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Posts tagged with ‘long format’

Technology’s disruption of traditional forms of media has led many to believe that independent, thoughtful media institutions are on the decline and that there are not enough readers to support serious reporting and analysis.

But in 1914 the founders of The New Republic chose to strike out and pursue their vision in spite of the prevailing opinions of their time. They saw a need for a magazine of informed opinion and insightful, thorough reporting.

I share their vision. It seems that today too many media institutions chase superficial metrics of online virality at the expense of investing in rigorous reporting and analysis of the most important stories of our time. When few people are investing in media institutions with such bold aims as “enlightenment to the problems of the nation,” I believe we must.

Many of us get our news from social networks, blogs, and daily aggregators. The web has introduced a competitive, and some might argue hostile, landscape for long, in-depth, resource-intensive journalism. But as we’ve seen with the rise of tablets and mobile reading devices, it is an ever-shifting landscape—one that I believe now offers opportunities to reinvigorate the forms of journalism that examine the challenges of our time in all their complexity. Although the method of delivery of important ideas has undergone drastic change over the past 15 years, the hunger for them has not dissipated.

In the next era of The New Republic, we will aggressively adapt to the newest information technologies without sacrificing our commitment to serious journalism. We will look to tell the most important stories in politics and the arts and provide the type of rigorous analysis that The New Republic has been known for. We will ask pressing questions of our leaders, share groundbreaking new ideas, and shed new light on the state of politics and culture.

The New Republic has been and will remain a journal of progressive values, but it will above all aim to appeal to independent thinkers on the left and the right who search for fresh ideas and a deeper understanding of the challenges our world faces.

A Letter To TNR Readers From Chris Hughes - Chris Hughes via The New Republic

Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, and Obama advisor, has purchased the majority stake in The New Republic, and has some very smart things to say about the role of long-format wiring in the context of open social discourse ins our increasingly liquid media world.

I may have to subscribe.

(via underpaidgenius)

Dropping Out Of Blogs And Into Streams

Here’s another take on the rise of short format and the decline of long format on the social web. Without a discussion about streaming it all sounds like a series of fads:

Verne Kopytoff, Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter

The Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center found that from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half; now 14 percent of children those ages who use the Internet have blogs. Among 18-to-33-year-olds, the project said in a report last year, blogging dropped two percentage points in 2010 from two years earlier.

Former bloggers said they were too busy to write lengthy posts and were uninspired by a lack of readers. Others said they had no interest in creating a blog because social networking did a good enough job keeping them in touch with friends and family.

Blogging started its rapid ascension about 10 years ago as services like Blogger and LiveJournal became popular. So many people began blogging — to share dieting stories, rant about politics and celebrate their love of cats — that Merriam-Webster declared “blog” the word of the year in 2004.

Defining a blog is difficult, but most people think it is a Web site on which people publish periodic entries in reverse chronological order and allow readers to leave comments.

Yet for many Internet users, blogging is defined more by a personal and opinionated writing style. A number of news and commentary sites started as blogs before growing into mini-media empires, like The Huffington Post or Silicon Alley Insider, that are virtually indistinguishable from more traditional news sources.

Blogs went largely unchallenged until Facebook reshaped consumer behavior with its all-purpose hub for posting everything social. Twitter, which allows messages of no longer than 140 characters, also contributed to the upheaval.

No longer did Internet users need a blog to connect with the world. They could instead post quick updates to complain about the weather, link to articles that infuriated them, comment on news events, share photos or promote some cause — all the things a blog was intended to do.

Indeed, small talk shifted in large part to social networking, said Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder of BlogHer, a women’s blog network. Still, blogs remain a home of more meaty discussions, she said.

“If you’re looking for substantive conversation, you turn to blogs,” Ms. Camahort Page said. “You aren’t going to find it on Facebook, and you aren’t going to find it in 140 characters on Twitter.”

Lee Rainie, director of the Internet and American Life Project, says that blogging is not so much dying as shifting with the times. Entrepreneurs have taken some of the features popularized by blogging and weaved them into other kinds of services.

“The act of telling your story and sharing part of your life with somebody is alive and well — even more so than at the dawn of blogging,” Mr. Rainie said. “It’s just morphing onto other platforms.”

The blurring of lines is readily apparent among users of Tumblr. Although Tumblr calls itself a blogging service, many of its users are unaware of the description and do not consider themselves bloggers — raising the possibility that the decline in blogging by the younger generation is merely a semantic issue.

Kim Hou, a high school senior in San Francisco, said she quit blogging months ago, but acknowledged that she continued to post fashion photos on Tumblr. “It’s different from blogging because it’s easier to use,” she said. “With blogging you have to write, and this is just images. Some people write some phrases or some quotes, but that’s it.”

Asking people why they don’t do something often leads to a general explanation: I don’t have time. Robert Putnam found that when asking people why they didn’t get involved in community organizations was invariably told by respondents that they had not time, that commuting, work, house work, and child care were taking up all of people’s time. But when he researched where people’s time was going, the answer was glaring: television watching steeply increased starting in the ’60s to an all-time high in the ’90s. Almost 5 hours a day in the US, crowding out community involvement almost totally.

So, you can’t really trust people’s folklore about why they do and don’t do the thinks that they do and don’t do. You can, however, examine what they are actually doing, like the Pew folks do.

And the most important and unexamined aspect of the move from blogs to streaming applications like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr is their streaming nature. Streaming and the open follower model is an evolutionary advance over the primitive social structures of the old school blogging era. People are moving from the slower, less social model of interaction embedded in the blogging model, to a much faster, and much more social model of interaction in streaming applications.

And this is only the wavefront of the transition to a web of flow, away from the web of pages: that’s the deep background story here. 

(via underpaidgenius)


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