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View Diary: The Shut The F**k Up Tour (180 comments)

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  •  In that case, fully agreed. (6+ / 0-)

    My suggestion is that we keep that and fill in with outside reporting as we need to.  What percentage of our stuff do you think is based on the work of a journalist actually going somewhere?  I mean, the press conferences and stuff that they rely on like crack addicts--we get those anyway.  But a few of them actually interview people and travel to war zones.  I wonder how much we will miss if they disappear.

    I sometimes wonder what strange planet spawned our media -stranded wind

    by geomoo on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:50:42 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  A lot of the reporting that shows up here (11+ / 0-)

      is coming from people who live in the place they're reporting about- whether it's a flooded Fargo, a burning SoCal, or Galveston returning to the sea.

      If there's a Kossack where news is happening, and they can get a connection, we're pretty much live.

      I won't miss " correspondents" who barely know the place they're talking about- Give me a local every time.

      •  Well yeah, it's incredible. (6+ / 0-)

        The first year on this site, I bored my wife to tears erupting time and again, "It's amazing.  It's like having an inside source on everything."  Ask a question here and you'll get the answer.  Post a diary about some event, and you'll learn the factual story and the entire backstory that explains it's real meaning.  For a time I was very busy, and I tried just reading the diaries without the comments.  I was amazed how much perspective was lost.

        But I will still argue, it seems a significant portion of our analysis and discussion starts with newspaper articles, no?

        I sometimes wonder what strange planet spawned our media -stranded wind

        by geomoo on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:03:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll give you that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ibonewits, geomoo, Stranded Wind, soms

          though we become a more primary source of content every day.

          I'm assuming that you're using " newspaper" as shorthand for " mainstream news media"- I can't think of the last time I actually handled a newspaper, and an awful lot of stuff here comes from other on-line media.

        •  that's a risk and a vulnerability. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          geomoo, Stranded Wind

          To the extent that we're dependent upon other media, we are technically parasitic on their energy-flow.  They will naturally try to use various measures, such as extensions of intellectual property laws, to shake us off or stifle us.  

          What we need to do is re-create or transform the base structure.  We need to do it in a manner that has positive feedback loops at the bottom and negative feedback loops at the top in order to prevent the return to a narrow set of sources.

          For example, envision a micropayment system built into dKos.  You read a diary you like, and you can click a button to send the diarist a payment, even fifty cents or a dollar.  dKos takes a cut for being the publishing entity and providing the infrastructure, and anonymizing the transactions.

          However, the payment system would be designed to start with relatively high rewards from zero up to a given point and then beyond that they would decline as if subjected to a progressive income tax.  The point being to encourage people to get in the game, but prevent a circumstance leading to a few voices taking over.  

          The intended outcome being that a lot of people could earn a supplementary income doing this, a smaller number could go fulltime, but no one would get so rich at it that they would gain the economic basis to crowd out the small guys/gals at the bottom.  The proliferation of people doing something more like news reporting, because they can get paid to do it, would further develop the journalistic aspect of the site.  

          BTW, I fully agree about the news value of this place: it's become my #1 news source because in effect it has a huge number of people reporting from all corners of the globe in realtime.  

          •  REPUTATION. ECONOMICS. ALSO. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, geomoo

            I recently wrote about reputation economics, again coming back to Bruce Sterling's thought on these matters.

            "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

            by Stranded Wind on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 05:25:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I like that progressive pay thinking (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, Stranded Wind

            Adding money to the equation at all scares the hell out of me.  Also, I have no doubt that getting recommended can be gamed.  Conspiracies, even minor ones, can work quite well, which is why it is the human tendency to conspire.  I hate to think what might arise if do re mi were involved.  People are doing it now for free, so my thinking was that all the unpaid people continue to go unpaid, but the structure is lightly formalized so that communication goes both ways, i.e., we can ask winerev to check up on a rumor we heard.  I don't know if there's a way to distinguish, for pay purposes, between people who just comment on what happens to be going on where they are and others who go looking for things.  Propaganda bs aside, there are newspaper reporters who have specialized skills and a certain kind of moxie that not just anyone possesses.  A lot of these people will be out of work soon, in all likelihood.

            Since I've been thinking about this it has also occurred to me that, distasteful as it is, we will need to develop increasing protection against troll-induced rumor and propaganda masquerading as accurate reporting.

            I sometimes wonder what strange planet spawned our media -stranded wind

            by geomoo on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 08:36:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  reporters, COIN, etc. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              geomoo, Stranded Wind

              Looks like convergent solutions evolving here.


