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[P]
Peer-to-Peer Journalism

By Eloquence in Media
Sat Mar 03, 2001 at 08:57:23 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

On the O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer Conference (Feb. 14-16, San Francisco), there was a panel discussion on peer-to-peer journalism. On the panel were Dave Winer of Userland, Rob Malda and Jeff Bates of Slashdot, Dan Gillmor of the San Jose Mercury and Katie Hafner of the New York Times, who moderated the discussion (Mrs. Hafner has written an article on self-organizing websites for the NYT).


It was debated whether the new media might be more independent than the old ones. Said Dave Winer: "If you're writing for Fortune, you'll say nothing negative about [Oracle's] Larry Ellison." Of course, this is just a very modest example of media bias, it is well known that the major news media are paid for by different groups of advertisers, and that these advertisers can exercise some degree of control on the content.

Dan Gillmor explained that the only feedback channel of the old media were the "Letters to the Editor", and "we don't print most of them". The new media however, with their omnipresent backchannel in form of discussion forums, would give new opportunities to readers and writers alike. Slashdot's Malda explained the Slashdot moderation system, with which most of you are probably familiar. He explained that "there are always going to be people who piss in the public pool", i.e. the first posters, trolls & spammers. On fact-checking, Malda said that it would be left mostly to the readers.

Alternative moderation systems, like the one used here, were not debated. Katie Hafner asked, somewhat frightened perhaps, whether the new collaborative journalism might be a danger to the old media, but Malda denied: The different weblogs were too focused to be a real competition.

As participants in one of the most interesting projects in this new area (call it what you like if you don't think the term "peer-to-peer" applies here), what do you think about this new form of journalism? Do you think that it could ever replace your daily newspaper, or does it already? Are new peer-to-peer networks necessary to reduce centralized control?

To promote extended debate on the subject, I have founded a mailing list exclusively dedicated to the subject.

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Poll
Peer-to-Peer Journalism ..
o .. will never replace the traditional media 16%
o .. will liberate us from the centralized media world 12%
o .. shows some real potential, but still has to prove itself 14%
o .. is not really "peer-to-peer" 22%
o .. is already my primary information channel 10%
o FIRST PSOT 26%

Votes: 50
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Slashdot
o O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer Conference
o Userland
o the San Jose Mercury
o article
o mailing list
o Also by Eloquence


Display: Sort:
Peer-to-Peer Journalism | 24 comments (22 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Just missed first post (4.25 / 4) (#3)
by weirdling on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 05:12:51 PM EST

I don't read K5 because I need news. No matter what, news reporting will have bias. When I want to know something, I cast my net into the ether using google and try to figure it out myself.
I use K5 because I *can write back*. If there is an annoying bias on TV, all I can do is turn it off. On K5, I can *disagree*. Besides, what ends up out of an article on K5 is considerably more accurate than anywhere else because people can and will pounce on innacuracies.
But, the main thing is that I can write back.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
Nice list... (none / 0) (#4)
by Signal 11 on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 05:32:57 PM EST

Yes, nice list, thank you for spamming my inbox with a request to join it. I couldn't possibly have read it on K5 and decided to join otherwise. If I act now do I get fifty extra mojo points?

-1, bad author - room!


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

Spam? (none / 0) (#5)
by Eloquence on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 05:50:25 PM EST

Sorry that you perceived my e-mail as spam, I hope it's at least on a different level than "Make money fast" or "Look at my boobs!". I had communicated by e-mail with you before about collaborative journalism, and I thought you might be interested, so I added you to the distribution list -- please understand that I can't possibly write a personal invitation for everyone who I think might be interested in the list, and it's hard for me to control who reads the list, who reads K5 etc. If any unsolicited e-mail is spam by your definition, then how should one contact you in the first place?
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
form letters (none / 0) (#10)
by Signal 11 on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 07:35:40 PM EST

If any unsolicited e-mail is spam by your definition, then how should one contact you in the first place?

