Robert Scoble, Microsoft Technical Evangelist, spoke today at San Jose State University, where I am a graduate student in the Journalism & Mass Communications Department. Scoble was apparently a student there in the early 1990s and was kind enough to speak first to a gathering of Journalism students in the offices of the school newspaper, the Spartan Daily, and later at the shiny new MLK Library.
I’ve been absorbing as much as I can read about blogs, blog theory, blogs and journalism, and the effect blogs are having on communication, so it was great to hear someone who has been thinking about this for much longer than I have.
Some highlights, and then you’ll have to wait for the paper I write for Prof. Greene’s Journalism 132 class.
1. Blogging is causing the “disintermediation of journalism.” There is far less space now between the reader and the story. A reader can find primary sources in the blogosphere, a reader can compare news sites, a reader can “triangulate in on the truth” from different sources, and can see through any lies or filtering or disinformation.
2. The efficiency of word of mouth networks pushes corporations and news organizations to move faster; the news and information cycles are getting tighter and tighter, to the point where the traditional press-release method of getting information from corporate headquarters to the public simply is not fast enough. The bloggers are outrunning traditional sources of information.
3. Credibility is conferred by the community. A link to my blog from a credible source gives me credibility, and more links give me more credibility, not to mention an ascending page rank on Google. The audience is the evidence that I am a credible source.
4. Authority comes from access to information. By using RSS feeds and an aggregator, one can access exponentially more information from a wider variety of sources than anyone reading websites page by page.
5. Bob Scoble is Microsoft’s man on the street – he makes sure that everyone gets the story right when they write about a topic in his domain (i.e. Tablet PCs) – he has the credibility to push the conversation in a direction that he (and Microsoft) feel is useful/correct/marketable/open and honest.
Bloglines is the RSS Aggregator I’m using this week.