              Maybe follow tradition and leave that up to the publisher to decide who to "hire": in this case Markos would have say-so over who gets Journalist status, whereby they get a little Pay Me button at the bottom of each of their diaries.  

              If someone with Journalist status rigs things to get more $$, for example by setting up some kind of kickback scheme or whatever, and the publisher finds out, then they lose their Journalist status.    

              Holy cow!,  I think we've just hit on exactly the model for the future:  Publisher sets up site and sets editorial policies.  Publisher selects people to serve as paid journalists.  Journalists have Pay Me buttons on their articles. Readers voluntarily click and send whatever they think a story is worth.  Publisher gets a cut of all of those transactions.  Bingo, done.  And of course, ads pay for fixed costs such as engineering/technical support, hosting, etc.  


              Re. trolls & rumor-spreaders:  

              Dealing with them is basic COIN, COunter-INtelligence.  

              First of all, under our emerging journalism model, the publisher is the guardian against trolls & "spyders" (rumor-spinners).  (I just came up with the term, we'll see if it sticks.  Etymology:  Spy + spider; and also differentiates from the little 8-legged critters that are for the most part helpful to ecosystems.)

              So, the publisher prevents trolls & spyders from getting Journalist status.  They'll still try to stick around as members & posters, and there, the answer is the same as now: the community takes care of it.  

              The egregious ones will be outed & bounced by mass action pretty quickly.  Finding the subtle ones will take some effort.  For example I discovered the pattern I call "pounce & poop" where trolls wait for new diaries, pounce on them immediately, and leave a first comment that poops on the diary or the diarist.  

              The "pounce & poop" trolls do it subtly, using emotionally-laden language because emotions are contagious: typically they'll post a comment that says "Yawn" or something to that effect, to get people to write off the diary.  When I see P&Ps, I typically HR them and leave a note saying that even if they're not a R spy, they're acting like one and get a donut for it.  

              Another pattern is D&D, digressions & distractions: for example when people start meta-thrash threads.  D&D is more obvious than P&P, but also more insidious because it can masquerade as something within the community guidelines.  However, someone needs to keep track of the instigators of D&Ds, and call 'em out if they do it repeatedly.

              There is another thing that can be done here:   reputation-control tools that enable someone (the publisher, or the community) to "quarantine" a troll or spyder so that to them it appears that they are posting and no one else is replying, but no one else actually sees their postings.  When they don't get replies to their posts, they move along.  And they never realize they've been quarantined.   Think of this tool as similar to a permanent invisible HR on everything they post, but not even TUs get to see their postings.  

              Anyway, more later; and see also SW's item below on Reputation Economics.

              I think we're moving toward a viable model that can be promoted generally and adopted widely.  

              •  A lot of interesting stuff. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek, Stranded Wind

                "Spyder" works for me.

                A word on P&P:  I've called them henpeckers.  I think of them as low on the totem pole users who lurk around the top of the diary list to try to keep currently unappreciated diarists for rising above them in the hierarchy.  Henpeckers because they try to bring up a drop of blood and thus start a frenzy of hierarchy scramble.  I think you're probably more correct that there is more of a method and a motivation to it.  I have certainly had more than one day of mine wrecked by them.

                The idea of a secret quarantine is appealing but also gives me the heebie jeebies.  I guess we are talking about a private publishing entity here, so all power rests with the publisher, but the ability to manipulate public reality is an inherently frightening prospect to me.

                I like the pay scheme a lot.  I wonder if it would work.  Relying on voluntary contributions seems to have a bad rep, but we are talking about something that's never been tried, so who knows?

                I would like to see more of these discussions.  It behooves us to plan our way into the next model rather than let it happen to us or be taken over by less democratic forces.

                I'll go read that diary now. Been procrastinating on it.

                I sometimes wonder what strange planet spawned our media -stranded wind

                by geomoo on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 09:49:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  models & methods.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:


                  Cool.  Let's use that as the noun for the people who do the P&P.    Yep, pecking party, it fits.  It becomes a full-fledged pecking party when they draw others in.  

                  I hadn't thought of the "losers / hierarchy scramble" factor because it didn't occur to me that people would find any way to benefit from that on a board with 170-some-odd-thousand subscribers.  

                  What I see of the hierarchy is, there's a very large lower-end who are mostly lurkers, a broad middle that includes folks such as you & I & SW & others who are established in the community but not front-pagers, and then a small group who consist of the front-pagers and folks who are on the Rec list often.  The system seems like a meritocracy where the way people get established is by being active & having good ideas, and those who have great ideas & the time to post frequent diaries move up accordingly.  It's the "brains & hard work" model; if only the business & political world worked like that...

