Words from another yard

Links and comment from Scott Rosenberg

Let’s look at Steve Jobs’ comment last night at his onstage interview at the Wall Street Journal’s D conference and see how many mistaken assumptions and fallacies we can mine from it:

“”I don’t want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers myself. We need editorial… Read full post »

When we were preparing the new paperback edition of Say Everything on sale as of today! — I knew I wanted to add some material covering the period since I brought the book to a close (roughly the end of 2008). To keep this material as timely and up to… Read full post »

Last week I wrote about my fruitless quest to alert the Wall Street Journal to a mistake it had made in a book review — misspelling the name of the author the piece mainly focused on.

Yesterday I made one final effort to close this loop; I emailed the book… Read full post »

The correction process is a simple thing in most newsrooms, right? If the news outlet gets something wrong, people will tell the editors — they’ll email or call or post a comment on the website. And then the editors will correct the mistake.

End of story? If only.

One… Read full post »

I listened to this interview yesterday with BP director Robert Dudley on the News Hour:

ROBERT DUDLEY: …The blowout preventers are something that are used on oil and gas wells all over the world, every well. They just are designed not to fail with multiple failsafe systems.

Read full post »

[I'm posting a lightly edited text of the talk I gave Friday at Stanford Law School's "Future of Journalism: Unpacking the Rhetoric" conference. As you will see, I took seriously the concept of unpacking the rhetoric, and tried to answer the questions on the event's agenda.]

I’ve been asked to… Read full post »

If you want to hear from me over the next few days and you are in the Bay Area, you have a bunch of opportunities.

Friday I’ll be presenting at Stanford Law School’s conference on “The Future of News: Unpacking the Rhetoric” (as I wrote here). I look forward to unpacking… Read full post »

APRIL 27, 2010 6:39PM

Who’s a journalist now?

For as long as we humans have been online we have been arguing about how being online changes the nature of publishing and journalism. So these days, when I hear people arguing about who qualifies as a journalist, or whether bloggers are journalists, I usually yawn. I wrote this five yearsRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 23, 2010 2:47PM

Roberts is to pager as Bush is to scanner

Way back in ancient times, a decade ago, I wrote a piece for Salon that mentioned the widely circulated anecdote about President George H.W. Bush (the elder) casting a wondering gaze at a supermarket scanner. The tale had legs during the 1992 election cycle because it echoed a sense in the… Read full post »

APRIL 21, 2010 12:44PM

MediaBugs: day one, and widgets

MediaBugs.org logo

Yesterday we went live with our public beta of MediaBugs. If you find something in any news report in the SF Bay Area that you think needs correcting, come on down and file a bug report!

We got some coverage from Mallary Tenore at Poynter.org, who talked with journalism expertsRead full post »

This New York Times piece Monday reflects a growing chorus of resentment among newspaper website managers against the “barroom brawl” atmosphere so many of them have ended up with in the comments sections on their sites.

They blame anonymity. If only they could make people “sign the… Read full post »

I’m having flashbacks these days, and they’re not from drugs, they’re from the rising chorus of media-industry froth about how Apple’s forthcoming iPad is going to save the business of selling content.

Let me be clear: I love what I’ve seen of the iPad and I&rsqu… Read full post »

OK, I’m still here! Here’s what’s up:

(1) MediaBugs: I’ve been deep in bringing this project — a sort of public bug-tracker for Bay Area news coverage — to life. Ben Brown’s really been doing the hard lifting. (If you have a social website of any kind to deve… Read full post »

DECEMBER 31, 2009 12:43PM

The decade in tunes

I’m not interested in the argument over whether this new year’s marks the end of the decade-with-no-name. Since we celebrated the end of the millennium 10 years ago, I think we’re stuck. And you can bet that when 2019 rolls over to 2020 we’ll do the same.

My list, for… Read full post »

Yesterday TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington denounced the rise of SEO-mill-driven content — the sort of business Associated Content and Demand Media are in, and AOL is going into — as “the rise of fast food content.”

This gave me a good laugh, since, of course, most journalist… Read full post »

A week ago the Washington Post ran the following correction:

A Nov. 26 article in the District edition of Local Living incorrectly said a Public Enemy song declared 9/11 a joke. The song refers to 911, the emergency phone number.

You don’t need to be much of a hiphop expert (I’m… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 30, 2009 11:52AM

AOL, SEO mills, and the newsroom

News this morning is that AOL is going down the path already cleared by companies like Demand Media and Associated Content, and getting into the business of commissioning small content “piecework” based on consumer interest as gauged by search queries (and advertiser interest as gauged by… Read full post »

Forgive this author a moment of own-horn-tooting.

It was always flattering and humbling to me to hear Dreaming in Code spoken of in the same breath as The Soul of a New Machine. With Say Everything I also had a model in mind: Hackers, Steven Levy’s groundbreaking and still-valuable account of… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 22, 2009 11:38AM

A geeky problem with Mac scripting

Here’s what turns out to be the most intractable problem I’ve encountered in my move to OSX as my primary work platform:

For years I used a programmers’ text editor tool in Windows called Ultraedit. It worked great and allowed me to record macros. The most indispensible one, which I… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 13, 2009 11:58AM

Miscellany of the moment

While we’re on the subject of the value of search…

Ken Auletta is on KQED Forum right now, talking about his new Google book, and I just heard him comment on Google’s vulnerability to new competitors by hauling out the old complaint that Google’s provision of millions of resul… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 11, 2009 12:40PM

Why “junk traffic” isn’t so junky

I’ve been reading Ryan Chittum’s recent posts at Columbia Journalism Review about the whole Murdoch/WSJ “We’re seceding from Google” flap.

Chittum applauds what he sees as a new appreciation in media circles for the “loyal readership” metric as opposed to… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 9, 2009 2:41PM

Mac life after Ecco

For years I organized my life with the wonderful, now-orphaned and somewhat antiquated Windows outliner Ecco Pro. For me Ecco was versatile enough to function effectively as both a todo-list manager and a repository for random information, scattered ideas and research. It really could do it all.

I… Read full post »

Just a note for those of you in the area: Come on down to the UC Berkeley School of Journalism this Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. if you’d like to hear me give a talk about blogging, journalism, and MediaBugs.

There will be only a little overlap with the talks… Read full post »

OCTOBER 28, 2009 2:32AM

How the bridge news flowed

Bay Bridge cable down (via Twitpic)

[photo from twitpic via Larfo]


I have a very personal relationship with the ups and downs of the Bay Bridge replacement project. This is not only because I’m a Berkeley resident who often depends on the structure. And it’s not only because I’m lucky enough to have a… Read full post »