Over at ZD Net, Monday, October 16, 2006

As part of your humble publisher’s ever-increasings efforts to make reading convenient and pleasurable, here are excerpts the postings I did at ZD Net in the last day (click the headline to read the whole article):

Knowing a lot less than your readers

I’ve resisted getting into another confrontation with Dave Winer, preferring to leave it to Nick Carr and Donna Bogatin to respond to one of the dumbest overgeneralizing “insights” Dave has ever published, that journalism is “like cooking dinner” and that it is “easier for readers to become reporters than it is for reporters to become readers.”

Then, I read this obituary for murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya:

SHE was brave beyond belief, reporting a gruesome war and a creeping dictatorship with a sharp pen and steel nerves. It may be a chilling coincidence that Anna Politkovskaya was murdered on Vladimir Putin’s birthday, but her friends and supporters are in little doubt that her dogged, gloomy reporting of the sinister turn Russia has taken under what she called his “bloody” leadership was what led to her body being dumped in the lift of her Moscow apartment block.

Winer wrote last week, in a posting I’ll take point by point…

Taxonomy: Will practice make perfect?

Renee Blodgett points to the upcoming Taxonomy Boot Camp, where David Weinberger (author of the upcoming Everything Is Miscellaneous) will be giving the keynote. David’s thoughts are always useful and frequently blindingly insightful. I’d like to be at the conference, but have a conflict. So, I’ll just inject the comments I’d offer if I could go….

The topics at the event include “How to create and implement a successful taxonomy,” which poses an interesting challenge for David’s talk, because he has been at the forefront of the folksonomy movement. Is it possible to “create and implement a taxonomy,” which implies extensive planning and management? Well, sure, if you have to create a closed system, I suppose it is possible, but the collaboratively produced taxonomy is more about the creation of a setting in which purposeful discussion and compromise can happen, because few things can be uniformly tagged and categorized to deal with all situations….

News of puppets?

I’m a big fan of Second Life. But I wonder about a Reuters bureau for SL, which was launched, along with an SL news page where stories have the gushing quality of a press release, like this:

Philip Rosedale and his team at Linden Lab have almost godlike powers in Second Life that Alan Greenspan (right) could only have dreamed of, but they have much the same job managing its fast-growing economy.

With the Second Life economy growing by a red-hot 10 to 15 percent a month, roughly in line with its overall population, Linden Lab is keen to avoid the hyperinflation that has often tainted both real economies and virtual ones.

I understand writing about new products that connect Second Life to external events and covering business and virtual business, because money is really changing hands, but I doubt that requires this kind of production Reuters—or, rather, its reporter—is undertaking to seem relevant to the community he covers. After all, one can certainly report on events on Second Life without having a virtual bureau—seems like the best way to be flooded with cheesy PR pitches to me….

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Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.