Post to K5 like you just did, and let me make the decision on my own. My e-mail account is there to discuss things on K5 and for personal communications, as well as occasional job hunting. If I want to be on an e-mail list, I'll sign up for it on my own. But please don't send me a form letter and expect me to be nice.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Thank you! (none / 0) (#17)
by fluffy grue on Sat Mar 03, 2001 at 02:02:13 PM EST

I'm glad I'm not the only one who considered that mail to be spam. Of course, I tried explaining to him in email why the message was very spam-like and how even a few changes of wording would have made it NOT be "spam" in my book, but he decided to just ignore me after giving me a bunch of strawman arguments and saying "EOT" as though his point were made and I were obviously a complete idiot for thinking otherwise. Hooray.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Rusty where arth though¿ (none / 0) (#6)
by mystic on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 06:01:49 PM EST

Rob Malda and Jeff Bates of Slashdot

Rusty where are you? Who dare insult us K5ers by not inviting our supreme GOD!

Ignored again (4.75 / 4) (#8)
by rusty on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 06:43:07 PM EST

I don't know what it is, but the distributive media hasn't yet discovered that we exist. The first time I saw that article by Ms. Hafner above, I howled with laughter at lines like:
Slashdot operates with a minimum of human intervention yet gives visitors the opposite impression. "
and even better:
"We're trying to develop a system that can take the whole concept of news and figure out a way where the people who use the system can themselves decide what's interesting or not," said Mr. Anuff, who is also co-founder of Suck.com, a popular online magazine. "The end result will be a community-defined front page."
Well, thank god Joey Anuff's working on that problem for us. Here's hoping they come up with something, cause goddamn, I'd sure like to see a site where the readers could select the content themselves.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure they can do that legally (none / 0) (#15)
by jesterzog on Sat Mar 03, 2001 at 04:45:39 AM EST

Well, thank god Joey Anuff's working on that problem for us. Here's hoping they come up with something, cause goddamn, I'd sure like to see a site where the readers could select the content themselves.

It's too bad Joey doesn't read kuro5hin. He would have seen the kuro5hin readers deciding to credit the inventors of the idea on their front page months ago.

What a waste of time, money and effort, too. The site would get going, it'd be sued, and then be forced to shut down... all because the information about the rightful owners of this creative and innovative idea wasn't easily available.

Would it be too forward of us to politely direct them Mr Anuff to im-ur.com? With any luck, they might still be allowed to go ahead with it if they pay some royalties.


jesterzog Fight the light


[ Parent ]
News, K5, and who let Deleuze in here? (5.00 / 6) (#7)
by rusty on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 06:33:30 PM EST

K5 has replaced my daily newspaper, but mainly because it's expensive as hell to get a real paper, like the Washington Post, all the way out here in airheaded California. And no, the SF Comical doesn't quite make the cut as a replacement. But I'm not real happy about it.

For me, K5 and the mass media serve different purposes. The media is good at telling stories, so when you need the basic facts presented in a generally linear, comprehensible fashion, you ought to go to a newspaper. But the "storytelling" form of news, while good at getting you up to speed on the basics of an issue, is not very good at getting to the "truth" of the issue. The truth, in the context, is usually just the set of interactions a particular issue raises with people's lives, with what we thought we knew before, and with what we plan and expect in the future. No one person can get at the totality of this, which is where collaborative media comes in.

I learn a lot more about where things really stand right now by reading comments here than by reading the stories in a newspaper. Does a story really matter, or is it just the hot fluff of the moment? Do people care about this? Does it hit them, and if so, where? Do people with specific knowledge in the field or issue agree or disagree with the common perception? Good reporting can get at some of this, but not all of it, and too often, standard news reporting doesn't even bother to try (I'm looking right at the TV news networks here).

[...The following was going to be a footnote, but frankly, it's way more interesting than whatever I was going to say above, so I'll just let it hijack the rest of this comment...]

