Friday, May 4, 2007

Are there rules in social media?

Michelle Nicolosi is the assistant editor at Seattle P-I and we're discussing rules and behaviours in social media.

Real names:

  • How do you ensure someone signs up with their real name?
  • Newsvine says no need, Killfile broke VT shooting and he's top person on site..he'e legit and no real name
  • Newsvine monitors flags and bases good members on this
  • Suggestion: Don't edit comments
  • Chris Pirillo has an issue with reporters' objectivity, after I commented that you can mark things opinion so everyone knows what you're doing
  • Do we need to clarify who is writing a story? Journalist or readers or bloggers? Nicolosi says P-I needs to make a seperation.
  • Question? What's the point of having a print version of a print article on a blog?
  • Print person is terrified to make the online transition because she doesn't now how you verify comments...comments are scary!

Jordan's take:

We're making this up as we go, so your work as a citizen journalist is not only in doing the reporting itself, but in laying the groundwork for those to come... no pressure though!


Michelle Nicolosi, assistant managing editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

She's thinking more in terms of bulletin boards and user feedback from content that is centrally generated. The discussion began with her asking a question: "Should online content maintain the same quality and tone as traditional media?" Victoria Revay and I looked at each other and laughed. The two are not the same! You can have high quality user-generated reporting, but the tone will, by definition, be different online.
Many see user-gen content as a necessary evil at best, an affront at worst. Nicolosi is still speaking in terms of comments: trolling, flame wars, etc.
MN makes a good point about vetting, in terms of getting users' names.
Acountability: is it tied to real-name ID? I don't think so. I think that pseudonymity also carries with it a cachet: contributors build their own brand based on the quality of their input.
These guys are coming at this issue from a standpoint of not trusting their users... I got no love for trolls, but I, like my colleagues, prefer to believe you our contributors' honest desire to contribute good work, as most of them (i.e. you) do.

Our work is vital to the future of democracy: we have to colonize new tech in the name of personal freedom and the ability to express oneself.

Nicolosi likes to keep 'em separated: the P-I reporters and the user/contributors don't interact in the same forum.

Victoria is notifying the room that there is indeed a space for opinion in news: commentary, op-ed pieces. Nicolosi is saying that there's no room for opinion in reporting, but some other guy in the back is saying that reporters will often frame their questions to get the answers they want, and the very act of selective coverage conveys opinion or meta-opinion. I'm reminded of MSM coverage of the run-up to the invasion if Iraq.

[Whilst they're arguing about this stuff, Jordan's on NP promoting a story and linking it to additonal covereage...] Someone is pointing out that readers are smarter than we give them credit for. Nicolosi is adhering to a model of media hierarchy.

Tags: social media | opinion | online news | new media | Technology | Seattle | Seattle Post Intelligencer | Online conference | NowPublic | newsvine

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