03:05 PM

A Momentary Publishing Incident in the Blogosphere

...must everything be embedded in the permalink concrete?

Bat Signal.jpgBy Tom Foremski, Silicon Valley Watcher.com

Dan Gillmor and I were involved in what could be described as a momentary publishing incident just a little while ago. We had both published posts on a particular story starting to make the rounds.

I had requested a Dan Gillmor bat signal to be shot into the muddled brown smog of the San Jose sky, because I needed advice from Dan. Dan is like the Pope of this new media world, and I value his advice.

It is not usual for "standalone journalists" to do this; but we had a chat about it , because we both felt it required a second look. It was the way in which the information was leaked to us that looked a bit strange, and warranted a fourth and fifth look.

Because Dan and I were able to swap notes and step through the timeline of the leak, we both felt uncomfortable; and Dan said he was immediately pulling his post down for further review.

I was about to leave and run down to the Peninsula; but I started thinking about the post, and I felt uncomfortable publishing it too, even though it was in a questioning format. So I took it down. I want to chat more about this with Dan and other buddies in the SV hack pack.

This incident of momentary publishing is interesting, because it is unfolding right now as I type. It might provide a lesson for the future practitioners of this artful craft--at least it provided me with an interesting point to write about.

Standalone journalism does not work

And this is also why teamwork in this new journalism is very important. Standalone journalism does not work, you need a team. I have an editor, Mike Faden, old school and very good. He edits for clarity and errant late night great ideas :-)

And I have an illustrator, Chris Dichtel; and I also have a head geek, Nick Aster, when he is able to surface from under the the heavy load of his his green MBA studies. I could do with more people--especially a business manager and a lawyer on the business side, but also people on the editorial side.

Working with other journalists is the best way to keep the juices flowing, and also to swap notes and be able to double check each other. Working in a editorial team is the best way to maintain consistent editorial quality.

In my profession we've been producing news sheets/newspapers for more than 400 years; and in many cases, there is no need to reinvent the wheel in terms of best practices. If we can take what we've learned from the centuries of news journalism, and apply it to this incredible medium without legacy issues standing in the way--then that is a killer combination.

That's my goal in a nutshell: use what we have useful from the traditions of journalism, and then technology-enable-it with tools such as blogging, wikis and a whole slew of what I call two-way media technologies.

Dan's BayoSphere