— 28 March 2005 —

SXSW – Matthew’s Day 4(ish)

It is sad that it’s taken me so long to get to this last installment, but like many other people I have been busy and sick pretty much since I got back. Apologies for it taking so long. Bad blogger. Here’s my Flickr version of SXSW. More pics to come in April (I still have a free account).

We already posted on the Web in 2010 panel so on to other things.

Blogging vs. Journalism

Unfortunately, based on the title, the panel didn’t live up to my “two men enter, one man leaves” expectations. Not saying it wasn’t good, but when 5 people get together to discuss a hot topic like this, you sort of expect at least some disagreement. I don’t really recall any though. Basically the consensus was blogging and journalism will settle down and get along. Watchwords of reliability, authenticity, trustworthiness, and credibility came up often. Often in regard to blogs. I think that is mainly because they are new, but any publishing medium needs to be watched and watch itself with those words in mind. Your point of view won’t last long without credibility and eventually no one will listen to you and your voice will be marginalized. Plenty of people at the margins, but they may not be who you want to reach.

Brad Owens defined journalism as non-fiction, talking about current, recent past, or near future events, and timely. Sounds like a lot of blogs about cats from which I definitely do not pull the feeds. Though that would be a good application of a fake blog: a blog by a cat. Get the cat to walk on the keyboard, then have a person “translate” for the cat.

Calacanis asks, “Between blogging and traditional journalism, which format empowers you better?” (paraquote) The obvious answer is blogs, but I feel most people don’t want to be empowered even though they would say they want it. “People” want to be fed information that is comfortable to them and tend not to stray far from that line. I blame it on a total lack of curiosity about where their truth comes from. I think answering the question about credibility of the source of information is often left to the source to state.

Next to last thought: Calacanis is trashing Denton without naming him. Saying people will trust you more if you take the high road and not publish stolen pornography. I say the story people are interested in often isn’t on the high road and I think journos and bloggers would agree, which is why they pursue the low road sometimes. While taking the high road is good, one person’s high road is often another person’s low road. It’s totally subjective and market driven. For example, you wouldn’t believe the number of people that will come out of the woodwork when they hear you are thinking of starting a porn blog. Everyone wants to help. Well, not everyone obviously.

Last thought: check out the Web Credibility Project being run at Stanford. Great resource for information that can help shed light on this conversation of blogging versus journalism.

Spam, Trolls, Stalkers: The Pandora’s Box of Community

Well, not opening my laptop during this panel was obviously a bad idea. I remember nothing. Anyone attend? Link up your notes in the comments, or email me and I will link it up here. My only take-away was that when you talk to people, open yourself up, it could be a risk. Duh, you may say. And I agree. It is probably true that most bloggers when starting out do not know about liability related to the things said by other people on their blog. But the reality is that most people will never need to know.

Wrap it Up

SXSW was a good experience. I am very glad we have chosen it to have our annual corporate retreat. It was good meeting Paul for the first time. Good to see Mike, Will, and Dr. Keith again. Good to meet Scott. Next time I see JF though, we are going to exchange more than a “let’s get together later.” I think we both owe each other a beer.

People who need to be there next year: Don Schenck (because there will be a panel called “Meet Don Schenck” that will completely fill), Alan Taylor (I mean, you won an award this year!), Jarrod (because Will is getting too complacent going to all these conferences), and, of course, you.

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