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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Blogs - Business & Media

Jeremy Wagstaff, WSJ columnist writes,listening to some eminent former FEER(Far Eastern Economic Review - the weekly ceased publication recently) personnel talking, that three things go into a publication like FEER, if you ignore distribution, financing, marketing and the non-editorial side. And it’s worth considering, from a blogger’s point of view.
- First is material. You’ve got to have good material.
- Second, editing. Common wisdom is that material is no good if it’s not written and edited well. This includes writing style
- Third, production. A lot of time is spent on layout, fitting stories to length and making everything look nice.
If you look at this from a post-print, blogging perspective, only the first remains a necessity. Editing? If we can write ok, who cares if it’s brilliantly written? The last thing: production. Blogs, by their nature, involve very little production. In fact, part of the beauty of blogging is not just the lack of effort in producing something (write it up, post it. If it needs editing again, edit it). Blogs, well most blogs, actually have strong production values built in. It’s hard for a blog not to look nice on the page.
The bottom line is: Blogging is a powerful publishing force, not just a voice. Blogging has established a way to publish on the net and be noticed, without huge capital and design resources. Traditional media need to look at that and realise that the battle is not going to be over allocating resources to the second and third elements of the game, but the first. It’s going to be about material. It’s not going to be about the medium. Blogging — and the Internet — has already won that round

Businessweek has a cover story abot blogs saying Blogs Will Change Your Business (The blogoshpere is full of reference to this - it is a businessweek coverstory!!). Excerpts with edits and comments:

There are some 9 million blogs out there, with 40,000 new ones popping up each day. The overwhelming majority of the information the world spews out every day is digital - photos from camera phones, PowerPoint presentations, government filings, billions and billions of e-mails, even digital phone messages. With a couple of clicks, every one of these items can be broadcast into the blogosphere by anyone with an Internet hookup - or even a cell phone. If it's scandalous, a poisonous e-mail from a CEO, for example, or torture pictures from a prison camp, others link to it in a flash. And here's the killer: Blog posts linger on the Web forever. The printing press set the model for mass media. the world of mass media, and the blogs are turning it on its head. Set up a free account at Blogger or other blog services, and you see right away that the cost of publishing has fallen practically to zero. Any dolt with a working computer and an Internet connection can become a blog publisher in the 10 minutes it takes to sign up. The divide between the publishers and the public is collapsing. This turns mass media upside down. It creates media of the masses. Blogs are different. They evolve with every posting, each one tied to a moment. So if a company can track millions of blogs simultaneously, it gets a heat map of what a growing part of the world is thinking about, minute by minute. E-mail has carried on billions of conversations over the past decade. But those exchanges were private. Most blogs are open to the world. As the bloggers read each other, comment, and link from one page to the next, they create a global conversation. The blogworld is like the biggest coffeehouse on Earth. Soon we may need some independent way to assess the maturity and standards of blogsites - there are far too many now - we need to know about the trust factor and quality, reliability levels established in the blogsophere. An Interesting read.

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