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IT Conversations: more about the net as a giant zero

If you enjoyed Doc Searl's recent post on Giant Zero Journalism, this podcast (via Adriana's Furl feed), which I of course only found time to listen to this weekend, provides further food for thought:

Craig Burton has said that the best geometric representation of the net's end-to-end architecture is a hollow sphere comprised of everything and everybody on it. Doc Searls, senior editor for Linux Journal, used this statement to describe the hollow sphere as a "giant zero” that it puts every point at virtually zero distance from every other point. He joins Phil and Scott to discuss his current work on the concept and how it has changed communication. Doc also evaluates the importance of blogging in current communications and illustrates how bloggers can influence more traditional writing.

Did you miss the post on Giant Zero Journalism, and the vibrant web discussion it snowballed into? Here's a few highlights:

It is essential for the mainstream media to understand that the larger information ecosystem is one that grows wild on the Net and supports everybody who wants to inform anybody else. It no longer grows inside the mainstream media's walled gardens. Those gardens will continue to thrive only to the degree that they do two things: 1) open up; and 2) live symbiotically with individuals outside who want to work together for common purposes.

We have readers and viewers, not just "audiences" and "consumers". We write articles and essays and posts, not just "generate content". "User-generated content", or UGC, is an ugly, insulting and misleading label.

"Content" is inert. It isn't alive. It doesn't grow, or catch fire, or go viral. Ideas and insights do that. Interesting facts do that. "Audiences" are passive. They sit still, clap and leave. That might be what happened with newspapers and radio and TV in the old MSM-controlled world, but it's not what happens on The Giant Zero. It's not what happens with blogging, or with citizen journalism. Here it's all about contribution, participation. It involves conversation, but it goes beyond that into relationship — with readers, with viewers, with the larger ecosystem by which we all inform each other.


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