Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW
She's not ready to quit blogging just yet.
DeBord Report (along with some other fine bloggers) gets a nice shout from Reuter's Counterparties, a really cool experiment in media aggregation that Felix Salmon and Ryan McCarthy are overseeing. Effectively, the stand-alone site is a outgrowth of Felix's feed reader, a natural evolution from the "Counterparties" post he used to do every day. This type of round-up post is a familiar feature of the blogosphere — I used to do one called "Reportings."
What's interesting about Counterparties is that it shows that smartly curated content from around the web can form a basis for an entire spinoff media entity, one that runs on a metabolism quite different from a big news site. The New York Times' DealBook pioneered this. Counterparties has added a dash of Gawker Media to the packaging and created something of a mega-blog, minus the dozens of contributors.
Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW
A South by Southwest attendee at a panel discussion. As you can tell from the uniform, not a blogger.
Blogging is definitely entering a surly, complex middle age. What started out as a frisky means of self-expression, a way to comment on the news of the day, and a highlight reel of the World Wide Web has become a business. And some folks think that the business of blogging is in the business of getting away with whatever it can.
Or they're just...dealing with the fact that blogging-as-business has developed a hyperactive metabolism that provokes infractions.
Take for example Henry Blodget's mea culpa after pasting the Wikipedia entry on the My Lai massacre into a recent blog post at Business Insider. It's no longer pasted in. Because, as Blodget puts it, Gawker freaked out. Maybe Gawker was right to freak out. But then again Blodget does write plenty of posts that are fairly dense with real business analysis, so it's hardly his pattern.
We are periodically obliged to blog about blogging here at DeBord Report. The last couple of days have seen the (sort of) downfall of one of the blogging greats, Jim Romenesko, who in 1999 started a site called MediaGossip.com. It was effectively the first blog about the peculiar inside-baseball of big-time journalism. Picked up by the Poynter Institute, it became a must-read in the profession and a model for other sites, such as LAObserved.
It now appears that for the last 12 years, Romenesko has been breaking Poynter's editorial rules (they were posted online in 2004). It's just that nobody seems to have noticed until now — and none of the many journalists whose work Romenesko has kinda lifted without attribution for a decade ever complained.
The Director of Poynter Online, Julia Moos, summarized Romenesko's infractions, over which he has officially resigned (although he was planning to retire this year anyway, with plans to start a new site). In a nutshell, Romenesko built posts about stories from around the media by cutting and pasting in the mostly verbatim language of his original sources, sometimes properly attributing, sometimes not. But he always included links to those stories — in fact, the link was the whole point. Romenesko wanted you to read the original. And that made journalists very happy, because Romenesko could drive traffic, as well as prove that you mattered in media land.
Early jobless-claim numbers for September surprise forecasters. But it could all be a cruel ruse by the economy: "'Apart from what might be an anomaly, the underlying trend in the labor force is still disappointing,” said Sean Incremona, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York. “There is a lot of economic uncertainty weighing on the broader economy.'" (BizWeek)
Could one person out of every 10 — the starry-eyed optimist — be right? Talk about fighting the current: "According to a Field Poll released Tuesday, 91% of California voters say the Golden State's economy is experiencing 'bad times.' It’s the third year in a row that more than 90% of voters have depicted the state's economy in a negative light." (LAT)
Business Insider's Henry Blodget does a little startup standup as the Great Aggregation Debate heats up. Just a whiff of paranoia entering the picture, however. (BI)