The 2.D’oh! Weekly Round-Up: Vol. III

Time for another weekend whiskbroom of the mischief, misdeeds, missteps and misdemeanors recently scattered about the world of 2.0.

Did So. Did Not. Did So. [Cont'd, ad infinitum

Google has announced plans to invite sources of news stories appearing in Google search results to respond to the articles: to comment, elaborate, correct the record, cry misquotation, threaten legal action, deprecate the very practice of journalism globally, make uninformed references to the First Amendment, etc. Information Week’s Thomas Claburn has an excellent report here.

Oddly–significantly?–there were no comments on Claburn’s article as of this writing.

Mommy, Make It Stop

You3b, a video viewing service now in beta, delivers 3, count ‘em, trois, different videos playing across your computer screen. This is recommended, of course, only if Youtubedoubler, which presents two videos on your screen simultaneously, is not sufficient to your needs. 

In either case, we’ve found this more obscure site an even better starting place if you’d like to watch multiple videos at the same time.

Journalism (Mostly) Without Journalists

I got quite excited when I read that the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism, has nominted The Forum of Deerfield, N.H., for one of its annual awards. It appears to be an act of journalism without the journalists–citizens who have banded together without media permission or supervision to report on their local communities.

Why does this seem like a big deal, in these days when it seems you can’t hit a 7-iron without risking beaning a citizen journalist?

Because most of these ventures are fronts for MSM or Web 2.0 venture capitalism: newspapers that bring civilians into the fold for fun and profit, academic journalists throwing conceptual goo against the walls, ex-newsguys and -gals who want to help “real” people learn the High Art of Journalism, partisans who create “news” operations to punish and reward their leaders, etc. It’s rare to find a civic journalism operation whose bloodstream doesn’t carry the MSM virus somewhere.  

What would happen if civilians who cared about their communities–unencumbered by the worldview, habits, nervous tics, muscle memory and Vulcan mind-meld that makes MSM do damn M–band together to report about their chunk of the world without journalistic oversight? The Forum appears to be one good example worth watching.

It’s easy for any journalist, or even careful reader, to look at the site and proclaim that, using familiar newsroom jargon, it’s “pretty lame.” Articles are plodding, the ledes are flabby, some of the stories appear to be slight edits of government hand-outs. But truth told, if you look at the whole site, the content is little worse, and in many ways more energetic and surprising, than most small-town weeklies published by the cousin of the town’s biggest realtor.

And if the product is inferior as a journalist would see it, so what? If it’s by the community and for the community and of the community, and if the community embraces it, why should they care what we professionals–we of the profession held in public esteem barely above lawyers, that is withering by the day, that is unlikely have a recognizable next generation to pass the baton to–think? 

But then an ad in the upper right hand corner of The Forum caught my eye: The publication is recruiting a managing editor.  The solicitation read well–it was clearly designed to identify an inspired amateur–until I read these two lines:

[duties] . . .May participate in journalism conferences and workshops as approved by the Board.

[requirements] Excellent communication, writing and journalistic skills. [Emphases mine]

Oh, god, no. Note to Forum volunteers: Fight the Power.

And finally, our ever-more-popular “Noted Without Comment”  feature: http://www.topthistv.com/

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