Teaching Examples

Slashdot … um … is not new
February 12, 2006, 5:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

There’s a two-day-old article on CNNmoney.com (Is Slashdot the future of media?) written by Fortune magazine’s David Kirkpatrick, a senior editor. It’s an informative story, but I thought everyone in journalism had already talked about Slashdot, back around 1999.

I’m not making fun of Kirkpatrick, because the story he wrote really is pretty good. And I guess it just goes to show that for a lot of people working in journalism, there are things taken entirely for granted in the online world that are still new and innovative to those who work in print and broadcast.

To me, this is closely related to the recurring brouhaha about craigslist (not the recent lawsuit over housing ads but rather the “craigslist is killing journalism” complaint). Newspapers had every opportunity to bring their classified ad systems into the digital era, but they didn’t do it. To be more exact, they didn’t do it in a way the audience likes and finds easy to use.

I think newspapers whining about craigslist is a lot like Blockbuster whining about Netflix.

Yes, the decline in classified ad revenues is a serious threat to the economic viability of daily newspaper journalism. But bashing Craig Newmark is not a productive way to counter that threat.

So, while Slashdot in some ways does show us “the future of journalism,” it is not necessarily a future that will be brought to the world by Gannett, Knight Ridder and The New York Times.

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