rachelcstella says: Wait, this was only for the summer? You’re not going to continue? Oh, I wish you’d keep this feature going!
» SFB says: We like The Pitch, too, but we want to be careful to give features a chance to lay dormant, for fear of overexposure. (For example: We want to bring the Tumbl-zine back at some point.) We think that there’s a lot of opportunity to do things like The Pitch, but at the same time, we don’t want to have such a feature wear out its welcome. We may bring it back at some point based on time and reader demand for sure. We like doing it! :0 — Ernie @ SFB
Most news sites have come to treat comments as little more than a necessary evil, a kind of padded room where the third estate can vent, largely at will, and tolerated mainly as a way of generating pageviews. This exhausted consensus makes what Gawker is doing so important.Noted technological genius Clay Shirky • On the value of Gawker’s new commenting system, which he says serves “the people reading the comments, rather than the people writing them.” Gawker’s commenting system avoids the traditional route of giving everyone’s comments equal weight, and it also avoids the route of having regulars dominate every single conversation. Rather, it focuses the conversation on the two or three best comments, with Shirky noting that this approach runs against what usually happens — where the guy on the soapbox, not the site itself, calls the shots. Is this the right way to go? It’s certainly interesting, either way.
“So like there’s nothing for you to curate without creation? This precious bit of dressing-up what people choose to share on the Internet is, sure, silly, but it’s also a way for bloggers to distance themselves from the dirty blogging masses. You are no different from some teen in Indiana with a LiveJournal about cutting. Sorry folks! You’re in this nasty fray with the rest of us. And your metaphor is all wrong. More likely you’re a low-grade collector, not a curator.”
Gonna curate some links in the meantime.
Saw this yesterday, found it to be a bit of a talker, wanted to write up a response. First up: Choire has been at this long enough (he worked at Gawker nearly a decade ago) that he’s arguably an elder statesman of blogging, along with folks like Andrew Sullivan, Josh Marshall and a couple of others. That automatically makes his opinion valid enough that we should listen, but I’m sure in a lot of ways it gives him a different take on this whole thing than someone who got into this in, say, 2008 or 2009.
So let’s take on this term. “Curation.” The first time I ever heard someone use the term in relation to Web content was in 2009, when Robert Scoble wrote this great piece about how “curation” was going to be a billion-dollar industry, once someone figured out a killer product that made it really stupidly simple to organize our thoughts into one piece. Not long after that, we got Storify, and, separately, Tumblr sort of became the place for this style of link sharing. I don’t see a billion dollars yet, but the basic idea seems to be catching on. (And no, it’s nothing like curating art. Big deal.)
But here’s the thing: I don’t think anyone is actually trying to “class up” their work by using this term. (Well, maybe except for the dude quoted in Choire’s piece.) These “curators” are just using different techniques than people were using a decade ago, and someone threw out that term one day, and it stuck.
And it’s happened before, too. Do you know how long pre-digital journalists bristled at the term “blogger” around 2004? I’m sure there’s some middle-aged newspaper columnist somewhere who once wrote a column titled “You Are Not a Blogger, You Are Actually Just a Terrible Journalist.” Do we need to rehash the purist’s argument every time someone does something a little differently? I’m sure the telegraph guys were pissed when they were shown the telephone for the first time.
So let’s get down to it: You’re not a curator, but then you’re not a blogger, either. You’re just a person with an internet connection who uses it to communicate. The quality of the information you share, report, or comment on is what matters. Not the term. — Ernie @ SFB
They said that they felt as if they were out there alone in digital land, under high pressure to get Web hits, with no training, little guidance or mentoring and sparse editing. Guidelines for aggregating stories are almost nonexistent, they said. And they believe that, even if they do a good job, there is no path forward. Will they one day graduate to a beat, covering a crime scene, a city council or a school board? They didn’t know. So some left; others are thinking of quitting.The Post fails a young blogger (via frontofbook)
You don’t know him, but you’ve seen his work: The rise of Creative Commons has leveled the playing field for bloggers, giving many the opportunity to illustrate stories with free-to-use images that are at times comparable to wire photos. But the quality varies, and it’s rare to find someone sharing high-quality pictures consistently — but Gage Skidmore pulls it off. The 18-year-old photographer, who shoots celebrities and conservative politicians largely as a hobby, has uploaded nearly 9,000 photos to Flickr since early 2008, and thanks to favorable licensing, finds his photos of famous and important people in use all over the Web — including such sites as MSNBC, Fox News, The Atlantic and Mashable. What drives his work? Click on to see his take on the matter.