Interesting quote in Dave Winer’s Scripting News: 12/13/2005, on Scott Rosenberg’s posting about the future of newspapers.
If I was a snark-filled professional reporter, all you would have gotten is the quote, but you would never know that Scott also said that it’s up to his profession to find new bundles of stuff that people will pay information for.
To which I would say, yes but… That will run out too, because we’re in an age of disintermediation. What’s under attack is much bigger than newspapers, it’s all forms of aggregation.
What Dave misses is that blogging is primarily a process of reintermediation as much as disintermediation. On the one hand, there’s the disintermediary (is that a word?) force: anyone who likes reading what Dave writes or what I write can go straight to the source rather than waiting for our words to crop up in a publication. People connecting directly with people: that’s one aspect of blogging.
But equally powerful is reintermediation. What Dave and I have in common is that we provide lots of links to other things, based on our own perspective of what’s important. We act as much as editors – in the sense of selecting the stories – as writers. That means that what we’re doing is taking a load of disintermediated content and reintermediating it: Acting as gateways to work that matches our perspective. And, for some blogs – link blogs for example – that’s all they do.
Yes, aggregation can be customised. Yet is it surprising that the most popular blogs – Winer, Scoble, et al – are those that provide a strong perspective, good story selection, and good writing, all of which are traditionally what newspapers do?