Blogs: The Anti-Journalism

by Dan Blank on October 31, 2006

It is no secret that I am a big fan of blogs and new media. This morning I am shocked at the top story on Techmeme. Marc Cuban has posted “Some intimate details on the Google YouTube Deal” from an anonymous source, that he cannot confirm if any of it is accurate, but it simply “rings true.”

And I am bummed to see this. I am bummed to see Nicholas Carr react to it, as well as John Battelle and others. They state their blogs as “if this is true, then…” but that need in the blog world to jump on the scoop to be the first to report, to be part of every conversation has opened the door for spreading rumors that we all think “ring true,” but of course, aren’t.

Nicholas’ entry even has a “Digg this post” link at the end. I realize this is just part of his page template – but it points out the differences – the bad differences – of journalism vs. blogs.

So the idea with Digg is that enough people will find your thoughts so intriguing that it will make it to the front page of Digg.com and will get an avalanche of traffic. But why would you want thousands or millions of people to click on your reaction to a rumor that someone else posted, and even said that they can’t back it up at all, and it may not even be true.

The fact that something “rings true” are exactly the stories we should be scrutinizing the most.

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