June 30, 2006

"The People Formerly Known As The Audience" ... are STILL the audience

"The People Formerly Known As The Audience" by Jay Rosen, ends with the following:

Seth Finkelstein dissents in the comments at Dan Gillmor's blog:

Dan, we're still the audience. If you don't like my comment, you can personally attack me to a number of readers that is orders of magnitude more than I could realistically reach myself. I have no effective way to reply. That's "audience".

If I do volunteer journalism, but it is not propagated by A-list gatekeepers, and not appealing enough for the popular sites, it'll be ignored. That's "audience".

And what happens if the professional journalist just doesn't care if he or she gets it wrong, as long as it brings in the crowd? That's "audience".

Like the news media, Seth is an inflater of the balloons he pops. He refutes propositions I haven't made: that the audience is no more, that media power has been equalized.

[squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak ... comment:]

Thanks for proving my point Jay. :-(

I thought you were better than that.

You left off the last part of my comment:

"Don't shoot the messenger."

Is this the worst personal attack I've ever received in my life? No, not at all, by far. But it's illustrative of the inequality of audience, and it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at June 28, 2006 04:57 PM

The bogosphere really isn't good for me [sad face]. And I miss Shelley Powers' BurningBird blog:

If I want anything from the A Listers, it's honesty. It's following through on their glowing beliefs in this environment. It's a cessation of the games, and a reduction of the small minded petty meanness that characterizes too many of the A listers (and which makes one realize that perhaps this environment is not so utopian after all).

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on June 30, 2006 09:08 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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I'll have to click through to read the post you cite by Jay Rosen, but this part...

"The bogosphere really isn't good for me. And I miss Shelley Powers' BurningBird blog..."

Makes me feel a bit 'normal'. I mean, how long can one mourn a blog? Apparently, quite a while.

The blog landscape seems flat and lifeless now.

Posted by: Sour Duck at June 30, 2006 09:44 PM

A big "me too" on Shelley. I miss BB bad.

But not so much on the criticism of Jay and Dan.

Unlike other technologists and media heads in the A-list, their points need to be heard in the context of where their audience is mainly from - the newspaper industry.

Power Laws will always exist - in any place three or more people start to communicate - irregardless of medium.

But at least now, you have more power then to simply send a letter to the editor. And a whole lot more influence whether it is realized or not.

Yes Seth - people read you :)

Posted by: Karl at June 30, 2006 11:20 PM

Sour Duck: Yes, especially when there's nothing else which is occupying the same environmental niche :-(

Karl: No, I have almost exactly the same (nonexistent) power, send a letter to the editor, beg an A-lister for a link, same thing. Again, how many people heard Jay Rosen write a (run of the mill) personal attack on me, versus will hear *me*? It has to be thousands or even *tens of thousands* more. That's the objective mathematics of it.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at July 2, 2006 12:16 AM

Who is Jay Rosen and why would I care what he has to say?

The technical term for what he is saying is bullshit.

If he doesn't think mass audience is what counts, then lets see him get his candidate (himself?) elected or legislation put through.

Blogs are useful and fun - hey mine has had one non-spam comment maybe I should post more - and putting a call to action can have results. But unless it is picked up by the big league no-one will care. Witness - the Sony Rootkit debacle - Russinovich posted and it was days before "anyone" noticed.

Posted by: Ian at July 3, 2006 05:42 AM

This was warming note to read, though I'm not sure I could liven things up.

I have been fooling around at some sites, most reachable from words.einsteinslock.com. Still trying to figure it all out.

Still reading you all!

Seth your point is good, as always. More than that, I think that Jay Rosen sees what most people are seeing, cracks in the joy-joyness of the moment, and you're about as welcome right now as, well, toe fungus ;-)

And that's because you're not letting people fool themselves.

Whatever...all I know is I miss you guys. You and some others, I miss you.

Posted by: Shelley at July 3, 2006 09:08 PM

Don't confuse vitamins with the main course, Seth ;-)

Posted by: hugh macleod at July 5, 2006 04:54 AM

PS. "Top ten reasons why nobody reads your blog":


In particular:

"4. A secret cabal of A-Listers got together and decided that you should be excluded from the conversation.

Yeah, they sit around sipping champagne, eating caviar and laughing about you..."

Posted by: hugh macleod at July 5, 2006 10:21 AM

Hugh, much of what you do lately has a mean edge to it that you try to gloss over with humor. Half the time you don't reference the people who are the targets of your cartoons, you sneak about in comments writing what you won't in your post and generally, you've become that kid in the school yard who would trip you as you walked past, and then tell the teacher "They were being mean to me!"

Do you have a cartoon for that?

Posted by: Shelley at July 5, 2006 12:07 PM

I have a cartoon for you, Shelley ;-)

Posted by: Hugh MacLeod at July 5, 2006 12:29 PM

PS. Yes, Shelley, you're right. The KGB did kill Kennedy.

Posted by: hugh macleod at July 5, 2006 12:47 PM

Shelly: Good to see you back! More later.

Hugh: Some of your stuff does indeed have a mean-spirited edge. Mocking "down" is different from mocking "up", because the context isn't the same. It's not that those lower down are immune to humor. But it takes some more thought and work to avoid crossing the line between satire and derision.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at July 6, 2006 09:19 PM

You see what you want to see, Seth. Good luck to you.

Posted by: hugh macleod at July 7, 2006 03:47 AM