Everyone should point to the Doc Searls Weblog in its new location, to give it the link-love it needs to rise in the search engines.
Posted in: Random Notes.
All Hail The A-List! (or at least, link to them …)
More seriously, this is an interesting experiment. Doc is much more a steady accumulator than a link-baiter. Of course, nothing stops him from doing some link-baiting, especially with Harvard’s help. Might make for an instructive case study.
Seth, if you ever move your blog I’ll do the same. I’d do it for anyone whose work I respect.
Hmm, s’pose you’ll update the BlogRoll for good ol’ Doc, too.
You could put an icon that indicates moved. And maybe another icon for Halley’s Comment to indicate for “registered readers only.” And the link for Simon Waldman has changed, slightly, there’s a small redirect there. Though not as much as Tapscott’s copy desk, which moved last December to Examiner.com. Terry Heaton’s blog moved this spring. And then theres…
oh, wow cool! you gave a link to me! I should stop now. 🙂
Dan, the first sentence was meant in jest, playing off my well-known interest in the “power law” (I know, it can be hard to tell sometimes, but I thought the immediately following “More seriously …” made the humorous tone clear).
Just for the record, I don’t begrudge this post, and know very well that one mention doesn’t make or break a blog, and it’s more a matter of the blogger’s place in an ecological niche (whether as predator or prey … and that’s dark humor)
Again, I’m more interested if there’s something that can be learned from subsequent link-accumulation.
EVERYBODY should??? I’m not familiar with his blog and I have no intention of giving him any “link-love” — I don’t think I *should*…
P.S. speaking of “shoulds”… I think you *should* answer that question:) — I have the luxury of asking such things because I have nothing to lose… (I don’t need anybody’s links or the like…) Yes, you have the right to remain silent… (especially on your own blog) but that’s not going to erase that question from peoples’ minds… D.
Delia, consider that Dan may not be able to honestly answer that question due to the entanglements of his being former and current business partners with various digital-sharecroppers. Just as a conjecture, I suspect he’s seen the sausage being made, that is, what the moneybags really think about the “local content harvesting”. You know, the attitude that news is what goes in the blank space around the ads (they call it the “news hole”) – but taken to a whole new level where now you don’t even have to pay the writers, because they’re citizen-journalists. I’ve seen one CEO who’s pretty blatant about this, the sort of attitude of “Yay! It’s great business to get these people to work for free!”, and all I know is what I read in the papers.
My own view is that idealistic people like Dan and some others get “used” by those with much more base and cynical mentalities. But what do I know, remember, I am where I am and they are where they are …
he *should* 🙂 at least stop giving such conflicted commentary on the issue… and I wouldn’t call somebody who was among the first to try to profit from getting free work from citizen journalists “idealistic” — Jay Rosen (in the context of NewAssignment) VERY different story… D.
Looks like I have a lot of updating to do…
Delia, when you stop hiding behind your pseudonymous identiy, I’ll start responding to you again.
it’s curious that you had no problem with that up to this point… (it’s been what… the better part of a year? suspicious timing) but anyways, my actual first name *is* Delia (and I see no good reason for you to know my last name also for the purposes of your blog) D.
Delia, I understand where you’re coming from about “conflicted commentary”. But in terms of a tough choice, I’m going to come down in favor of having disillusioned idealism rather than consistent cynicism. That is, recognizing that reasonable people may differ, I think it’s better that Dan expresses his discomfort even if it seems there’s some underlying tension, than to be completely conflict-free in exploitative ideology. Again, there’s many situations in which such an approach can be counter-productive, I grant that. But my sense here is that, given we live in an imperfect world, it’s a net positive.
Seth, again I don’t see how could Dan be counted as an “idealist” in these regards…
take a look at Jay’s relevant details about his project NewAssignment: “If New Assignment ever made money (which I highly doubt) it would all go into the journalism– meaning do more journalism, do higher quality work, employ more journalists, give them health insurance, buy libel insurance, etc. And, yes, that will be clearly spelled out from the beginning. I don’t think you can ask people to donate their time, knowledge & enthusiasm for something that enriches the ‘owners.'”
Dan has not only been one of those who have tried to enrich themselves this way but has definitely been among the *first* to try to do that… (a very dubious distinction).
