Saturday, February 10, 2007

Relax, Bloggers, on the Credit Thing - You're Winning Big Already

There's been a flurry of stories like the one linked below by the "Oregon Media Insiders" site, about bloggers not getting enough credit from our local media. All I can say is cry me a river. Never mind your breaking news stories. How many of you have actually gotten a politician to do anything? Oh, they respond to some of Jack's posts, but how many have gotten a politician to.... oh, I don't know....descend down a rope 175 feet over the city to test the new tram rescue system? See, and did I whine when I didn't remain part of the story? Hell, no.

I blogged about the concept of the city politicians demonstrating the tram emergency plan and it landed - with full credit - in Phil Stanford's column from August 31st, 2006:

"More great ideas from the City that Works: As you may have noticed in the papers, there is indeed a rescue plan in case the fabulous $57 million aerial tram ever gets stuck in midair. … In the event of a malfunction, the operator is supposed to throw a rope over the side. … Firefighters will then climb up the rope to the disabled tram – which, we should probably add, could be dangling as high as 15 stories in the air – and help passengers lower themselves, one by one, to terra firma. … Well, why not, says my favorite funnyman, Bill McDonald, who blogs away at – as long as all the members of the City Council who voted for the tram are willing to test the system first, preferably on a cold, rainy night. … Hey, I’ll sell tickets for that one."

To tell you the truth, I was not happy when Sam Adam's people eventually took the bait - specifically mentioning Phil Stanford - and Sam ended up going out the side. I certainly did not attend, partly because I was worried that something would go wrong. Could you imagine the guilt?

I did see it on the news and thought it was extremely amusing. I mean, if the goal was to reassure the city that the tram rescue plan was safe, it certainly didn't register with me. If anything, Sam looked like he was auditioning for Cirque de Soleil. I also filed it under, "Ridiculous stunts we're willing to try when we really, really want to be Mayor someday."

But when the TV news people put the story on the air - and this was several months after my suggestion - did I whine that nobody mentioned that it all started on my blog? Did I moan that no one asked me how it felt for a blogger to initiate this chain of events? No. (Actually, I might have - I'll have to check my archives.)

Listen, the Internet is winning. If you're a blogger, you're winning. You're on the right side of history and the respect will take care of itself.

The publisher of the New York Times speculates that the printed version has less than 5 years left. The woman who used to run the Wonkette site was hired by Time Magazine. Maybe it's about a personal need, or you just don't want others to take credit for your work. I understand that, but as someone who has listened to countless people repeating one of my jokes without credit, I have some advice: Get over it. Move on. Get even better.

If you need the personal ego stroke, that's one thing, but to fret about bloggers in general not being acknowledged enough by mainstream media? That's ridiculous. Just stand back and let the revolution happen. Better yet, jump in and be a bigger part of it. The ability of an individual to publish his or her writing worldwide - not to mention the pictures and the videos - is a profoundly beautiful thing.

The Internet is winning and it's not even close. To criticize the printed media at this point is almost unseemly. It's like making fun of someone for being old and senile. Why pile on when the printed media is already getting its ass kicked? Just enjoy these pioneer days, and if you want credit for something you did, like getting a city commissioner to dangle on a rope out the side of a tram car, just blog about it.

O Blogswarmed for Not Crediting Online Sources | Oregon Media Insiders


At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only instance the other bloggers were pointing to that I felt really had merit was the Loaded Orygun one; why say "liberal bloggers" when it was really just Loaded O? That seemed kinda silly. More to the point for me was the blogswarm--everyone jumping on it at once.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I didn't really check out that specific one. I think bloggers should err on the side of letting the media take what it wants rather than building a backlash where the mainstream media doesn't use the stuff. Credit will follow sooner or later. It's better to build clout than receive credit for every little thing. Do you think the Oregonian will be more likely or less likely to use something from a blog now as a result of last week?

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like to infer from your post, Bill, that calling for MSM to C U blog, is about the same as asking to be touched by Typhoid Mary. The massmind media body is dead and rotting, don't play in it and get it on you.

My favorite death watch, I must say, is watching LIARS Larson and his ten callers cussing, nine nazis nastying, eight alcoholics arguing ... I think he's down to seven stupid suckers dialing, now, on a good day. One of his buddies got his "big fat spit caught in a wringer," (quoting John Mitchell's threat on the Nixon tapes, if Katherine Graham didn't call off Woodward & Bernstein, except instead of 'spit' Mitchell said a woman's soft prolixity), down in the Valley this weekend, when LIARS copy-cat Hasso Hering went all editorial in LIARS mode, calling people names and so on, "the new speaker of the U.S. House. Now they call her Nonstop Nancy, when the facts don't match their ignorant hate, and Hering had to take it back, "Friday’s editorial about the plane ... based on incomplete information, was off base", but one wonders if it occurs to him to turn off the hate voices programming him dumb-down, and go learn what his readers have to say. Well, the readers that are left, that is.

Because here comes his and LIARS' betters: Internet users transformed into news reporters, Feb. 11.
As picture-taking mobile telephones and digital movie cameras grow ubiquitous, Internet users worldwide are being recruited as citizen news reporters.

Founded almost two years ago, news website taps into legions of people that post pictures, videos, or commentary online.

NowPublic boasts more than 60,000 contributing "reporters" in more than 140 countries and promises to quickly locate potential witnesses or news gatherers close to breaking events from natural disasters to terrorist attacks.

"We have become the largest participatory news network in the world," NowPublic chief executive Leonard Brody told AFP. "We have everything from complete amateurs to complete professionals."

"News in the future is going to be crowd-source and we are building that army."

Vancouver-based NowPublic has been doubling in size every three months.

NowPublic added a "tip jar" feature that enables contributors to be given gratuities via PayPal online financial transaction accounts. NowPublic does not pay people for news stories, images or video.

I just find it hard to watch TV or read the paper where the blood of soldiers they sent over there to die for nothing, is drooling death on every LIARS word they sell.


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