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Qualified Bloggers

Ross Mayfield
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-23

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The issue of blogging as journalism is being attacked on all sides this morning. First, a Pew/BuzzMetrics ...

... study says blogs aren't that influential. Mitch Ratcliffe subsequently points out the flaw in the study itself, paying attention to word count instead of influence. Via Steve Rubel, George Simpson says regardless this is a case of bloggers not really being journalists:

"When bloggers start schlepping down to check the police blotter at 3 a.m. just to make sure the victim's name is spelled correctly, then they can pull up a chair to the adult table."

When I was a college newspaper editor, I put newbies on the blotter beat. The definition of a writer isn't just changing, readers are savvy beyond discrimination, they have become engaged. And if you buy that assumption, schlepping becomes a lower form of journalism. Not that there are really higher level forms, which is the point.

Second, John Battelle calls Steve Jobs on suing bloggers and contradicting himself in the way he deals with publishers. John makes to core point: Forcing journalism into some kind of a "qualified" box is a very bad idea. With iTunes support of Podcasting, an architecture of participation, I wonder how long it takes for Apple to sue a participant.

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About the Author:
Ross Mayfield is CEO and co-founder of Socialtext, an emerging provider of Enterprise Social Software that dramatically increases group productivity and develops a group memory.

He also writes Ross Mayfield's Weblog which focuses on markets, technology and musings.

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