                  Secret quarantine:

                  Would be creepy if it was being done by large impersonal publishing entities, broadband carriers (cable TV, telco, etc.), government agencies, and so on.  For example if your broadband provider ran all the content it carried, and could block you from posting on any of its boards.  

                  So long as online publishing is as diverse as it is, with numerous ownership models and the chance for anyone to "have a printing press," those diverse entities could use "secret quarantine" without raising fundamental 1st A issues.  Under a diverse publishing model, the individual publishers (and editors at online editions of newspapers & magazines) can legitimately block users they don't like, just as they can presently refuse to run their letters to editors from known cranks.  (There's another category of disruptor to add to our list of trolls, spyders, and henpeckers:  cranks, for example people who promote the idea that the 9/11 airliners were flown by remote control from Cheney's secret bunker.)  

                  The dividing line is, there should not be a centralized database for this purpose that is shared among publishers and keyed to unique-identifiers for individuals (e.g. requirement to use one's legal name for online activity).  Doing that would enable blanket quarantines that effectively lock people out of being heard anywhere at all, regardless of the fact that they may change their ways or not be trolls everywhere they go.  So long as we can avoid "unique identifiers" (legal name, MAC address of their computer, IP numbers of their broadband service, etc.), this problem can be prevented.  

                  Voluntary payment:

                  I don't see any other way to do this.  If we go to a universal mandatory paid subscription model, then we end up with the huge databases associated with unique identifiers (person's legal name from their bank account or PayPal account), and that can become a means of censorship.  And under a regime such as GWB, it has a chilling effect on speech: imagine if Bush had been halfway competent and started rounding up dissidents.  Online speech would chill to the freezing point pretty darn quick.  

                  Instead there needs to be, at minimum, separation between the payment-processing system and the subscribers' names.  Think of being able to put a letter to editor in the postal mail with no return address: the editor might be terribly skeptical of something with no name on it, but if the content is sufficiently interesting, they might publish it.  And in a GWB type situation, whistle-blowers and other significant dissidents who posed a threat to the regime would at least be able to get the word out that way.  So we need an online equivalent of that, or at least something that biases the design of the system toward that outcome.  

                  The voluntary payment model assumes that a publisher will need to have a lot of writers on paid staff in order to earn decent $$ from the publishing fees for their work.  That's good for diversity of opinions.  In cyberspace the overhead costs are minimal for carrying a wide range of writers, so there should be no basis for any pressure to "weed out" the writers who cater to small audiences (and receive less payment).  

                  The voluntary payment model could also be applied to online music distribution.  It is the diametric opposite of the RIAA copyright fascism model.  It encourages people to take responsibility for supporting the artists they listen to and the writers they read, rather than enforcing payment at the point of a bayonet.   Instead it could poke yet another hole in RIAA's balloon.

                  The payment processing system needs to be set up to handle payments in small amounts, and do it without requiring a lot of actions on the part of the user.   The idea being that you should be able to read an article and then at the bottom write in any amont of money from pennies to tens of dollars, and click a Pay Me button, all without having to go through a whole bunch of crap to do a transaction.  Making it "frictionless" will encourage the large number of small payments that add up to viable income for writers & publishers.  I can think of some specific ways to do this.  


                  It seems to me we're coming up with stuff here that should be published as a diary and discussed widely as part of the "emerging model of journalism" equation.  What do we do next with this...?

                  •  Good stuff. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Forgive me for not being able to give the response it deserves right now.  MsMoo keeps calling me in to watch Bill Maher: "How much longer?"

                    A cupla things.  Yes, a diary.  I don't feel I have the depth of experience with these things to host such a thing.  I would be happy to write up what I can--I can write okay--and send it along.  If you feel up to it, you can then cut and paste freely in turning it into a diary you could host.  I think you'd be great at it.  You're bursting with ideas.

                    About the diary--should be in an atmosphere of brainstorming.  Not get too caught up in debating the validity of individual ideas except to weed out the obviously flawed ones.  The goal would be to gather a lot of reaction and a lot of ideas.  That's mho.

                    Really gotta go.

                    Wall Street is NOT "the economy." -Giles Goat Boy

                    by geomoo on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 09:03:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  cool; probably will do soon. (0+ / 0-)

                      The hard part is keeping a balance between "here's a bunch of ideas" and "let's get more ideas in the mix."  

                      Goal might be to take the best of the batch and include them as an update or something.  That assumes the diary gets enough notice to get enough comments:-)

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