A note about terminology: I hate the phrase "peer to peer". It's another catchall buzzword that has a useful lifespan of maybe 6 more months. You'd have thought we'd have gotten over this after "push technology" died an ugly death. Since I don't care much about napster, gnutella, or freenet, and I don't think we have much in common with them, I prefer the term "collaborative media" to describe the phenomenon of sites like us, Slashdot, and even the weblog movement. Even individual weblogs usually operate within a larger context, responding to each other and building off what others write, and I see them acting a lot like a distributed version of what goes on here.

The crucial difference is that "P2P" implies that I'm talking at you, and you're talking at Bob, and Bob is talking at someone else. But that's not really what we're doing. A story and it's comments, here, at Slashdot, or anywhere that uses this model, builds into a totality. It's not necessarily a "consensus"; the totality of information can just as easily be contradictory, confusing, or incoherent, but it is thing, constructed together, by a lot of different people. It's a collaboration, something like Gilles Deleuze's "multiplicity"; a thing that is entirely composed of other things, and is always changing, adding, adjusting the relations between it's parts, each time becoming a whole new thing.

I see the traditional media as being much more of a "Peer to peer" media: a reporter, talking to me. There's no one else involved, just us two. I would also call it the "distributive media". It's focused on creating, packaging, and moving a media "product" (distributing "content") into my eyes, ears, and brain [c.f. Doc, whom I'm wholesale ripping off here].

What we and others are really doing here is collapsing the creative apparatus into the distributive apparatus (and vice versa, there's no real primacy of one over the other). The same browser that you read K5 on is what you write K5 on, and the two are both going on all the time. There's no "create, package, distribute" cycle -- just a constant flow of all three, mashed together, influencing and intersecting each other. Calling it peer-to-peer is a big mistake, practically a reversal of what's meaningful about it. Although it shouldn't be that surprising, since it's the distributive media that are calling it that. :-)

This might have the seedlings of a story in it somewhere...

____
Not the real rusty

P2P fundamental flaw (5.00 / 3) (#11)
by jasonab on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 08:03:56 PM EST

For me, K5 and the mass media serve different purposes. The media is good at telling stories, so when you need the basic facts presented in a generally linear, comprehensible fashion, you ought to go to a newspaper. But the "storytelling" form of news, while good at getting you up to speed on the basics of an issue, is not very good at getting to the "truth" of the issue. The truth, in the context, is usually just the set of interactions a particular issue raises with people's lives, with what we thought we knew before, and with what we plan and expect in the future. No one person can get at the totality of this, which is where collaborative media comes in.
I would argue, Rusty, that this is also the fundamental weakness of P2P: it's too focused. The readership of K5/Slashdot/whatever in no way represents either the US, or the world as a whole. We have no real idea how any story effects people's lives because this community is extremely insular.

Add to that the fact that the community is "extreme." That is, the opinions held by many members of the community are held by very few people outside of it. While it's certainly good to have all viewpoints represented, most extreme viewpoints are overrepresented here. How many regular posters here are 65-year-old senior citizens who voted for Bush? Do we even have a 50/50 Bush/Gore split here? I seriously doubt it.

In the end, I think this myopic vision effects most sites on the Internet. As people gravitate more and more toward those that agree with them, they are less and less able to understand those that disagree with them. If you read /. all day, you'll never comprehend how anyone could use an MS product. If you read K5 all day, you'll never understand how anyone could not be a libertarian anarchist.

I enjoy reading the Washington Post precisely because it challenges my center/right viewpoint. I see the WP as being center/left, and thus it forces me to reconsider my point of view. P2P media, on the other hand, tends to reinforce what people already believe.

