Morgenbladet har åpnet arkivet

Det opplyser redaktøren i siste lederartikkel. Nå kan man søke i artikkelarkivet på avisens nettsted. Det er en etterlengtet og god nyhet. Så håper jeg det også jobbes med søkefunksjonaliteten etter hvert; nå mangler for eksempel mulighet til å avgrense tidsperiode.

Det finnes også større forbedringspotensial. “Åpent arkiv” er jo en sannhet med visse modifikasjoner; så vidt jeg kan se går arkivet tilbake til ca. 1993, da Truls Lie overtok den på det tidspunkt skinndøde avisen og sørget for nytt liv. Forhåpentligvis blir neste mål å gjøre tilgjengelig resten av avishistorien helt tilbake til starten i 1819?

Serious Bloglines problems

I’ve always liked the simplicity of the Bloglines feed reader, that’s why I’ve used it daily, all the time, for four years. But now they have serious problems. Many feeds aren’t updated. And the company itself doesn’t respond to criticism, a really bad sign for a blog service company! So I have to look for alternatives, but this is serious business, like changing a vital part of your media routines. Google Reader hasn’t charmed me in the past… We’ll see…

Why we blog

Andrew Sullivan writes a passionately analytical essay about blogging. Must return to this. In the meantime:

A blogger will air a variety of thoughts or facts on any subject in no particular order other than that dictated by the passing of time. A writer will instead use time, synthesizing these thoughts, ordering them, weighing which points count more than others, seeing how his views evolved in the writing process itself, and responding to an editor’s perusal of a draft or two. The result is almost always more measured, more satisfying, and more enduring than a blizzard of posts. The triumphalist notion that blogging should somehow replace traditional writing is as foolish as it is pernicious. In some ways, blogging’s gifts to our discourse make the skills of a good traditional writer much more valuable, not less. The torrent of blogospheric insights, ideas, and arguments places a greater premium on the person who can finally make sense of it all, turning it into something more solid, and lasting, and rewarding.

Community influence the future of newspapers?

Philip Meyer thinks the endgame for newspapers is in sight and that the papers will vanish even faster than he has concluded before. Some newspapers might survive by publishing less frequently and concentrating on “evidence-based journalism”. The key is community influence:

I still believe that a newspaper’s most important product, the product least vulnerable to substitution, is community influence. It gains this influence by being the trusted source for locally produced news, analysis and investigative reporting about public affairs. This influence makes it more attractive to advertisers. By news, I don’t mean stenographic coverage of public meetings, channeling press releases or listing unanalyzed collections of facts. The old hunter-gatherer model of journalism is no longer sufficient. Now that information is so plentiful, we don’t need new information so much as help in processing what’s already available. Just as the development of modern agriculture led to a demand for varieties of processed food, the information age has created a demand for processed information. We need someone to put it into context, give it theoretical framing and suggest ways to act on it.

In some respects, what Meyer is describing is concepts like The Economist, and in Scandinavia Mandag Morgen in Denmark and Norway (disclosure: I used to work at the Norwegian edition and still write for them). Community influence among its small, but influential readership is certainly one of the cornerstones of the MM concept.

A quite original point from Meyer is that there’s no reason to worry about the consequences of democracy of a future where newspapers are more elitist than today. No problem, he says:

As far back as 1940, the sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld discovered that voters get their information from one another as much as from direct consumption of the media. He called this the “two-step flow” from opinion leaders to the general public. The Internet is enhancing that two-step flow, converting it to a many-step flow. The problem is not distributing the information. The problem is maintaining a strong and trusted agency to originate it. Newspapers have that position of trust in the minds of the public.


Important work

By linking to what we find interesting we who publish on the web are all curators. This is important manual work while we wait for more efficient recommendation engines, or whatever they might be called. For those of us interested in culture and politics, there are quite a few good super-curators out there. Some of my favourites: Bookforum (a recent discovery), signandsight, Arts & Letters Daily, and even Huffington Post.


I et best case scenario kan vi få en konkurranse blant norske medier om de beste, konkrete åpenhetstiltakene. En uformell oppramsing:

Her er det sikkert noen som mangler… Kan oppdatere etter hvert. Bore har en åpenhetstest.