Food for thought on a Sunday

"Oh, I don't read HER. It's not that I don't like her, it's just that she makes me think too much," a journalist friend told me back when I had just graduated from City.

He'd been in news reporting for a decade or more already by then, while I, even though I'd started my media career as a columnist when I was 18, had done precious little of day-to-day news reporting.

And I must admit I found his statement absurd: how can an a writer make you think too much? Isn't it always a good thing if a writer makes you think a lot? Since then I've come to appreciate, albeit very reluctantly, that at least it's perfectly possible to get so busy you don't have time to read writers that make you think a lot - which is a pity, a big loss and detrimental in the long run if you keep running out of time to do so.

These last few weeks I have been too busy with work to do much of this kind of reading - not too busy to read and think, but too busy to really contemplate all the things I'd like to, so here's a few posts that I'd really like, and will return to, to contemplate some more:



How the web is changing newsreading habits

I should perhaps have entitled this post "How the web is changing newsreading habits, chapter xxx", but I've quite forgotten which chapter we're on. In any case, here's an interesting snapshot from Fred Wilson:

The Gotham Gal has been religious about reading the NY Times in paper and doing the crossword as 'dessert' as long as I've known her (28 yrs now)... So this past year, during the presidential election, when she went online 5x per day to see what was going on, you'd think shed have gone to the

But she didn't. She went to Huffpo. And that habit has not changed since early November. She reads the paper in the morning as always and then checks in with her trusted blogs and web news services throughout the day and evening, like the trader who reads the WSJ in paper form on the train in and then hangs out on his/her Bloomberg all day long. I've asked her to post on all the online news sources she checks every day and she just did that. Here it is. .... teaches me some important things. First, the mainstream newspaper reader is just making this transition to intraday news consumption now. Second, they will not blindly follow their offline brand loyalty when they go online. And most importantly, publishing news online is fundamentally different from publishing news offlin
e. Do check out the full post here.

Knowledge anno 2008

Paal Hivand asked a question on Twitter this week, which had me thinking about a recent conversation on ... eh ... Twitter. Thing is, Paal said (in Norwegian) that he was contemplating an article about how knowledge used to be individual, but now is social. I'm not going to go into that statement, just offer this anectdotal evidence for how knowledge in some respects is easier available than ever before (click on the image for a readable version):


I love Adriana's conclusion to my remark about what great lengths I'd go to dig out dusty old books on this particular subject some 16 years ago, whereas now it's all on Wikipedia:

"The remembered trivia one was so proud of now two clicks away! What is the world coming to -:)" I'd just jumped into a conversation between Adriana and Freecloud here - which started with the Albigensian crusade and ended with the Twitterian crusade - and it's also worth keeping in mind that we probably wouldn't be having this conversation if it wasn't for Twitter...

Update 14:15: a_spod just reminded me of Google book search in the comments, which reminded me of this interesting article by John Naughton: "Google pays small change to open every book in the world"