Tag Archives: Jay Rosen

Transparency and Engagement

An example of a social network diagram.
Image via Wikipedia

Starting the new year with new energy to make C3 happen.  Why C3?  While covered before, the essence is:

If each individual in the community has exactly the information they need, when and where they want it, and can develop stronger relationships with those in their defined communities, each of those communities will be stronger.

“Exactly” means relevance and context.  And, the particular community of interest to an individual, whether geographical, relationship or affinity, has to be expressed by the individual, not packaged by a committee.

So, when I saw Valeria Maltoni‘s recent post on Real Collaboration, I was struck by passages such as :

With collaboration we can make that change more expansive and at the same time better focused; more responsive and less cumbersome. Collaboration also leads to community. To build a community we need to be willing to educate and connect individuals, and have the desire to take action at the appropriate times. …

Can there be mass collaboration? Only when each individual self-interest is served through making that very same choice.

She reminded me of Roy Greenslade’s blog of last year, where he also call for a new mindset among journalists:

When we journalists talk about integration we generally mean, integrating print and online activities. But the true integration comes online itself. The integration between journalists and citizens. Of course, there should be no distinction between them. But journalists still wish to see themselves as a class apart.

We have to open ourselves up to a new thought process. There is no us and them. I had a sudden thought to end this posting with a Marxist-style call to arms: “Bloggers of the world unite”. But it is the lack of unity that makes blogging so vibrant, so critical and also so self-critical. And, of course, so revolutionary.

So, we need a new mindset, characterized by open, transparent, collaboration; a new organization, focused on creating information in the first instance with a set of social media tools; and engagement from those people involved, both within and without the media company.  As Seth Godin puts it:

It’s more important that you be passionate about what you do all day than it is to be passionate about the product that is being sold.

Give me someone with domain expertise and the passion to do great work any time. Belief in the mission matters (a lot!), but it doesn’t replace skill.

Best of both worlds: someone who has passion (and skill and insight) about their task and passion about the mission. The latter can never replace the former.

As Jay Rosen has noted, this has created a tremendous cultural turning point for professional journalists:

The professional news tribe is in the midst of a great survival drama. It has over the last few years begun to realize that it cannot live any more on the ground it settled so successfully as the industrial purveyors of one-to-many, consensus-is-ours news. The land that newsroom people have been living on—also called their business model—no long supports their best work. So they have come to a reluctant point of realization: that to continue on, to keep the professional press going, the news tribe will have to migrate across the digital divide and re-settle itself on terra nova, new ground. Or as we sometimes call it, a new platform.

While the platform may be new, and the changes significant for traditional media companies, we are talking about enduring human relationships, the fundamentals of which do not change, as noted by Sue Murphy:

My point is – social networks have existed as far back as we can imagine. Today, we are fortunate to have this new, amazing layer of technology to help us scale it from our tiny communities to the entire world. This global scale means that we hold a great deal potential in our hands. We now have the power to do great things not only for the success of our communities, but ultimately for the success of humankind.

Having this amount power a the click of a mouse is huge. But, it doesn’t mean we have to act any differently or be anything else other than what we already are as human beings. Success in a small town not dependent on the latest tools, tricks, or techy toys, and success in social media is not any different. Like in small towns, it’s only really dependent on two things – strong leadership and a thriving network.

As 2008 comes to a close, and so many of us are eagerly anticipating all the amazing possibilities that the new year will bring, considering how we are operating in our social networks and where all this social media stuff is headed is vitally important to our progress.

All of this has major implications on how we create the “elegant organization” called for by Jeff Jarvis to create the information in the first instance with mulitple authors, commentators and platforms in mind, and how we present that information in context.  More on that later.

What do you think?

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Out of the rut?

Found in the Flood album cover 

Image via Wikipedia

For two months I have been primarily dealing with flood issues, and trying to think of a new approach to the issues of creating the Complete Community Connection.  In that time, I have also given several presentations on ICMF.

While making those presentations, I realized that I was stuck in the rut of starting my thoughts with a current view of a media company, describing what is done today, and trying to describe changes to that existing system.

What if we start with a blank sheet of paper?  How can we really see that blank sheet?

Jay Rosen reminded all of us in traditional media how hard it is for us to change:

I don’t think we realize how deeply one-to-many thinking sinks into selves of media people. Switching platforms doesn’t get it “out.”

So it is not just the “packaged” products that we are currently stuck with, and trying to get out of that box with ICMF, we have to break our “one to many” selves.  How do we do that?

Well, our Content Ninja gave me a great start with a video from Kevin Kelly .  For those of you who can’t stand 20 minutes of linear video, he makes several points, among many more, relating to our C3 effort:

  • The web has moved from linking computers to linking pages to linking concepts and words.  I don’t think he uses “atomic content” or “metatags”, but calls this new web by both 3.0 and semantic.
  • The web is one machine, with no downtime.
  • In order to make the web work well, we have to speak to it, so very limited privacy is the new norm.
  • Media is all one, and the laws of media apply.
  • Copies have no value.
  • Value comes from immediacy, authentication and personalization.
  • Each of us needs to be free to reformat the snippets of content

After watching that video, or reflecting on these concepts, how do we continue creating a way for each us to develop our individually defined “community connected” windows into the one semantic web?


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