--
America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd
[ Parent ]

True, for now (4.00 / 1) (#13)
by rusty on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 08:49:08 PM EST

I think you're right, for now. Right now, the collaborative media centers are patronized almost totally by the extreme early adopters, which makes them generally very skewed and insular, one way or another. I think what we have right now is basically the Steam Age of collaborative media, though (if that -- perhaps the Bronze Age). I would peg the beginning of all this probably at the creation of Usenet, which makes the concept about 20 years old at this point. The web is just starting to approach the point where, in the US anyway, you can flip a coin to guess if someone has internet access or not, and the percentages drop dramatically from there for the rest of the world. So, basically, we are the pioneers. We're the people who designed cars with reins, because they were still operating on a "horse" metaphor. The major flaw that you point out will exist until networked computers are much more pervasive. But technology is fundamentally geek-driven: if we're into it, you bet that Mom and Pop in Iowa (or Nigeria) are eventually gonna be into it, in some form or another.

I also think that your concept of "I'm right/center and the WP is left/center" is a doomed image of reality, that has been given to you by the distributive media and the marketing industry. Our political categories are laughably simplistic, but they serve their purpose, which is to segment us into consumer demographics, which can be more accurately aimed at by an essentially stone-age marketing industry. The more collaborative media spreads, the more each one of us will be a demographic of one ("Every man an Island... Records!"). If anything, it will be easier to challenge your own perspective on something, because you will have a wider rage of choices on any given topic. If you want to be challenged, pick a discussion with people who don't agree with you. They shouldn't be that hard to find.

Even here, I don't find myself agreeing with people any more often than I disagree with them. Even within this pretty tight (by today's standards) demographic, I see a wide range of attitudes and opinions. I think that will become more pronounced.

But who am I to say? :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

People don't change (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by jasonab on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 11:48:38 PM EST

The major flaw that you point out will exist until networked computers are much more pervasive. But technology is fundamentally geek-driven: if we're into it, you bet that Mom and Pop in Iowa (or Nigeria) are eventually gonna be into it, in some form or another.
But you're assuming that once "everyone" is online, they're all going to frequent the same place. The evidence so far shows that people gravitate toward those that agree with them. How many senior citizens are going to read K5? How many 17 year old geeks will read the weblog at aarp.org? People inherently group with those that build them up, and that won't change online.
The more collaborative media spreads, the more each one of us will be a demographic of one ("Every man an Island... Records!").
Why is this a good thing? The more fragmented our society becomes, the more we snipe and attack one another. We need broad banners to gather under, to facilitate understanding and provide common ground.
If anything, it will be easier to challenge your own perspective on something, because you will have a wider rage of choices on any given topic. If you want to be challenged, pick a discussion with people who don't agree with you. They shouldn't be that hard to find.
If you were an MCSE, would you post to /.? If you were a middle-aged Republican, would you post here? Online media does not contribute to constructive discussion -- it contributes to flamefests and angry words. That was true on Fidonet, that was true on Usenet, and it's true now. Without a real person to relate to, we're more comfortable throwing out zingers and crushing one another than trying to understand each other.

--
America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd
[ Parent ]
banners and norms (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by rusty on Sat Mar 03, 2001 at 11:11:38 AM EST

But you're assuming that once "everyone" is online, they're all going to frequent the same place.

Not at all -- I'm guessing they're going to frequent lots of different places. Probably, for the most part, people will continue to read stuff that confirms their basic worldview, but that's what they do now. I'm not saying we're going to make people fundamentally different, just that there will be more options.

The more fragmented our society becomes, the more we snipe and attack one another. We need broad banners to gather under, to facilitate understanding and provide common ground.

As above, I don't think we'll lack broad banners, I just think that the groupings will be different. Instead of locality, maybe attitude will be a more decisive factor in deciding what "gang" you identify with. Also, I don't think that gathering under banners is what facilitates understanding, really. If I'm a member of one group, and I want to understand another group, it's much more useful for me to be able to go to where they hang out, and see what they talk about than it is to just accept my group's definition of them.

