Feedburner story: The increasing irrelevance of journalists when compared to bloggers

Sam Sethi of Vecosys first reported on the story of feedburner being acquired by Google. Today, Mike Arrington of techcrunch confirmed it.

This is significant because journalism and old media (like newspapers) were primarily concerned with two things: Breaking news (the latest developments which have value the quicker they are reported accurately) and Analysis.

Increasingly, with the rise of blogosphere, the function of analysis is becoming democratised because the wisdom of all the blogosphere is better than the analysis of the few journalists – no matter how good they are

What is more interesting is: the function of ‘news reporting’ is also leaning towards blogosphere.

Admittedly, many blogs like my own blog OpenGardens are not about news i.e. we are not geared to report the latest developments in the industry. We focus only on analysis

However, the news of feedburner’s acquisition was reported by Sam Sethi – a blogger and confirmed by Mike Arrington (another blogger). Previously, Google’s acquisition of YouTube was also reported by Techcrunch and Mike Arrington talks about consequent techcrunch bashing where he says: I am surprised that traditional media is starting to see TechCrunch as newsworthy enough to attack. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

There was a time when highly paid hacks with considerable resources at their disposal, would be the first to get the story.

To me, it seems increasingly that the blogosphere is reporting it and confirming it – with the journalists left on the side.

This is a good thing in my view. It is a sign of the times that the big media/few journalists are becoming increasingly irrelevant with the wisdom of crowds.

If you doubt that the rise of blogosphere is a good thing: think about this – there is a collective wisdom of journalists as well! Most journalists and big media globally supported the Iraq war .. and now almost all ‘collectively’ oppose it .. where is the objectivity in that?

Far better to decentralise and globalise the viewpoints rather than a few big publications and a few journalists spoon-feed us with their views

Blogging: Of Tom and Jerry and craving the friction of a human being ..


I have always included Tom and Jerry in my profile.

Indeed, I am a fan of animation in general and ‘Tom and Jerry’ in particular.

But when asked, why was it on my profile, I never had a good answer.

My best attempt was: Blogging is not ‘corporate’. Including personal preferences in my profile was my way of saying : I am an individual and not a conformist in some large company.

Clearly people notice, because I get a lot of comments about the Tom and Jerry, Tintin, Asterix etc .. especially when people meet me at an event face to face for the first time.

Why was something I was doing almost for fun attracting so much attention?

I recently read The world is flat and suddenly on Page 255, it dawned on me why this was so powerful especially in blogosphere.

In that section, Thomas Friedman describes his frustration of a (supposedly friction free) encounter with an automated directory information service and says he ‘craved the friction of another human being’

He goes on to describe the ‘death of a salesman’ where a veteran salesman laments how in the old days, the salesmen would drop by and give their customers a few ‘Vikings’ tickets and consequently that when the world goes ‘flat’ its hard to create a bond with email and streaming Internet

That’s it!

That’s why people remember the Tom and Jerry and the human elements when they meet me almost as much as they know what I write about. Because they know that there is a person at the end of the blog.

In an increasingly automated world, the Tom and Jerry provides them the craving / friction of a real human being!

The image is from the 1945 classic ‘Quiet Please’ One of my favourites!

Quiet Please! was a 1945 Tom and Jerry cartoon which won the 1945 Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons. It was produced by Fred Quimby and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with music by Scott Bradley. The cartoon was animated by Kenneth Muse, Ray Patterson, Irven Spence, and Ed Barge.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiet,_Please!)