Now if he would have honestly repented it would have been one thing… but that doesn’t seem to be the case: as I said, what appears to be his conflicted commentary on the issue makes it unclear if he is currently disgusted by such attempts or is just hoping somebody else would figure out how to make it work and then “switch parties” again… (I think it’s sad that his many readers just go along with this without confronting him on it… although such issues may explain the relatively few posters on his blog — people may feel there is no point in asking questions, that they are just not going to get answers…)
P.S. anyways, it was nice you and Jon were here when I started looking at this blog (made it much less lonely:)… this may be it for me! (unless that issue gets clarified, I see no good reason to keep reading Dan’s blog)… take care! D.
OK, Delia,here’s the reality.
I have said from the very beginning of my work in this area, and in public on a number of occasions, that a business model that requires others to do all the work and then letting one party collect all the money is not just unsustainable but wrong. The Bayosphere experiment was never an attempt to try that kind of business model, and for you to claim otherwise is simply wrong. We had every intention — if it ever made money — to share the gains.
We had every intention — if it ever made money — to share the gains
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. 1/2 🙂
That is, I believe you, Dan, had that intention – but what would have actually happened is another story (the world is full of examples of more generous business partners being forced out by the more ruthless business partners).
Delia, I’m actually not at all impressed by the quote you give above – to me, it can be read as a pretty standard “building the business” statement. Rare is the start-up that mints money as soon as it is launched. It’s common to have many years of no or minimal profit. It’s very easy to say good things will be done with the profit, if there isn’t any.
Now, I wouldn’t claim to be a good judge of character. My sense, from knowing Dan’s laudable record as a journalist, and making allowances for the way people get caught up in utopian fantasies, is that he got a strong dose of Kool-Aid early on. It’s heady stuff. The idea that collective action is going to remake the world, cheaply and easily, and you’re in the vanguard of The Revolution, is a wonderful feeling. Dan’s own experience isn’t in selling people, so I don’t see this as a primary motivator, but rather going along. I could be wrong.
[…] Searls muda su famoso Doc Searls Weblog: Welcome pilgrims [vía] […]
You have my apology if I misunderstand this but that sounds like spin to me:”a business model that requires others to do all the work and then letting one party collect all the money is not just unsustainable but wrong” (as long as you would have given some contributor a token amount… at some point in the future… you would have made good on that…) –> compare that with Jay’s non-profit-all-the-way upfront pledge.
Also, you seemed to imply that not paying contributors in Arianna’s case is not sustainable but refuse to say if you think she *should* pay them –> this leaves open the possibility that it’s just a sustainability issue for you… (it would be fine if Arianna could only get away with it)… And encouraging the academia to slave away and find a *for-profit* model that clearly would NOT pay the contributors makes me really wonder what’s your *real* motivation in doing this… (financial self-interest in going back to for profit and ripping the financial benefits if it CAN be done is the first thing that comes to mind…)
Seth: I knew I should have quoted more… here’s the beginning: “Nope, it’s non-profit all the way and will never become a commercial enterprise. I wouldn’t be interested in a patent if it ever came to that. This is a Creative Commons, gift economy type thing; that’s crucial to the kind of trust involved in the whole effort.”
Nobody that I’m aware of has made such clear upfront disclosure of what looks to me like irreproachable long term financial plans and quite a bit of self sacrifice to start with…
Citizen journalism is interesting, but models of production/consumption/financing of information are even more so. Certain entries in my blog are picked-up by Agoravox, one of the major French-language “citizen media” sites. That gives them visibility but that doesn’t change things for me or the information conveyed. Agoravox works well as an article aggregator, mostly for blogs. But how could I do more with my product? Why would I go to the trouble of putting together a long article or producing a reportage at the end of the world to just have it published on Agoravox? Maybe some would do it just for their ego or simply for the pleasure of being read. But when you are a professional journalist there is nothing in it for you and few independent journalists could afford such a luxury.
Jay Rosen proposes a very different model: citizen journalists can submit story ideas and collectively develop them by providing information, donating their time or co financing the production. The professional journalist does his job, pretty much as usual, just that instead of being paid by traditional media, he/she is paid by the people who would like to see such projects done. The “best journalists” are identified through a reputation system.
