Debate on Blogging and Gatekeepers 10 Juni 05

A prominent and most persistent meme in the Blogosphere is that Blogging challenges the Gatekeeping of Big Media. Jon Garfunkel of Civilities has a nice series on that issue.

Garfunkel argues that the very structure of the Blogosphere demands gatekeepers. Since easy-to-use blogging tools enable everyone to publish the level of noise raises and structuring and filtering of information is badly needed. He refers to Seth Finkelstein‘s words that the change is not about getting rid of gatekeepers but that there is change from gatekeepers of production to gatekeepers of audience. I totally agree.

Actually, it’s a savvy way to put what I wrote about disintermediation prophecies. The function of intermediaries is not only about organizing production and physical distribution (that’s the aprt we rarely need in digital enivironments), but also about filtering information, organizing attention and audience, matching supply and demand. And that’s a function we badly need in the digital world.

What I disagree with are the conclusions. Finkelstein thinks that

exchanging one set of gatekeepers for another, is no net gain overall. What’s so superultrafantastic about yet another media oligarchy?

Well, if we wanna call it a new media oligarchy, it is at least an oligarchy that builds upon economics of attention and not upon the power of a 30 Mio $ printing press. Of course, there are gates. But it seems a lot easier for someone from the margins of mainstream discourse to jot a thoughtful comment on the blog of an A-List-blogger and be linked from him in the future than buying a million-dollar printing press to reach only a regional audience. The new media regime seems to be a lot more fluid than
the old one.

Garfunkel argues that aggregation is needed to overcome A-List hegemony. That’s a fine point. But I don’t think the best way to achieve that is his proposed system called Viewpoints. There are seventeen categories divided in four sets (Viability, Position, Quality, Process) that can be assigned to a content element. Isn’t tagging on free-form basis the more succesful way (see Shirky’s piece on http://Ontology is Overrated? Aggregation via, Technorati, PubSub works wonderful. I track a lot of issues and find loads of interesting stuff from people of the Long Tail.
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Diskussion 5 Kommentare bislang

  1. Jon Garfunkel

    Christian– thanks for your words of encouragement.
    I do agree that and Technorati are steps in the right direction. They are wonderful, and I think has a bit of an edge since it already has the structure of allowing multiple readers to tag/rate another resource. I think the next step is to how people to actually choose a quality scale, rather than just assume that a tag is a vote. — Jon

  2. chriggi

    I just doubt that people will do that – choose a quality scale rather than just tagging or linking. We are lazy!
    And the implicit vote of linking and the stucturization through tagging yields well in the aggregate. But how is your experience on your site – are people using Viewlevels?

  3. Alexander Korte

    eleven, now ;-)

  4. sepatu levis

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    I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m completely enjoying your blog.

    I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still
    new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for inexperienced blog writers?
    I’d certainly value it.

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