Todayâ€™s Dayton Daily News dedicated their Op-Ed page to a discussion of traditional elite journalists vs. the new media darling; the blogger. (It doesn’t do any good to point to the articles since they will be off the site in a week). The articles pointed out all kinds of facts and figures and made wild generalizations about audiences, fact checking and what the future holds.
The fact is information is information- presented by bloggers or traditional media- itâ€™s all bits of data- and the form or forum isnâ€™t important. As Nicholas Negroponte said in his book â€œBeing Digitalâ€ â€“ â€œBits not Atomsâ€ and this is why newspapers in particular should be nervous. The information contained within the page was all digital at one point- by converting it to a printed newspaper doesnâ€™t make it more legitimate- it just makes for a better birdcage liner. The same goes for a blog- garbage in â€“ garbage out. Fact checking can be bad from any venue- look to the New York Times and the Jason Blair affair or CBS news with the doctored documents on the Presidentâ€™s service records- being a big media giant doesnâ€™t mean you get your facts more right than the guy putting his message out into the world using a blog. With apologies to Marshal Mcluhan- the medium is not the message anymore.
The blogosopher seminar talks about creating content of value to build your web presence, the use of WordPress is just a tool to get visibility in search engines like Google. While the editorials talk about credibility- we talk about visibility. In the new media age, if you create crap you will be found out faster than ever before. It used to be said that great advertising will kill a bad product faster than bad advertising will kill a good product. Misrepresenting your product will not be overlooked- the word will be out faster than you can say class action lawsuit. The new iPod nano from Apple was exposed on a blog 3 days after its launch by an unhappy young man who launched flawedmusicplayer.com (site no longer live) and started cataloging problems with the screen.
You blog is your product represented on the web, itâ€™s up to you to calibrate your data for your audience and to provide useful data for them. Content is king, information is power, and a WordPress blog is just one tool to spread your message.
Donâ€™t get caught up in Big Mediaâ€™s semantics of what a blog is or isnâ€™t- it is what you make it. WordPress is a content management system- itâ€™s the typographer, printer, distribution system (paper boy) etc. It isnâ€™t the editor- thatâ€™s you- and thatâ€™s a budding blogosopher.
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