The idea is that by having media be a conversation, instead of a product, it could be easier for different kinds of people to find out what others are actually like. Will they do this? I don't know. This is all highly speculative. :-)

Online media does not contribute to constructive discussion -- it contributes to flamefests and angry words. That was true on Fidonet, that was true on Usenet, and it's true now. Without a real person to relate to, we're more comfortable throwing out zingers and crushing one another than trying to understand each other.

This has been a big problem. It will probably continue to be a big problem for a while. As I see it, this isn't the "nature" of online media, but is caused by two different, but related things.

First is that right now, our lives online and our lives in the blue room are still fairly separate. This is getting to be less the case among a very small percentage of people, but it's still very true for the vast majority. No one knows who you are online, and you're RL friends don't see what a flaming asshole you become on the web, so you have no incentive to behave yourself. I think we'll see the two worlds bleed into each other a lot more, and the behavior codes of face to face life start to influence online behavior more eventually.

And second, because you are largely anonymous online, there's nothing much to lose by being a certain kind of character. If you get enough people upset, and get kicked off a forum, you can just invent a new existence and come back. Trust metrics will begin to address this problem by allowing us to create reputations online, that differentiate between a brand-new "person" and a well known one, and will, over time, make it worth behaving yourself to not lose the benefits of being well-known. That is, what's valuable about an identity is what can only be built up over time. Making it hard to simply reinvent yourself will start to bring the social norms we count on in real life into online communication as well.

Please do note that I don't have a crystal ball, and despite arguing the other side, I think it's just as possible that you'll be right as me, and that most likely of all is that neither of us will be right, and everything will go off in some other direction altogether. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

K5 manifesto? (none / 0) (#18)
by jasonab on Sat Mar 03, 2001 at 05:28:56 PM EST

All in all, an interesting concept. I don't know about RL and online blending so much, if only because of the vastness of the Internet. That will likely be true for the younger set, but adults tend to have many disparate parts of their lives anyway (work, church, play, etc) that don't always meld. I think online will become another part of people's lives, but won't necessarily blend with the others. I think that's especially true because many people intentionally become someone else online. They don't want the two sides to merge, and will work to keep that from happening.

Regardless, it'll be interesting. Certainly, we agree that people themselves will not change. I hope more understanding will be bred, but I have my doubts. As I said, I don't really see understanding here or on /., as much as I do a venting of "why doesn't anyone else think this way?" That will decline somewhat as people find their niche, but will continue nevertheless.

--
America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd
[ Parent ]

sounds stupid (2.00 / 1) (#9)
by Seumas on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 07:24:06 PM EST

How can I trust the news in the first place, if it isn't filtered through the AP wire, up to network producers and then finessed by glossy Ted Koppel?

This "peer to peer" news kind of thing is obviously just a silly lark!
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

The Timestream (5.00 / 2) (#12)
by Sunir on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 08:35:08 PM EST

Earlier, I made a comment about how "Media is old-style; organizations are new style." There, I went further than even the panel discussion went, suggesting that kuro5hin and other weblogs like it were on the wrong side of the line.

Really, my point was that information communities require community-oriented media, not newsletters. A newsletter is dominantly a downstream communication channel, pushing information to the readership. Even a weblog is downstream biased; authors write opening statements that are expected to be read and reacted to by the readership. I think building an information community requires a more fluid communication channel, which is currently called peer-to-peer.

Now, a journalistic information community is really a subcommunity of the larger whole. Their purpose would be to tell stories to us about what the rest of us were doing, and to collect and organize information about events in general. Currently, we rely on newspapers and similar media to do our chronicling for us. For all intents and purposes, they are efficient enough at keeping us up to date at the events in the city, country, world. They aren't perfect, but it's a lot better than waiting for the balladeer to stroll by and sing us the stories of the day for his dinner.

