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Stevebuttry
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Dan, Like Jay I am commenting while still trying to digest this. I love the box-score comparison. Structured data are critical to the enjoyment of baseball. The great moments of our baseball memory come from someone (Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire) challenging a cherished record that exists only because of structured data. Not every baseball fan reads box scores, but everyone cherishes the records and honors the record holders. And a key part of the anger over performance-enhancing drugs is that they tarnish the records. A challenge to such a semantic system might be that some incorrect facts (like the performance-enhancing drugs) can tarnish the data repository. For instance, if Beck and others of his ilk repeat a lie often enough, how do we keep these multiple links from providing it with credibility (a data version of the echo chamber that repeats the talking points of ideological voices today)? The system also will spread and lend credibility to innocent errors (such as the NPR reporting that Gabrielle Gifford had died, which was corrected, but many errors go unreported). A critical part of developing effective standards will be to include ways to challenge, verify and correct information. Now, I'll reread and read some related links before commenting further in ignorance.
Excellent insight, as usual, Mark. You inspired me to blog on the insanity of this "double dip on death." http://bit.ly/cB1TTO
Our experience differs, Howard. I see as much resistance at the executive level as I do in the newsroom. Journalists as individuals and newsrooms as organizations (and executives and broader orgs, for that matter) in my experience run the gamut covering all these attitudes (and probably more): 1. Embracing communities (and other changes) and making significant progress toward meaningful change. 2. Eager and trying hard to change but facing obstacles (and usually giving up too easily). 3. Willing but unsure what to do, lots of earnest spinning of wheels. 4. Curmudgeonly resistance.
Excellent analysis of the challenge (and opportunity) facing news organizations, Judy. And thanks for the flattering mention of TBD. I'll clarify one point, though. We chose to follow Civil Beat in using the term community "host," rather than "manager." The community doesn't need or want managing. But we believe it will respond well to someone hospitable who welcomes people, facilitates conversation and tends to the community's needs. We think that view of the community role will help us build and deliver greater trust and relevance.
Mark, we agree that the Newsday-Cablevision situation is unique, and thus may not say a lot about how other paywalls will or won't work. However, even with the way that Newsday and Cablevision lowered the value of their web site and the expectations for their paywall by making the site a throw-in for your cable or newspaper, I think it's still a stretch to say that it's working fine. For one thing, I don't recall anyone predicting that web-only subscriptions would be counted in the dozens. If that's gravy, it's barely a spoonful. To have only 35 subscribers from the 25 percent of Long Island (a rather populous island) is actually a powerful, stunning rejection of the value of the site by people asked to judge it on its own merits. And I have seen no figures on either the increase (or slowed decrease) of subscriptions to the print edition or Cablevision. So, even by their standard of lowered expectations, we have no reason to proclaim this as working. I blogged my differing view of the Newsday-Cablevision spin: http://bit.ly/b0wEKA
Great resolutions, Judy (and not just because you included C3). I would add another (that I've also blogged about, of course): Pursue a mobile-first strategy: http://bit.ly/6WnABX
Thanks for the kind words, Mark, and for continuing your important contributions to this discussion. I'm still using some apps you showed Mimi and me in Chicago.
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Nov 23, 2009