I’m So Lonesome I Could Blog

Tom Foremski, the former Financial Times reporter who now prowls the ether as SiliconValleyWatcher, tells a tale that illustrates the foolishness of trying to recreate the news & entertainment industries as a constellation of scattered stars. Granted. But what type of organization should arise going forward? That interests me.

In a recent article, Foremski describes having qualms about a leak that he had published as an item. He removed it after an exchange with Dan ( Bayosphere) Gillmor, the former San Jose Mercury tech columnist whose book, “We the Media,” has become the manifesto for a new brand of participatory journalism. The upshot is the fishy leak was taken down and Foremski raised this point:

“Working with other journalists is the best way to keep the juices flowing, and also to swap notes and be able to double check each other. Working in a editorial team is the best way to maintain consistent editorial quality.”

Creative juices are great, and they need to be kept flowing but my reason for echoing Foremski’s point is purely practical. To create a media business requires keeping the cash flowing, and the advertising and subscriptions flowing, and the graphics and the software doodads the mere names of which intimidate me much less the running code.

Surely we agree that there are few people who have the abilities to create, sell and display content. That’s the necessary and legitimate purpose of the mass media enterprises which are now under pressure from a variety of competitive forces — including the blogognats who nibble away at big media’s advertising base.

The re-aggregation of bloggers is underway. Examples include FM Network and Pajamas Media (which recently made some news). Paid Content mentioned a couple of others just today.

Doubtless other content aggregates are forming to keep the various juices flowing. In future posts I will think more about what sort of tools and functions should be part of these aggregations.

But first let me acknowledge that Foremski’s parable appeared in New Communications Blogzine, a production launched by Jennifer McClure to provide a forum for the disassociated bloggers who need not struggle alone.

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media