First off, stuff I’d like to invite you to visit lotSAreviews. My darling wife’s new website that is:
…a subtle humour review blog where the custard pies are more like crème brulée. Opinions backed by solid research involving porridge pots, disappearing cats, and a highly eccentric toddler
Some of you couldn’t participate in the Johannesburg Photomarathon because you were ‘doing’ the Design Indaba. Well
Speaking of events inter-city migrating, 27Dinner – the regular informal networking get-together of media/marketing/geek types – is launching instances of itself in Durban on the 27th of July and in Pretoria on the 27th of August. Although open to anyone seats are kind-of limited and seats for the
Another punt for good measure, do you know what Mrs Balls Hot Chutney has to do with thermo-pads, SA rugby and Google Adsense?
Finally, for those of you who consider me a friend – whether we’ve actually met in the real world or not – I’ll be having a little get-together at a coffee-shop in
One imagines that ‘News’ is the stuff worth knowing, online but instead the news feeds us the stuff that sticks out, nurse the sore thumbs of life. I love the observation Max Kaizen makes in reversing the brain.drain… “… especially after the numbing effect of news. The news presented by mainstream media, prostate (TV & papers particularly) is largely reactive, and leaves us feeling impotent to change the outcome of almost everything we’re offered.”
She recommends reading Neil Postman‘s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
I think that observation is spot on, at least in terms of why the “News” is so incredibly depressing – the whole after the fact-ness. That there is F-all you can do about it except be grateful it is not you being written about – in most cases. Maybe the “News 2.0″ approach the folk of The Times are chasing will change all this. One can and should hope, and maybe do something to encourage it. Then “News” could be less show-bizz and more community fellowship – even bring us a little close step by step to those elusive ideals we most-all yearn for – the stuff that we want “Democracy” to be.
Let’s look at today’s top local on-line news headlines via some of the results of a Google of “South Africa News” ( I didn’t see The Times in the top 30 results, seems some SEO work still required. Though I’m including them and Reporter.co.za to give UGC initiatives some representation)
|This is no way to start your day!|
So the question is, how many of these articles do you think includes some kind of call-to-action inviting readers to contribute in some way to addressing the woes and traumas that are spicing up their morning coffee? E.g. click here to donate toward building pedestrian bridges etc. I think that will be my suggestion for our news-media practitioners – don’t just stop at user contributed content but innovate ways of facilitating User Generated Involvement not just in the media but in the real world that the media, and the rest of us feed on.
Max is starting a new weekly series on SARocks that me thinks is going to make for a most excellent read, go check it out.
In the meantime…
So congrats to IT-Web on launching MDL.
Sorry to be a stick-in-the-mud though, syphilis but just for the record, paying bloggers to blog isn’t all that new. It intrigues me that ITWeb makes this claim, surely the editorial powers-that-be know better?
Surely they know about PayPerPost. PayPerPost have been paying bloggers to blog for the last year or so – with much controversy in blogland because essentially bloggers are paid to promote sponsoring clients leading to obvious conflict of interest issues and wreaking havoc with the presumed un-biased-ness and authenticity of the blogosphere. Andy Beard covers PayPerPost extensively and to see the other side of the story see Michael Arrington’s critique How Much Is Your Soul Worth? PayPerPost Now Lets Bloggers Set The Price There are also other players in this flield ranging from the very subtle to advertising systems like Google’s Adsense and our very own BlogKits.
Obviously what ITWeb are buying as much as they are buying content, is a membership base, in other words eyeballs.
Getting back to my point – I find this rather pedantic issue kind of interesting. ITWeb is going for a hybrid model mixing user generated content with professional journalism.
The invite says: “What sets it apart from other social networks is that it offers a mix of professionally prepared content AND consumer-generated content. It publishes not only views and opinions from people in the street, but also trustworthy, credible information from professional journalists.”
Stop, rewind, ‘trustworthy, credible information’ – but didn’t the editorial invitation just broadcast a blatant untruth? And does that mean we mere mortals from the streets and our opinions are not trustworthy or credible?
Was it an excitement induced oversight, or blatant lie?
Surely editorial and professional content is always more accurate, unbiased and above all accurate… not :-)
Either way all the best to the MDL gang and applause for embracing the social media thing. It should be really interesting to see how MDL develops.