A beat blogger's prerogative: crowd-sourced 'exclusives'

Past, present, future

Yes, it's that kind of day: just recovering from what felt like a flu on Saturday, which today is more like a really nasty cold, and trying to catch up with work as well as all the writing I planned to do over the weekend I mostly spent in bed.

And while there are so many things I'd like to blog, there's simply no time, so I thought I just do a massive plug for this site of Adam's I've been paying too little attention to:

Whispers of the Hackopalypse

First of all, it reminded me of this great quote by Brian on what is surely the past?

"It’s as if, when the telephone first arrived, only a few hobbyists had seen the point of it, and had at first enthusiastically chatted to one another on it, while grander people in “mainstream institutions” had sneered.  Have you actually listened to the drivel that these phoners say to each other?, said the mainstream institutions.  No, said the mainstream institutions, it’ll never catch on. We, said the mainstream institutions, give it five years, then it’ll be gone, and good riddance. And then five years later, they all had their own telephones. Which for all I know is what really happened."

Then there's this quote from Ian Betteridge, which must be about the present, right?

"Saying that journalism means “picking up the phone” means that journalism is a social thing. Most of the job isn’t writing - it’s finding and cultivating sources, getting to know people, and getting to that point when you can pick up the phone and talk to someone about what you need to know. As Danny points out, this means that lots of things which bloggers do are really journalism, and, contrariwise, lots of professional journalists don’t really do journalism."

Which brings us to the future, at least to what's my bet on the future. Well actually it's Paul Conley's, which, in all fairness, I first heared discussed at the Big BIog Company HQ quite some time ago, but it needs repeating for a wider audience, and certainly for journalists like myself, who are prone to forget it at times, when getting too caught up in the endless deadline rush:

"More importantly, it won’t be long before other newspapers realize there’s potential (and some easy money) in duplicating the Pharmalot model. There are thousands of business reporters covering hundreds of beats at newspapers across the country. And odds are there’s at least one who would pose a competitive threat to any B2B publication you could name."

Which brings me back to Whispers of the Hackopalypse, just added that to my newsreader, so I won't forget to check in for updates...


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