Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, May 20, 2004

What Traditional Publishers Should Know About Blogs

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Blogs have been mistakenly perceived by myopic analysts and reporters as "one" generic category of useless online resources, creating more noise than anything else, and being completely self-serving to themselves.

Photo Credit: Bobbie Osborne

Blogs are pieces of digital paper, and the uses and application are unlimited.

It is not the blog technology that determines the usefulness of the content

Blogs has become a reductive way of calling personal publishing and mini content management systems that greatly facilitate direct authoring and publication of news and information by anyone.

There are great reporters and online "journalists" that use such blogs and which publish very valuable insight and news reporting on a systematic basis.

I myself could hardly do away with some of these "bloggers" as they are my own news sources and references for anything that relates to key topics I follow.

Jay Cross -
e-Learning, education, and how to best utilize new technologies

Rafat Alì -
paid content industry news and trends

Jon Udell -
technology trends and issues

Dan Gillmor -
technology, blogs and personal publishing, trends

Dave Pollard -
culture, personal publishing, efficient enterprise

Steve Gillmor -
technology trends and issues

Chris Pirillo -
new software and technology solutions for geeks

Stephen Downes -
learning, education, publishing, understanding and questioning

George Siemens -
learning, education, KM and new technologies

Stuart Henshall -
online collaboration, personal publishing, social networking in business

Sebastian Paquet -
education, new technologies, KM, independent publishing, social networking

David Weinberger -
social issues and trends connected to the information revolution

Marcus P. Zillman -
search resources and research tools

...and many more I like.

I myself "sponsor" and support a trio of unique independent news reporters that
work specifically on the alternative health, energy, and counter-information
reporting. They do such a good job of reporting what I am interested in in the areas of personal freedom and health issues that I have come to depend myself on their daily news:
Health Supreme by Joseph Hasslberger

Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta

Grillo Parlante (in Italian) by Ivan Ingrilli

These are all great opinion leaders, experts in several areas and highly networked human beings. By following their blogs/RSS newsfeed I can track not only their viewpoints on what is happening but I can avoid having to do a great deal of searching as they act as personal meta-filters against the much greater amount of media/technology/learning information available out there.

I am not saying those above are the "best". I am saying that I have selected
those as my preferred news sources for all of the topics that I am
professionally interested in.

PC Magazine
PC World
Computer Graphics World

For many years, these and many other professional magazines were my daily bread.

I still have large collections of these and I have indeed extracted very large
amounts of useful information from these magazines when the Internet was not
what it is today.

I do not buy anymore any of these magazines, though I keep great memories of the extended times spent through their pages in the past.

For much of the information and insight I work with, I am no longer in need to
read industry magazines and publications. I do enjoy reading and feeling their
layout in my hands, but truth is, this is really become a "nice-to-have" type of

There is not ONE specialized magazine that I can't live without today. The news about the technologies, skills and resources that I write about are all
available to me at the click of my mouse.

If you are still producing a traditional, paid, closed- circulation publication your days are counted.

Sooner, rather than later, there is going to be someone that will come about,
and will start to publish online, in multiple formats, the same news and
information that you thought it was exclusive to you.

Not only sHe will also:

  • Be more focused and specialized so that sHe is recognized as a credible authority in whichever selected area(s) sHe wants to cover.
  • Do it with greater immediacy that you can ever achieve by going the closed routes (online paid, or print)
  • Do it with greater amounts of references as sHe is networked and exposed to many more sources that you can ever possibly access
  • Publish across multiple media at the click of a button (HTML/Web, RSS, Flash, PDF, txt, audio, etc.) making hir content accessible from many different types of media devices
  • Leverage the huge amount of fresh information appearing continuously online in selected areas of interest
  • Make such news available for free and easily accessible by anyone with an Internet connection
  • Provide a useful and socially valuable service to everyone by participating in the collective organization of the Web of information we are now part of
  • Become sustainable by leveraging ethically sound sponsorships to hir news channels, utilizing non-intrusive, contextually relevant text-based advertising solutions that offer a useful information complement to the news/content provided.
  • Do it in more languages than you ever could afford
  • And who said that by reflecting, discussing and reviewing news stories from different angles you don't get a greater reading into reality and a great deal more options than what offered by mainstream media.

    Blogs are a useful collective filtering mechanism that allows us to extract what is relevant from what is not in the increasing flow of information coming at us.

    It is a future of great opportunities, one could say, while suddenly realizing that this very future is happening now.

Readers' Comments    
2004-05-20 23:45:05

Mike Sivertsen

Good points. You can eliminate the cognitive friction and irritation incurred in your readers with the fictitious "sHe" pronoun by using the commonly accepted "their." See for substantiation.

posted by Robin Good on Thursday, May 20 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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