Ernie Smith from Washington D.C., the site publishes about 30 news soundbites a day. ShortFormBlog is still a part-time project for Smith, who also works as a graphic designer at The Washington Post. He’s hoping to turn the site into a full-time business. And I think he’s onto something, certainly in terms of using a tool like Tumblr to change the way news is delivered and consumed. I interviewed Smith to find out more about his Tumblr-powered news service.
Read the whole article by Richard MacManus at Read Write Web.
Mike Arrington has enabled all of this. He brought in Heather, he brought in Erick, he brought in the rest of us. He built TechCrunch out of thin air. He’s made enemies along the way. He rubs some people the wrong way. But there is no question that the entire space is better because of what he’s built. And there’s also no question that what he’s built needs him.
That’s proven a tough sell. A few traditional newsrooms have edged toward that type of structure but too many still keep their digital folks away from the power center.
So I was delighted to learn that Sherry Chisenhall, editor and vice president/news of The Wichita Eagle, was working on a similar idea - one that she developed into a plan at the Knight-McCormick Leadership Institute at Knight Digital Media Center.
A month ago, the Eagle newsroom put the new structure into effect, changing the jobs of at least 50 of a total of 60 staff members.
“The world didn’t stop. We kept publishing,” Chisenhall said about two weeks into the new set up. “We clearly place print at the end of the process.”
The key change: Reporters used to report for the most part to editors of print sections of the newspaper. No more. Now most report to a Deputy Editor/Digital, John Boogert, who also participated in the KDMC leadership program.
For the whole article, see Knight Digital Media Center.
“Journalism’s Twitter style also should encourage not just the use of the RT for spreading original information, but also the MT (Modified Tweet) when a reporter retweets information in a post, but modifies it in some way, usually to shorten it to make room for a comment or addition.
Other abbreviations that should find a home in a Twitter style include HT (Hat Tip, or Heard Through) for acknowledging the source through which a reporter heard the information she or he is tweeting, and RR for a repeated tweet. Let’s not forget that while modern news operations work 24/7, individual readers don’t. Repeating tweets linking important posts can help expose them to fresh viewers who are just “tuning in.”
How has Twitter impacted journalism?
It’s made news reporting much more distributed: no photojournalist produced anything like this, for example (see link in article). It’s massively increased the velocity of news: people now know what’s going on before it’s formally reported. It’s made it easier to find things you didn’t know you were interested in. It’s given journalists a much more human voice, an outlet where they can be themselves. It’s helped build a culture of linking to wonderful stuff. It’s made the world smaller, and it’s made news travel faster than ever. Overall, it’s been great.