Filed under Mindhacks.
[From a previous Amplify curation post.]
Jeff Jarvis is pointing out several excellent recent examples of changing journalism practices in the age of the Real-Time Web, and ever more rapid Content Decay (that’s why they call it “old news”…). Is the news article becoming a luxury, and mere byproduct of other, larger reporting and #Curation efforts?
I’ve been meaning to write a longer post about what has been forming in my mind under the preliminary heading “The Content Creator’s Dilemma”, but… I haven’t found the time yet given the rapid-fire progression of topics in technology, in social media, in #dinomedia, etc. that I also wanted to at least curate here on Amplify to stay approximately “caught up”.
So shall we now add to the recent idiom “TL;DR” (Too Long; Didn’t Read), its mirror, “Too Long; Didn’t Write”?!
Because that’s how I’ve been feeling in regard to an increasing array of topics over the last 12-18 months. And why I’ve been so much more active over here on Amplify curating than on my own long form blog. Why in fact I’ve been arguing consistently for Curation as a concept:
It avoids reinventing the wheel, and dispenses with the cost of, as Jeff Jarvis calls it here “adding background paragraphs…those great space-wasters that can now be rethought of as links to regularly updated background wikis…”.
Because rather than create endless rephrasings of the same basic, introductory points (that no matter how well crafted in a single piece, are still subject to the same unforgiving new “laws” of rapid Content Decay), I would rather add those in “en bloc” from my own, or other people’s writing and clippings, and keep my own writing restricted mostly to the “tip of the spear”, the most relevant, most current, most novel or insightful take or connection of dots possible.
Because that is where value, if there be any at all, can still be created. That is why I firmly believe that Curation will “win”, that it is the nearly only sane stance to take in this digital new media reality. Maybe the only thing that anyone will still pay for.
As Jeff writes: “An article can be a luxury. When a story is complex and has been growing and changing, it is a great service to tie that into a cogent and concise narrative. But is that always necessary? Is it always the best way to inform? Can we always afford the time it takes to produce articles? Is writing articles the best use of scarce reporting resources?”
That is the essence of The Content Creator’s Dilemma: Too long, didn’t write… given the pincer-like twin threat of Content Overabundance and Content Decay.
Clipped from Buzzmachine – The article as luxury or byproduct:
A few episodes in news make me think of the article not as the goal of journalism but as a value-added luxury or as a byproduct of the process.
… At South by Southwest, the Guardian’s folks talked about their stellar live-blogging. Ian Katz, the deputy editor, said that live-blogging — devoting someone to a story all day — was expensive. I said that writing articles is also expensive. He agreed. There’s the choice: Some news events (should we still be calling them stories?) are better told in process. Some need summing up as articles. That is an extra service to readers. A luxury, perhaps.
The bigger question all this raises is when and whether we need articles. Oh, we still do. Articles can make it easy to catch up on a complex story; they make for easier reading than a string of disjointed facts; they pull together strands of a story and add perspective. Articles are wonderful. But they are no longer necessary for every event.
I’ve been yammering on for a few years about how news is a process more than a product. These episodes help focus what that kind of journalism will look like — and what the skills of the journalist should be.
… In a do-what-you-do-best-and-link-to-the-rest ecosystem, if someone else has written a good article (or background wiki) isn’t it often more efficient to link than to write? Isn’t it more valuable to add reporting, filling in missing facts or correcting mistakes or adding perspectives, than to rewrite what someone else has already written?