Although it’s still in the preparation stage, NewAssignment.Net seems exciting to me. At a time when parts of the media are in a crisis and journalists’ salaries seem to be free falling, NewAssignment.Net offers an attractive alternative. Also, like some other projects on the web, NewAssignment.Net would enable internet users to be actors as well as spectators. Finally, it offers an alternative to simple citizen media. Speaking of which, it seems to me that many haven’t understood that the real point of citizen journalism isn’t as much to develop new ways of producing information but to come-up with economic models capable of giving life to new forms of media. Finally and above all, Rosen’s project makes perfect sense: why should media intermediate between the public and the information producers?
The thing is that there are some wonderful projects out there (that have made very good use of volunteers) that seemingly against all odds turned-out to be very profitable. The persons who started such projects probably never contemplated such developments (so they seem to be innocent) but the fact is that there are volunteers out there that regret having spent a big chuck of their time and energy unwittingly building someone else’s empire… And I can’t blame them…
Of course, nobody would expect you to cover administrative expenses yourself and the non-profit set-up allows for normal salaries etc. for those employed (including you) but what happens if this project ends up making a lot of money in the distant or not so distant future? Would you ever make it a for profit? Would you ever personally profit from it in other ways (I mean *financially* profit)?
I think nowadays people who would consider spending a lot of time and resources on this kind of project would want to know that ahead of time. And I’m not saying that you would not still be able to find *some* volunteers even if … let’s say… in case it ends-up being a big financial success you wouldn’t mind financially benefiting from it…
It’s just that the pool of people willing to just pitch in and help would probably be much smaller and you’d probably end-up having to pay for a lot more things but that would just be fair… And I don’t see anything wrong with it as long as you are upfront about it.
After all you came-up with an original model and if you wanted to (and you haven’t considered it so far), you might be able to get a patent for it – something like a business model patent maybe. And you probably plan to spend a fair amount of your time on this project for a good long while… so… it would be perfectly understandable if you didn’t necessarily want to keep it non-profit come what may…
oops… please disregard what’s under my post to Seth (I copied to much from Jay’s site… I thought I deleted the part I didn’t need to quote but… it’s still there..sorry!) D.
Delia, there’s a famous quote in the original academic paper that was the basis for Google, about negative effects of ads. We know how that turned out.
And I think Jay is more interested in being an academic BigHead than the start-up business side of things (i.e. mostly after grant-money rather than venture-capitalist money)
If anyone’s still reading, and wishing to follow the *original* topic, Michael Tippett’s blog has been moved; Chris Locke’s “Chief Blogging Officer” blog has had 5 posts in the last 12 months, not as many as on his “RageBoy” blog.
That’s about it: 80% live links. I think that’s par for a BlogRoll.
Is there room for a list of “citizen media gripes”? You know, the people formerly known as the audience here. 🙂
If Jay (or anybody else) gets grant money (or any sort of money) and uses it to try to solve real problems we are facing… what’s the problem? Money is needed to make such things happen and I wouldn’t expect anybody to just bankroll this kind of things (just volunteer time and finances) — what’s NOT needed is somebody to come along and tell people she/he just wants to help solve the problem so everybody should pitch in and help and… it just so happens that the vast majority of money that’s being made ends up in her pocket… and people are still fooled into donating their time etc… (a classic example of this seems to be craigslist but I’m tired of that topic…)
P.S. regardless what you personally think of Jay, I don’t see how you could fault him for what he’s done… but I suppose it’s a free country… D.
P.P.S. I think I’ve said enough on this topic (maybe too much…) — nighty-night, all! D,
“tell people she/he just wants to help solve the problem … the vast majority of money that’s being made ends up in her pocket”
But that’s “Web 2.0” in a nutshell! Digital-sharecropping as democracy! (I’m not sure if I should put a smiley here or not …)
I won’t give my full thoughts about Jay, too dangerous. The general issue is that grants are fine for a certain type of academic, but they don’t scale to the level needed for a functioning Fourth Estate.
if you’ve got something to say about Jay or anything else… say it! I may even believe it if you have some sort of proof (you seem to be implying that he *has* in fact financially profited from NewAssignment through some side line… is that it?); what are you afraid of, Seth? (re: “too dangerous”)
P.S. looks like you’ve got nothing to lose… just like me… D.
No, I didn’t mean to imply he’s financially profited from NewAssignment directly – academic “empire-building” is more diffuse.
Further, respondent sayeth not.
I see no problem with that (I’d say he’s earned it) D.
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