Nonetheless, the modern news is focused primarily on up-to-date events. It is only a secondary effect that the newspapers also act as a repository of current history. For instance, at any decent research library you will find reels of of microfiche archiving the top newspapers. But this archiving is far from ideal when someone needs to follow events through history. It can't be. Newspapers are published individually each day, as separate publications; news clips are published individually period. A twenty year long story has no continuation in our modern news.

Indeed, the modern news breaks the fundamental concept that history is a timestream. Events flow into each other. The news is only the front of the stream. But the front of the stream is only defined by being in front of something, and that something would be the whole of history. So, a chronicle has be able to go back in time too.

Ultimately, I think a peer-to-peer journalism site should not be a series of presented articles, but a chronicle of stored history and reactions. It would combine both of these roles: disseminating current events and building a repository of history.

Then, instead of modern journalism's failure that previous events must be reiterated in each story in order to provide context, each new event need merely be linked to prior events. The readers can delve as far back in time as they want. They can follow the multiple connected threads that form history. They can have the whole of history ''right there'', to put together all at once, or to take apart event by each minute event.

News would only be a listing of the newest events (plus corrections). The chronicle would be the work done at once. Collaboration would ensure even the most personal events could become part of the whole, and it could ensure accuracy. Why submit a retraction when you can submit a correction?

Could you imagine a whole society connecting their stories to each other?

Ultimately, I think that would is too fanciful a fantasy, but I can certainly see it pragmatically solve several problems. It would reduce the reiterated story problem; I don't want to hear about how "Information wants to be free" any more, if I can link directly to it and continue the discussion if it interests me (as you can on that link). I do want to know how the U.S. presidential election affects the Microsoft antitrust trial without having someone explicitly making the connection for me. Accidental linking on a wiki would be sufficient (and amazing, if you think about it). And I definitely do want to separate concepts from events; some issues are outside of time, and some events effect issues. The subject and predicate distinction. For instance, intellectual property is an overly large subject that isn't just about the one event (predicate) of passing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

When I read the news, sometimes I'd like to know more about the concepts (or subjects) involved. And when I'm reading about subjects, I would like to know what the recent developments are. This bijective relationship can easily be established using back links.

Furthermore, a persistant yet always fresh system would prevent some hot topics from dying out.

And so on and so on. So that is what I think peer to peer journalism would really be. I don't think weblogs are enough, but they were definitely that most important first step away from traditional media. Maybe the next step will be Rusty's WikiLog idea.

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r

Lifestreams (none / 0) (#19)
by dennis on Sat Mar 03, 2001 at 05:47:42 PM EST

Have you read Machine Beauty, by David Gelernter? In one chapter he discusses a user-interface idea he calls Lifestreams, which would work very well for what you're talking about.

[ Parent ]
Influencing idea (none / 0) (#23)
by Sunir on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 02:36:16 AM EST

I've read a little about it. It seemed intriguing, but I don't really understand it. It most definitely was the influence for the name, however. Good catch!

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

Weblogs are not enough (none / 0) (#21)
by rusty on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 01:58:26 AM EST

On this, I agree with you. Neither are Wikis enough, but I think that's kind of the other side of the same coin ("or the same side of two different coins, as it were..." --Stoppard). The drawbacks and weaknesses of a weblog format like this one, especially in the context of a discussion site are:
  • Too time sensitive. We have heaps of backstory, but it's hard to find and nearly impossible to revive at any time. When it's scrolled, it's pretty much forgotten, except for historical notes.
  • Not "grabby" enough. That probably didn't make any sense. What I mean is, the system tends to wait politely for you to go find out if there's new stuff for you to do. I'm not saying it should scream at you, but you should have the option of allowing certain kinds of notices to be promoted to your attention. New replies to your comments, new diary by your friend, new story in your favorite section... etc. This isn't directly related to your points, but it's another step in that direction.
  • Hard to backlink: When you're writing a followup story, the only way to link back to an older story about the same subject is to search for it. Pick the wrong search terms, and forget about it. In addition to the normal sid, we need some more descriptive metadata about stories, like "related to" keywords, some kind of human-readable title string (I like wiki titles for this), stuff like that. Wouldn't it be cool if, when I submitted a story, the system scanned it for unusual words, and poked through the "related" tables to find stories that might be related to this one? Give the author a list, like "Possibly related stories" and let them tag some, all, or none as related, to be included in a "Related Stories" box. Hmmm. That wouldn't be all that hard, either. :-)
Those are a few of the problems. There are more. But hell, we've only been at this for a couple years. We'll get there. :-)

