Does Memeorandum reinforce hierarchies?

I’m skeptical about Memeorandum’s algorithm. It has picked up on Jeff Jarvis’ comments about my idea of paramedia, but does not provide links to my posting, even though Jeff links to it.

Is Memeorandum really just a mechanism for reinforcing blog hierarchy? It’s picked up my postings before, but never picks up my postings if I am not responding to someone in the “top 100.”

Google: Reality-check, please

Google Morphs Into Multifaceted Juggernaut – New York Times:

In just seven years, Google Inc. has morphed from a bare-bones online search engine into a technological octopus that seems to sprout another intriguing tentacle every other week.

This is classic speculative bubble stuff. I know Google is doing big things, but this article collects so many ridiculous potential directions that, even if they are all true, challenge any organization’s ability to keep any semblance of focus. If Google believes its own hype, it is in trouble. If we don’t believe that Google will use any means to achieve their ends (that is is capable of evil, even if it doesn’t intend evil), we’re in trouble as users of information, too.

Miers: Color me not baffled

Longtime Confidante of Bush Has Never Been a Judge – New York Times:

President Bush nominated Harriet E. Miers, the White House counsel, as his choice to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor this morning, his second nominee for the Supreme Court in the past two and half months.

So, when the president is faced with growing criticism that his cronyism is costing the country dearly, what does he do? He appoints an ultra-crony to the Supreme Court; not just a crony with no judicial credentials to be judged by the Senate or the public. The dude is just plain stubborn to a fault.

Bush touted the fact that Ms. Miers has been called one of the most powerful lawyers in the country, which, of course, only indicates that she has close connections to a president. It is a non-qualification or negative quality for a Supreme Court nominee, if Mr. Bush is concerned about keeping his promise that the court should not be politicized. Besides serving as White House counsel, basically as Mr. Bush’s lawyer, and several other Bush White House positions that may or may not have put her at the heart of discussions about Valerie Plame, Enron and other scandals, her only public service has been as the head of the Texas Lottery.

Why does the phrase “You’re doin’ a heck of a job, Brownie” seem to echo in the wind today?

Smart – In Shakeup, Disney Rethinks How It Reaches Audiences:

Robert Iger, who takes over today as Walt Disney Co.’s chief executive, is shaking up the Magic Kingdom by pushing a mandate for the digital age: Consumers must be able to use Disney content whenever and wherever they want it.

Mr. Iger is talking about selling episodes of ABC hits such as “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” online like songs. He is roiling the movie-theater industry by publicly floating the idea of releasing movies in cinemas and on DVD at the same time. He is negotiating with telecom companies about ways to deliver entertainment over cellphones.

Really smart.

The Era of Paramedia

The new installment of Evolution Media, my podcast, is posted to the podcast feed.

“Paramedia” describes what happens when peers come together in networks with a purpose, something that media consumers, media makers and marketers need to understand and that, for the most part, is such a novel phenomenon that it is simply misunderstood as being very like the media of our childhoods, when messages came in big packages and audiences numbered in the millions.

Let’s begin to explore this idea by looking to the origins of the word. As I said, it’s been used by author Todd Gitlin and the Cult of the Dead Cow, but “paramedia” is also the name of a consultancy and has been used enough that it generates 81,800 hits on Google (as of this writing). I’d like to formalize the term here and now, so that we can use it with a common understanding of its meaning and scope.

So, here is my definition of paramedia for your consideration: Paramedia are networks of people with access to media publishing tools and training that align through self-organizing or by explicit planning to promote and support the discussion of an idea, agenda or problem.

To read the entire script, continue reading. I don’t follow it strictly, and urge you to listen, too.

The free Audible file is available here. It will play in iTunes, Windows Media Player and most portable audio devices, and you can pass it around.

Continue reading “The Era of Paramedia”