January 30, 2005

Andrew Orlowski comment on BloJoCred

Andrew Orlowski graced my blog with a comment about the the WebCred Harvard conference, which I thought deserved rescue from obscurity (I hope he'll forgive me :-)):

I suggest that we can regard this as a kind of litmus test. When a discourse has such little regard for the truth, we immediately know that it's of little value to us. Once the circus has moved on, a more honest and truthful discourse should eventually emerge.

(This can take a very long time indeed in tech debates, where the gnostic belief that more knowledge == truth seems to be axiomatic.)

This isn't to say that what Schafer writes about is entirely without merit. There may be some therapeutic value in blog conferences for the participants, but such events really have more in common with a torchlit rally than rational discourse. There are plenty of examples of this in the irc transcript.

I think Schafer's written a landmark piece. He's pointed out that people care very deeply about the _quality_ of news, much more than how it's delivered. Which is simply a process issue ;-)

Technologists get very hung up on this. If you have good, clean processes (or if the process has magical properties), then what comes out must be good, too, OK?

(There's also a fascinating parallel with how modern marketing uses process as a mark of authenticity, much as the weblog-evangelists do. In England last year I noticed almost every packaged item of food now uses this technique: the chicken chips are "applewood roasted", the salt is "air-dried". And this paragraph was soaked in blog goodness, before being delivered to you. Remind you of anyone?)

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in webcred | on January 30, 2005 11:56 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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