I think WikiLogs in some form are likely to be the next major step. What form they take, I'm not sure yet. But it ought to be fun to find out.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Short reply before sleeping (none / 0) (#22)
by Sunir on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 02:34:20 AM EST

Hey, Rusty. I just bitched more about how weblogs aren't wikis. Will respond later. Now I sleep.

By the way, this is yet another perfect example of where a wiki page would improve things. I keep reiterating the same points in different articles. The articles are timestamped, whereas the ideas are not.

One simple, immediate solution is to just set up a separate wiki on kuro5hin.org, then add a <wiki/> tag (ala Advogato) to link from Scoop to the wiki. Linking from the wiki back here would be harder, but it could be done using bracketed links for the time being like we do already on MeatballWiki.

P.S. Including support for InterWiki (as Advogato does), would certainly improve the rate in which I could type my posts. I think I should lose one point of Mojo for every ego link back to MeatballWiki. ;)

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

P2P has its failings, too: You lose immediacy (none / 0) (#20)
by Saxifrage on Sun Mar 04, 2001 at 03:16:43 PM EST

There are certainly merits to peer-to-peer media, because it provides what people want to know, not what the media believes that they want to know. Additionally, it provides a much less rigid style of formatting, and gives a great deal of freedom that would be otherwise impossible, simply because of the nature of centralized news.

For proof of this, one need only recall that the sensationalist headlines of the newspapers directly preceding the Spanish-American War were actually the cause of that war; there were accusations of things that never happened which merely inflamed the public and the politicians. War was declared. This would never have happened in a P2P media world.

However, there are also some things for which the centralized media model make a great deal of sense. Breaking news, which generally I can't expect K5 or any other Internet non-AP-wired source to deliver, is nearly impossible in a P2P world. The reason that the Associated Press is a great deal more useful than most people appreciate is that it is the only association I know of that actually has the resources to provide a realtime intravenous feed to news sources. In a fully P2P media world, breaking news wouldn't happen; we would practically revert to the days when news took forever to travel.

So what's the compromise? I am proposing, and I hope that someone will take me up on me (my email address is posted above, and you can probably figure out how to make it work), a halfway-point between the two. Because it is clear that both the journalism sources, who have the resources and the training to provide news quickly and efficiently, and the average person, who can provide the long perspective and also give his or her own views. What am I suggesting? If people who are trained, or are in training, to be journalists combined to write the stories with the ordinary reader, who could give his thoughtful feedback on the article and make sure that, unlike in a regular newspaper, it was published and published in direct context to the article itself, wouldn't we have the best? (Obviously, there would need to be room for the average person's submission; the traditional media "feature" has shortcomings in that there are some things that a journalist simply isn't equipped to recognize about some things.)

Am I the only one that sees this? Let me know; I'm serious.


"I may disagree vehemently with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it." - Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire
it's still in infancy (none / 0) (#24)
by speek on Sat Mar 10, 2001 at 09:52:58 AM EST

I don't agree that P2P can't provide immediacy. Preventing it currently is the fact that computers and the internet are not completely ubiquitous. But, give it a few years, and you'll be hearing about events over in Cambodia, from Cambodians, before the Associated Press has any clue. Don't ask me how many years - I just know it will happen eventually.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Peer-to-Peer Journalism | 24 comments (22 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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